haha, It's complicated.. I had been in that one for a few years.. 3000 miles apart leaves you wondering where the relationship is. Was worth the complication, but im glad thats over. complication led to being engaged, weird how it worked.
Really though, it's a good idea. Gives you a chance to really get to know people of the other gender on a friend level. Dating can be so fake at times, so getting to know who a person really is beforehand can be genius.
FWIW, I got married when I was 20. It was a short dating period. I already knew who I wanted to date when I turned 18, and ended up marrying the same girl.