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Older couples: Can long distance relationships last?

Is it possible for long distance relationships last for older couples?

The reality is that the person who sets your heart racing might not live in the same city or even in the same country as you. Whether you meet on a trip, through social media, or a dating site, it can be tough to deny the sparks. But long distance dating has a bad rap as being difficult to maintain, including figuring out how to coordinate senior long distance relationship visits. So, can long distance relationships last? For older couples, their families may even try to talk them out of it. Is that for the best?

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Older Dating AU. I have been monetarily compensated for writing it, but all opinions are mine.

Facts about senior long distance relationships

About 14 million Americans consider themselves to be in long distance relationships, as per research collected by Statistic Brain. Interestingly, about 40 percent of long distances end in a breakup; yup, that’s less than half. And there are 3.75 million long distance marriages.

These numbers tell us that long distance dating can work for couples, whether their ages are over 40, under 40 or smack on the nose. In fact, the number of long distance marriages in the U.S. is on the rise, as per The New York Times.

Part of the reason for this increase is that more women are reaching high-ranking positions in the workplace and get desirable positions that geographically distance them from their families. Other reasons for couples living apart include military service and hospitalization.

But whatever the reason, now you know that the answer to can long distance relationships last is yes. Of course, you’ll have to navigate some unique obstacles together to do so.

Unique challenges for older seniors dating

Whether you’re divorced or not, have children or not, have changed careers or not… by age 40, the chances are good that you’ve been dealt some tough cards at some point in life. You’ve overcome them like a champ and are now looking for love. You deserve this!

By the age of 40, you may be going strong in your career or even starting a new one. You’ll likely have more responsibilities (think work, mortgage or rent, family, etc.) than at age 20. But even if you have a career that demands a lot of your time and energy, it’s important to make time to connect with other singles as socializing has many health benefits.

An active social life can improve feelings of well-being. Plus, you’ll likely get out on walks and other physical activities with those you hang out with so your body will be in better shape too. There’s even support for it extending the number of years you live.

So, how do you meet someone in this whirlwind called life? Online dating sites are a great option, especially if you find yourself with little time to yourself until late at night when the kids are asleep. And if you find yourself retired, then your kids may even have moved out of the house by now, which gives you more time on your own.

Being able to go online to look for romantic prospects enables you to get to know someone without giving up valuable family time. And please don’t think that being a single mom reduces your chances of finding someone online to date because it doesn’t.

Here are more strategies for making long distance relationships last:

3 tips for older couples in long distance relationships

With online dating opportunities increasing at platforms such as, the reality is that you might fall for someone who isn’t local and who’s in a similar age range to you. And while long distance relationships have a reputation for being hard to keep, they are doable for older couples when you put in the effort. Here are some ways for older couples to make long distance relationships last:

1. Use open communication

The key to any relationship, whether you’re in the same house or miles away from one another, is open, honest communication. Set up regular times to phone one another, as well as live chats, texts, and emails. Make a commitment to speak regularly to each other so that you don’t drift apart emotionally over time.

2. Use all technologies

Utilize technologies readily available like Skype or FaceTime on your smartphones to have video conversations. Seeing one another as you talk makes it feel more like you’re in the same room. They are vitual long distance relationship visit! Plus, there’s that intimacy that comes with making eye contact. Many options are free, and they’re usually easy to setup and use.

3. Older couples need to trust one another

Absolutely. Again this is crucial for any romantic relationship, no matter the distance. As older couples dating, you’ve both likely felt heartache and perhaps even been cheated on, so you may be wary of trusting someone again. Especially if there’s a big physical distance between your residences. But if you both dedicate yourself to proving long distance relationships last, then you’ll make this work long-term.

Alternate senior long distance relationship visits

Alternate visits as older seniors dating! Yes, it’s important to see your partner in person to get to the next stage of this relationship!

It could be at vacation time, on weekends, or another scenario, depending on whether you have kids, work schedules, physical distance, and more. By spending time personally together, you can start to learn the everyday habits of the person you’re dating, especially if your visits are at their home.

Alternate between your two locations too. That way, not just one person is making all of the travel efforts, which takes time, energy, and money. This practice is fair and respectful.

Are senior long distance relationship visits practical
The heart grows fonder in long distance relationships, just as the saying goes. Does it apply to older seniors dating?

