Getting to Know Someone in a Long-Distance Relationship
Written by Alex Barinov
You’ve met a person who lives far away, and you want to try a long-distance relationship. Your first step is to get to know each other.
Getting to know someone in a long-distance relationship is different from getting to know a person face to face. Online communication leaves a lot of room for misunderstandings that can lead to confusion and arguments. Try to keep the online communication informative and keep more intimate topics for when you meet.
Today, we’ll talk about how you can get to know someone online as well as in real life.
Getting to Know Someone Online vs Face to Face
Getting to know someone online may seem a little alien in the beginning. The way you communicate in a long-distance relationship is different from how you interact when you are next to each other.
When you are physically together, much of your communication happens via body language. Without seeing the other person in front of you, takes away the body language signals. And a lack of physical touch makes it difficult to navigate your relationship.
Talking online, you can’t observe your partner’s body language. Nor can you feel their presence and emotions. Without this information, you are more likely to have confusion and misunderstandings.
When you are getting to know each other online, you rely mostly on verbal and written communication. The clearer you can express yourself through words, the easier it is for your partner to understand what you mean.
It can be hard to navigate your relationship long-distance. But, getting to know someone in a long-distance relationship also has its benefits.
Benefits and Challenges of Getting to Know Someone Online
Benefits of Getting to Know Someone Online
- You can talk to several people at the same time.
- You can take the time to ask the right questions.
- Not only that, but you don’t have to respond straight away, which allows you to think before you reply.
- If you don’t like something, it’s easier to say so when you are talking online.
Challenges of Getting to Know Someone Online
- You don’t see their body language and facial expression (unless on a video call), so It’s harder to judge the person’s response.
- You can’t touch each other. A lack of physical closeness reduces the quality of your communication. A lack of physical touch makes it harder to maintain an emotional connection.
- In a long-distance relationship, physical intimacy depends on the frequency of your visits. When you can’t see each other as often as you’d like, the distance can become a problem.
A romantic relationship involves physical intimacy. To stay connected, you need to keep in touch and maintain an emotional connection.
Physical intimacy is a significant part of a romantic relationship. Getting to know someone in a long-distance relationship without physical intimacy is limiting. When you are getting to know someone online, you won’t know what it feels like to be together until you meet.
Without physical contact, it’s hard to navigate the state of your relationship. When you meet a person in real life, you know how it feels to be together.
Each person has a different need for intimacy. So, longer periods between visits will be harder for the person who needs the physical touch more often.
The success of a long-distance relationship in big part comes down to having the time and the money to cross the distance.
Ways to Get to Know Someone Long-Distance Relationship
When you start a long-distance relationship, you have three ways of getting to know someone:
- Get to know someone online
- Get to know someone in real life by meeting for the first time
- Get to know each other better during your visits.
Get to Know Someone Online
A long-distance relationship can be a period of learning each other’s personalities, values, and beliefs.
There’s a lot you can learn about each other online, but when you talk face to face, you may find it more comfortable to bring up topics that are more difficult for you to discuss online.
Agree on how often you speak. It’ll help you avoid excessive communication and boring conversations.
After some time getting to know someone over a long-distance, you will want (and need!) to meet them in person. Once you’ve built an understanding and learned about each other, it’s time to meet for the first time.
Get to Know Someone in Real Life by Meeting for the First Time
You won’t know what they are like until you meet in real life. Try to meet within a few months of starting your long-distance relationship. It’ll help you avoid idealisation and will make for a stronger connection.
Meeting for the first time is exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. By this point, you would have built a certain image of the person, and you would have created an idea of your relationship.
When you finally meet after an online relationship, you will face a real person. If in some ways they aren’t how you imagined, you will be disappointed.
In other words, the more time you spend online, the more stories you will create in your head. Having an online relationship without seeing each other leads to unrealistic expectations and inevitable disappointments.
The more expectations you have about a person being a certain way, the more you will be disappointed to find out that they are not. If you don’t recognise your expectations and don’t acknowledge your disappointments, it may ruin your relationship.
