Innocence

Would You Be Open to a Long Distance Relationship?

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Hi everyone! Since I know that most of us on here are WTM, I know how that tends to make it much more difficult for us to find someone in our circle of friends who is a potential spouse. Therefore, I have been wondering how many of you, if you found someone online who you really liked and who met all of your requirements for a husband or wife, but happened to live far away, would you be interested in having a long distance relationship with that person? Why or why not?

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No, I don't want to be in a long distance relationship with someone I haven't even met in person. If we have met a couple of times in person, then maybe. Otherwise, no. 

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I have done this. It didn't work out. I do believe it could have, under different circumstances. Honestly? I cannot say, definitively, if I would do it again, or not. I guess I'd have to say I'll figure it out if the opportunity arises, again. Not many people are open to being in a relationship with someone they've never met in person but with Skype I do believe it's possible to make work. I WOULD do long distance, after meeting someone in person and deciding together whether we wanted it, or not. Possibly after a first kiss. (I'm not one who's waiting for kissing, and find it to be a good way to make sure there's chemistry. As I have heard of people really liking each other but then the kiss feels like a family member rather than a lover. I was unusually certain about my ex in the chemistry department, I just had a feeling...)

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We had a thread on this that was resurrected somewhat recently:
http://forums.waitingtillmarriage.org/topic/5405-long-distance-online-dating/

My personal opinion on the matter hasn't changed since I posted there. I've done long distance before, and I can attest that it's a lot more difficult, but the chances of me finding a girl I like here in California are astronomically small, so I'm more open than most (I would say sort of counting on it) to LDR, given, of course, appropriate levels of commitment and desires to make it work, as well as solid plans for the future.

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Yes I absolutely would. In fact, I kind of prefer long distance during a a courting relationship. Of course, I want to meet her at least once or twice in person as friends first before we become something more. But ultimately, yes I very open to long distance. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Commitment: It goes without saying that LDRs are really hard and requires a greater sense of commitment than the usual relationship. But that can also be the biggest benefit to LDR. It's easy to get into a relationship with someone who is local. But the strength of a relationship isn't tested when things are convenient, it is tested in the face of adversity. Between a person who is long distance and someone who is local, the former's level of commitment speaks greater volumes to me than the latter. It gives me a great sense of security and intimacy knowing the other person thinks I am worth the effort of toughening out the hardships that come with an LDR with. The way I see it is if a couple can survive the distance and make it to marriage, then they can overcome almost any else that comes their way.
  • Intentionality: In a LDR, you don't have the luxury of driving 10 minutes to see them every day. Therefore, it forces both people to really cherish the very few moments they are physically together. There is less room to take each other for granted because you have to make each moment together count. There is a greater sense of appreciation for being together that may not otherwise be there in a local couple. Even when apart, it forces you to be creative in keeping the relationship going. An LDR really stresses communication and making each other a top priority. I even read articles that many LDRs tend to be more emotionally intimate than regular relationships because you have to work harder for it.
  • Excitement: Some friends in LDRs have told me that there is a greater sense of excitement when they get to see their long distance partners. Because those instances are so rare, it gives them something to look forward every few months or so. They say when they finally do get to see them in person, there is a greater sense of satisfaction after being apart for so long. I suppose that cliche "absence makes the heart grow fonder" really rings true.
  • Independence: Another benefit is that distance can give both people more room to live their own lives apart from the relationship. One of the things that annoy me the most when friends get into relationships is they disappear because they are joined to the hip of their partner. A relationship should be a big part of one's life, not your entire life. Being apart lessens the risk of being codependent with your partner and allow you to be pursue other things.
  • It's good for waiting couples: You can't be tempted to have sex with your partner if they aren't physically there most of the time. Pretty self explanatory.
  • It's romantic: Yes I am a hopeless romantic. Make fun of me if you want, I don't care. lol. But there is something very romantic about fighting for the other person in the face of disapproving family or friends who say it will fail. It's kind of a "you and me against the world" kind of feeling.

The closest I've ever been to a relationship was with a girl I knew who lived far away. I felt a connection with her that I never have with anyone else. We both wanted to be more than friends and were willing to fight for it. However, nothing became of it because of reasons unrelated to distance. Without getting into the details, it was mostly an issue with timing. I will just leave it at that. But I strongly believe that if circumstances were different, we could have had something really special....