Embracing long distance relationships as older couples

It just might be that long distance is for you. There actually are benefits to dating someone who lives further away than your own city. Yes, I’m talking about the benefits of time apart, even from someone you adore. Remember that quote about absence making the heart grow fonder…

Also, you may worry about a relationship taking over your life. This likely won’t be the case if you’re a long-distancer as you can spend your days as you please and have the phone conversation at the mutually agreed-upon time with your partner. Lastly, research shows that long-distance couples can feel closer than couples living in close proximity. They can also have better communication.

On senior long distance relationship visits and love

In conclusion, the next time someone says never can long distance relationships last, you can tell them about these benefits! There are positive points for older seniors dating long-distance; you just have to look for them.

Obviously though it takes effort. Also, remember what drew you to that special someone in the first place. Doing so can help keep that affection between you two alive.

65 thoughts on “Older couples: Can long distance relationships last?”

  1. Kathleen Ketcham

    Hi christy… I’ve been reading posts and your reply. I was looking for answers by reading all the above comments. I was introduced to my best friends husbands cousin on the telephone. We automatically hit it off and talked everyday for 6 months then we met face to face. We were like two teenagers and it seemed like we knew each other forever.We have both lost our spouses at the age of 60. We are 200 miles away from each other but it didn’t stand in the way.After two years he asked me to live with him so I spoke with my family and off I moved. I got a job , everything was great. An incident happened at my job as a nurse. A resident got hurt and passed away. My self and all the staff were being accused of neglect. We were fired. I went home for the weekend to see my family.His married daughter, 36 years old, was told by him what happened. She has so much control over him that while I was home she assisted him in looking for an apartment for me to move into. I was devastated and refused to live in an apartment away from him and 200 miles away from my family. I tried to get him to understand what had happened to me but because he had to get his hunting guns out of the house because of me being on probation I didn’t stand a chance of him understand and trying to work it out. I packed and went home. His daughter doesn’t like me and it has a huge impact on how he feels about me. We have started seeing each other for two years. She and her family moved 8 hours away from him but she is still in control. I am not competing with her but he and I have the best time together but she maybe far away but she does everything for him at a distance except accept me. My sons except him and forgave him for the way I was treated. They want me to be happy. I feel he should be the parent and tell her but for some reason what she says goes. I know he loves me but I am the one to go if it came down to it. I tried a few years back to talk to her but got no where. I’ve asked him to talk to her but he doesn’t reply and he does say she doesn’t say anything bad about me. I don’t think he tells her when I’m visiting. When she visits he calls but it’s always whispering to me and I ask him what is wrong with his voice he says , nothing. I don’t want anything from him except love and to make him happy. What am I to do? If anything ever happened to him I don’t think I would ever know unless I was to drive to him or ask his cousin. Maybe you can make sense of this for me.

    1. Hi Kathleen, I’m sorry you’re in such a difficult situation. Have you thought about having a conversation, the three of you, to try to settle any differences or misconceptions? The reality is that not everyone gets along in families and not everyone that is important to our loved ones will be ones that like us or that we get along with well. With that being said, it is important to always have respect, so I think that needs to happen. Set boundaries for what you accept and do not accept. That is the only way to have a healthy relationship. I hope you have a safe Christmas season xx

  2. Great article by the way…. You hit the nail on the head about the key is having open communication. Also, I think another important factor for couples in long distance relationships is to remember the end goal, which should be for the the couple to eventually be in the same area, whether that is 6 months or 2 years down the line.

  3. Wow great article. Perfect timing. I met my New Jersey girl, (I’m in California) at a business hotel in Chicago, where we ran into each at early coffee 3 mornings in a row. She later told me she was looking for me morning #2 to continue our lovely conversation. Awww. 6 weeks later, hundreds of FB Messenger and texts and hours on the phone and, late to the game, a 2+ hour FaceTime call, which she gave 10 stars out of a possible 5. Seriously? Wow.

    We laugh out loud that our only physical contact was the brushing of knuckles as we shared business cards!

    So, house building, we’ve built a strong foundation. Pasts, fears, some really tough stuff, brought her to some brilliance on wall-building and vulnerability. I’m an open book and a great communicator so the GTKY (get to know yous) all got lovingly spilled.

    Next floor, the first floor. Time.

    At 58 and 49, we’re a little more collected, yet excited at the prospect of time together. Theme song? Grateful Dead, “I might be going to hell in a bucket, but at least I’ll be enjoying the ride.”

