Long distance relationships are not a new concept. I remember years ago before the world-wide web we were encouraged to send letters to pen pals overseas. On the adult side, there was the vile practice of mail order brides. The purpose of both is to connect with someone who was literally out of reach. With the introduction of online dating, long distance relationships have become the norm for singles seeking romance options.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to expand one’s dating options but the concern begins when fantasy and high expectations eclipse the reality of the situation. For most singles who are choosing this as an option, it appears that desperation has become the driving force instead of good sense. It seems an oxymoron when long distance and relationship is used in the same sentence when specifically referring to two people who have never met each other or most of the connection is over the phone or computer.
To have a relationship with someone means to truly experience that person and the only way to do that is to have both people in the same space. The ‘space’ is not referring to living together but having the ability to be around each other and to experience different life situations whether good or bad.
It seems funny to me when singles make comments that they know someone yet having never met him/her in person or having occasionally planned encounters every so often. The connection that two people have with each other is so much more than talking or typing. It is the feeling, vibe, aura that comes from being in someone’s presence and seeing his/her behaviors which can never be replaced by a phone or computer conversation.
Everyone attempts to present a good front to a new potential partner. Long distance relationships are like having repeated first dates where is it impossible to wade through the smoke and mirrors and begin to get to know the man/woman sitting across from you. Due to the inability to be a witness to a potential partner’s character, the long distance forces each person to create their own fantasy or desire and unfairly project that image. So when a single do finally get the opportunity to get to know the real person, the disappointment can be tremendous because the individual may not be able to live up to the fantasy and expectations.
Relationships in general require hard work even when distance is not a factor. Long distance is not for everyone but for those who chose this route think about it carefully. It requires planning and being realistic about the disadvantages before two singles can begin to have a healthy relationship.