Dear Rabbi Singer,
I know distance can be a barrier, but is there any trick to starting a long-distance relationship when you’ve never met in person? I’m looking to move across the country this fall and have already started searching JDate for new guys who live in my future community. How do you start a relationship online, and keep a spark until you get the chance to meet face to face?
-Looking for Long-Distance Love
Dear Long Distance,
I like that you’re doing your research before you make your move. That’s good strategic thinking. As you implied in your question, until you meet someone face to face, you can’t really know if the chemistry is there. If there’s no chemistry, there’s no relationship. So attempting to start one before meeting is much too risky to be worthwhile.
The “trick” to making this work is to contact potential matches not more than a few weeks before you move. That gives you just enough time to get to know them a bit, but not enough to put you in danger of being disappointed when you finally meet. Keep the communication light. Let them know that you are moving in a couple of weeks and would love to meet up when you get there. This way you’re not really getting into a long distance relationship, you’re just making contacts and lining up potential dates.
Much luck in your new location!