Starting A Long Distance Relationship With A Friend (5 Tips)

Happy couple

Many friendships start online. Social media is a way many people get befriended.

You build the friendship over a long distance and introduce romance over time.

It’s difficult, but it can work and my 5 tips in this article will help you get started.

Did the friendship start close to or long distance?

One important factor is, if you knew the friend before they became long distance. The relationship will have a different start.

If the relationship started close to each other and as a friend. Then you’ll have a big advantage over someone who you first met over a long distance.

You will have met more often and you can see their mannerisms and how they behave. A friendship can grow very quickly face to face.

You may know someone quite well and then they move out of town. A lot of getting to know someone is done physically and you will have done that already.

It may be how you missed them when they moved out of town. That may have convinced you to change the friendship into something romantic.

Your friendship may have blossomed over the long distance. If you get on well, have lots in common and like the look of each other. It’s only natural to want to take things further.

Romantic relationships can and do work over a long distance. They take a bit more work and a level of trust and commitment, but it can be done.

With the use of modern technology using services like zoom, you can communicate closer and more intimately than ever. You’ll start to treasure each call and contact.

Meeting someone over a long distance

With social media, distance means nothing. You can meet people over any distance and we consider this quite normal.

You may often get men or women you don’t know suddenly like your profile on facebook. They may like what you have to say or think romantically toward you already.

Sometimes comments and posts on various platforms online can form friendships. You go back and forth and realize you have things in common and you’d like to know each other better.

More and more romantic relationships begin online and many of these start over a long distance. Online dating itself is a way of connection where distance is not always a deciding factor.

You could argue nearly all relationships start off as friendships. This is especially the case when you meet online. Although a romantic connection is harder to establish over a distance.

Building a friendship over a long distance

This is not something we’re very used to. We’re used to meeting people face to face and agreeing to meet again at some point in the future.

This way the friendship grows as you meet and have new experiences together. You don’t have this at a distance.

You’ll probably start by frequenting whatever platform online you first met on. Then you may move onto emailing or another form of private discussion.

If you still get on well, you may have moved onto texting and calling each other. Speaking together will be a big deal if you haven’t heard each other before.

It could make or break as far as friendship goes and definitely something romantic. You both need to be able to communicate well together.

If that goes well, then you’ll find ways of growing the friendship further. Perhaps you’ll watch the same TV show and discuss what’s happening.

With social media, there are all sorts of ways you can get in touch and keep each other updated. Organize a regular contact schedule if you want to.

You’ll begin to look forward to hearing from each other. This is when you may start thinking about something more serious.

It’s only natural if you’re speaking to each other all the time that you may have started flirting already. That’s when things start to get exciting.

5 Tips on starting a long distance relationship with a friend

So your friendship has grown and you’ve gotten used to being in contact regularly. So how do you go about starting a long distance relationship?

1. Check their photos

This may seem like an obvious one. You get on like a house on fire, but do you like how they look?

Have you even seen a photo of them? Do you know how they look day to day? Are they your type?

Online dating profiles have a habit of looking nothing like the real person. If looks are a big reason you find your friend attractive, then be prepared for someone more ordinary looking.

It’s very difficult to get to see how someone looks day to day. Even on a zoom call the lighting can be flattering.

The only true way is by seeing someone face to face and that’s not going to be easy in a long distance relationship.

2. Start talking about the future

When we’re friends with someone, we don’t really talk about their future plans in life. Find out what your friend has in mind.

Talk about their history where relationships are concerned. These questions should give your friend the impression you’re interested in them romantically.

Find out where they plan to live in the future. Tell them about your plans as well. If you’re open and undecided, let your friend know.

By doing this, you’re doing the groundwork of knowing where you stand and if you both want the same things in life. It might be nice to do this before you tell them you’re interested in more than friendship.

Happy couple

3. Tell them how you feel

This happens at the start of every relationship but is a little harder if you’re friends to begin with. It’s like there’s more risk involved.

As with any friendship, this could make or break it. Hopefully you have a good idea if your suggestion will be well received. But you never know for sure.

It’s tough if you value the friendship, but if you want to take it further, then you must say something. You’ll always regret it otherwise.

Try not to put any pressure on your friend. It could be a surprise and they’ll need time to think about it. They’ll be a lot to talk about before deciding.

If you get a good response, be prepared for things to change. A new relationship will have started and you may both be a bit nervous at first.

4. Arrange a physical meeting

If it’s a friend you’ve met before and they’ve moved away, then it won’t be your first meeting. If not, then you need to arrange to see each other for the first time.

This will heavily depend on how far away from each other you live. You need to make special arrangements for both of you.

You will both need to travel somewhere. Do you want to go to your friend’s house or a hotel between you?

You need to arrange things to do. Try and make at least a weekend of it. Activities you can both do that will help you get to know each other.

Do things you arrange in advance that you both will enjoy doing. You’re both going to feel very nervous at your first meeting.

5. Strengthen your relationship

Now you’re officially seeing if a relationship could work between you, don’t stop enjoying each other’s company. Keep your contact schedule up.

Don’t get jealous or ask too many questions about who they’re seeing and when. You’re going to have to get used to things differently in a long distance relationship.

You must use your new status as a way of making the friendship stronger. That’s what a relationship is, a very strong friendship.

There are ways of being intimate even in long distance relationships. Talk about this as openly and cautiously as you can, as it may be new to one of you.

Do raise the subject though, as you’ll be able to satisfy each other sexually even if you can’t physically be there. It will make a physical meeting even more exciting if you already know what each other likes.

Challenges of starting a long distance relationship

Do know that it’s going to be difficult. It’s bad enough when you’re already romantically involved, but even harder when you’re just friends.

When you know you like each other, try and make the first physical meeting as soon as possible. This will prevent you from growing apart and confirms how you both feel.

Talk about reducing the distance if everything is going well. Even if you have to find a new job, look at starting a new life together.

Try and tell your friend how you feel on a face to face service like zoom, so you can see their reaction. Communication is a struggle in a long distance relationship.

Missing a regular call can be a big deal. Explain before if you’re not available and why. Make it up to them to show you care.

Beware of online relationship scams

There are people who will befriend someone on social media for nefarious reasons. They prey on vulnerable people by pretending to be their friend.

They start an elaborate friendship with them with no view of taking anything further. They’re doing it to get something out of the other person, normally money.

Don’t send money to anyone you meet online when they ask for it. They will give a variety of reasons and it’s nearly always a scam.

Speak to the police, your friends and family. The FTC have a special page about romance scams and how to avoid them.

These people lie and often profess their love very quickly. Don’t send money to anyone you haven’t met in person.

Final thoughts

Long distance relationships can definitely work. So can they when you start off as a friend. Just like they do when you live close to each other.

These days, relationships often start when you’re befriended on social media. It’s a new way of meeting people where distance doesn’t matter.

Building the friendship and making it romantic is a little more difficult over a long distance. Follow my tips above to help you get that done.

Communication is key and so is the first physical meeting. If it all goes well, talk about the future you have together and shortening the distance.

Just don’t let distance stop you from taking a friendship further if you feel it has potential. You may find a long term partner you’re very happy with. All starting from a distance.

Emma Taylor

I'm a relationship expert with years of experience who's given advice to hundreds of people. I hope you've found some good advice here too.

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