Thriving in a Long Distance Relationship


When I joined CatholicMatch I was so against long distance relationships (LDR), that I wrote in my profile that I wasn’t willing to travel far to meet anyone, but they were welcome to travel to meet me. That didn’t deter Alex—my future husband—from contacting me. While we were both happy with initiating friendship online, we knew it was important to move offline as soon as possible.

Because we lived two states away, we had to wait a whole month to see each other in person. After our first real date, another month passed before it was possible for us to see one another again … then another month passed.

If you are in a long distance relationship, or considering one, here are some basic tips to help manage the difficulties of a long distance courtship:

1. Plan ahead. Meet in person as SOON and as OFTEN as possible. The sooner you can determine if there is chemistry, the sooner you can invest in the relationship. Plan ahead to avoid settling into a routine when you to get together. Do acts of charity together: volunteer at a Catholic school, church, soup kitchen, retirement home, Homefront, etc. Or plan to go to a museum, concert, hear a talk, hike, play sports, visit a farm or zoo, ice skate (rinks are open year round), dance or kayak.

Find other friends and relatives who want to travel with you to split gas or share hotel rooms. Or skip the hotel altogether and ask to stay with your significant other’s friend, sister, or cousin to cut expenses.

2. Date even when you’re not in the same room. If you can perfect this skill, you will make a fantastic spouse. Play Mad Libs or Loaded Questions over the phone. Take turns reading a book to one another (check out your library). Start writing a story together (make it as silly as you want) or draw comic strips. Play charades, hangman, or Sudoku together. Audit a foreign language class, and practice the new language together.

Swap new recipes, and then you’ll have a great meal to make next time you’re together. Create your own wine-tasting/beer-tasting/cheese-tasting/chocolate-tasting/Jelly Belly-tasting date via Skype or phone. Try carving a pumpkin or watermelon, and wear a costume to show your goofy side while on Skype. Create playlists for one another. Borrow your parents’ photo albums, and share those childhood memories. Make different origami animals, and then mail your creations to one another.

3. Make regular connections throughout the day. Don’t hesitate to send texts or emails! I work from home with my husband, but I still love his texts, emails, and Facebook posts for me. You can email and text each other lyrics, jokes, Bible quotes, prayers, or poems (or leave them in voicemails). Create your own fun poem through this site: Send each other funny or sweet photos of your day.

It’s that type of connectivity that helps you stay close while you’re dating and keeps you closer when you’re married!

4. Pray together. Praying is one of the most intimate things you can do together. Praise and glorify God regardless of the outcome of your relationship. Our favorite form of prayer is song! You may feel intimidated to pray with your date, but I can attest that awkward prayer doesn’t ruin good relationships.

Early in our relationship, Alex sent a novena prayer for us to pray together (he didn’t read through the prayer before sending it to me). Although some of the language is very direct, we prayed it together anyway.

5. Savor the time apart. The hardest time to get through with LDR is when you are on your way home after seeing one another. Surround yourself with people who are supportive of your LDR, who will listen to your heartaches, but who will also help you focus on the good or virtue in every situation.

Remember that our purpose is to praise and glorify God through every joy and sorrow in this life. Use this time to lighten the burden of those around you, and cultivate those local friendships. This time apart also gives you something to talk about with your significant other.

Because we attended weddings separately, Alex and I talked comfortably about engagements, marriage, family life, and goals for the future.

6. Relocate. How open are you to relocating? Would that involve career changes? What are you willing to sacrifice for the other? Be honest with one another.

By moving to Connecticut Alex sacrificed and risked everything for love. We were engaged about one month later! I’m still open to living anywhere, but his gesture meant more than words.

7. Trust in God. When in doubt read Saint Faustina’s diary and always pray to know God’s will.

God willing, these practices will help to develop your relationship into a very satisfying marriage.



  1. Glen-1010018 November 17, 2014 Reply

    Need your assistance. I been talking to nice catholic lady from Peru. Not in the United States. Talking about challenging. Since beginning of October. The other day I asked her to see if I can come up to visit her in the new year. She seemed not ready. She was more concerned to see about that it may not work out and concerned about my expenses. Please give me your input. Thank you. Glen

  2. Carole-1080999 June 5, 2014 Reply

    The article is wonderful, and maybe there’s hope in us dreamers who are willing to go that extra ” Mile” (PUN ). Blessings. CAROLE

  3. Anne-976912 October 6, 2013 Reply

    Ahhh..!Just what I needed to read tonight.Some lovely creative ideas to help keep connected via Skype 🙂

  4. Francia-824432 October 2, 2013 Reply


  5. Barbara-997829 August 30, 2013 Reply

    This is an excellent article. Thanks for sharing the information. I have a few of my single men friends, and we have a wonderful friendship doing different things, like go swimming and walks around the city.

  6. Anne-348574 July 3, 2013 Reply

    Great article! am truly in a dilema! is there anyone who will truly relocate to live with me here? i run a school and its difficult for me to relocate! but i trust there God has someone special for me! it sounds difficult but i know one day someone will travel all the way to come and meet me, i have totally surrendered to God’s will; pray for me
    anne, kenya, africa

  7. Amelia-947424 February 26, 2013 Reply

    Very nice advises !!

  8. Maria-943288 February 26, 2013 Reply

    I believe God can deparanos surprises


  9. Katrina-721307 February 25, 2013 Reply

    Well said!

  10. Del-945269 February 25, 2013 Reply

    I have an experienced of a long distant ralationship and i give hurts me a lot but i have to have peace of mind… long distant relationship is not problem to long there is communications..or something that i know he is real…we dont have to meet or seeing each other..just little sign to make me believed completely that i am not just dreaming..even just card during holidays and valentines day..or birthday..anything or call once a year…. little things means a lot to me…that is all i want…

  11. Paul-930069 February 25, 2013 Reply

    Me likey.

  12. Rodolfo-417328 February 25, 2013 Reply

    Good article, and good advice. Especialy for those of us that are thinking of going the LDR route with someone.
    Thankyou R.

  13. Esther-532964 February 25, 2013 Reply

    Fastastic article! I liked their ideas for a LDR. I will keep them in mind. Please pray for me, I so want to find my match. Esther God willing I will soon.

  14. Emily-380294 February 24, 2013 Reply

    What a ridiculously small world! I know Joy and Alex through Catholic circles near me and had NO idea they met on CM. Alex just posted this article on facebook and I commented… wait wwhhhhaaaattt?!?! haha. They are truly a holy couple that everyone should emulate their LDR’s after!!! It is a blessing to personally know them!

  15. Mickey-571450 February 24, 2013 Reply

    I like some of the ideas in this post. to be honest. I am willing to try it soon.

  16. Jesse-563480 February 24, 2013 Reply

    I think this a very well written article. In my world I have tried to limit the distance, Sounds logical but I have found it extremely hard to find a lady with stroing enough faith to satisfy my requirements. Over 90% of the profiles I have reviewed cannot answer all Faith questions with Yes to all. Until I find that special lady I will nnot settle for less no matter where she lives. Jesse

  17. Jacqueline-198 February 24, 2013 Reply

    Great advice! Full of common sense and realistic advice. Goes to show WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!!

  18. Sherrill-anne-13557 February 24, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for sharing with us.These are great ideas to help build LDR’s. They can even be used for individual who are not in LDR’s. I fully endorse having friends who support your relationship.
    Thanks again

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