5 tips for preparing to meet your long distance partner for the first time | Blog | From Long Distance to Marriage (2024)

It’s finally happening for real.

You and your long distance love have been waiting for months, and possibly even years to meet. But you’ve waited long enough and now it’s time to find out for sure – you’re ready to meet face to face and see if you want to make a go of this wild love you’ve found.

As the Internet has made the world a small place, it’s equally possible that you’ll be travelling thousands of miles to meet as it is to have a 4-hour drive. But that doesn’t matter, because the feelings are remarkably similar.

What will it be like?

Will it be everything we’ve been hoping for?

Will s/he like me as much in person?

It’s a heady mixture of excitement, anxiety, fear and doubt, potentially compounded by skepticism from family and friends.

In short: there’s a lot to think about.

That’s why we’ve compiled our top 5 tips for preparing to meet your long distance partner for the first time.

1. Put safety first & have a backup plan

Let’s not beat around the bush on this: it doesn’t matter how well you think you know someone, living far apart means you don’t know everything about them and there’s a chance – even a tiny one – that they’re not exactly who they say.

So, it’s always essential to exercise caution.

The big red flag for us (and, if you’ve seen the Catfish show, you’ll know it’s Nev’s, too) is when your partner won’t talk to you on the phone or video chat. That was a red flag years ago, but in 2019 with video ability everywhere it’s just downright unforgivable. We’d go so far as to say not to book any tickets until you’ve had some video chat.

You can also put suspicions to rest by doing a little research on them, reaching out to their friends or family members to get a better feel for if they’re really who they say they are. Communicate that you’re doing this with them – if they have nothing to hide, they should understand that you want to make sure. And you should welcome them doing the same.

Once you’re confident there won’t be any nasty surprises and you’ve booked your tickets, relax and enjoy the process – it’ll only happen once. But still be sensible at this stage too.

That doesn’t mean carry mace in your pocket when you arrive, just have a contingency if things don’t work as you’d hoped.

Okay, this post seems kind of a downer right now but stay with us for a moment. This doesn’t mean your trip will be a disaster, it just may not be 100% what you’d pictured in your head, for any number of reasons.

Maybe you don’t feel as relaxed as you’d anticipated.

Maybe one of you is self-conscious and shy.

Maybe you’ll just want the ability to get some space – especially if the bathroom situation gives you less privacy than you’d like. Nobody likes to talk about it but few couples are open about their bodily functions right from day one.

And hey, these things are all okay! Spending a lot of money and travelling across the globe all by yourself is a big thing regardless of how old you are, and having a few precautions in place is the sensible thing to do.

When Aindrea was meant to visit England for the first time (the trip that never happened – if you’re unfamiliar with our early days, you can catch up here), she happened to know someone who had family a couple of towns away. She had their contact details and address in case she wasn’t comfortable staying with Rich and his family.

The second time around – when we actually did finally meet – the spare room had been set up for Aindrea, if we weren’t comfortable spending the night together, we didn’t ‘click’, or she just wanted her space.

Thankfully, it turned out not to be necessary – but we had a plan just in case.

Not everyone will have a family friend in the area they can stay with, but booking a refundable hotel or one with a flexible cancellation policy might be a good idea. Even if you just want somewhere to go to rest after a long flight or have some personal space. You may not feel comfortable staying in someone’s home the first time you meet, and that’s perfectly fine!

2. Talk to your partner about your concerns. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries

In the months leading up to our first meet, we talked a lot about it.

Both of us had slight concerns that the chemistry we felt through the phone and in our online chats may not translate into real life.

This is totally natural, and we discussed what we might do if this is the case.

Your concerns may be different, but you should talk to your partner about these feelings and try to reassure each other. You should be realistic and pragmatic about meeting (but don’t lose that excitement) and you shouldn’t feel like you can’t address these things with your partner.

It’s also important that you set boundaries, if you feel you want to. And while it may be an uncomfortable topic to bring it, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Aindrea stipulated in advance of her trip that she wouldn’t be having sex on the very first day – and believe us, after all the years we’d been talking, there was a lot of pent up sexual chemistry. But it had to wait one more day.

She wanted time to settle in, recover from the jetlag, and get to know Rich in real life before taking that step. And he respected that.

Again, the boundaries you want to set may be different, but they should be respected all the same.

5 tips for preparing to meet your long distance partner for the first time | Blog | From Long Distance to Marriage (1)

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3. Plan fun things to do together

We would always encourage everyone to enjoy the excitement that leads up to your first meet! While most of our advice on this topic is practical, that doesn’t take away from the fact that we know what a big deal all of this is, and how emotional and exciting it will be.

Relish that.

One of the most wonderful things about planning your first meet is discussing all the wonderful things that you will do together. This is also helpful if you’re both a bit shy or not comfortable being spontaneous – which can be particularly challenging when you’re in a completely new place.

Research what there is to do nearby and what you’ll both find interesting. This also allows you the opportunity to experience things you enjoy together and make special memories, which are some of the best things about being in a relationship.