Perhaps the biggest reason I feel so strongly about long distance relationships is because of my parents' influence. They were dating in the 1960's when they met in college. But my dad had to move back to China for a time while my mother remained in Canada. They were literally on opposite sides of the world yet they still wanted to make it work between them. They remained faithful to each other for 3 years apart. Most kids these days can't even stand 3 seconds apart without sexting each other nude pics. LOL. The number of visits were very few and far between during those years and they mainly kept in touch through writing letters and an occasional phone call. Remember, this was before Skype and the internet. They only had old fashioned means of communication. Despite that, their relationship survived and eventually married. They are still together after almost 40 years of marriage. Seriously, who writes letters anymore? But I can personally say that if I were ever in a long distance relationship, I will write letters to her like my parents did before me. The romantic in me strongly believes a letter is much more meaningful than a text message or a Snapchat. There are some things that are just better doing it the old fashioned way :)

We live in an age of instant gratification and people don't want to work hard in relationships anymore. Given how common my parents' story was back then, I find it laughable how kids these days (gosh I sound old) complain how they can't handle LDRs because "it's too hard." Try being in an LDR without the convenience of Facebook or Skype before you come to me complaining about how hard it is. :P Remember, my parents had only letter writing an occasionally a phone call back then. So in the age of technologically convenient ways of communication, people these days have no excuse. While I get that certain practical obstacles relating to distance may make it simply impossible for a successful long term relationship, I don't think the distance in and of itself should be a hang up. It's only an obstacle if you let it become one. 

Sorry for writing an entire Library of Congress worth of books for you. But this is something I feel very strongly about, in case you haven't noticed lol. You are also right about how our chances as waiters of finding someone with compatible values are fairly slim if we restrict ourselves to our local areas. Especially for me given I live in the Pacific Northwest, which is the least religious region in the entire United States. My chances are even more slim because of that. Like Skald, I am almost counting on LDR. lol. I realize waiter doesn't always equal religious but it's strongly correlated. I want someone who is both a Christian and waiting.

So yes, I am a big fan of the idea of long distance relationship :)

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No.

I'd be open to making some friendships, possibly long-distance but I assume you mean having a long-distance romantic relationship. A long-distance boyfriend or girlfriend. Actually being with another person physically, being able to kiss, to hold hands to go on dates and spend time together is important. I believe crucial.

I have a low image of long-distance relationships in that I do not really expect them to ever work out and that they are doomed to fail. Sure, the two may try to hold on for a time and make it work but I believe in most cases they'll fail. Unless one party is prepared to just up and relocate to another part of the country/world then I believe most will fail.

Why do you ask? Are you currently in one or are you thinking about doing one? Have you ever been in one before?

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@Invincible

Those are GREAT reasons for favoring a long distance relationship! As someone who's been in some myself, I can personally say that I've experienced almost all of those 6 things you listed. Thank you for describing them so eloquently :). And don't worry, you're not alone in reason #6 :). I've had family strongly disagree about one of my relationships before, and that just brought me in closer solidarity with my boyfriend and it did feel quite romantic to know that we were together against the odds. It fostered emotional closeness and it definitely tested our resolve to be with each other in the face of adversity.

Thank you so much, Vince, for sharing your parents' story!!! WHAT AN AMAZING STORY OF DEVOTION!!! I'm sure it must have been ten times harder to cultivate a long distance relationship back in your parents' time with only handwritten letters to rely on. The fact that your parents did that for 3 years successfully to where the relationship culminated into a lasting marriage is truly remarkable. Thank you again for sharing that! :)

P.S. And thank you for writing the "entire Library of Congress worth of books" :lol:. The content you included was well worth the length. :)

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@HeWhoWaits

18 hours ago, HeWhoWaits said:

Why do you ask? Are you currently in one or are you thinking about doing one? Have you ever been in one before?

I ask simply out of curiosity as to how everyone on here feels about long distance relationships. I personally feel that we will end up waiting forever if we limit ourselves to just searching for like-minded people in our local area.

