Firstly, I really enjoy reading your response’s to different people. I think you are on point about every single thing. Getting to the point, I basically have just started talking to this guy. He is from another country. I’m from the U.S. and he’s from the U.K…Anyways, I have to say, I’ve never really been a fan of long-distance. Not that I have experienced it because I haven’t but I just hear that it doesn’t work. One thing I do believe though, is if the man is worth it (truly worth it) then distance doesn’t matter. The thing is though, he seems like a serious type of guy…He’s only been with 3 women and he’s about 27 years old. So…I personally think that’s fantastic that he’s a serious guy because I’ve been looking for a serious/committed man. My question to you Dr. G is……being with a man from out of the country a good idea since we both never have experienced a long-distance relationship? Plus I’m 22 and he’s 27…Will it work?
– Sara, 22, Bay area, California
You raise an ongoing issue that probably has no right or wrong answer per se, but on which I will share my thoughts anyway.
With the advent of online dating we now have opportunities to meet and date people with whom we might never have had contact. This includes people outside of our immediate geographical region (which is typically what dictates who we meet and marry), even out of the country, as well as people who might be a little out of our comfort zone or typical “types” of partners. In the end, this is a great thing!
So, is it okay that you met some great guy who lives in the U.K.? Sure, absolutely, why not?! The question really is, how does one proceed from here in order to explore real potential for love? I think you begin with emails, then you talk by telephone. And when you are both comfortable you plan a trip to meet in person. The difference between something very long distance versus something local at this stage of the game is that you have a little more invested financially, emotionally, etc., when you are making an overseas trip to meet that special someone. So, if you get to your destination and realize there isn’t much chemistry after all, it’s just a real bummer.
And here’s the real issue: Ultimately, a long-distance relationship is not sustainable as such. The whole point of finding a serious partner with whom to begin a relationship and life journey, is that eventually you want to end up living together (married or not), sharing a life, making memories, perhaps starting a family, and so forth. It really cannot be done long-distance. Let’s face it, if you aren’t physically around, well, then you aren’t physically around! You may in time feel a lack of involvement in the other person’s life, e.g., you hear about their friends, their night out, etc., but you haven’t met them or shared these experiences with your partner; you hear about how much he/she misses you and loves you, but you don’t get to experience it on a daily basis. And truly, at the end of the day, it’s not about the goal, it’s about the journey. I guess the point is, AT SOME POINT, you need to mutually decide to move to one location. Negotiating this can be challenging depending on family attachment, employment opportunities, citizenship status, etc.
The bottom line: Go ahead. Explore your options with the guy, but make sure that you meet him before you start planning the wedding. And then make sure you figure out the logistics of the relationship before you hit the goal line and realize you’re married but totally lonely because you live on two different continents!
– Dr. G.
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Important: Responses or feedback provided to your posts are NOT a substitute for therapy or in any way meant to be therapeutic. While I hope my feedback will be beneficial, please understand that responses should be interpreted with caution and in the appropriate context, as often very limited information is provided.