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Long-Distance Dating: Yes or No?

22 May 2012, 14:08

So, you have been through the “Shopping Trolley” process, and you have done the “Parallel Dating” thing. (You may have even been dumped.) But somewhere along this process you are bound to be tempted to get involved in the unknown (or known?) wonderland of long-distance dating.

For some this is a known taboo area of dating. Depending on the distance, it could be argued that it is not dating at all; hence the possible more popular term: “long-distance relationship”.

Now I have rather kept with the word “dating” to fit in with the lighter side of this animal… “Relationship” suggests that you are on the road to something long-term or even marriage, and being a long-distance relationship, it would appear to be a very ominous road to travel with all of those unknowns!

Actually I would like to set a cat amongst the pigeons at this point: would it be possible that the online dating experience is better suited to long-distance lovers due to the type of discipline it demands from its subscribers? Does it breed patience and trust? Does it encourage long-term commitment and boost respect?

In all probability the answer to the questions in the above paragraph may only be accurate depending on the people involved, but let us go against the perceived reality that men cannot “keep it in their pants”, and that the modern woman is drawn to a more hedonistic reality than the previous generation was. We will pretend for a moment that all people are as honorable as they should be.

I know a lady that is convinced she is to be saved from a difficult life as a single mother, and how? Answer: By a long-distance boyfriend that would eventually marry her and accept her children as if they were his own. Now class…. Can anyone see where the problems begin? Pick one:

1.  1.  He hasn’t experienced life with her children in the house over any length of time.

2.   2.  He hasn’t experienced the lady’s approach to daily discipline over any length of time.

3.   3.  She hasn’t experienced the man’s approach to being the head of the household, and his form of discipline over her children.

4.   4.  She has chosen to rely on him to supply the happiness in her life. (As in “Dumped”.)

5.   5.  He is under pressure to provide the happiness in her life, without failing, and with the added stress of her children.

6.   6.  All of the above.

No bonus points for a partially-correct answer on this one! (And I do hope that I am wrong!)

What? Oh, so now you say I am cynical? I know I am, but if I must open up my book of beliefs and read a few to you, you may be surprised to find out that I’m a believer in true love, in love at first sight AND in soul-mates. I believe in the concept that allows for an infinite number of grey shades: “I love you” is not a term that moves mountains: it has an undefined weight depending on the user of the words… get over it!

And moving back to those beliefs: true love and soul-mates… these are the concepts that need to be grasped before we can conclude whether long-distance dating is a worthwhile exercise. True love: have you felt it? Tell me yes and I will call you ignorant. True love is not a feeling: it cannot be felt. It is the knowledge that the other person is a part of you. It is not necessarily a “forever” thing, but it could well be if preserved. How can we preserve it? That could require a book, not this article.

Soul-mates: Briefly; the concept that two people have a shared destiny: that they will feel each other’s pains and live each other’s triumphs; their thought patterns are parallel and their bodies come together as one. Of course these are ideals that we all wish for, but the chance that you would ever detect the other if you walked past them in the street is just too miniscule to imagine, and if we did we would have experienced “love at first sight”: a very uncommon occurrence! We could search for a lifetime and not find a soul-mate (although I’m convinced there is not only one such mate per person);

So with these concepts in hand, and remembering that we are now in a world full of ideal people, let us move back to the animal that is long-distance dating. Could it work? Should it work? Would it work? I contend that with enough long-distance communication, it is possible to better detect the probability of a future “true love” and of a “soul-mate”…. Less physical interaction to cloud the logic… so to answer those three questions in order:  yes, yes, and…. erm… who knows?

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