I am a writer who has personal experience with long-distance relationships. I am currently in a 2-year relationship with someone abroad.
I believe that romantic relationships are comparable to riding a bike.
Learning how to ride a bike takes time and patience. You will trip and fall off your bike. You will get hurt. Maybe your bike isn't for you, and you deserve something better. But in the end, the right person will always find the right bike. And similarly, the right person will always find the right partner.
Technology Has Changed Dating
Thanks to modern technology, finding the right partner has gotten easier. The internet has allowed people to find other like-minded individuals with whom they can share their happily ever-after with.
I was never lucky when it comes to romance. I admit that I was never the best at socializing at school. Boys (and to some extent, girls) saw me as a girl-friend. But they never saw me as a girlfriend.
The internet became my escape for a few years during late high school, and that's where I met some people, including my current boyfriend.
I know that a lot of people will find my story relatable. I was that socially awkward girl who had an online double life. On the internet, you can meet people from different cities, provinces, and countries. And sometimes, the friendships you form might blossom into something more.
5 Signs You Are Ready for a Long-Distance Relationship
Online relationships can be a magical experience. You have the potential to meet the perfect mate who will love you like no other. But online dating is not for everyone.
I feel thankful to have found my partner after years of trial and error. I am so grateful that I found someone right for me. If anyone asks me for the recipe for our success, I can simply say: "I found a man who loved me for whom I am, and not for what I look like."
But my success story isn't going to apply to everyone. You often hear horror stories of people breaking up because of cheating or theft. I also have my fair share of stories where I was left brokenhearted and ghosted—sometimes even both.
A long-distance relationship is a commitment. If you are interested in finding 'the one' online, continue reading. I'm going to give you five signs that you are ready for online dating (and three signs that you are not.)
1. You Love and Value Yourself
When I first fell in love, my biggest mistake was giving everything to my then-boyfriend. I gave him all my time, attention, and adoration. And when he was unavailable, I got cranky and self-loathing.
At first, I thought he was the funny, gentle soul that would bring me lots of joy. But down the road, something happened. He just became. . .cold. No messages. No care. No love.
Ever since that breakup, I promised not to give my everything to a single person. And neither should you. Don't listen to people who tell you to give them 70, 80, or even 90% of your love. Your partner is not responsible for your happiness!
Instead, learn to love yourself. Build a relationship around you. Improve your self-confidence and self-esteem. Make yourself your biggest fan. And most importantly, respect yourself and know that you deserve love.
The moment you feel secure about yourself, that's when you look for someone. This applies to both online and offline relationships.
2. You're Secure With Your Relationship
Online and long-distance relationships carry a stigma. You will hear a lot, and I mean a lot, of people shrugging it off and saying not to take it seriously. Maybe you've heard some of the following:
- "Your partner is just using you."
- "What if they will hack your account and take your data?"
- "They are going to cheat on you with someone in real life."
When I first met my boyfriend, my friends were very supportive. I receive both praise and congratulations from online and offline friends. But my parents, therapists, and classmates were pretty dismissive. Their reactions ranged from saying borderline-racist jokes to downright assuming that he was going to use me as a bank account.
My point is that you will get a lot of support, but you will also get detractors. People will always make assumptions. They will insinuate things. They will hope for the best but expect the worst.
But they are not the ones in the relationship. You are.
If you don't let this negative talk bring you down, that's great news. It means you can handle a long-distance relationship.
3. You Have the Time
Any relationship requires effort. But one hurdle you'll face with a long-distance relationship is time—and I am talking about time zones.
If your partner is on the other side of the globe, you have to be ready to compromise your time. You have to find a time when you two can talk. And with work, friends, and hobbies, it can be tough.
But if you can squeeze in snuggle time, then go for it! You will get used to it and it will become a part of your weekly routine. Pretty soon, you two will become masters of telling each other's time.
4. You Don't Mind Making A Few Sacrifices
You thought time was the only problem? Oh, honey. . .a relationship requires a lot more than just an hour of sweet talk.
If you want anything to succeed, you need to sacrifice sometimes. And we're not talking about anything grandiose. A sacrifice means that you are ready for well-meaning compromises for the one you love.
- Giving your partner a special night at the end of the week instead of going out with your friends for the 18th time.
