Are you starting a long-distance relationship with someone and would like to learn more about your potential partner?
- Exchange a few messages
- See if your conversation flows
- Discuss casual daily things
- Talk about more personal, intimate and meaningful things
- Plan your first meeting
- Visit each other
- Arrange to move in temporarily for a couple of months
In this article, you will learn how to have casual conversations and get to know important things about your potential partner without being too forward.
We will talk about how you can get to know them online, as well as in real life when you visit each other.
1. Exchange a Few Messages
Do not overload each other with tons of messages during the day or expect to get responses straight away. Remember each of you have a separate life with your own responsibilities.
It helps to agree on how, when and how often you would like to keep in touch from the very beginning.
Consider the following aspects of your communication:
- Your preferred means of keeping in touch (messages, emails, phone calls, video calls, etc.)
- The time, duration and frequency that fits into your schedules
- The topics you would like to discuss outside of casual conversations
2. See if Your Conversation Flows
You can tell if your conversation flows after exchanging a few messages.
When you click, your communication is effortless and you feel comfortable being yourself and expressing your thoughts and feelings without the fear of being judged or misunderstood.
There is no need to force your conversation, so embrace it and see where it takes you. Conversational flow is a good sign that you can start a long-distance relationship.
As long as you enjoy talking to each other, your relationship will naturally develop into what it is meant to be.
Talking about your feelings helps you to feel understood. The clearer you can express yourself through words, the easier it will be for your partner to understand what you mean.
The distance can put extra strain on your relationship. Effective communication will help you stay emotionally connected and make the most out of your time apart.
Effective communication is essential for a healthy long-distance relationship and is one of the first things you should look into.
To learn what you should do before starting a long-distance relationship, check out this article.
Getting to know someone online is in some ways different from getting to know a person face to face.
When you are getting to know someone online, you rely mostly on verbal and written communication to trust what your special someone is saying and how they feel.
Body language is a big part of communication. When you are together, you interact verbally, through touch and by observing each other’s body language, be it unconsciously, most of the time.
Without seeing a person and observing their body language it is hard to feel their presence and emotions the way you would when you are together.
When it comes to online communication, try to keep it simple and leave more sensitive topics for when you are physically together. Online communication leaves a lot of room for misunderstandings and can lead to unnecessary confusion and arguments.
If you are unsure how to approach your partner and begin the conversation, our workbook on communication will help you out.
3. Discuss Casual Daily Things
Talking about everyday things will allow you to see the level of understanding between you and the other person. You will also discover if you have many interests in common and are seeing the world in the same way.
In the early stage of a relationship conversations tend to be casual but also intriguing. It is more about feeling your connection than discussing any specific topic.
Our communication workbook walks you through different conversation topics to help you get to know each other.
As well as fun and casual topics, it is also worth having meaningful conversations to help you connect on a deeper level.
4. Talk About more Personal, Intimate and Meaningful Things
Once you established that you like each other and get on well, you can share more personal and intimate things.
Open and honest conversations can help you get to know someone better and connect at a deeper level.
Getting to know someone better means learning about their values and beliefs. You can do it by choosing conversation topics that are significant for you in some way. Including them in your daily conversations will set the stage for an honest and loving relationship.
Here are two examples of such topics:
- Sharing your story
Talking about the place where you come from and what you have been through helps to understand another person better and the reasons for their actions.
Discussing what you both want in life, from a relationship and what your personal and relationship goals are will give you a clearer picture of who the other person is.
- Talking about your feelings, needs and preferences
Any successful relationship depends on your ability to express your feelings and recognise the feelings of your partner. Your ability to express how you feel and what you need directly impacts the success of your relationship. Get comfortable sharing your feelings with each other and discuss them without judgment.
Take notes of how you feel. It will give you an invaluable insight into how your feelings and opinions change over time. Jotting down the events that take place, will help you correlate the event with your feelings.
During your time apart you can maintain emotional connection by improving your communication and keeping in touch as much as you need. Do not allow excessive communication suck the fun out of your relationship by wasting your time and leading to boring conversations.
Here are some questions you could ask your long-distance partner:
- When are you going to visit each other?
- How often are you able to visit each other?
- Who is going to come over?
- What do you want in life and from your relationship?
- How often does each of you need physical intimacy?
- How much physical intimacy does each of you need?
- Do you need it as often as each other?
- Does one of you need it more?
- How often can you visit each other?
To get some more of those, check out this article.
5. Plan Your First Meeting
After some time getting to know someone over a long-distance, you will want (and need!) to meet them in person.
By then, you should know enough about each other to decide if you want to know any more.
Meeting for the first time is exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. When you meet for the first time, you will see how the ideas about your potential partner compare to real life.
At this point, you would have built a certain image of your special someone and would have created an idea of your relationship. Before you cement what you think you know about this person, consider meeting them at least once.
Be prepared to discover that the person you spoke with for months may not be how you imagined. If you do not manage your expectations beforehand, and your potential partner is not how you imagined them to be, you will be disappointed.
