Can Long Distance Relationships Work For You?
When I was out in the cold on the dating cycle a few years ago, my only thoughts were connecting with women in my local area.
Well, at least within a few hour’s drive from where I lived.
I had the thought that long distance relationships were going to be a challenge.
In my head, some of those areas were going to include the simple matter of talking, touching, and seeing that special person.
And indeed, a few interesting ladies did happen by that lived in other cities and towns in Australia.
I quickly dispatched the contact without much conscious thought.
The Next Thing Was Amazing
What happened next was pretty damn amazing and I’ve spoken on various areas in the past.
My wife Pamela Allen happened!
And she’s amazing!
The first connection actually occurred via Facebook and was reasonably innocent.
That was probably the first difference.
Just a single ‘out of the blue’ Facebook question about a group I was in.
Which I helped answer the best I could.
Then another question prompted me to pay a bit more attention to this new person.
Wow, “she’s gorgeous”, was my first and recurring thought.
At this point, I also noticed she lived in Cape Town, South Africa – now that’s a long-distance plane flight. Be that as it may, this is just an innocent typed message for some assistance.
I think the difference here was I was just rolling with the punches, going with the flow to see where things went. At the very least, she would be a great pen pal and a very interesting person to chat to.
Well, that didn’t last long.
Within days, we were messaging each other on Facebook every few hours and the frequency started picking up as well.
It Really Is A Mental Thing
When you’re in a space of thinking of where that other person physically is, that’s your first mental block.
You’ll likely see an insurmountable wall of the distance between you and your potential soulmate. ‘Would it be easier to find someone else?’.
That basically depends on whether you think it’s worthwhile in discovering new potential, a different and interesting culture, expand your thinking as well as move outside your comfort zone.
The Long Distance Easy Bits
Without question, communication in this Internet Age is simple and easy.
Even using a dial-up modem can get high-quality voice calls using things like Skype or MSN Messenger.
If you’ve got broadband availability, then your faraway romance just got better.
Video Skype is just like being there, without touching.
You can talk for hours at zero cost – and believe me, she and I did just that.
What Are Some Long Distance Challenges?
Well, the big one for me was physical touch.
The absense of a real hug or holding someone’s hand really was quite foreign for me.
Again, getting past this point is certainly another one of those mental processes.
There are other physical challenges obviously and you can certainly get around those with some imagination.
Something new to try.
And There are Some Interesting Gifts
Interestingly enough, one of the gifts is also the biggest challenge.
Without the complication of physical contact, getting to know the other person takes on a whole new meaning.
You’ll find conversation becomes a thirst. A deeper understanding of the other person takes place much faster than a local romance.
I found the whole situation really amazing as well as unusual.
Speak Your Mind, With Your Opinion
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37 thoughts on “Can Long Distance Relationships Work For You?”
I believe that long distance relationships work. It may be more difficult compared to other usual relationships where couples physically stay together, but all types of relationships have their own challenge to undergo. In the case of a long distance relationship, the lack of physical contact is the hardest part. Of course, you want to share every single detail that happens in your daily life with your partner but that will be impossible when you are thousands of miles apart. The most that you can do to share these is by communicating it with him. But like you said, we can consider ourselves lucky nowadays for the gift of modern technology so make the most out of it and do everything you can to make the relationship work.
Long distance relationships can certainly work – I’ve seen several successful ones amongst my clients and friends. The world is getting smaller and the barriers to communication are coming down, but I would certainly advise against rushing into a sudden move to another country. You need plenty of time to make sure that is the right decision. You might also need to adjust to each other’s culture. If you’re struggling to do that, NLP techniques can help you take a fresh look at your perceptions and might just be the key to making a success of the relationship.
Thanks for the comment, Pip.
Yeah LDRs can be tough and they can also be rewarding. Though I’d like to better understand how NLP techniques are useful when it comes to having a long distant relationship?
What’s the scoop there?
Thanks for your interest. Without getting into a whole sales pitch here, part of what NLP does is to help you understand how you process information to arrive at your actions or decisions. In the case of LDRs and culture clashes it can help you re-analyze those cultural differences which may on the face of it appear to you to be trivial or outmoded, helping you understand why they are important to your partner. NLP is great for improving your listening and all-round communications skills too, which has to be a bonus for relationships over any distance.
