Turning Long Distance into Long-Term

Dear Lisa,

What are the odds that a long-distance relationship can develop and work out okay?  Last year I met a guy and we hit it off just great.  He's really nice and has many of the qualities I look for in men.  Unfortunately I met him when he was in town visiting relatives so he had to go home because he has a good job.  He's been back several times to visit me and I've gone to his town for visits but otherwise our contact has been via email and phone calls.

We don't have an agreement to be exclusive cause I think that's rather unrealistic but I haven't met anyone else who interests me.  I don't know anyone who has had this type of relationship so I have nothing to relate to.

Is there much chance this can become something more or will we likely drift apart whether or not we meet someone else?  I do like him a lot.

Long Distance Lover,

Dear LDL,

I strongly believe that long distance relationships (or LDR’s) can work out if the two people involved are passionate about each other – and are willing to make sacrifices.  Different people are more suited to LDR’s than others.  I’ve witnessed many relationships evolve from an LDR to marriage, whether they originated from a dating website or a chance meeting, such as yours.

Think about the women and men who have spouses in the military.  Many fend for themselves for months, even years, as their mates reside across the globe, risking their lives in a dangerous environment.  Some of those relationships don’t work out, but many do – because they love each other, and are willing to wait and sacrifice intimacy until their mate returns.

There is one issue in your situation that gives me pause, however.  It’s the issue of exclusivity.  You say that you met your friend about a year ago or so, and you’ve been casually dating ever since.  I think that if you are really interested in making this work, you should become exclusive to each other.  LDR’s can only work if you can trust that the other person is being faithful to you.

What I would do – if you really feel that you want a long-term relationship with this man – is to simply tell him your feelings.  Tell him you have really enjoyed the past “x” months together, and you’ve not really encountered another man in which you have had any real interest.  Ask him if he’s considered a more committed relationship with you.  If he says he has, then ask him if he would ever be willing to move your relationship to the next level and be exclusive to one another.

You say that maintaining exclusivity between the two of you isn’t really realistic – and if this is indeed true, then you’ve answered your own question…your relationship will not work out.  But, if the two of you are willing to forgo other romantic prospects, then you can definitely make it work.

There are many websites offering help for LDR’s, such as: www.lovingfromadistance.com.

If you’ve been in an LDR, and have any tips to share, leave a comment below!

For all other relationship questions, send them to me at: lisa@relationshipper.com.



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