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How Long Should You Date Long Distance Before Moving?

You’re in a long distance relationship, but you just want to be together again, ASAP. So how long should you date long distance before moving?

Put simply, there’s no specific length of time or hard and fast rule that says you must have dated at least this many days, weeks, or months before considering a move.

However, I think there are some rules and guidelines you can follow that can make your decision easier.

There are also other issues that might convince you to move sooner than planned…even if it might not be the right decision.

It All Depends On Your Situation

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Every long distance relationship has its own quirks, challenges, and characteristics.

You and your SO might be separated by one time zone, or by several. You might be in different stages of your lives—one of you might still be in school, or the other might be on deployment or working a contract, and you can’t be together just now.

For some of you, you’ll know the length of time you’ll be apart…and for others, that’s more of an unknown.

So, in order to figure out how long you should date long distance before moving, I’d do the following:

  • Plan and identify an end date, if you can. By beginning with the end in mind, you can work backwards and that’ll give you your length of time. If it doesn’t work for either of you, then you can try adjusting it.
  • If you can’t commit to an end date just now, plan as best you can, and check again by 12 months. Maybe neither of you are ready to move—that’s fine. Set a time within a year to revisit the conversation. (Chances are you’ll be so sick of being apart that you’ll start looking at options by that time!)
  • If you’re still apart after 12 months without a plan, and you still want to be together, it’s okay. However, be prepared to compromise. If both of you choose not to move, or are unable to move for some reason, then you’ll both need to work together to resolve those issues. This is where an honest and genuine conversation is needed.
  • If you prefer being apart like this, then enjoy your relationship. While physical interaction is an important part of most relationships, if you and your partner feel that your current situation is working for you, then I wish you all the best!

In your long distance relationship, distance is just one factor. When both of you know it’s a good time to reunite, you’ll both be ready to take steps to be together.

We’ve Been Apart For Several Years—Are We Going To Be Okay?

woman wearing black long sleeved shirt sitting on green grass field

Relax. You’re going to be fine.

Being apart for a long period of time, while stressful on a relationship, isn’t a sure sign of a break up.

If you still have good chemistry with your partner and genuine feelings for each other, it can survive any length of time apart.

Long distance relationships can also last a long time due to financial issues and visa wait times.

Other events—like the COVID-19 pandemic—can come with travel restrictions and increased border security. You might be forced to spend several years apart until you can both safely travel.

For me and my SO, the distance really was tough. There’d be times when she and I would experience feelings of despair and helplessness, because we didn’t know how or when we could be together again permanently.

However, our feelings for each other were still very strong. We maintained our frequency of communication, expressed our love for each other, and were consistently honest and open.

Six and a half years later, I moved to be with her, and we’ve since started our own family and built our home together.

Time apart can stress a relationship. However, stress can also help strengthen and condition a relationship.

Will I Lose My Feelings If I Wait Too Long?

photo of woman in yellow long sleeve shirt standing at the beach carrying wooden folding beach chair

It’s possible—but don’t freak out.

For some people, the uncertainty of being apart for a long period of time, or the need to be with their partner right this minute can cause their relationship feelings to sour.

If you’re worried about this, plan to visit your long distance partner more often so you don’t feel so disconnected from them.

If regular visits aren’t possible, a regular routine can help you stay connected with your SO. It also helps you to have something to look forward to every day.

My Partner Is Threatening To Leave Me If I Don’t Move!

sad woman looking at anonymous woman during conflict

First of all, ultimatums are not a sign of a healthy relationship.

Ultimatums are demands. If your partner is making you feel pressured to act (or face the consequences), they’re not treating you very nicely.

You shouldn’t feel forced to do something you don’t want to do.

Moving away from your home, your friends, and your family is no small thing. Giving up one’s social circle and local support network is a big step. If anything goes wrong, the person who moved is in a vulnerable position, away from the people they know.

If you’re considering a move to be with your partner, make sure that you’re moving for several reasons that benefit you too, instead of just the sole reason of being together again.

I’m Afraid To Move! What Should I Do?

person wearing gray hoodie jacket watching lake

Remember that there’s no deadline or specific time frame for moving to be with your partner after long distance. It all depends on your own situation—and everyone’s situation is different.

While you’re discovering your end date and planning to reunite, you may come to a logical conclusion that you should move to the other. Or it could simply feel like the right thing to do!

If it works out better for you both that you should be the one to move, don’t feel like it’s the end of the world. While you may be leaving a lot behind in your current life, you’ll soon experience a lot more things in your new life with your SO.

There’ll be new people to meet, new experiences to try, and a new culture to explore and integrate yourself into.

And, on top of all that, you’ll be able to do it with your partner.

Speaking from my own experiences leaving everything behind—yes, it’s scary and uncertain. It’s a lot of work, and you’ll feel a whole range of emotions before, during, and after your move.

But always remember—even though you’re now widening the distance between your family and friends, those bonds will always be there. They don’t simply disappear overnight because you’ve decided to make a move. They’re just as strong as they always have been.

Feeling nervous about what you need to do before making your big move? It’s normal to feel that way—you’re picking up your life and moving to a completely different place. Do your research about your new home and be prepared to do a lot of work to get there.

If you need more ideas on how to prepare for a big international move, I have an extensive post here: The Ultimate Guide On Moving Overseas For Love.