So many JDates begin on the phone and can last hours as you get to know each other. Those early phone conversations are so exciting, you’re more than willing to lose sleep to stay up talking and you can’t wait to meet. But often the time between those calls and meeting can lag… so how do you keep up momentum? Sometimes the first date is great and you can’t seem to sync up your schedules for a second date. Again, how do you keep the excitement going?

For instance, my friend Jack met a new JDate at a bar where they talked until the place shut down. They really liked each other and couldn’t wait to make plans to meet again. But she was going out of town the next week and he was traveling out of the country for two weeks after that.

It was so great to finally hear Jack say that he really liked a girl, that she was really cool and that he was really excited to see her again. So I was bummed to hear that it would be nearly a month before they could continue to develop their romance. So many things had to happen and, inversely, not happen to aide them during the hiatus. First, and most importantly, neither of them could meet anyone else who tickled their fancy during that time. Second, and just as important, they had to keep in touch to a point: talk on the phone before he leaves for his trip and exchange a few emails when he is able to check into an internet café. But, thirdly, they shouldn’t build up too much of a rapport while separated because then they run the risk of building up unreachable expectations. There’s a fine line between keeping in touch, keeping the flame alive and keeping the momentum going and actually starting a serious relationship via the phone and internet before spending enough time together in person.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it also can shine an amber light on someone’s faults you may normally hate. Having a month of phone calls and emails after meeting each other only once means that you will only get the person on his or her best behavior. You also won’t get to see facial expressions on the phone or hear vocal inflections in an email. That means when you see each other again in person you may not know each other as well as you think you do. It’s hard not to build someone up in your mind after a romantic night together but as long as Jack and his new crush go into this month apart and into their reunion with realistic expectations then I think they will do just fine picking up where they left off. By giving yourself a reality check and reminding yourself that you will eventually see the cracks in the foundation that we all have, you can go into a date being able to see the forest for the trees.