I’ve never tried one, but all I can say is that I was once madly in love with a guy from another town and I stopped talking to him on the internet when he suggested we should meet. I was afraid that once we meet in person, all the talks we had up to that point won’t be enough and I preferred giving up for real. I’m not for long distance relationships. The very definition of a relationship involves two people sharing their lives and you can’t do it without living close to each other.
Oh, gimme a break, Michelle.
You say you were madly in love with a guy from another town and broke it off because he wanted to meet you in the flesh?
Respectfully, you’re kidding yourself. There was absolutely NO love at all. Though I believe you when you say you were afraid. Afraid of someone’s true feelings being revealed that you might not have been ready to accept or contemplate.
The definition of a relationship has nothing to do with distance. It’s a matter of belief, feelings and conviction for another human being. Can I ask how old you are?
Hey there Lonely and welcome to the site. Thanks so much for explaining your situation..
So let me start by saying that you’re too young as well as you should continue with it as well. I know that sounds a little confusing and life can often be that way. Actually, life is mostly confusing :)
When I say you’re too young, I also mean most people on the planet are too young when it comes to love and understanding relationships. We’re all different and when something seems real, it often is. It’s a matter of letting things run it’s course, learn from the outcomes and enrich our lives from the positives that we experienced.
I will caution you on a few things, just so you’re mindful. Long distance relationships are often challenging, you know that already. They take more effort and are often more rewarding than a normal relationship. So take it slow, learn to understand the inner person that your boyfriend is and make it real – if you’re only chatting about the time of day or video games, you’re yet to find true meaning.
Finally, prepare yourself that it might end. Young males are often distracted by the attentions of female in direct vicinity – that’s just life, as it turns out. He might be different but he might not.
I wish you the greatest of success. Let me know anything else you’d like clarity on too.
I am currently with a guy who lives in Australia. Only problem is, I live in Texas. We are both fifteen. Now, I know I'm young and some people would probably tell me that I'm stupid, that I have plenty of more time, that we aren't really in love, or that I'm too young, but… I love him. I know who he is, how he acts, what his personality is. I know him even though I've never actually met him in real life. He makes me smile by sending me a message that just says, "I love you." He can make me feel like he's just kissed me even though we are thousands of miles apart. I want this to work but I don't know if it can. Should I give up and find a guy who lives closer to me? Or should I continue with my long-distance (and at times, lonely) love? Please respond.
Thank you so much for visiting our patch of the world, Lara and I’m grateful you found the article helpful too. So cool too that you’re from Cape Town :)
So onto your question now.
Is it worth it?
Well, most definitely. You’re already off to a fantastic start and readily see the value in each other. What seems to be getting in your way is the belief you’re both missing out on things. So are you?
You’ve got your lives and Others have theirs
I’d ask the question of whether you’re getting confused with what it is you’re happy about and what you’re feeling pressured about by your peers. Sounds like a heap of the tension you’re thinking about is what everyone else is doing.
As you say, you guys are 19 years old. You’ve got regular communication going on and you’ve got a few years left to get through some important life goals. Once those things are set-up, guess how many years of abundance you’ve got ahead of you both? Decades of good living!
So What’s Next?
You said it yourself. What you can’t change, you need to accept and have patience. You’ve really got a few choices. End it all or accept you both love each other and work towards shaping the future – I’d choose the latter :)
Pam and I also felt the distance, at times. It’s that longing to touch and be in the personal space of the one you love. Personally, thinking of the future and what that’s going to be like definitely helped us.
Have you made some future plans together on what you guys are going to be doing?
I absolutely love hearing that long distance relationships can work!
I am from Cape Town, South Africa as well, which is something your wife and I have in common:) I am in a long distance relationship, have been for the past year now. My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost two years, but we've been really good friends for the past six years… We are only 19 years of age, very young, and when we made the decision on where we would study we agreed that our relationship wouldn't be a factor in our choices. He studies 18 hours drive from home, because that was the only place that offered his course. This year I have only seen him 5 times, which was no longer than 2weeks at a time, sometimes only for four days or a weekend. It's heartbreaking not getting to see him as often as i would like to, and each time we need to say goodbye it always ends up in endless amounts of tears… We speak everyday and skype as often as we can! His studies is a four year course, and only a year has gone by. It's been challenging and I tend to blame him for putting our relationship in this situation, knowing full well that i have no right to! And whenever i seem to loose a little faith he always reminds me of how much we love each other and that it is greater than the distance between us…
I just want to be able to accept what I can't change & have patience, it's hard though, because all my friends here at university have their boyfriends with them almost all the time and i am caught up in the middle forever missing him! it just feels like we are missing out on so many memories we could have made together if he hadn't chosen to study so far…
Is it normal to feel this way??
