The Best Online Dating Practices for a Serious Relationship
Being in a serious relationship can be one of life’s most fulfilling experiences. Humans were created for each other, after all! Seeking and finding a partner in life to share your time, feelings, and experiences with is a natural part of life’s cycle.
As with anything in life, building and maintaining a healthy relationship takes work.
Couples dating online have to remain especially aware of the needs of their partner as well as their own. Sometimes it’s not possible to meet for coffee to hash out your feelings. Building a long-term relationship by spending a large quantity of time together can be challenging. It’s important for couples to put in even more time and effort to making it last.
If you’re dating someone online and hoping that the relationship will eventually lead to marriage, take the time now to cultivate it. Put in the effort and you will reap the benefits. Couples who have spent time cultivating healthy relationships over the web abound and can probably all agree on the following bits of advice.
Give the relationship an hour of your day, every day
Life is chaotic, but should never be so busy that you’re neglecting to give your partner dedicated time very day. If you want to maintain a healthy relationship, you have to be having good, quality conversation with each other. Taking the time to talk, Face Time, or Skype with give you and your partner the chance to really connect in the here and now.
Couples need to be able to hear each other’s voices and see each other’s faces to be able to really understand their partner’s feelings, especially when dating online. Making sure that you carve out an hour of time each day to focus on each other will help foster a healthy relationship.
Have fun with the relationship
Maintaining a long-term-relationship online doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Just like couples who live close to each other spend a good amount of time having fun together, so should you and your partner.
You may not be able to play Monopoly or Scrabble in person, but there is an entire internet full of games (Words With Friends, etc.) that are easy to access. Spending time with your partner doing fun things like playing games is an easy casual way to stay connected.
Send your partner gifts
A long-term relationship doesn’t necessarily need fancy things, but it does need lots of TLC. When dating online, sometimes the little, unpredictable actions can have the biggest impacts on a person.
When out and about, keep an eye out for little things that you remind you of your partner. Does he cheer for a particular football team? Send him a key-chain with the college or pro logo on it. Does she love daisies? Send her a $10 gift card to Trader Joe’s and tell her to buy herself a bouquet (with love from you) the next time she makes her grocery run. Simple gifts can say a lot when it’s obvious that you really considered your partner’s feelings when picking them out.
Pray as a couple
You have your prayer life and they have theirs, but if you want to build a relationship that has lasting intimacy, try combining them. Wonder where you would begin? There are many ways to pray with your partner even from afar:
- Pray the Rosary every evening before bed. While you may not physically be together, you can include each other’s intentions in your prayers. If you and your partner happen to sync bedtimes, you could even share the decades over the phone.
- Say a novena. This powerful nine day prayer is a wonderful way for couples to unite intentions.
- Choose an hour of adoration each week that is on the same day at the same time. We are all united in the Eucharist, and coming before Jesus in the blessed sacrament is an incredibly intimate way to spend time with your partner, even from a distance.
- Read a book of the Bible together. Scripture is full of amazing stories which really come alive when shared aloud and with others. Spend time building your relationship with the literal word of God and you and your partner will experience tremendous blessings.
There really is no one right way to pray with your partner. As long as you choose prayers that will help both of you grow closer to God and to each other, you’ll find your way growing into a healthy relationship. After all, the couple that prays together, stays together.
Be a faithful partner online and off
If you wouldn’t meet another guy or girl for drinks when in a relationship with someone who shares the same zip code, you shouldn’t be meeting up with them online either. If you and your partner are committed to each other, you shouldn’t be communicating with or casually dating other online people at the same time.
Being in a healthy, committed relationship means being loyal physically and emotionally. Couples dating seriously online need to know that they can trust each other and that trust should be built through being faithful when in cyberspace.
As tempting as it can be to keep potential options open just in case the relationship you’re in doesn’t work out, that’s not how real life dating works, and just because your relationship is online doesn’t change that.
Couples that meet on online dating apps or websites are at an advantage because it’s easy to navigate and maintain a healthy, long-term relationship when you have a site created especially for that purpose. Once in a committed relationship, be sure you and your partner continue to use the online world carefully and stay faithful to each other.
Thanks to online dating, couples who never would have met, let alone built a long-term relationship, are being connected. Technology is an amazing thing, but even though it allows us to date with ease, it’s important not to grow lazy. All relationships, online or offline, require hard work. Be sure to put in the time and effort to create a lasting, healthy relationship that will last.
Cassi Villanueva is a freelance writer and contributing blogger at Catholic Singles. Born and raised in the south, when she's not writing, she can be found spending time with her husband and four children in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, GA.