And yes, all the relationships I have ever been in have been long distance ones for the majority of the time. As a matter of fact, the relationships were more successful when they were long distance than when they eventually became local. I say this in the sense that the relationships were able to grow faster during the time that distance was involved because, as Invincible said, greater emotional intimacy was achieved. You fall in love faster and deeper, and there's a stronger connection between the two people in a shorter amount of time. Since I have experienced both sides (the long distance and the local), I will say the feelings are totally different. I know you say that physical time together is crucial, and I agree with you, to a point. But the basis of a relationship should never be the physical connection, it should be the emotional and spiritual connection. Long distance relationships put the focus on that because there is no way for physical time together to happen on a regular basis. Furthermore, long distance relationships will actually ENHANCE the quality of the of the physical time together, whenever it does happen, because the couple will cherish every moment in each other's arms. In a local relationship, it is much easier for the couple to take the physical time for granted because it is so much more readily available. Also, I've noticed from my own experience that when my relationships were local, there was much less sharing of thoughts, feelings, etc. because the focus was either on the physical aspects of cuddling, for example, or on whatever activity was planned for the date. Communication was not at the forefront, like it is in long distance relationships. I'm not saying that one should never have local relationships, but I do personally think a relationship that experiences both types is a stronger, and more lasting relationship.

Now let me ask you the same question. Have you been in long distance relationships before? If so, what's been your experience? 

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4 hours ago, Innocence said:

Now let me ask you the same question. Have you been in long distance relationships before? If so, what's been your experience? 

No, I've never had one. The girl I am dating now goes to my church.

Well, I take it you are single so those didn't pan out. Here's the million dollar question, what was the end game? No matter how well you get along with someone online, marriage, family, etc. will require you to actually be in the same place. How was that going to be worked out in your relationships? Did any of them move? Did you move or was the entire relationship lived in two separate regions?

I am friends with someone who does them. He lived here but had a girlfriend in Germany. She came to the U.S. once and I met her. Finally he moved to Germany for school and she broke up with him right before he moved. I think it just got too old with never having anyone physically present to hold. He lived there for a couples of years and now lives back in the U.S. He currently has a girlfriend....she is from the Ukraine and currently lives in Germany. I have no idea how this one is going to go.

I'm not saying you can't develop feelings for someone over the internet. I'm just saying sooner or later, push will come to shove, and not being able to see them and hold them when you want will grow tiresome. Unless someone is going to move it can't work.

Did your boyfriends ever move to where you were or vise versa? If not, what was going to be the end game?

I have heard of cases of it working, of course someone MOVED. This is kind of a sweet story:

 

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I look on OKCupid a lot since this is a very specific requirement of mine that I am really not willing to compromise on, and I think I would be open to the idea for a "short" length of time, i.e. less than a year. Any more than that, and I just couldn't do it, because I absolutely crave physical contact.

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I am open to LDR too for some of the reasons that Vince posted. As a waiter, I find it challenging to find a woman who is waiting and possesses similar beliefs as myself in my local area thus I am open to the possibility of a LDR. Granted, there will be challenges for both persons but I feel that there will be challenges even for a couple who are not LD. I think what matters is how the couple work on the issues present in their own situation.

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@HeWhoWaits

17 hours ago, HeWhoWaits said:

Here's the million dollar question, what was the end game? No matter how well you get along with someone online, marriage, family, etc. will require you to actually be in the same place. How was that going to be worked out in your relationships? Did any of them move? Did you move or was the entire relationship lived in two separate regions?

Yes, it is true that the couple in a long distance relationship should try to make arrangements to be in the same place.  I'm not saying that a couple should perpetually be in a long distance relationship all their life.  But just because they may not be able to be together regularly for a few years, doesn't mean that the relationship is doomed to fail, as you made it sound in your first post (see Vince's example of how his parents successfully held together a 3 year long distance relationship). Another example I just happened to remember is with a professor I had in college. She is from South Korea and her husband is also South Korean.  He lives and works in South Korea, and she works in the United States.  She once said that she has been in the States for the past few years (I think she said 3, if I remember correctly) and has only been able to visit her husband once or twice each year.  She also said that they have been married 26 years.  I was amazed that she and her husband were able to do that, and so this is just another example of how a long distance relationship can be successful.  And in my own relationships, yes, there eventually was relocation on my part to be in the same cities as my boyfriends. The long distance part came first with both my boyfriends and the local part followed later.  With one of my relationships, the long distance part lasted almost 2 years, one of which was spent with him being halfway around the world in Kuwait and during that time I only saw him twice within that year.  But we made the long distance part of our relationship work, and so that is why I personally don't see long distance relationships in such a negative view.

17 hours ago, HeWhoWaits said:

I have heard of cases of it working, of course someone MOVED.