    These LDRs can work. I believe in it.


    1. Awesome, John, awesome! It sounds like you two are at the same points in your lives, similar goals, are open to a LDR, and… that’s truly a great foundation, as you say. I wish you two all the best!

  4. Thank you so much for this encouraging post! I dated my husband for almost 9 years – 8 years of long distance, before we FINALLY got married last year. We’re still in a long-distance relationship now. I do think age could be a big advantage for long-distance relationship as you’re getting more mature and less affected by small arguments or people’s comments.

  5. There can be a difference between long distance relationship(LDR) in younger age compared to the older one. While the young had to focus on various parts of life like career, when one reached the older age these things might have been achieved. Also throughout that period of growing up they will meet with people from all walks of life and learn about their personality,behaviour etc and with that experience they will know how to choose a suitable partner in the future. I can say that the chance of that LDR to be successful is higher and that experience plays the key here. LDR in younger age group is different as they have not exposed much to different types of people as the older do and most probably they have to bet on it. So from my side LDR in older people is doable. Cheers! Great article though.

    1. Thanks for sharing your take on it! It certainly does vary person to person and there are many factors to consider.

  6. The issue is the physical needs are rarely met which can lead to cheating, lack of passion and just overall a depressing relationship only way to be successful in a long distance relationship is by having a lot of money and time so you can travel to see the person often if you can’t do this than the relationship will lose spark !! I think its best to avoid long distance relationships !!

  7. LDRs will work for anyone who wants to make them work. While I do think there is something to be said for too far away – I live in MD and would never date someone in CA – It can be done. Like everything else, it is all about effort. My gf lived in NYC and we dated long distance for over a year before she moved down here.

  8. I found all the responses fascinating… I met my new partner by writing my bog, and commenting on his.. we both adored each other’s blogs, and when he had the opportunity changing planes after a year, we met for five hours. That was the start!

    Two years later, two thousand letters later, and a year of skyping, and we were together.

    He left everything behind n his country and my family disowned me – I am eighty and he is sixty five and we have a wickedly delicious and fulfilling relationship…Even on the internet birds of a feather flock together !!!

    It helps to have both done a lot of consciousness raising so that we don’t have a lot of ‘stuff’ to clog up our communication, and no co-dependency issues either…

    1. Valerie, I got goosebumps when I read your comment – In a good way! Congratulations on finding one another and this wonderful phase of life together. So happy for you ♥

  9. Great post Christy, love is such a wonderful emotion, real love can make you feel that you can take on the world and who doesn’t love that flutter of butterflies in the tummy and the excitement of seeing your partner.

    My b/f and I have morphed into a somewhat long distance relationship due to our respective caring responsibilities. Although we live in the same city, albeit at different ends of the city, 50 mile round trip, we now can go five to six weeks without seeing each other. Somehow we have made this work for us. We text during the day, we WhatsApp, we endeavour to speak to each other on the phone daily. Last night for the first time in ages we had a heart to heart on messenger about our respective parents frailty. This is something my b/f probably couldn’t open up about face to face. Writing your thoughts and feelings, really opening up to someone is a wonderful way to love. I cheer on all long distance relationships. We all need some love 💖 xx

  10. I was in a long-distance relationship for several years and found it quite satisfying. The popularity of this post would indicate that the answer to your question is a resounding YES! Great post, Christy ❤

  11. Great topic you talk about here Christy 😊 Long distanse can so go if the love is stong enough. I perosnaly have experience it. And it can go for a while for me. And if the love is strong enough I think they will figure a good sulution for them both, and maybe move closer eachother or together. Easter hug 🐥💛

  12. I was in a long distance at age 38–my advice for others is to use FaceTime. Speaking over the phone is one thing but actually seeing how a person speaks and looking at their face makes a huge difference. I HATED FaceTime but was grateful to get to know my now husband better through it’s use.

  13. I think this is a fabulous post! I think it can be difficult for a Long distance relationship, but I alway’s live by if it is meant to be be it will be! :) With all the social media and ways of keeping connected these days I think it can be a lot easier!

    Phoebe xo

  14. I think it’s difficult to have a long distance relationship, but I also love that my husband is gone for a good portion of the week. Gives me a chance to do my own thing on my own schedule. We met online and lived in different towns – but only 40 minutes away. I can’t imagine if we were in different time zones however.

