Can Long Distance Relationships Truly Go The Distance?
Technology often promises to help streamline our daily lives. Email flits from outbox to inbox, replacing mailed letters. Research on any topic is easier at home on a laptop than it’s ever been at the downtown library. And now, instead of singles bars, people look for love through online dating services. But technology doesn’t always make good on its promise to simplify. Our inboxes are flooded with junk mail and scams, and students use the Internet to plagiarize as much as to research. When it comes to true love, can Internet dating really deliver?
Internet dating doesn’t just make dating easier; it also might make finding “the one” possible. What if your soul mate doesn’t work around the corner? Didn’t attend the same university? Doesn’t live in the same neighborhood? Online dating services give us the opportunity to interact with many more people who share our interests and passions. If your perfect partner lives hundreds of miles away, Internet dating may be your chance at finding true love. But how do you fall in love with someone you’ve never met? How do you date without out dating?
Smoldering eye contact across a crowded room... a spark of chemistry...We’ve all heard about love that began this way. Long distance love starts differently. He’s there to meet women online, she’s there to meet men online, and they hope to find one another in a different type of crowded room. Rather than glances, words and photos are exchanged. Emails are written instead of hands being held. Good night is said with a phone call, not with a kiss. Can a real relationship grow in a virtual environment? Long distance relationships pose serious challenges. Physical separation challenges lovers to “be there” for one another when they can’t be there literally, for example. Building trust and being faithful may seem more difficult in a long distance love affair. Do these challenges make love impossible… or make it stronger?
The challenges of long distance relationships aren’t so different from those in a traditional relationship, like expressing love and creating a sense of security. The most critical difference between traditional relationships and long distance relationships is the physical separation. Without showing physical affection, long distance lovers must be devoted to showing love in other ways. Writing, sending photos, making phone calls, and sending gifts are all ways to celebrate your love. And gifts for long distance relationships can play a key role, one too often overlooked, by giving our loved one a tangible symbol of our feelings. In long distance love, so much is intangible. A sincere gift can bridge that distance.
Can a relationship overcome the challenge of physical separation? Is finding love online really possible? Finding love anywhere is possible. That is one of the magical things about falling in love. Many great love stories have improbable beginnings. Ask a couple who has been married for fifty years to share their story, and you’re guaranteed to hear of the many challenges their love overcame, and how it was strengthened by each one. Long distance love can be the strongest love of all. The only way to know if your love is meant to last is by giving it a chance to last.
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