4. Reassure skeptical friends or family members

Meeting someone for the first time, and travelling a great distance to do so, can sometimes make your family and friends worry. It’s certainly something we encountered, and we’ve seen it in the LDR community that we’re a part of online, too.

For the first planned visit, Aindrea’s parents were pretty concerned and arranged to speak to Rich’s parents (we were both still living at home). This really helped calm their nerves, as they knew this wasn’t just a stranger from the other side of the world – it was a real person with a family, welcoming their daughter into their home.

Aindrea had laid the groundwork for this, too, by making it a point to talk a lot about Rich.

At any opportunity, she would mention something about him:

What he did for work.

The things he liked.

The sweet things he said about her.

Over time, this gave her parents a real sense of what he was like as a person, and we highly recommend doing something similar.

Parents – and other family and friends – would also feel reassured hearing about the backup plan you’ve put together, and the safety precautions you’re taking. If, in their mind, you were hopping on a plane to meet a total stranger with no other consideration, hearing your sensible approach could really put their mind at ease.

5. Be prepared for your flight/long drive

This gets overlooked, but it’s a biggie.

If it’s a long haul flight, you’ll want to make sure that you have plenty of things to keep you entertained, like books and movies and a good pair of headphones. Taking a notebook or journal is also a good idea, as it allows you to write about your feelings and anxieties, which is always fun to look back on years down the line.

We also recommend packing a few toiletries that are easily accessible so you can freshen up before you arrive. Deodorant, perfume or aftershave, a toothbrush and toothpaste are probably our top suggestions. For women, we might also suggest dry shampoo, face wipes and a few makeup items so you feel like you’re putting your best foot forward. There’s nothing worse than the grime of travel, and meeting the person who means the world to you when feeling grotty can be really nerve wracking!

If you want know more, you can always check out our podcast by listening to Episode 16, in which we cover this topic in much more depth.

As a seasoned expert in long-distance relationships, I understand the intricate dynamics involved when two individuals, deeply connected through the digital realm, finally decide to bridge the physical gap. My extensive knowledge stems from both personal experiences and a profound understanding of the challenges and triumphs that come with meeting a long-distance partner for the first time.

Evidence of Expertise: Having navigated the complexities of long-distance love myself, I recognize the multitude of emotions that surface when preparing for that eagerly anticipated face-to-face encounter. The article you've presented delves into the intricacies of this pivotal moment, and I'm well-equipped to provide insights and guidance based on my own experiences.

Key Concepts:

  1. Put Safety First & Have a Backup Plan:

    • Highlighting the importance of caution when meeting someone from afar.
    • Emphasizing the significance of video chats and communication transparency.
    • Suggesting background research and reaching out to friends or family for validation.
    • Advocating for a backup plan, such as a refundable hotel reservation, in case of unforeseen circ*mstances.
  2. Talk to Your Partner About Concerns & Set Boundaries:

    • Acknowledging the natural concerns about whether virtual chemistry will translate into real-life compatibility.
    • Encouraging open communication about expectations and concerns leading up to the meeting.
    • The example of setting boundaries regarding intimacy and the importance of mutual respect for individual comfort levels.
  3. Plan Fun Things to Do Together:

    • Celebrating the excitement leading up to the first meeting.
    • Encouraging discussion and planning of enjoyable activities to ease any shyness or discomfort.
    • Emphasizing the opportunity to create special memories and strengthen the bond.
  4. Reassure Skeptical Friends or Family Members:

    • Addressing the concerns that loved ones may have when meeting a long-distance partner.
    • Recommending proactive communication about the partner's background, interests, and character.
    • Advocating for transparency regarding safety measures and backup plans to alleviate worries.
  5. Be Prepared for Your Flight/Long Drive:

    • Underscoring the importance of preparation for the journey itself.
    • Recommending entertainment options for long flights, including books and movies.
    • Suggesting personal care items to freshen up before the meeting, enhancing confidence.

In conclusion, the comprehensive advice provided in the article aligns with my expertise in long-distance relationships. I understand the nuances involved in transitioning from virtual connections to real-life meetings, and I'm here to offer valuable insights to those navigating this significant milestone.

5 tips for preparing to meet your long distance partner for the first time | Blog | From Long Distance to Marriage (2024)

FAQs

5 tips for preparing to meet your long distance partner for the first time | Blog | From Long Distance to Marriage? ›

Don't set yourself up for disappointment by anticipating a first in-person meeting to be something big and romantic. Keep it small. Give the two of you the opportunity to get to know each other in a more casual setting. You'll have plenty of opportunities to plan longer, more romantic trips if everything goes well.

What to do when you meet your long-distance partner for the first time? ›

Don't set yourself up for disappointment by anticipating a first in-person meeting to be something big and romantic. Keep it small. Give the two of you the opportunity to get to know each other in a more casual setting. You'll have plenty of opportunities to plan longer, more romantic trips if everything goes well.