At the very least, it will be difficult for you to disentangle your perception from reality. In other words, it’ll complicate things for you.
Don’t miss the moment between getting to know someone online and creating a false image about them.
After you’ve been in touch for a few months, you should know enough about each other to decide if you want to know any more. Before you start cementing what you think you know about the person, it’s a good time for you to meet each other for the first time.
It’s a good idea to meet in a place other than your home. And there are two main reasons for it. First, you don’t want to have a stranger in your place. Second, arranging a separate sleeping accommodation will take off the pressure of staying with someone even if it doesn’t feel right.
Once you are comfortable being together, the next stage is to visit each other.
Get to Know Someone Better During Your Visits
When you visit your long-distance partner in their place, you will have a chance to learn about their culture and environment. Knowing where a person came from will help you better understand who they are and what they are all about.
Having your partner come over to your place will help them understand you better.
Visits during a long-distance relationship are very precious and special. They are times when you get to share physical intimacy and be close to each other.
When you visit each other, you can connect everything you have discussed online with how you feel when you are together.
In a long-distance relationship, visits are considered a luxury. So, couples tend to ignore all the problems and enjoy the little time they have together. While you should enjoy your time together, you can also use this opportunity to share your deepest feelings and doubts. Working out your problems together will only bring you closer and will help you feel more intimate.
If you’ve gone through all three stages and are ready for the next step, try living together for a few months to see how you work as a couple.
How to Get to Know Someone in a Long-Distance Relationship
- Exchange a few messages
- Discuss casual daily things
- Talk about more personal, intimate and meaningful things.
Exchange a few messages
You can tell if your conversation flows after exchanging a few messages.
During online dating, your communication should be effortless. When it’s easy to talk to someone you meet, it’s a good sign for you can start a long-distance relationship.
When you click with someone, there’s no need to force your conversation, so embrace it and see where it takes you.
As long as you enjoy talking to each other, your relationship will naturally develop into what it is meant to be.
Discuss casual daily things
Talking about everyday things will show if both of you are interested in each other.
After a few weeks, you’ll be able to tell if you have common interests and having fun talking online.
Once you’ve established that you like each other and get on well, you can share more personal and intimate things.
General conversations you have in your relationship’s early stages are more about having fun and enjoying each other’s company. Through deeper conversations, you get to know someone better as a person.
Talk about more personal, intimate and meaningful things
Getting to know someone better means learning about their deeper values and beliefs.
In a healthy long-distance relationship, you should have a combination of fun things to talk about and meaningful conversations that help you connect on a deeper level.
Choose conversation topics that bring you closer together.
Questions to Ask When Getting to Know Someone in a Long-Distance Relationship
- What do you want in life and from your relationship?
- What are your personal and relationship goals?
- Questions about physical intimacy in your long-distance relationship
- How often does each of you need physical intimacy?
- Do you need it as often as each other?
- Does one of you need it more?
- Questions about visiting someone in a long-distance relationship
- When are you going to visit each other?
- How often can you visit each other?
- Who is going to come over?
Tips on Getting to Know Someone in a Long-Distance Relationship
The distance can put extra strain on your relationship. That’s where effective communication is one of the first things you should look into before starting a long-distance relationship.
- Use online dating as an opportunity to see if your conversations flow.
- Get to know what your special someone likes and dislikes.
- Share your story. Talk about your past, what you’ve been through, your feelings, needs, values, and preferences. It can help the other person to understand you better.
- Get to know each other better by having meaningful conversations.
- Tell your boyfriend or girlfriend what things are important for you, so they are more mindful about asking you to do something that you may not want to do.
- Find out what’s important to your partner, so you don’t expect them to compromise them either.
- Get to know their beliefs. Beliefs create our reality. What’s true for you may not hold for another.
- Express yourself clearly. When you can freely express how you feel and what you need, you’ll be able to connect on a deeper level.
- Get comfortable sharing your feelings and listening to your partner without judgement.