  15. My mother was terribly lonely following my father’s death a few years ago. They had spent almost 50 years together and my grown siblings and I worried our mother could not cope with being alone. We encouraged her to try a few dating websites. It didn’t take long for her to find a “friend” in another state who was also lonely, and a widower, with grown children and grandchildren of his own. Of course, they didn’t date for long; wanting to make every moment count, they married and now enjoy “commuting” back and forth, dividing their time between each others’ homes and visiting with their respective families. It just goes to show; it’s never too late to find love as long as you allow your heart to be open.

  16. A long distance relationship affords one the opportunity to find out if they really love those they rise in love with. Great thoughts Christy

  17. I love reading your blogs. I figured you’d get many responses from this one. hehehe…
    I believe that absence makes the heart grow fonder. My perspective on that is growing fonder is missing someone for a few days to no more than 2 weeks. Depending upon how often this happens can be crucial but It’s possible to make it work. On the other hand, I do not believe in long distance relationships. I think you are setting your self up for a fail when you date from long distance. Some people over 60 may deal with it, because they are ok being alone most times and perhaps it feels good to say you have someone in your life. Although we have FaceTime, Google Hangouts and devices like Skype , nothing can replace physically being with someone . More often than not the people involved
    ( especially the man) has someone their seeing locally. Again, this was a great blog!

  18. Great post Christy, I am 50+ and have tried online dating. Interestingly enough, I dismissed anyone in another country. I held the shield up that love was tricky enough without adding distance into the mix. I came to see that it was just my armour against being hurt. In later life, we all have the same need to connect, age is irrelevant. Life is different, because we are not looking to start a family. I guess having a clear awareness of who you are is a good starting place, everything else is ‘stuff’ that can be discussed and negotiated. xXx

  19. Indeed, a very important issue, Christy. Modern media can bridging and solve some problems. Also for people in hospitalization modern media could give more posibilities of communictaion. Here in Germany we are only at the beginning.
    Thank you for another great posting. Hey, you are a wonderful romantic photographer, too. ;-) Michael

  20. Long distance relationships work if there is trust (and trust beats commitment any day). Unlike in the past when there were snail mail pen pals and romance brewed between them, there’s no dearth of technology today: a video chat between two people living in California and Kuala Lumpur is as possible as one’s decision to catch the evening flight to meet the other is workable. Interesting post, Christy, because nothing beats true love.

  21. I believe that if the couple truly loves each other they will make it work. Have seen it work for many people. Great article!

    1. Yes, that research is interesting to read, isn’t it! The researchers I linked to in the post found that long-distancers had a stronger connectivity than those who lived closer geographically. It shows the importance of communication, no matter the distance between you. Thanks Mihran!

  22. Richard Lloyd Myers

    Great article, Christy! You really provided some helpful insights. On behalf of my senior friends and myself, thank you so much!

    1. It’s great Cristy you advised fact points. But I feel that the persons older than 70 may read the artical like this but avoid dating for long distance
      I crossed 75 like to get together but unable to fulfill the agreements. So advise some way to continue.

  23. I know people that have had success in long distance relationships. I don’t have a lot of time for dating, but I would try long the long distance thing. Might make me more likely to make time for it.

  24. I am 29 and healthcare professional currently in Uk pursuing further specialisation, my partner resides in India. Its been almost 2 years that we have been in a long distance relationship (in India we reside in different cities). We love each other and trust each other completely. I am so happy and lucky to have found my partner who has supported me in all my career endeavours. We are looking forward to getting married this year.
    The love that we share is a once in a lifetime feeling for me and hence its worth all the distances! I have been in a long distance relationship earlier on in life and had been cheated on. However I have no insecurities right now.
    If its with the right person, everything works out. It should be effortless.
    Great post Christy!!

    1. Oh Chris, I have shivers at the beautiful story you shared here! I wish you and your partner a beautiful life together – and congratulations on the upcoming nuptials <3

  25. Fab article, Christy! LUV the pic you took and how you utilized it. It’s crazy, but I’m now seeing ads for dating sites for people 50 & 60 +. We all want and need love.

    1. Yes I’ve also noticed the dating sites for 50+ and really it makes sense as love knows no age (or geographic) limits. Thanks Resa ♥

  26. Very important issue Christy..
    If there is real love between two…distances are nothing…
    Thanks for sharing…:-)

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