Long Distance Romance
Now this is something I really am an expert on, absolutely without question. I spent six years of the happiest, most cherished years of my life in a long distance relationship with a wonderful man. I, and he, also spent six years deluding ourselves into believing that we were going to be able to spend the rest of our lives together in the same contented bliss that most of our hours together were spent. We were wrong! Pure and simple. Not because of any scandals, or cheating, or dirty little secrets, or addictions, or anything else earth shattering. We were wrong for the same reason that the majority of divorces occur. Finances.
Most people in long distance relationships worry about issues of trust and fidelity and the loneliness that can sometimes occur, the last minute cancellations, the holidays that are spent trying to please everyone by sharing some of the day with them. With otherwise perfectly lovely long distance relationships, particularly those between mature adults, (who have reached a point where calm and reason often override passion and uncontrollable lust) it isn't matters of the heart that causes the breakdown but the basic economics and realities of life.
When two people who already live in the same area, or whose lives are such that one is able to freely pick up roots and relocate, marriage or otherwise joining of assets usually follows. When two people do not live in the same area, and neither one is able to relocate due to family, employment, well established self-employment, or a million other reasons that seem to be and often are quite legitimate -- there can be no real joining of assets. It's pretty much the same economic factors that effect so many divorced couples. When a couple gets divorced, one's lifestyle usually goes down (usually the woman) simply because the same amount of money is now going into supporting two households, whereas before there was only one.
Long distance relationships start out with two households being maintained, and as long as they remain long distance relationships, they usually remain that way -- unless of course one of the persons is living with their parents or someone else -- which brings us to a whole different set of issues. So you add up the basic overhead cost of maintaining two independent households, plus additional phone and travel costs, and unless one or both are either fairly wealthy or otherwise obligation and debt free, you have a couple of people living on a budget who are unable to ever combine their assets to move up in the world and enjoy the finer things in life as a couple.
What a crock, you say? True love can overcome matters of money. It is better to be poor and in love, that wealthy and alone. All that is probably true for some people somewhere, but probably not for most. Most people want to be able to afford at least small luxuries. Most people want to be able to take nice vacations, buy a home of their own, maintain or fix up the home they own, drive a decent car, send their kids to college, pay for medical insurance and prescription drug co-pays and all those other little nicities that put a major strain on most single family incomes... The fact of the matter is that unless you are independently wealthy, a highly paid professional or into something illegal, the majority of single income budgets just won't stretch quite that far...and the majority of relationships just can't take strain created by constantly living on a tight budget. Which brings us back to....that's why most divorces occur, people fight, disagree, stress out over money. So if people can't make it work when they have the ability to pool their income (or work efforts), how much smaller is the chance that a couple can make it work when there are two entirely separate households to support and therefore a limited ability, even with the best of will, to pool their incomes.
So even though I still believe that the internet is a wonderful place to expand your horizons and meet people that you would otherwise perhaps never had the opportunity to meet...here is some advice from a genuine expert, whose been there, done that, and worn the t-shirt until there was nothing left but pitiful rags. Either limit yourself to locals or incredibly wealthy people who can whisk you back and forth with unlimited, magical convenience and speed -- and make that absolutely clear in your personal ads, and stick to your guns....OR
Be honest with yourself before you begin. If you are not absolutely realistically or willingly, able to relocate or even consider relocating, do not start a long distance relationship, do not even fool yourself into thinking it will be fun to play around with a long distance relationship with someone you think is compatible! It's like playing with matches in a tissue factory! You'll only end up quickly burnt up and burnt out, or trapped in web of unhappiness of your own making. So before you decide that you can or will pack it all up and in to be with the one you love....
Use Your Head & Use The Web Detective To Check Them Out!
- Are you expecting anyone else to uproot and go with you who doesn't have a choice in the matter, and are you being fair to them?
- Make a list of everything and everyone you are leaving behind, and decide if you can handle the aftermath.
- If you are leaving a job, then thoroughly investigate the job market in your new home town to be sure that you won't be stuck there with no job, no money, no self-esteem, and completely dependent on someone else for financial support.
- If you are leaving behind children, friends or family, talk to them honestly about your decision and put realistic plans into place for communication and reunions....and I do mean realistic. Do not just blithely say oh, "Phone calls and plane tickets from California don't cost that much, find out how much they cost, and figure that into your part of your new budget."
- If it is children, especially minor children, or other loved ones, particularly invalid parents, that you are leaving behind...look deeply into your heart and made sure you can do so, and make sure that you are doing the right thing by leaving them behind. Life, adulthood, and common decency bring with them obligations, and there is no finer guide in this life than the simple rule of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
- Take a serious look at your lifestyle now and the lifestyle you will have in your new home. If you are moving from small town or rural america to a big city, can you handle that? Are you really willing to give up your car for mass transit? Are you really willing to give up your private yard and flower garden for a cement stoop or a fire escape veranda? Can you afford the higher cost of living on the salary you probably "honestly" will be making? ....And vice versa. If you are a big city person at heart, are you going to move to a more relaxed atmosphere and then turn up your nose and refer to it as a cultural wasteland?
- Take an honest look at your new homelife. Are you an always single, or someone who has raised their own children and watched them flee the nest, who will suddenly be raising or having to take into account on a regular basis someone else's children? Or are you planning on blending two families, and are the minor children going to be able to co-exist compatibly?
- Make sure you know "who" and "what" they are, don't put blind faith into "everything" they say. Even the most honest people will spin things to make themselves sound better, and if you are just "taking their word" you are asking for trouble. Believe me, if they have nothing to hide, and they love you, they won't mind you checking up on them, and if they do mind....alarm bells should be going off in your head -- BIG TIME!
What about with someone who realistically can or would be willing and able to relocate?
Use Your Head & Use The Web Detective To Check Them Out!
- Be sure that they are not letting love for you blind them to the realities of the situation.
- Be sure that they are dealing with a full deck and not just planning on walking away and coming to live with you, secure in the knowledge that they will find a job and be able to provide, at least, their own support.
- Be sure that they come to visit on numerous occasions so they know exactly what they are dealing with "before" they pull up stakes and move into "your" life.
- Be sure that they are "who" and "what" they say they are, and that they are not just some "deadbeat" on the lam, or "sociopath" just looking for a free ride and a quick answer to all their problems.