Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Difficulty With Long Distance Relationships

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Online dating can be a terrific way of drawing people together. As you flick through profiles it’s natural to be attracted to potential partners you already have a lot in common with. An important box that gets ticked is down to simple geography. Ideally, you’ll want to hook up with your virtual lover at some point. So individuals living closer will get your preference. On the other hand, many get into online dating for the opposite reasons. They want to tap into the internet’s ability to introduce them to the exotic. They want to meet amorous Austrians or lovely Lebanese. Not someone they might bump into in their local supermarket.

There are drawbacks. Much as it might give you butterflies to get involved in racy conversations with a partner in the Far East via your Skype connection, here are some commonest difficulties with long distance relationships.


There’s a saying: ‘what you can’t see won’t hurt you.’ Unfortunately one thing this doesn’t take into consideration is human nature. Relationships are built on trust, but even the most blissfully content partners experience a sliver of doubt when their other half is absent for long periods of time. The longer the period of separation, the greater the uncertainty.

Once worry creeps into thoughts, it will rarely vanish. Your partner might seem bubbly when they’re chatting over the video connection, but does that smile look a bit forced? And whose is the background voice you were sure you overheard a moment ago? The one they insisted was just the TV? Why are they watching TV when they’re supposed to be Skyping you?

Of course, this is just an example. Who’s to say the unfamiliar voice isn’t just the TV? But this does illustrate how distance can cause issues.


But what about those occasions when suspicions are justified? Again, human nature can play a part in undermining a long distance relationship. You might think your partner and you are solid. Circumstances can alter in an instant. It wouldn’t be the first time that a more convenient situation arises. Relying on internet communication and Skype links to keep in touch can become a pain. What happens when an attractive new person starts in the office? Someone who gives your heartbeat a little jolt every time they smile at you. When this third party begins flirting and dropping hints about their flatmate being away all weekend, perhaps the thought of getting in touch with a picture on a computer screen begins to lose its potency.

Drain on resources

Although you might not be in regular touch with someone living far away, your partnership still demands a lot of commitment. This can get in the way of the rest of your life. Depending on where they are in the world, you could be separated by considerable time distances. This means you need to plan your channels of communication around moments when it’s most convenient for you both. This could impinge on whatever else you’re doing.

In most relationships the two parties will have separate interests, time when they go off and do things with family, friends or workmates. This keeps everything fresh and stimulating so that when they do get together again absence has made the heart grow fonder. When you have to base your love life around a series of deadlines, some of the romance is bound to fade. You might find yourself getting resentful of this person who requires you to be in front of the computer at certain times, even while your buddies are out having a riot at that gig you’d been looking forward to for months.

Great expectations

When people date in the conventional sense, once they’ve reached a certain point there may well be discussions about what the future holds. Especially if the ‘L word’ has been dropped into the mix by both parties (as in ‘love’!) In the shorter-term there could be serious talk about moving in together; in the longer-term conversation might revolve around topics such as marriage or civil partnership, and starting a family. These aspirations will help to cement a partnership. Even if there are arguments the light at the end of the tunnel has already been firmly established in their minds, meaning there is always a reason to progress beyond hurdles.

Long distance relationships do not have this clear end in sight. While there may be hypothetical discussion about moving homes, or applying for work permits, this all becomes a bit functional. Instead partners will be tied to the practicalities, putting up with the ongoing Skype calls – eventually copy/pasting sweet nothings from earlier emails.

This concluding image might seem unfairly harsh to the many who relish love at long distance. But it does underline the potential difficulties.

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