The more expectations you have about a person being a certain way, the more you will be disappointed to find out they are not. If you do not recognise your expectations and acknowledge your disappointments, it may ruin your relationship before it even begins. Meeting in real life will help you avoid idealisation.
Meet in a place other than your home. Consider having your first meeting in a public place on the neutral territory.
There are two main reasons for it:
- You probably do not want to have a stranger in your place.
- Arranging a separate sleeping accommodation will release the pressure of staying with someone. It will allow you to walk away if it does not feel right.
Once you know you are comfortable being together, the next stage is to visit each other frequently.
6. Visit Each Other
In a long-distance relationship, visits are considered a luxury.
It comes down to how often you can travel, rather than the distance itself. So, if you have the time and money to cross the distance you are OK.
When you visit your partner in their place, you will have a chance to learn about their culture and environment.
Knowing where a person comes from will help you better understand who they are and what they are all about.
In turn, having your partner come over to your place will also help them understand you better.
Through visits you can find out how you feel when you are together. These are the times when you get to be close to each other and explore physical intimacy.
The time you spend together during your visits is precious and you may be tempted to have fun and ignore the doubts and issues you may have.
However, it is worth taking this opportunity to share your feelings and address your doubts and concerns. When you are apart, addressing the issues is more difficult and avoiding them could damage your relationship. Working out your problems together will bring you closer and will help you feel more intimate.
If you are struggling to handle the distance in your relationship, we have a workbook for you! Our guide will take you step by step through the most important areas of a long-distance relationship. Working with your partner, you will identify any issues you may have and resolve them in a loving way.
7. Arrange to Move in Temporarily for a Couple of Months
Once you are serious about your relationship, consider moving in together for a few months to see how you work as a couple.
Many couples do not make it through a long-distance relationship. The ones that make it, tend to move in together full time. This usually involves one partner leaving the life they knew behind and move to an unfamiliar place.
While some people are more adaptable, for others such a dramatic change can be very stressful. This stress can in turn put pressure on an otherwise harmonious relationship, potentially destroying it.
Leaving family and friends behind can feel isolating and lonely. Leaving the work behind creates dependency on the other partner. All of this is on top of the fact that partners’ habits and preferences may not match, creating more conflicts.
Finally, the partner who moves may feel insecure about all of the above, feeling powerless in a new and unfamiliar environment. This can leave them acting defensively, again creating unnecessary conflicts.
A simple, yet not always logistically easy solution, is to agree that living together is a temporary arrangement. For a person moving it can be a great relief to know that they can change their circumstances if for some reason things get too much.
This piece of mind can go a long way in relieving pressure form both partners. This will avoid unnecessary strain on the relationship and will increase your chances for a loving, happy and harmonious relationship.
When you start a relationship, you have three ways of getting to know your potential partner:
- In real life by meeting for the first time
- During your visits
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, both online and during your visits.
If you are struggling bringing up difficult topics, resolving your disagreements or want to improve your communication, this step by step guide will help you do just that.
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.
A new long-distance relationship may feel exciting, but it can also get confusing. If you feel happy together and believe that your relationship can work, give it a go.
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.
The success of your long-distance relationship depends on your ability to express yourself, share your goals, values and beliefs.
You may feel more comfortable to discuss certain topics face to face. In this case, agree on everything you would like to cover during your visit.
Planning everything you want to do together can be a lot of fun. But it is only worth doing once you have arranged your next visit. If you need help planning your long-distance relationship, this workbook is for you.
Taking the time to learn about each other’s preferences will help you see if you are compatible for a romantic relationship.
When you are apart, use this time to learn about each other’s personalities, values, and beliefs. It will show you if you see things the same way at a fundamental level.
Relationship Coaching for Long-Distance Couples
Long-distance relationships are hard to maintain without knowing exactly what they involve.
However, once you understand what long-distance relationships are, what they are not and how to navigate them, you are a lot more likely to make it work.
We specialise in helping long-distance couples create and maintain a healthy relationship by building intimacy, trust and effective communication.
If you are starting a long-distance relationship or are already in one, send us a message to book a coaching session for you and your partner.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get to know someone in a long-distance relationship?
When you get to know someone in an online relationship, you can talk 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 an online 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 those that are not. We are naturally more emotional about things that are important to us.
How do you keep a conversation going long-distance?
In a harmonious relationship, conversations should flow easily by themselves. But if there are things that you’d like to discuss but are not sure how to bring them up, a couple’s journal can help you with that.
How do you keep an online conversation interesting?
In a healthy relationship, conversations should be interesting, most of the time. Online conversations become boring when partners spend too much time talking, even when they have nothing more to share. To keep your conversations interesting, try to do fun things separately, so you have something to discuss. When your conversations become dull, is better to use your time doing something else than forcing you to carry on talking about nothing.
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. While for some people it is enough, others need to be physically present with their partner almost every day to feel connected and fulfilled. Talk to your partner to learn about their preferences. Knowing what both of you need will help you understand each other better.
What should you not do in a long-distance relationship?
1. Don’t let yourself to fall in love with an idea. Get to know the person for who they really are.
2. 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.
3. 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.