I'd suggest it's more about certainty than time though.
Sure 3 months into a relationship might seem 'too soon' however there really needs to be some balance around where you think you both are headed and the certainty on where that relationship is headed.
After 3 months, both Pam and I simply knew in our hearts that we had something special. And the benefit of distance allows you to distance yourselves from the lustful feelings that bring two people together and allow those long term feelings from the heart and mind to bubble up. Lustful feelings, in my opinion, often dissipate after time while the connection forged from heartfelt feelings are much more long-term and lasting.
If there's _any_ doubt in your mind whatsoever, do yourself a huge favour and pace yourselves until you both know what's going on, we're you're headed and that you both want to travel together (always).
You did say three months….didn't you? Isn't that a wee bit too soon? Perhaps a longer period, such as 6 months or more would enable you to have a better idea of where you're heading in the relationship. If you're still in doubt then you know it's not the right move….since you asked, "Is that crazy?" it means you're not sure. Therefore you might want to wait a little longer and write down the pros and cons of your situation.
Hope the above helped….take care and all the very best!
I’ve had marriages shorter than 3 months lol
Seriously, I don’t really think the time is the important factor but the feelings of both. Why would 6 months be any better than 3 months?
I love coming on here and seeing other people making it work. I've been with my boyfriend for 5 years and in the last year he had to move for his job so now we are about 5 hours away from each other. For me any distance is distance and it's been really hard. Seeing other people make it work makes me have more hope. Thanks for posting your story!
Thanks for stopping by, Lisa (and you only need 1 backlink since Google discounts the 2nd anyway)
So what's your own personal story in how you're coping with your long distance relationship situation? We'd love to hear as well as even a guest blog post if you're like to entertain that as well.
I agree with what martin saiid
i think you should visit him once more or twice. These decisions should be made after a period of time. Quick decisions often end up with nil results. You should know him more and take more time. :)
Love is often a little crazy so I really do understand where you're coming from.
From what I gather, this is a really new relationship too. While I 'get' the strong impulse to dump your current life and move up with him, you might want to think about doing another extended visit (or two). Just to get to know each other more as well as a little insurance – relationships do go sour and other flourish. I'm hoping yours is the latter.
Getting to know the things that bug you about him (and visa versa) gives you a much clearer picture. If you're intending on going full time in this relationship, it's certainly a wise move to also go full time into knowing him better as well.
Keep a little insurance up your sleeve, on the slim chance things go sour with either of you.
Pam and I would love to know more on how things go with you guys. This is the start of a new love and we're so glad you two have found each other. Looking forward to hearing more.
Ok, I've met someone online about three months ago. He lives in New Jersey, and I live in Tennessee. We've connected and we really love eachother. I went to visit for a week. We really hit it off. I'm going back in three months from now. I really miss him, and he really misses me. I'm thinking of making it a one way ticket, and just moving up there with him. Is that crazy?
ohh thats good. Its good to know that You both still have the same passion that you had before. Im sure she is really beautiful. May god bless you both :)
martin i would like to add you as a friend on facebook, can you please tell me your email id throught which i can add you. I would love to see you and your wife :)
Simply click on through to https://www.facebook.com/martin.cooney and you'll get me – would love you as a Facebook friend, for sure.
np matrin its okayy. And yeah i am supporting with whatever he is doing for our relatiionship. We chat alot, even though im busy with my exams but we still talk most of the time. I told him about this blog and he even read it. He was really happy to read your blog and my comments. He too wanted to come and write to you and he will soon write to you! How iis your wife and do you guys have any kids?
Im anxious for this reply of yours :)
thanks for the advice but its really not that i would want to stay single or apart. I am too really pasionate for him as much as he is. He is just trying to convince his parents. I hope he convinces his parents as soon as possible. :)
oh wow Chiyah,
OK, fantastic both you guys share the same level of passion for each other – I misunderstood so sorry about that. You've gotten past the most challenging areas of a long distant relationship which is in getting to know each other and falling in love. The rest really is trivial, though I'm sure parents are likely to cause some blocks for your love to reach togetherness.
