Monday, October 13, 2008

Long Distance? Long Shot, Low Odds!

Well Lisa, you already had one long distance dating disaster this year (when after several months you discovered he was a total fraud!)- so you KNOW the dangers of long distance!!!

It’s so risky to meet someone on-line from a different state, for so many reasons.

1). As you discovered, they may not even be WHO they say they are. It sucks, but there are unsavory people out there. They may be lying about their age, martial status, appearance, employment, even their gender! Or worse, they may try to scam you out of money- a far too common occurrence.

2). But even if they are who they say, another issue is that you typically spend a LOT of time and energy on the phone and email, before you ever met. You can WASTE months getting to know someone, then when you finally meet, you discover that the chemistry evaporates, physically and emotionally.

3). Even if you do meet and enjoy each other, if you continue a long distance affair mostly via phone, with only occasional visits- what you are constructing is a VIRTUAL relationship. A connection that exists mostly in your mind. You don’t get to see how each other really behaves in real life.

You only get a tiny selection of who they are. And worse, with only occasional visits, when you do rendezvous, you get only a honeymoon type of effect, with all that built up anticipation and excitement- you share only care-free, happy times focused only on each other- hardly what a real relationship is like.

The bottom line of this is that you don’t get a true sense of what it would really be like to have this person in your life on a daily basis. It’s more fantasy than reality.

4. Even if you make it past all of this, someone is going to have to move eventually, and completely up-end their life, for what will still be a big risk. Often when you go to live together, after your fairy tale long-distance romance, it falls apart, in the stark light of reality.

Am I saying it could never work out? Am I saying you should never try to date long distance?

No- of course not. On rare occasions, it’s possible to find your soulmate on-line half a country away, and make it work.

But as you can see, the risks are high, the likelihood of a happy ending, pretty tiny.

Even then, it will be expensive! Add up all of the travel costs, phone bills, and that heart aching longing!

Is it worth it? Only you can decide!

Readers: Have your long-distance, online romances had a happy ending?

Please Comment!


Anonymous said...

Dr. Jenn: You are right on all accounts. I've tried several long-distance relationships and the have all crashed and burned. Sometimes after only one meeting and sometimes after months. But it's not the same as a local relationship where you get to know the guy in various circumstances.

I outlined my take on this in "Long-distance dating pros and cons" at if you're interested.

Dating Goddess

Dr. Jenn said...

Thanks for your insights Dating Goddess. I agree with your blog post. There are surely pros and cons to it.

And I agree, it's a bit different, and a slightly better bet, if you met, then moved.

But ultimately, isn't love about being there, day in and day out, supporting each other to take on the world?? It's hard to do that really well half a country away!!