Can long-distance relationships survive the distance?
By Tom P Blake Finding Love After 50
The Internet has changed our lives in countless ways. For mature singles, it has opened up new possibilities of meeting potential mates. For singles living in remote areas, where potential partners are nearly nonexistent, it has given them the ability to reach out across fields, prairies, mountains and state lines to locate singles they would have otherwise never met.
As a result, long-distance relationships have formed. Hopes have been kindled. Life takes on new excitement, new meaning. Loneliness is lessened.
Some couples have fallen in love even though they have never met the person face-to-face, which baffles me. In this newsletter, we recently read about a woman who moved from Wisconsin to Nebraska earlier this year to be with a man she met online but had never met in person. As of two weeks ago, they were still together but not without issues, caused primarily, by, of all things, her problems with EMFs-electro magnetic fields.
Meeting someone new online is the good news. That they live far away can be the bad news. The biggest issue: When people fall in love, they want to be together on nearly a daily basis. In a long-distance relationship, that is hard to do without one of the members eventually relocating.
Having responsibilities like careers, home ownership, family, grandkids and friends makes uprooting and moving to another city, state, or even country, difficult.
One of our Champs, Chris, whom we recently read about, has bucked the odds by having had a successful 4,500-mile, long-distance relationship for 11 years with Tina. He lives in San Clemente, California, she lives in England.
In my book, How 50 Couples Found Love After 50, 33 of the couples featured met online. At least 20 of those couples lived an hour or more away from each other. In most cases, relocation by one of the partners made the long-distance relationship work. So, yes, long-distance relationships can flourish and people can spend their lives together.
I have a friend who is involved in a long-distance relationship of about a year with a guy who lives in another state. They have visited each other often. But, in recent talks with her, I detect a bit of restlessness in her voice. The issue is she owns property and has family and grandchildren locally and would like to share daily activities with a man here. Her man friend is very locked in to where he lives as well.
Her situation made me think of an email one of our Canadian Champs sent years ago regarding a long-distance relationship she had been in with a man from the states.
Our Canadian Champ wrote, "The red flags of caution were there, and I daresay that upon close examination, which is always easier over the passage of some time, most of us know in our gut when things are a little off and we know it at the time. We simply ignore those red flags because being in love and/or having a partner with whom to better enjoy day-to-day life is really hard to resist." She and her USA guy eventually moved on from each other.
When people meet online, and live far away from each other, early on, they need to have the discussion about relocation for one of them. If neither member is willing or able to relocate, the relationship will be hard to maintain. Not impossible, as Chris, mentioned above, has done, but difficult.
In Chapter one of 50 Couples, Bobbe, age 59, met Bob, age 60, online. He lived in California, she in Illinois. She thought, why should I write to someone in California? it's just too far away. She wrote anyway, and eventually not only moved to be with him, but married him. In summer of 2016, she sent an update. They are still married and live in Illinois, but she visits California often.
What are your long-distance relationship experiences?