You really need to form a unified front though. Since the problem is his parents, he'll really need your full support and enthusiasm to get to where you both want to get to. Make sure you are really open and chat lots too.
hi martin!Im happy to see that we have had the same thing. Last winters my cousin and i were going over the internet and we made a fake account on facebook. There i added shozi predending to be someone else with a fake identity. We started talking then i decide to add him up on my own facebook and to reveals my own personality. He lives in china and i live in pakistan. We started chatting like anything and he started liking me but i as being the tought cookie rejected him because i thought that he waws just playing around with me. He even proposed me and said that he,ll come to pakistan and talk to his parents. I still didnt believe him but he finally came and asked my parents for my hand. And we actually got engaged last month. Now that he has gone back to complete his MBBS and im still here. We talk on skype 24/7 and its the same thing that u mentioned that we cannot touch the person but can get them in our imagination and that is exacly what happens. We fight but we patch up. Really martin long distance relationships work as we miss the other person more and more :)
Hey Chiyah and thank you for commenting on the post – long distance relationships can certainly be a challenging expereince and it's equally interesting to hear other people suggest that they simply don't work.
Funnily enough, long distance relationships have their own set of different relationships problems which require a different sort of thinking to be involved. Where you find 'same location' relationships have a lack of real communication and connection but with physical intimacy, long distance relationships lack the aspect of actual human touch and have a greater degree of real understanding of the other person and what makes them 'tick'.
Please do come back and comment on how things are going with you and Shozi too. If you'd like to write more about your expereinces, we'd be more than pleased to have you do that as well.
Thanks again for taking the time to let us know your successes too, Chiyah – look forward to seeing more of you around here
thanks for replying to me. You wont believe what happened next haha. Shozi is now so obsessed with me and he is so in love with me that now he is after his parents that he wants to marry me this summers. But the problem is that we are too young for getting married i mean he is just 21. He wants to take me to china with him. Do you think we should marry this soon? I mean everything else is perfect. I need your advice :)
Well I have a lot of problems. I am In High school and just recently went on vacation and met an amazing guy,he is a junior and I am a softmore, we spent all 5 days together and I like him so much. I don't know it is love, but I know that right now, I feel so strongly for him. We have many things in common, and love being around each other, but I am stuck. He lives 7 hours away from me and I do not know what to do. I am so lost. Do i keep talking to him until I can visit him over the summer? But what happens after that? I wait another year to see him? Does he come to college here? I am in general a very realistic person, so I am really trying to think rationally here because It all sounds like fantasies when i say it, but I know our feelings are real. I guess, to me it sounds totally crazy that he would come here to college just to be with me! I guess it just blows my mind, but in this case, do you think I should keep our relationship alive and see where it goes? Or should I just try and let him go, and assume I only liked him so much because we were on a fantasy vacation and everything seemed perfect. HELP!
Great to see you on the site, Lauren and welcome.
Take a deep breath and look at the big picture view of where you are as well as where this guy fits into your life. Is this romance a short term or long term experience, as far as you're concerned? And be very honest with yourself as opposed to what you think you'd like to happen.
Your relationship is new, you've got a barrage of different feelings and some of those might be new to you – since it sounds like a long distance relationship is something you've never experienced before.
The first question I'd ask is what does he say, feel and think about it? Pardon the pun here, is he willing to go the distance? Is he talking physical love (as in a sexual infatuation), spiritual and mental love or nothing about love at all?
Get all the cards on the table and let me know what that looks like.
Firstly it's good to see that you have found the one for you.
Having also had a long distance relationship for a year back in 2002, with a woman from Holland that I met while she was holidaying in Australia, I appreciated the time we spent on the phone and emails, as you can see from the year Facebook and Skype were yet to be in the public domain. Now almost being married for 8 years we have often discussed how much easier it would of been, with Skype and Facebook. We use Skype regularly to talk to her parents, and it makes thing just so much easier.
I wouldn't like to go back to having long distance relationship again, but it does help you communicate with your partner and get to know them with out all the other distractions. I am glad that we both did pursue the relationship, as we both couldn't imagine life without each other.
Thanks for your comments, Romelio as well as sharing your own personal experiences too.
Yeah, I can well understand how things would have been much more complicated back in 2002 before the takeup and popularity of Facebook and Skype. Nowadays, costs are way way down, making for a better real life experience with that other person.
And a huge 'Yippee' to you guys on being together for 8 years too. Goes to show you just how possible things can be, even when that initial time apart can be distanced by many miles. Congrats to you both.
thanks for the advice but its really not that i would want to stay single or apart. I am too really pasionate for him as much as he is. He is just trying to convince his parents. I hope he convinces his parents as soon as possible. :)