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Is it long-distance love?

We met through an app … We really hit it off.

Our elders get real about building a relationship when you’ve never met in person and you’re an ocean apart.

Dear EWC:

Hello, I am a university freshman and recently I’ve come into a bit of a dilemma. I met this girl who lives in Hong Kong (I live in the Eastern US) a few months ago through an app and, even though we couldn’t meet face to face, we really hit it off. For the next few months, we pretty much talked every day and we both liked to tell each other that we enjoy chatting with one another.

Soon after that, though, we began to realize that we in fact had very similar personalities and had a lot of common interests. We even sent each other postcards a few times just to have some articles from one another. I really started liking her in a romantic way and about a week ago we both started talking about how much we liked each other. Then, in a rare move for me, I came out and told her I loved her. She said that she was scared of love, but nonetheless had feelings for me and would desire a relationship should we meet. For the past couple of days, our conversations have turned into flirting but also concern since she fears that we cannot possibly wait five to six years just to start a relationship. She said she had “thought about us” a lot and even stated that she wanted me to be her soul mate, but I am not sure what to do. She is too shy to even use Skype with me and is somewhat reluctant to send photographs of herself (I don’t request dirty ones).

Long story short, I love her with all of my heart. She is the first girl I told that I loved and I just feel that we are one person separated by an ocean. I have told her that I will wait as long as it takes to be with her but I’m just not sure what to do since she seems very reluctant to open up sometimes. I know I will go to where she lives in the future anyway due to what I study, but I just feel like a slave to my strong emotions right now and don’t know what to do.

Sensational-Seniors replies:

We are a small group of seniors responding to your advice request. It’s hard to make a wise judgment about someone you have only met online and never in person. You have just started college and it would be so healthy for you to focus on your studies and on making connections on your own campus community. Do you have trouble connecting with people socially? We are concerned that you have not seen or met this woman and your whole relationship is based on a relationship that has to be considered at this point somewhat one-dimensional.

Although it would be possible to maintain a long term romance with someone you are already committed to and know very well, it seems very difficult to do that when you are still really in the getting-to-know-you stage. Of course relationships do start off differently today than they did say 40 or 50 years ago. That is certainly true and people in their late teens and twenties today do communicate and meet people in a myriad of different ways than we ever imagined would have happened when we were first dating. But we suspect it is at least possible that some of the attraction of the relationship might be that there is little pressure to it, especially if you are shy, and we have learned that she is shy.

Sometimes people do not turn out to be exactly as they portray themselves on line as well (you perhaps have thought of that). Sometimes we are in love with the idea of being in love. Sometimes people take advantage of others online as well, which is good to keep in mind. You stated, “She is the first girl that I have told that I loved,“ but in fact you have not had the full opportunity to get to know her as you would in person. Maybe you would still feel love for her and she for you, but we would love to see you open up yourself to other possibilities. Take it slow yourself and keep in mind that commitment would not be fair for either of you to expect at this early stage of your relationship. You may not see someone’s flaws on line either, so in that way the relationship will not proceed normally as it would if you were together. Give this a few months more and take your time, don’t cheat yourself out of experiences happening around you but open yourself up to other possibilities.

Letter: 343689
Category: Dating/Relationship

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