- Saving some cash to buy that loved one something nice on their birthday.
- Messaging your companion every night is a sacrifice in itself.
Does that mean you need to sacrifice for your partner all the time? Heavens, no! Remember, love yourself first. But if you love yourself, then you will be willing to put in the same energy for your one and only.
5. You Love Them
Ask yourself this: Why would you get into a relationship with someone if you didn't love them?
Your attraction plays a huge role in why you want to be with someone. It's the same with online relationships. You want to be with them because you adore them.
You have something in common. You find them funny, sweet, and attractive. Your values and morals are aligned with each other. And most importantly, you two have a deep connection that goes beyond friendship.
If you both know you love each other, then go for it! Get into a relationship!
3 Signs You Shouldn't Have Long-Distance Relationship
A long-distance relationship isn't for everybody. Sure, you can try, but you are setting yourself up for unnecessary heartbreak if you go in blindly.
I did not have any experience with long-distance relationships when I first went into one. And sadly, nobody was there to teach me how to handle things. I had to learn from myself, online, and from others who had zero experience.
So if you are reading this, I want you to look into yourself. If you see these three things within you, then I'm sorry. I'm warning you against having a long-distance relationship.
1. You Can't Live Without Physical Touch
If your love language is physical touch, then a long-distance relationship will be tough. You don't know when you'll meet your partner. If you were one of the lucky ones, they'd fly to you in a heartbeat. But not everyone can buy a plane ticket every time their partner wants a hug. An online relationship means you are dealing with no physical touch whatsoever for a long time.
If you can survive on words, gifts, and cat gifs, then sure, go on and have a virtual lover. But if you value physical touch, it's better that you find 'the one' in person.
2. You're Using Your Online Partner as a Rebound
Did your ex just break up with you and you're now scrolling through Tinder? Don't.
You are setting yourself up for pain and misery. Not only you, but also your partner. Yes, you are in pain, and your ex left you brokenhearted. But by rebounding you will inflict the same pain on someone else.
People think that if you do it with someone online, the damage will be less severe. That's far from the truth. Your online partner is not a robot. They are a human person with emotions and a heart, and using them as some sort of plan B is selfish and rude.
Do us all a favor and step away from the computer. Focus on a hobby. Go out with friends. Reconnect with your family. Do better at work.
But please don't go around breaking people's hearts online. Otherwise, you'll be the same as, if not worse than, your heartbreaking ex.
3. You're Not Emotionally Prepared
There is a lot of feelings when it comes to relationship. Just like that Maroon 5 song says:
"It's not always rainbows and butterflies, it's compromise that moves us along."
Relationships require a lot of communication. Communication is more nonverbal than it is verbal. With online relationships, you strip a big part of nonverbal communication away.
Expect a lot of misunderstandings and fights. Expect a lot of restless nights. Expect arguments that can last the whole day. And expect a lot of poorly worded messages in your inbox.
But at the same time, expect a lot of beautiful moments. Expect a lot of nights where you two are just watching Netflix or playing video games. Expect a lot of poetic text messages.
Expect a lot of laughter. Expect a lot of tears. Expect a lot of feelings.
Relationships are roller coasters, and it's your choice whether or not you want to sit through the ride. And if you can't, there are always different options in the park.
Athena Perez (author) from Philippines on May 29, 2021:
That's also very true. Couples should establish some form of agreement on when they can meet someday. Almost everybody wants to meet their online lover at least once in their lifetime.
My boyfriend and I are still financially unable to meet each other, but we have plans of meeting in the future. And that's something we can both agree on. It keeps the relationship strong and thriving (along with other things.)
Thank you for the insight!
dashingscorpio from Chicago on May 28, 2021:
It's also important to have a realistic timeframe to (be together) permanently.
Whenever there is no realistic light at the end of the tunnel whereby one person will be relocating to be with the other most LDR couples drift apart.
It is the counting down of the months, weeks, and days until one is finally done with the inconvenience of being in a LDR that keeps it strong!
The only viable reason for being in a long distance relationship is the belief that he or she is "the one". Otherwise if you're just dating someone for the (fun) of it you might as well do that locally.
My wife and I were in a long-distance relationship for about a year before I moved. The goal is to be with the person you love. A LDR needs a goal.
One man's opinion!