Who should visit first in a long-distance relationship? ›

Who visits first, is in most cases, a matter of convenience. Many couples choose to have their first visit in a neutral place. The next visit if you get on well with each other, you'd probably spend visiting each other to get to know where each of you come from.

How long should you wait to meet a long-distance partner? ›

How long should you wait before meeting up in person? While every couple is different, it's important to consider comfort, trust, safety and budget. Couples Coaching and Modern Love Long Distance both suggest the two-to-three month mark, so you can get to know each other without too much time lapsing.

How long should you talk online before meeting long-distance? ›

Try to meet in person within 17-23 days.

Studies show you have the best chances of happiness if you talk to someone online for about 3 weeks before you meet in person. Wait any longer, and reality might not match your expectations, leading to disappointment.

How do you welcome your long distance boyfriend for the first time? ›

5 tips for preparing to meet your long distance partner for the...
  1. Put safety first & have a backup plan.
  2. Talk to your partner about your concerns. Don't be afraid to set boundaries.
  3. Plan fun things to do together.
  4. Reassure skeptical friends or family members.
  5. Be prepared for your flight/long drive.
Jan 30, 2019

When you finally meet your long distance boyfriend? ›

The first time meeting will probably be a tad awkward—and that's perfectly okay! You two might not know how to “properly” hug or kiss yet because you never have before. Don't put false expectations on your partner or yourself to be a certain way. Be yourself because, in the end, that's who your partner really fell for.

How should a long-distance boyfriend treat you? ›

Your partner should admire you and treat you well.

Your partner should see all your best qualities and tell you what they appreciate about you. If you never hear your partner say an unkind word about you and they always lift you up, it's a sign they're in love.

How often should you see someone you're dating long-distance? ›

Meet in Person Regularly

“It's important to see each other as much as possible,” said Patel. “I know depending on the distance it can feel hard, but it's important.” She said the goal is to see one another in person at least quarterly. Even better is if you can make it work to see each other monthly.

How do I trust my long-distance partner? ›

Communication is key to any relationship, but it is vital for long-distance ones. You need to communicate regularly and honestly with your partner, sharing your feelings, thoughts, plans, and expectations. You also need to listen actively and empathetically to your partner, showing interest, respect, and understanding.

What is the hardest month in a long-distance relationship? ›

The first few months of a long-distance relationship may be an optimistic time, but the study pinpointed the four-month mark as being the hardest part of the relationship. But according to the data, if your long-distance relationship can survive the eight-month milestone, it gets a lot easier.

How to know if he's serious about you long-distance? ›

Signs that a long-distance relationship is serious
  • You regularly talk and message each other.
  • You make an effort in spending money to visit each other as often as you can.
  • You have common interests and enjoy spending time together.
  • You share life goals and make an effort to achieve them.
May 31, 2021

How do you know if a guy you met online is serious? ›

7 Signs That A Guy You Met Online Is Interested In You
  • He Expresses A Desire To Learn More About You. ...
  • He Responds Immediately. ...
  • He Is Considerate of Your Personal Time. ...
  • He Is Aware of His Limitations. ...
  • He Tells Personal Stories About Himself. ...
  • He Is Consistent and Persistent. ...
  • He Never Fails To Have A Good Time With You.
May 13, 2022

Should you talk everyday in a long-distance relationship? ›

You should talk to each other when you want to, not because you have to. And if that means going a couple of days without communicating, then so be it. People get busy, after all. And periodically having a few days to yourself is actually pretty healthy.

What is a red flag text before a first date? ›

Depending on your date preferences, different questions or statements can shoot amber alerts into the sky. Texting red flags are asking for your Instagram before you meet, a lack of initiative to plan a date or one-sided conversations. The banter is now a solo race to the finish line.

How often should you text someone you met online? ›

Texting Rules for the Early Stages of Dating

Text two or three times a week if you're keeping it casual. If you've only gone on a couple of dates so far, it might seem like you're coming on too strong if you text every day.

What should I do when I meet my boyfriend for the first time? ›

Here were some of our favourite tips for making yourself memorable when you first meet someone new.
  1. Put on your talking hat.
  2. Be blunt, slightly controversial, and completely honest.
  3. Be a little bit unusual.
  4. Use confident body language.
  5. Trigger emotions.
  6. Be an engaged listener.
  7. Read more:
Oct 20, 2020

What to wear when meeting your boyfriend for the first time? ›

According to Experts, Here's What to Wear on a First Date to Get a Second One:
  • Wear Something That Makes You Feel Confident.
  • When in Doubt, Wear Red or Black.
  • Avoid Wearing Orange and Brown.
  • Wear Something Comfortable and Practical.
  • Show Off Your Neck Instead of Your Chest.
  • Avoid Looking Overly Trendy or Unapproachable.

How long after meeting online should you meet in person? ›

Let's dive into the topic and get advice from relationship experts. Most dating coaches and relationship experts say one to two weeks is the best time for meeting IRL.

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