Monday, September 20, 2010

Long Distance Relationships Keep the Post Office in Business

While I drudge deeper and deeper into this endless pit of dating uncertainty, I'm doing two things:  questioning everything and trying to kill this Negative Nancy that is slowly becoming a major player in my brain.  My recent drought of quality activity has not only put a damper on my blog material, but it has also been a bit of a personal downer.  You know, you start questioning whether or not it really is something wrong with you. 

As I start to broaden my dating horizons a bit more (because honestly, he ain't beating my door down or standing right outside of it waiting with a handful of flowers and a box of chocolates...aww...that would be nice.  Back to reality.), I've been comtemplating the prospects of different dating variables that I hadn't previously considered.  All of the online dating outlets allow you to set your parameters at whatever level you'd prefer.  Currently, all of mine are set to send me matches only within a fifty mile radius of my home zip code.  The funny part about that is that all of the actual City of Atlanta zip codes are included in my radius.  I had no idea how snobby true Atlantans are!  When they saw my location, even after several email exchanges, they'd tell me that I lived entirely too far away and weren't interested in a "long distance relationship."  I live 35 miles from the center of downtown Atlanta.  "Inside the perimeter" and "outside the perimeter" are two totally different worlds.  But, I do the same thing when Chattanooga residents pop up on my list.  Something about being in another state makes it feel too far away.  Silly, I know.

So that got me thinking...even though I don't consider downtown Atlanta to be "long distance" myself, am I limiting myself just as these Atlantans are doing by not increasing my range?  Could my Mr. Right be online dating too and just happen to live 51 miles away?  And could I possibly make a go at a real long distance relationship?

I will admit, I don't have a whole lot of relationship experience in general and absolutely none in terms of long distance.  It would probably be completely foreign to me to not only adjust to a significant other, but also to one miles and miles away with whom I'd have very limited face-to-face contact.  Although, with my online dating track record, that might work in my favor.  Lately, men seem to really like me until they meet me in person.  Or at least they lose some kind of interest after the first real meeting.  Perhaps a continued phone/email/text/IM relationship would improve my chances of success with a real one.  (Don't ask me what I'm doing to promote this 'Meet her once, hit the road' mentality in my men.  It's not an attempt to muster sympathy; it's the honest to goodness truth.  If you have any rationale for this, please, please! tell me.)

Can long distance relationships be successful?  From a completely unbiased and untainted opinion, I think they can.  But, only with a clear and definitive end to the long distance, in my personal opinion.  I know myself well enough, and I'm like a little kid.  If you tell me I can have something on Saturday and I sit around waiting patiently, twitching my foot in anticipation, counting down the seconds until Saturday only for you to tell me that I have to wait another week, I will lose it.  But, with a clear goal and end in sight, I can handle just about anything. 

How flexible are people nowadays to move for the one they love?   At what stage do you say "Okay, I'm moving to your town to be with you" and it's acceptable and your parents don't think you've lost your ever-lovin' mind?  What if both people absolutely love the respective city that they're living in and don't want to move?

From a female perspective, I would imagine that any significant distance between me and the object of my affection would be one of the biggest challenges that I could face from an emotional standpoint.  I think women need, not only emotional reassurance of a return of interest, but also physical reassurance.  How a man interacts with a woman in person can really effect how we perceive him.  Girls know what I mean here.  If he touches your back while you're walking through a door (especially one that he's opened for you!) or walks close enough so that your arms brush can really speak volumes about his level of interest and solidify the intent behind the words that he's said to you.  And I honestly don't mean this in the x-rated form that it can so easily come across as. Words are great, but without action, we can get confused.  I think trusting would be a big issue for me too.  Again, although you can say your words of devotion all day long, those long periods of alone-time can make the mind do wild things and come up with some pretty elaborate reasons why you haven't heard from him for two days, three days, a week, good God, he hates me and he's run off with his secretary.  You may start to think he's found someone else and then start doing some looking yourself to gratify that need for a physical connection. 

But, in all honesty, I think if both people are as devoted to the success of the relationship as the other, act and talk just like they would if they lived five minutes down the road from each other, and have a clear indicator of when the long distance will no longer be a hindrance, it can work.  I think there is even a bit of a potential for that whole "absense makes the heart grow fonder" thing, if both are missing each other at the same intensity.

What do you think, Singletons?  Have you had success or failure with long distance relationship attempts?  Think I should broaden my radius?  What do you consider "long distance?"


  1. Definitely agree about the emotional challenges! :(

  2. I think that long distance relationships can be hard if you're still getting to know the guy; it's different if you've already been dating a while because then you'd both be more willing to work on the relationship. But although it wouldn't be a bad idea to widen your search parameters in online dating, on the other hand it might be hard because then the first date might have to last longer; you couldn't just meet for a short coffee date if you lived hours away from each other. And you wouldn't want the date to last longer if you were to meet in person and discover that you didn't want a second date. But it could be a good thing if you do like each other.

  3. @Melissa, thanks for visiting! I love your blog so much and am really inspired by so much of your writing.
    @Neurotic, hmmm...I hadn't thought of those points. They're good. I've had many a first date that I was glad could be kept to a reasonably short period of time...hmmm. Any kind of driving would have to be justified by a quality date, probably lasting at least as long as it took either of us to get there!

  4. I think long distance relationships can work. I met my Husband online. We spent every day together for a little less than 3 weeks and then had a long distance relationship for 2 months. Next time I saw him for 4 days we were engaged and then we were apart for 3 months then together for 6 weeks and then apart for a month or so and then got married and haven't been apart one day since! They work when both people want them to work. Especially if you are only a hour drive away. Its totally doable and will be totally worth all the hassle when you realize you never have to leave him again. :) GOOD LUCK!

  5. Good article keep posting this type of articles..............

  6. I think long distance relationships are too hard to maintain, but also if the relationship is string the couple will fight for that love. I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years and 6 months tongether and then it comes the distance and it's been 3 years that we live apart. we only meet for christmas or in summer and it's getting so hard... I hope this to end as soon as possible....

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