So recently I've had good reason to think about Long Distance relationships. By long distance relationships I don't really mean a couple that have been together for a while and someone has to move away. Or where there is a definate time frame for the couple to be together. I am refering to situations where the primary frame of reference is at a distance. This clarification is very important. And why am I talking about these. Call me unromantic, but I believe them often to have a fundamental flaw. And while the world is an unideal place where people aren't always living in the same city, at the same time bring love into the unideal world and it is just as flawed. But more on that later. That being said after having this opinion I decided to do a good internet search for long distance relationships, which to no surprise show them in a pretty good light. Every article is about making them work and how they can. Well sounds like someone needed some convincing. The problem isn't whether long distance relationships can be made to "work". It is more that, should they?
Now again 3 seems a good number, as it was 3 friends of mine who are currently in situations involving attempting to pursue long distance relationships. I suppose I can drop one from the list as 2 hours isn't that far and she has known him and dated him off and on for like 10 years. But the other 2, both very beautiful women by the way, are in situations where the relationship really started at a distance. Now I have no problem with stuff starting up over the internet. In this humanly detached, overworked, existance we live in it is no surprise people are making contact through equally impersonal means. But after that point for it to really grow there really has to be some mutual connecting point. It is conceivable through the internet these days to slowly make these type of connections. But it is realistically at a rate snails travel, everything else is questionable on how real it really is.
Also I probably should have a guys opinion on this but unfortunately ever person I know who has really done the distance like this have been females. I think I know one guy. You'd have to assume there is an equal number of guys and girls in this equation but it never seems to be. I have no experience myself as I ended the only relationship that would had to go long distance to continue. And I have to admit I sometimes in the past I though that might have been the wrong decision. I know I could have probably gone the distance. But her who knows. And at the age it seemed appropriate. I just wish I had just gone with that instead of trying to find other reasons (that ended up being more hurtful unintentionally) to end that relationship. Well I digress..
Now if you think that any of that diminishes what possible importance what I have to say you are wrong. Now I'm sure these feelings occur from time to time when meeting people over the internet far away. But I have found that some people tend to fall into patterns of going for distance relationships repeatedly rather than more local options. The reality of it is a form of escapism that is based on the grasses greener principle. I'm willing to bet if I had all those girls I know take the OkCupid Test they would get Love Dreamer(LD), as the last two variables. Idealistic view of love and are looking for romance like any deserving princess should. Not all are like this. Some people have harder time socially so this is an avenue for some. But pretty much every pretty likeable girl falls into this first category. And truthfully they are a bit alienated because of being discrimination for being pretty. I've known the type since the days I hung out in west van all the way through my days going to 80's indie nights at the Marble Arch and the Mod Club.There is an issue there but lets first figure out who the guys are on the other side of the computer/phone.
The truth is there aren't many guys who get LD, as most LD guys fall into either being innocent, the creepiest stalker you know, or emotion whores. What does that leave you with, Love Master(LM), Sex Dreamer(SD), and Sex Master(SM). (According to that test I'm a LM). So assuming your guy isn't an LD since you have good taste, although he could be that virgin, you are left with the other 3. You can rule out SM cause he would never being getting enough physicalness out of your relationship. So most likely you are talking to a LM or a SD.. The LM is probably a bit of a realist and understands what it is to love and be love, but he would be unlikely to be looking at a distance as a starting point if he can find it around locally. The SD is a dreamer just like you but he is dreaming about something a bit different. He is more likely to be fickle and cheat on you. With any of the dreamer types most likely you are not the only one recieving his affections. Look at his online profiles and you will see what I mean.
Now that I've looked at some key players (obviously I can't talk for every situation) involved lets look at what happens in practice. The first thing that comes to mind is that after who know how long, and who knows how many conversations on the internet and phone. One person is going to visit the other. Suddenly all the other parts of the relationship are forced to accelerate since this is a limited time only deal. It makes it intense. In fact so intense that real feelings and real observations can often be thrown out the window. Not to mention lots of rash decision making. This isn't all that bad as I'm sure for those few days you feel alive. But then the withdrawal kicks in. Again not something that isn't overcomable but without a steady point of context it's hard to tell how much you are dealing with is real or imagined. It's actually a bit like what happens when you go on vacation and the trip seems like the best thing ever. But if you lived there that easily would not be the case.
And that's the thing the key to any relationship is communication. By that I don't simply mean talking. There is a whole lot more than words going back and forth. First at a very high level present in even typed messages is the choice of wording, attitude, timing and wit. Secondly present over the phone you have emotion, more detailed timing, syllable phrasing and emphasis. Over a webcam I suppose you can sort start to make out facial expression, perhaps eye contact... But it is only in person that full body language, full responsive physical back and forth dialog of positioning, motion, real time respinsiveness. It's like a dance that we all move along but don't spend much time being conscious of. The more people are in contact the faster their relationship moves forward for better or for worse. Long distance based relationships have an artificialness to them that is very very hard to shake. It takes 10x times amount of time spent to get the equal amount of sensory input.
So I guess in conclusion if you are to find yourself in the situation you should definately be dropping the idealistic notions. There is nothing ideal about it. Once you decide that, it is possible to move forward. I'm most concerned for people who continously go for long distance relationships, as I believe that is more reflective of something within them than any real love they are finding. Perhaps a fear of real intimacy, or fear of disapointment. Perhaps a real relationship isn't what they are after and just like the title or the idea of it. The odds will be against them always, and knowing that really should be part of the decision process. It's unfortunate cause infatuation is such a light a fluffy thing that is smashed under the tight fist of reality. It's a stark contrast that is really unescapable no matter how much you sugar coat it. But that's fine, I will be here to offer my advice to any of them that I actually care what happens to them when the "relationship" falls apart.