Two of my really good friends are in the very early stages of a relationship. They work in the same industry and have been friends for years, but finally felt the romantic connection when they found themselves single at the same time. The catch is that they live over a thousand miles apart.

Long distance relationships are more common than ever, as travel has become cheaper and ways to communicate plentiful. Dating sites like eHarmony and Match.com make it possible to even begin a new relationship without having met in person.

Heck, it’s even possible to kinda sorta go on a date together. That’s what my friends did last week, and while they both say it wasn’t the same as being in person, it gave them an opportunity to experience something “together” and bond over it.

Here’s how it worked: He asked her if she’d like to see Verdi’s Rigoletto, which was in theatres for one night only. He found a movie theater near her playing it and bought her ticket online. Afterward they got to discuss on the phone with wine.

I asked them how it went, and they both seemed pretty smitten. She said that she felt like he had gone out of his way to do something nice for her in an effort to get closer, and he said that she was worth the extra effort of a long distance romance.

My girlfriend and I talked about how going on a movie date when you’re getting to know someone isn’t usually something we’d do, because you can’t talk. But when you can’t be together physically, all you do is talk. A movie is the perfect thing “do” with your long distance honey. She said:

In a long distance relationship, you're still going through life, talking about various goings on and saying, "I wish you were here." This was something that offered a little bit of that shared experience.

Relationships require connection, and while nothing beats being face-to-face, today’s digital world makes long distance dating possible. There are challenges (duh), but there are still ways to make each other feel special and to connect.

Of course there is one positive to going on a not-in-person date -- you don’t have to stress over the Bridget Jones dilemma of shapewear versus sexy knickers.

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? What did you do to try to make it work?


Image via sco/Flickr