June 27, 2022

Good News About Long Distance Love

There has always been a healthy skepticism about long distance relationships and the odds of maintaining a successful one. As a Jewish matchmaker, I have many clients who are open to relocating for the “right” match and I’ve seen some wonderful marriages come out of those who took a chance with a far-away match and built a lifetime love. I’ve also seen them crash and burn. 

My previous articles about long distance relationships have centered around the type of personality that is most likely to be able to handle the distance factor in contrast to the type who is least likely to be able to handle it. Yes, certain personality traits are more desirable than others when it comes to navigating romance from a distance. For example, flexibility, adaptability, and having a trusting personality will serve you well in such a scenario. Someone who is prone to jealousy, general insecurity, or who finds it difficult to trust until trust is “earned” is much less likely to make a success of a long distance romance.

Those qualities are still necessary for such a love, but what has changed and most certainly enhanced long distance dating is the meteoric rise of apps like Zoom. Zoom was launched in 2013, primarily marketed for online video conferencing for businesses. Although it was successful from the start (clocking 200 million minutes of meetings in the first year), the Covid lockdowns and social distancing brought the corporate-focused platform into our everyday life and into the homes of almost everyone. “Today, the software registers over 3.3 trillion annual meeting minutes.” 

That’s a lot of connecting. Many homes regularly use Zoom and other video conferencing apps to stay in touch with family and friends, and who can forget all the singles video events that sprang up during the lockdowns? For a while, I was seeing an Isodate singles event registration every time I glanced sideways. I don’t know the statistics but from my perspective, that market became saturated with so many online singles events that their audience became overwhelmed and uninterested. There are still plenty of such singles events taking place, but the number and frequency seem to have reached a balance. 

What I haven’t seen oft discussed is the massive benefit that apps like Zoom provide to long distance relationships: Zoom, Signal, Whatsapp - all of these apps allow you to make free video calls from almost anywhere in the world. How easy it now is to “meet” your long distance lover for a candlelit dinner at a beachside shanty, guide him/her on a walking tour of your favorite local sites, or tag along to the opening exhibition of an artist you both admire. You can take another person - or many other people almost everywhere you go. And it’s free!!! These apps don’t cost anything!

With some cleverness and imagination, you can create a magical environment for a long distance relationship to thrive. You can make truly unforgettable memories that can become enchanting stories of virtual dates that you’ll enjoy sharing with your children and grandchildren. It can be that good! With so many people still very concerned about meeting in-person and social distancing, I’m more than a little surprised that long-distance dating isn’t getting a lot more publicity and traction. 

Although social media interaction is not the same as face-to-face interaction, my experience is that deep relationships can be formed with those we’ve never met - and I’m referring now even with the simple “text and post” communication on a platform like Facebook. Over the years, some of those FB “friends” have become true friends, friends I have grown to genuinely care about. I have shared the good times and the bad times with many people I’ve never met and I feel a strong emotional connection with them - and that is only through their online posts and our private messages; I’ve not communicated with them by phone or video. 

Now imagine how well you can get to know someone through regularly scheduled, ongoing, lengthy, and highly personalized video calls. With technology, we can share the ups and downs of everyday life immediately, in the moment. This is an unprecedented development. It’s a game changer for long distance relationships, just like the invention of the telephone must have been. A true game changer.

So what are you waiting for? Still single and there’s no prospects in your town? Or maybe you are not ready to mix and mingle face-to-face quite yet? Maybe you just want to broaden the playing field and get out of your comfort zone? As a matchmaker, anything that increases the odds of Jewish singles meeting and forming long-lasting relationships gets my support so I encourage everyone reading this to reconsider your outdated idea of long distance relationships. 

Replace that antiquated image with a fresh, modern perspective where the only limit is your imagination and relationship success is more attainable than ever before. Start going on video “dates” with singles in other cities, states, even countries. You will open yourself up to meeting many interesting people with interesting stories and maybe, just maybe, realize that long distance isn’t nearly as distant as it used to be.