Like I said in the beginning of the above paragraph, I don't think long distance relationships should be the only type of relationship a couple experiences, physical time together is important, but I will venture to guess that many people, when they think of long distance relationships, expect that it's not a forever sort of thing.  Sure, if there is absolutely NO physical time together ever, then yes, it probably has a high chance of failure.  In my post before this one, I did say...

22 hours ago, Innocence said:

I'm not saying that one should never have local relationships, but I do personally think a relationship that experiences both types is a stronger, and more lasting relationship.

I believe that experiencing both types of relationships (the long distance and the local) with the person you're with will allow you to experience that person and learn about him or her in different ways that if you just did one or the other.

Thank you for sharing that video!  What a sweet and romantic love story!  I really enjoyed watching it. :)

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I have been in one for almost 5 years now and if it wasn't for the internet I don't think it would have lasted. The internet definitely makes long distance relationships a viable option than in the past

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I have been in both  LDR and a local. I would enter another long distance relationship but, I'm not eager to do so. As I agree with Invincible on his points and RosatohisCicil pointed out that the internet has helped LDRs a lot. But there is one thing g that the internet has not fixed yet. Being able to give your S/O a hug on a bad day, being able to comfort them in a day they aren't feeling well.

I had fun getting to know my x through long distance, all we could do was talk. But there is still no words that can capture a hug, however many times I tried. I did however become practiced at communicating emotions because a hug or back rub wasn't an option. 

At the end of the day Innocence is right if we limit our selves to just the people we meet face to face and interact frequently we may be waiting forever. 

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I've thought about this and I'd probably say no for a few reasons: 

1. I've never been in a relationship before - I wouldn't want an LDR to be the first one I get into due to the extra work it involves (I would prefer a more local one) 

2. MORE IMPORTANTLY: The said person who need to be willing to move to London, UK (which is already an expensive place to live) since I work in family business so movement for me isn't an option. To find and expect someone to do that it unreasonable. 

3. I want to a least meet that person a few times before getting into a relationship with them so that wouldn't work either in an LDR haha 

However it does provide more options but I haven't had much luck finding people with similar interests/requirements to me either in real life or online so maybe that would change if I did meet someone online with what I'm looking for in a future spouse. 

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Just finished one. We were officially in an ldr for almost 2 years and long distance friends for 3 years. Now we are in the same state and see each other everyday. Completely worth it and I wouldn't change our ldr time if I could because it made us so strong. We can face all obstacles together. <3

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1 hour ago, NicoleNova said:

Just finished one. We were officially in an ldr for almost 2 years and long distance friends for 3 years. Now we are in the same state and see each other everyday. Completely worth it and I wouldn't change our ldr time if I could because it made us so strong. We can face all obstacles together. <3

Awwwwwwwwwww !!!!!!!!!!! Awesome!!! Congratulations ! :)

 

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Sure, but only if he lived in the same continent as I did because I'd probably want to be visiting frequently :)

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A few years ago I would have said no, but nowadays I've given it a bit more thought. I like everything @Invincible said, anything else I might add will just invariably echo something he already wrote. Before I used to believe that they were always bound to fail, but it really depends on the people doing it. I think waiters have a better chance at pulling them off. They are just naturally better at dealing with physical loneliness than non-waiters, and better understand the value of the person they are in a LDR with. Given how rare the type of person they're willing to be with is to come across, they would want to work harder to keep them around. Not saying that non-waiters can't pull it off either, just that they will have additional things to be concerned about that might deter them from staying on that course.

The difficulty of maintaining a LDR is kind of appealing in a way. It shows right off the bat how dedicated you are based on the extents that you are willing to go to be with this person. Being able to remain romantic despite not being able to even touch each other definitely proves that. I think you would end up really getting to know each other a lot quicker too when the physical component is removed. And in this era, it's extremely easy to contact people all around the world. Very easy to share pictures, have live video chats and whatever else. You can do just about anything aside from actual dating and touching. Which, to be fair, is a dealbreaker for some. That's alright, it's good to know if you aren't okay with an LDR, lest you inadvertently string somebody along.

From my perspective, I'd say I'm willing to give it a shot should I ever in that position. It's definitely intimidating in it's own right, especially if the distance is considerably far. But I'd wager that if I have the right feeling about this girl, then I'm more than willing to do whatever it takes to be with her. At that point, distance would honestly be a real petty reason to lose her over. I couldn't tell you where the waiting until marriage path will take any of us. None of us can predict how we are going to meet our future spouses. The way I see it, I wouldn't want to close off an additional avenue for that meeting. It'll happen however it happens.

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