Liz and Josh said they schedule date nights, watch movies and play chess together via video chats.
Liz and Josh said they schedule date nights, watch movies and play chess together via video chats.

How we date 17,000km apart

THEY say love has no boundaries, except for perhaps when there's around 17,000km of land and sea between you.

But that's the reality for 28-year-old Liz and Josh, who are in a long-term relationship on opposite sides of the world.

The pair first met in their early twenties when they went to university together, where they ended up living together in a share house of seven other students.

Always hitting it off just as friends, it wasn't until they reached their late twenties - when Liz was working in public realtions, and Josh in interior design - that the pair decided they wanted something more.

Both living in London, Liz and Josh went on a date and things went well. But just one week after making their relationship official, Liz made the move to Sydney.

Liz and Josh met in London, before she moved to Sydney.
Liz and Josh met in London, before she moved to Sydney.

Liz says while the distance does make the heart grow fonder, there are obvious challenges around dating someone living on the other side of the world.

"We call each other each morning and evening," she told news.com.au. We also send a couple of voice notes to each other each day, which is a bit more personal.

"We organise date nights on weekends through Skype and video chat. We do it while I'm cooking dinner and he's having breakfast.

"The hardest thing about communicating is being on the move or working, so we make sure to find a time when we are both relaxed. That keeps the similarities between a normal relationship."

New research from eharmony reveals that, despite being the former primary vehicle of long-distance romance, the art of letter writing is all but dead, with just 1 per cent of people professing to communicate with a love interest in this way.

Technology makes maintaining a long-distance relationship a lot easier than the days of letter writing.
Technology makes maintaining a long-distance relationship a lot easier than the days of letter writing.

Despite this, younger daters are more likely than any other generation (46 per cent) to be in a long-distance relationship thanks to global connectivity and digital dating.

Living in the 21st century means lovers can send letters instantaneously over email, and place long distance calls over Wi-Fi.

You can stream the same movies, at the same time or even play board games one-on-one.

Josh said that they have also managed to keep the love alive the last six months apart thanks to surprise meals or gestures delivered straight to each other's door.

"Liz has sent me lunch when I've been having a bad day, which really makes you feel more connected," he said.

"We make sure to speak and see each other's face, and we are very good at surprising each other.

"Liz has sent me doughnuts, and I have used Booktopia to send her books because things can arrive within the hour.

"But we are traditional, and we will send a physical letter to each other as well."

Liz and Josh live 17,000km apart.
Liz and Josh live 17,000km apart.

Liz said the hardest part is lack of physical contact between the two, but being apart has meant they have been able to "build up a good foundation" which is often put to the side when couples are together all of the time.

"The tricky thing is physical contact, and having eye contact," she said.

"Very often on the phone you feel like there is silence, which is a tricky element to get over. "Using video calls, we might not speak for five minutes but we have each other's company. What is hard is knowing how long can this last.

"But when you put plans in place, that can put too much pressure on yourself, which can happen in relationships when talking about the future and not focusing on right now.

"We have said take it a month at a time, and because of that the last 13 months have gone really well."


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