When it came time for me to go to college I applied to one university. One. My reason was simple; I wanted to stay close to home. While a small part of me wished I had the guts to move away I just didn’t. I wanted to be close to
my family my mom. I couldn’t fathom building what would feel like a new life (in some ways) someplace else. But perhaps had I been in love the story would have been much different. Because people do things they normally wouldn’t do for love. They move mountains and somehow find a way to make things work. But then there are those instances where there is no moving of the mountains. It is just accepting them for what they are and trying to maintain the relationship until things change.
Thanks in part to online dating the dynamics of relationships have changed, particularly when it comes to long distance relationships. Because of online dating couples who might have never been able to meet are now connecting. The bar, a concert or a mutual friend aren’t the only way to meet people these days. Sometimes the greatest connections are made virtually.
After seeing numerous success stories, in which couples who met online ended up getting married, recently members of ChristianMingle were polled on the topic of long distance dating. Some of these couples were separated by states and even countries yet what they all had in common was the fact that their relationship got its start on the internet.
Among the most fascinating findings from the study was the fact that “moving for love” was seen as “no big deal.” It was noted that almost half (48%!) of respondents said that they would “consider” relocating for love anywhere from 6 months to a year of dating. A smaller amount (10%) felt that they should wait at least two years.
When it came to my husband the difference between us was no more than a 20-30 minute drive down the highway. Ultimately we decided to both move (to a city in between where we both previously lived) but I couldn’t imagine uprooting my life, and my child’s life, and moving to an entirely new place, having to find a new job, new friends and build a new support network all for someone who I hadn’t known for more than a year. What would happen when the giddiness felt during the early months wore off and real life set it? What happens when life gives you lemons and you are forced to try to make lemonade in a city where you don’t even know where the closest market is located and what happens if it doesn’t work out and you’re forced to start over yet again.
And that’s the scary thing about love I suppose. One of the scary things anyway. You don’t know what the future holds. But most often you know when you’ve found someone who is worth holding onto even when the butterflies are less frequent.
When it comes to moving for love it isn’t for everyone. It most certainly involves some sort of leap of faith (or one to be in a rather naïve state), bubble wrap and lots of cardboard boxes. But the nice thing about making such a big move in the name of love is that when you get to where you are going you’re not alone. You’ve got someone there to help you unpack, someone to help you figure out where the market is and listen to you practice questions for your new job interview.
Studies have shown that couples in long distance relationships fare better than those who aren’t in them which means all that time prior to the move you were able to build something pretty solid. A love that could not only stand the test of time but also geographical divides. A love that was built on communication, and conversation and substance not just fun dates, good looks and make out sessions.
While personally I tend to think 6 months is a little premature when it comes to picking up and moving everyone is different. A single person in college may not be as hesitant to move and attend school in another city for a semester to see how things go. While a single mother may have to give more thought as to whether relocating is in the best interest of her and her child.
For that brave 48 percent that have no reservations about moving for love perhaps they realize that they have more to lose by not leaping and giving what they believe is a good thing all they’ve got. They may realize that sometimes you have to leave something behind in order to move toward what lies ahead. I mean Erica Jong most certainly raised an excellent point when she shared her thoughts on love:
“Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”
Of course there is the reality that things don’t always work out but that’s one of the dilemmas we will often face in life in general. Sometimes couples breakup. Then what happens? I suppose you decide whether you want to stay and continue life in the new waters you find yourself swimming in. Or you swim back to the shore that you once knew and as best you can pick up where you left off. The trick perhaps, is to have a plan. Don’t venture out into the sea without a life jacket. Know how you will handle things if they don’t work out but if you’re going to try why not give it all you’ve got!
Given the success stories ChristianMingle and JDate have seen when it comes to long distance love it is clear that virtual romances have staying power. As time progresses it seems this is becoming even more of a desirable way to get to know people. Suddenly you are no longer bound by your town or how much time you can squeeze in to get out on the weekends. As they say there are a ton of fish in the sea. It seems internet dating allows you to see beyond the tide. It’s up to you to decide if what you find is worth leaving the shore.
If you’re currently in a long distance relationship here are a few ways to stay connected until one of you decides to rent a moving truck.
5 Ways to Stay Connected While in a Long Distance Relationship 1 of 6
Until one of you decides to relocate in the name of love here are 5 ways to stay connected while in a long distance relationship.
Connect using video 2 of 6
The survey from ChristianMingle noted that "video-based communication shortens the gap for long distance relationships."
Write each other 3 of 6
I am still a believer in putting pen to the paper and writing a letter. There's something romantic and sweet about a handwritten letter or love note.
Download a fun app 4 of 6
There are tons of fun apps for couples some of them perfect for those who are further apart than they'd like to be. Many of these apps are fun and interactive.
Visit 5 of 6
When you are in a long distance relationship, typically you aren't able to see each other (in person) as much as you would like. Even if you can't do it often it is important to make the effort to visit each other from time to time. Whether it is flying out to each other's hometown or meeting at a place that is new to you for a romantic adventure face to face time is important. There is no substitute for hand holding, cuddling and gazing into your loved ones eyes.
Be transparent 6 of 6
Sometimes when you don't see someone that often and are only talking via the internet transparency falls by the wayside. It can be easy to want them to see you at your best self all of the time. But I think transparency can build your connection. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable, confiding in them, not being afraid to let them know that you don't always have it together can strengthen your bond. You are letting them know that you trust them enough to let them see you for who you really are imperfections and all.
Are you in a long distance relationship or have you gotten married after being in one? If so, what can you attribute to its success and what are your thoughts on moving for love?