When you enter into a long distance relationship, people will ask you how you met. And there are roughly two types of long distance couple. Those that met online, and those that met in person before becoming long distance. There are benefits and drawback to each.
For those that meet online, it provides you both with with an opportunity to get to know each other before you meet each other in person. This can really give you a head start when you decide to enter into a relationship, as you already know your partner. And, what is more, you have been long distance from the start. Which may not seem like much. But one of the most difficult aspects of entering into a LDR is adjusting to the distance and lack of physical contact. For couples that meet online, you begin to adjust to this state of mind before entering into a relationship, avoiding one of the most emotionally difficult aspects.
However, there are a number of drawbacks to meeting your partner online. The main risk, of course, is catfishing. Catfishing is defined as ‘pretending to be someone you’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.’ While it is not as prevalent as mainstream news and media make it out to be, it is important to understand that it exists, and is a real risk. And even when the person you meet is who they say they are, there is still the possibility that they may not act the same in person as online. Or, as in more common, there is just no romantic spark.
Obviously, this can be devastating. But it can also be avoided if you make sure you take some preventative steps. Make sure that you have Skyped your long distance love interest before agreeing to meet up in person. Photos, social media, and phone calls can be manipulated. There is no surer way to ensure your love interest is who they say they are than with a face-to-face Skype call. Not only that, but it also provides a better idea of how they act in real life, and whether or not there will be a spark.
Meeting in Person
Of course, couples that met in person before becoming long distance do not face these problems. And this is the type of long distance relationship that Chelsea and I fall under. We met in person, for a week, before Chelsea returned home and we began dating long distance. These couples don’t need to worry about who their partner says they are, or there being no romantic spark.
However, there are a completely different set of issues with this kind of relationship. The most prominent is that because you were not long distance from the beginning, you will need to adjust. Chelsea and I were fortunate not to begin dating until we had seen that we would continue to communicate while apart. But couples together for months or years at a time before becoming long distance do not have this luxury.
The key to maintaining a healthy relationship in this situation is to be understanding of each other. Work out what times of the day you are able to talk, and when you are not. I talk more about time differences in particular is this article. Also, ensure you are respectful of your partner. Trust is earned, not a right. Make sure you do nothing to make your partner distrust you, and give your partner the trust they deserve too. Chelsea talks more about trust & commitment in LDRs here. And, above all else, communicate. Communication is vital to every relationship, but even more so in long distance relationships.
Follow these tips, and find out what works for you. As we try to stress as much as possible, every couple is different. What works for us may not work for you, and vice versa. Test the waters, discover what you are comfortable with. And once you have found it, never let it go. Long distance relationships are hard work. But they are also one of the most rewarding things you can ever do. Just remember, that no matter which type of couple you are to set yourself an end goal. To one day close the distance. And then everything you do should bring you closer to that.