Can This Online, Long-Distance Relationship Work?


Can This Online, Long-Distance Relationship Work?


Original Letter

I found this guy on a Dating site in December and we have been talking a lot and we really like each other. Here is the thing he lives in India and I live in Canada. It seems that the way that we can be together is if we get married. I am not ready to get married but I really want to be with him. I willing to live with him but I am not ready to get married to him right away. I want to be with him, I love him a lot. What can we do ?

Elder Response

Oh, Jasmine, what an impossible situation you have gotten yourself into by talking to a guy for 3 months… online! I can understand why you really like one another. Online relationships leave so many inconvenient things out. The reader assumes things are the same as where she lives.

You only see the things about the other that the other allows you to see. You talk online when it’s convenient, not when you’re angry. You talk online, you never see how the other one interacts with family or friends. You talk online, you may assume customs and expectations in his country are like those in your own. You can’t know his posture or gait or gestures or scent or personal hygiene habits or food preferences or how he treats others or his friends or family.

Before you try to proceed keep in mind that it takes 12 to 18 months in an in-person relationship to know someone well enough to consider marriage. This is an incredible distance… ~14 hours by plane. Such a flight would be expensive. Which one of you is willing to leave family, friends, and all that’s familiar?

Love? Not yet… this intense attraction you’re feeling is commonly called infatuation. It is a pre-love feeling that may become love IF all the attraction isn’t broken by disagreements or disappointments or impossible conditions. Jasmine, this feeling you’re feeling is not love yet. And, this loving feeling can’t develop into love because of the distance. Real love requires proximity.

If you two continue to correspond, start asking more questions to find out about his customs and expectations, find out how he treats women by asking what his mother’s duties are, find out if he can cook for himself, find out what sort of job he holds, find out whether he lives on his own or with family, etc. ASK. Wait at least another year to consider whether there is any chance. During that year, Jasmine, save your money so you have enough for the flight fees. He should do the same. You will need to go to meet his friends and family. He will need to come to meet your friends and family. One of you will need to make the difficult decision then to leave friends, family, and all that’s familiar. While it can be fun to visit a different land… it might not be fun to live there!

Be a little wary. Do NOT give out too much personal information, do not send photos that could be used for blackmail, and do not send him money.

I don’t know your age, but assume you are quite young because of the head-long way you’ve fallen for this boy. If you are still a minor living with your parents without a career, you are too young to venture into such a marriage. Take the time to finish your schooling and get training for a career so you can be a woman able to pull her own weight financially. This will help prepare you… and, of course, give you the financial means to visit this man.

Thanks for writing. I hope I’ve been of help. Write anytime.

Best Regards,


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