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Long-Distance Relationships Are Idealized

The Online Romance: Why Do We Do It?

Here's a post from OnSugar blog My DISFunkshion.

I doubt you’re a stranger to the long-distance, mostly-conducted-online relationship. In fact, you may be involved in one now.

My girlfriends and I certainly are, and last week over sushi, I came to an epiphany as we tried to comfort one another with “mine-is-worse” stories.

Basically, we all met amazing guys — guys we would be “officially” with right now, if only we were in the same location! We all felt we met someone with whom we shared something really special, but the distance was keeping us apart.

As I sat there listening to a friend share every minute detail, as if trying to convince us her romance was legit, I wondered, why do we all meet great guys from far away, but the guys we meet locally rarely make the “meant-to be” cut?

To see one theory,

.

I suspect we go into these “relationships” with guys we meet briefly and ultimately invest hours and hours of our time talking to, creating a relationship that without digital communication, probably wouldn’t exist. I think we enjoy these relationships because they give us the freedom to create the perfect guy in our heads. I don’t doubt for a second that he flirts with you or that you really did hit it off that weekend in Aruba — but I think for every hour spent talking online, we create days worth of relationship in our heads that probably never did, or never will exist. I think we fabricate the missing pieces that would normally be provided in a regular relationship.

Are we so discouraged by our local dating options that we prefer to create ideal relationships with guys online? And why do we believe he’s so much better than the guys we’ve dated nearby? I think we build these long-distance guys up in our heads, putting them on a pedestal simply because we didn’t have the time to realize it just wasn’t right. And we wonder if he really was “the one” and blame distance forever for keeping us apart.

Have movies and fairy tales taught us that our soul mates are out there, and if we just believe, fate will bring us back together? And are there ever times that it does work?

Let me know what you think and if you’ve ever had success (or terrible failures). I’m sure you all have stories!

Want to see more? Start following My DISFunkshion or start your own OnSugar blog. Maybe your stories will be posted here on TrèsSugar!

Source: Flickr User Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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jmorpurgo jmorpurgo 6 years
thank you all so much for your comments!! it's so amazing how the web/facebook/msn/aol/etc. has really changed the boundaries of dating!! (and karlotta--it's so wonderful to hear your relationship worked out!! 5.5 years!! unbelievable!! congrats!)
karlotta karlotta 6 years
I'd like to add that the build up is so long and delicious, it allows you to get to know a person without giving yourself up to the romance, and to continue living your life with independence and freedom of spirit - I think that's what makes a balanced and healthy relationship, and what allows us today to be so happy together : we haven't lost that sense of belonging together, yet still being two very separate happy entities.
karlotta karlotta 6 years
My boyfriend and I started long distance over the internet. We didn't even meet for the first 15 months - we were 5000 miles apart. Then we dated long distance for another year and a half. Most of our interactions were still online, except for the few trips he managed to take to the US. FInally I moved out to Europe to be with him, and we've been living together 3 years. So... the most fulfilling, greatest relationship I've ever had, that has been lasting for 5 1/2 years, was an online romance. I think it's amazing that the internet has opened us up to the rest of the world. OF COURSE it means we have more chances of meeting, not Mr. Right (don't believe in Mr. Right) but someone who is as wonderful as possible for you, which isn't always possible locally!
Hiding55 Hiding55 6 years
I have had online relationships before. I agree, it's a wonderful fantasy world. You get lots of freedom, alone time, and full use of your imagination. For me it was like a relationship I could turn on and off as I pleased. I'm off online dating scene now because it never got me anywhere. I'd much rather get to know a guy face to face. That way, he doesn't have time to concoct (type) a perfect, charming response to everything I say (type). People can be whoever they want to be online. It's harder, though not impossible, to fake it in person.
Hiding55 Hiding55 6 years
I have had online relationships before. I agree, it's a wonderful fantasy world. You get lots of freedom, alone time, and full use of your imagination. For me it was like a relationship I could turn on and off as I pleased.I'm off online dating scene now because it never got me anywhere. I'd much rather get to know a guy face to face. That way, he doesn't have time to concoct (type) a perfect, charming response to everything I say (type). People can be whoever they want to be online. It's harder, though not impossible, to fake it in person.
xgreenfairyx xgreenfairyx 6 years
Difficult, not impossible. My now-lair mate and I were at a distance for nearly a decade and maintained a relationship online. Clearly, we had to be reasonable and have rational expectations, but....he now knows me better than anyone I've ever met. All thanks to the internet. Thanks internet.
hiptobesquare hiptobesquare 6 years
My current flame and I did that for ever. He was doing a semester away when we met and it just kept going. I ended up moving to be closer, but since we began so separate, things were a lot different than I expected.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 6 years
I think your analysis is spot-one. Also, while long- distance relationships are challenging, they are easier than non-long distance relationships in some ways. If you're only talking to someone on your computer or telephone, then you don't have face a lot of "normal" relationship issues. For example, one of my roommates would always brag about how awesome her long-distance relationship was. On weekends, her bf would surprise her with trips to random cities, take her to an out-of-town winery, NFL football games, concerts, dinner at a super-expensive restaurant, etc. All those things sound great, but their relationship seemed fake to me in that from the time they started dating until they got engaged, they never had a normal night of just hanging out and not doing anything, which is what other couples do all the time. It's easy to think a relationship seems perfect when you never have to deal with the mundane issues that couples who spend a lot of time together have to face.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
The Internet can be a handy tool to meet people, but why bother dating someone you have no opportunity to spend any real time with? Long distance is hard enough, it's a little unrealistic to have an entire relationship based online. I guess I do have a story: I met a guy at a wedding years ago. We exchanged emails and spent hours chatting online. Due to the distance we only ever saw each other one more time. After that we gradually lost touch. I was so enthralled by this guy, but I know I was just in love with an idea. It's funny because I saw him for the first time in five years and we didn't even say hi. The question of 'what if' always holds all these wonderful possibilities, none of which are reality.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
The Internet can be a handy tool to meet people, but why bother dating someone you have no opportunity to spend any real time with? Long distance is hard enough, it's a little unrealistic to have an entire relationship based online.I guess I do have a story: I met a guy at a wedding years ago. We exchanged emails and spent hours chatting online. Due to the distance we only ever saw each other one more time. After that we gradually lost touch. I was so enthralled by this guy, but I know I was just in love with an idea. It's funny because I saw him for the first time in five years and we didn't even say hi. The question of 'what if' always holds all these wonderful possibilities, none of which are reality.
akooblall akooblall 6 years
This article gave me a lot of perspective. Sometimes online dating is more convenient yet it diminishes the tangibility of a "real" relationship. I definitely don't think us girls can't be in a regular relationship, but like you said, online, long-distance relationships give us the autonomy to mentally create the perfect guy.
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