- Get comfortable talking about your feelings
- Take notes of how you feel. Over time, it will give you an invaluable insight into how your feelings change and develop. Take notes of the events so that you can correlate these events with your feelings.
- Talking about your feelings helps you feel understood. When you meet, you can expand on that understanding.
- Sometimes, even if the conversation flows, some important things may not come up. To help you along, a Q&A Journal that can prompt you to discuss a variety of topics.
- Agree the best way for you to communicate (messages, video calls, phone calls, text conversation)
- Agree on how often you want to keep in touch (see what works for you).
- Schedule your conversations
- A conversation starter card game is a fun way to talk about questions that you might find tricky or awkward to bring up by yourself.
- Normally, touch plays a significant role in getting to know another person. Physical contact can reassure you that all is well, and it can also tell you if something isn’t quite right.
- Build an emotional connection
- Visit each other a few times to see how you get on when you are together.
- Don’t expect yourself to maintain an emotional connection without seeing each other for a long time.
Include the above in your daily conversations, and it will open the door to an honest and loving relationship.
When you are away from each other, long-distance relationship gifts are an excellent way to demonstrate how you feel about your partner.
Finally, make the most out of being apart. Use this time to learn about each other and catch up on your work and hobbies.
Getting to know each other in a long-distance relationship is slightly different from how you’d do it if you were together. The main difference is in the way you communicate online and during your visits.
With online communication, you rely on written and verbal communication to trust what your partner is saying and how they feel.
When getting to know someone in a long-distance relationship, it’s worth finding out what they like and how they like it, so you can see if you are into the same things.
To have a healthy long-distance relationship, both of you should know what you want and where you see your relationship in the future. Establish early on if you would like to live in a similar place, have kids, focus on your careers, or have fun for a little while.
A success of your long-distance relationship highly relies on your ability to express yourself and recognise what’s important for the other person.
During your visits, you can see if what you know about each other fits with how you feel when you are together. Once you are serious about your relationship, consider moving in together.
Doing most things for the first time can be both worrying and exciting. A new long-distance relationship may feel exciting, and it can also get confusing. But, if you feel happy together and believe that your relationship can work, give it a go.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get to know someone long-distance?
When you are getting to know someone long-distance, you can talk to them online or during the visits. While you are apart, you can also play online games, do relationship quizzes, and work with a couple’s journals.
What do you talk about before a long-distance relationship?
Before you start a long-distance relationship, talk about what you want from this relationship. Check that your goals align and that you are OK with each other’s values and beliefs.
What questions do you ask in a long-distance relationship?
You can ask each other general questions to learn about your lives and history. In a long-distance relationship, it’s important to discuss your need for physical intimacy. All questions can be divided into 2 types: those that are important to you and more casual ones. We are naturally more emotional about things that are important to us. In a long-distance relationship, your priority is to express what’s important to you and learn what’s important to your partner.
How do you keep a conversation going long-distance?
In a harmonious long-distance relationship, conversations should flow easily by itself. But if there are things that you’d like to discuss but not sure how to bring them up, a couple’s journal can help you do that.
How do you keep a long-distance conversation interesting?
If you are in a healthy relationship, your conversations will be interesting all the time. But wait, surely there are times when conversation become dull… If you are feeling bored during a conversation, find something better to do, it’s that simple.
What should you not do in a long-distance relationship?
- Don’t let yourself to fall in love with an idea. Get to know the person for who they really are.
- Don’t set unrealistic expectations. It’s nice to dream, but if your feelings grow stronger, assess what is possible for both of you. This will help you avoid the disappointments and heartache.
- Don’t make promises that will leave you feeling pressured to do something. Your feelings will change and so will your preferences. Enjoy the experience and let your relationship develop on its own.
How do you make love in a long-distance relationship?
You don’t. That’s the sad reality of a long-distance relationship. You can go all out during your visits, but is if it’s enough? It’s good to talk to your partner to see their preferences. Knowing what both of you need will help you understand each other better.