With the ongoing prominence of online dating one of the side effects has been a rise of more long distance relationships. No longer are people as limited as they might have been in trying to connect with someone who lives in another city, country or continent. Now they can online chat, email, telephone and get to know someone who doesn’t live nearby. Yet the question that lingers over all discussions related to long distance relationships is whether they can lead to a lasting romantic relationship and what does it take to achieve that result.
The answer to the first part of the question is relatively simple to answer. The two of you have to both have the desire to make plans to bridge the distance so that the two of you can live in the same city. Without that being an eventual goal most long distance relationships won’t survive. If you both are not committed to that long term goal you’ll see the contact diminish over time until eventually you rarely communicate with each other. It is the achieving of that goal where many of the challenges lie.
First off, regular and honest communication is critical in order to maintain and grow the relationship. If you miss too many phone calls or Skype sessions you’ll find the other person will doubt your sincerity about being with them. The communication must be honest and it’s vital that each of you do not try to hide your flaws. If you were living in the same city those flaws would eventually surface and you would have to decide how you feel about the other person’s imperfections. Yet a long distance relationship can provide each of you with the ability to masks your flaws and present to each other an idealized and unrealistic version of yourself. The problem with this is when you finally meet face-to-face it’ll be impossible to preserve this fiction for long and you each may feel deceived by the other. You also have to maintain the same kind of commitment to the other person as if they were living nearby otherwise it is unlikely one of you will ever take the leap to move closer to where the other one lives.
Another key is that at some point both of you need to meet face-to-face to spend some quality time together. It is one thing to have chemistry over the telephone or online, but it’s quite another in person. You may find all that sexual potency you had during your Skype sessions dissipates when you’re sitting across the room from each other. However, if after spending time together you find that the chemistry you have is real you must make a regular effort to get together in person to further grow that attraction. Too much absence does not make the heart grow fonder; it just makes you lonely and that can lead to you looking elsewhere for love.
Interconnected to being able to meet face-to-face is whether or not you or the other person have the financial means to do so on a regular basis. In today’s world when it comes to long distance relationships money is very much an important issue. For the long distance to work one of you will need to regularly visit the other and eventually one of you will have to move closer to where the other one lives. The bottom line is travelling and moving are expensive endeavors and if neither or you have the financial means to do so you may have to accept that the relationship won’t work out.
Also, if each of you live in a different country, when one of you moves to where the other one lives you may have to financially support them until they can get a visa or a work permit. This brings up what the motives are of the other person. Are they genuinely interested in you or are they really interested in using you to get into the country and have you support them? There are many horror stories about how people have had their hearts broken and their money swindled out of them by those who used them to gain entry to their countries. If you find the person you’re in the long distance relationship with is pressuring you early on to bring them to your country proceed with caution as you may be facing this exact scenario. Even knowing the person over a prolonged period of time may not help you figure out how sincere they’re being so it is recommended when looking for love outside your country to focus on those countries that are in a similar economic state as yours. Better yet if you’re having trouble finding someone locally, try first looking for love in other cities within your own country. It’ll help reduce this particular risk. Keep in mind that even if the other person is sincere immigration laws will result in a lengthy process before the two of you will be able to live together. So you may want to consult an immigration lawyer or consultant.
Lastly, long distance relationships can sometimes create unrealistic romantic expectations. Many of these expectations are fed to us by popular culture, but the reality is often very different. Thus, every face-to-face visit with your partner may not end up with the idealized romantic visit that you envisioned. So try to see how the two of you fare doing more ordinary everyday things rather than trying to recreate the hyper romantic moments you’ve seen in the movies.
By doing so you’ll give yourself a better idea of whether this is someone you can see yourself with long term; it’s the enjoyment of the simple things together along with commitment, hard work and love that are essential to a lasting relationship. So keep some of this in mind and your long distance relationship will have a better chance of working out.