Unsure what to do about a very, VERY long distance relationship

Hi, the problem I’m having is complicated and would take a fair amount of writing to explain. I’ll try the best I can to explain myself well. Anyway, I met my current boyfriend (my first boyfriend actually) on the Bioware Social Network; a gamer social networking site for fans of Bioware’s video games. I joined only with the intention of discussing various games with people and finding out info about Bioware’s latest video games, this was nearly 2 years ago (I was 17). About a month after joining the network, I had a pretty substantial friendslist (some people I’m actually good friends with now) and then I friended my current boyfriend. Needless to say, one thing led to another and we ended up chatting online nearly everyday, we had ( and have ) a lot in common, we hit it off right away. Well, nearly 2 months went by and our relationship changed to one of friendship to one of being in love. I wasn’t naive, nor was I unaware of the dangers the internet can pose, and due to other personal issues I didn’t trust myself (or rather my feelings) when I started falling for someone I’d never met in person…I didn’t think it was possible to feel that way given the circumstances, especially since I knew from the get go that he lives in Denmark. In spite of all that though, I knew when he told me how he felt I couldn’t ignore my own feelings, I should give us a chance, with eyes open, and see what happens.

It’s now nearly 2 years later, we’re still together, we still love each other, I trust him and he’s a wonderful person, we talk on the phone a lot, chat on Skype and the BSN…but we still haven’t been able to meet in person 😦 …sometimes I wonder what kind of relationship we really have. The logical reason why we haven’t met is that we’re both poor, have very little money and both of us are having trouble finding work. I think mainly because we both have personal issues, and that has gotten in the way of us moving forward in seeing each other. Either way, we do talk honestly about this, not as often as I like but we do sometimes. And quite frankly, given all the stuff I’ve experienced in my life and how extremely emotional I can be sometimes, it’s a miracle we’re still together and that he hasn’t judged me or left me. We both have acceptance of each other I guess, which I think is a reason we’re still together. Plus it’s helped that both of our families are supportive.

Anyway, I digress, what I’m asking for advice is this…I honestly don’t know how long I’ll be able to last in this relationship without seeing him, on the one hand I think “I’ve waited this long, what’s a few more months? Maybe more?”, and on the other hand I think “It’s been almost 2 years, and neither have us have found a way to see each other yet…doesn’t that indicate something? Maybe it’s not meant to be.”. In the midst of all that though, I know much of my confusion of what to do (leave or stay) stems from deep personal issues (which I am working on, which mostly have to do with being abandoned by my father, repeatedly throughout my life. I don’t want to leave my boyfriend because of my fear and pain of past events, I am determined not to give into that, if I leave want to know it’s the right thing to do) I have that make me afraid of the relationship, afraid to leave, afraid to stay, knowing that if I leave I’ll regret it, but also knowing that if I stay it’ll hurt all the more if we break up in the future and the pain itself of being so far from him on top of other pain I have. I love him and he loves me…but how long can we last like this? When we’re thousands of miles and an ocean apart.

I’m really between a rock and a hard place tucked into a corner here…leave, stay, leave, stay….I want to make the right choice for both of us, and I know inevitably no one can know what that is except myself and him…but I’m having trouble knowing what the right thing to do is, stay and painfully wait for a future that may never happen? Or leave, knowing that’ll hurt just as much and knowing that I have given into my fear and pain? Sometimes I know that staying is the right thing, that given everything else, the fact that we’re still together and still love each other must mean this is something special and worth waiting just a little while longer for…and I don’t want to hurt him, leaving will also mean hurting him, not just myself, I really don’t want to do that if I can avoid it. But, sometimes I doubt whether that is the right choice in the long run, or just what I want to be right choice…Then again, who knows what the future holds? So much could happen that’ll change things, but right now I just want to make a choice about what to do without a doubt and not have personal dilemma’s over it all the time…which I can’t seem to do, I can’t seem to make a choice and stick to it without occasionally doubting myself. What should I do? I love him, but…is that enough to stay? A wide variety of advice would be helpful…thank-you.

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4 thoughts on “Unsure what to do about a very, VERY long distance relationship

  1. Dennis Hong says:

    [I don’t mean to be harsh, but how can you consider this a relationship if you still haven’t met in person? Yes, I understand that true love entails more than just physical attraction and contact. But, you have to have some physical contact in order to experience true love. I don’t doubt that you have a special connection with this guy, but at best, he’s a close pen pal.

    To be blunt, I get the impression that both of you have personal issues going on in your lives (I mean, you pretty much said it), and being in a relationship with each other protects you from having to go out and meet people in real life. Meeting people and making connections can be a daunting experience. And by making a connection with someone online, whom you know you may not meet for a long long time, you can justify not putting yourself out there. After all, why make yourself vulnerable out in the “real world” when you have this perfectly safe person online?

    So, I think you have to ask yourself two questions:

    1. Do you truly believe that you’re in love with this guy? Or are you using him as a crutch, so that you don’t have to put yourself out there?

    2. If you really do believe that you’re in love with this guy, is it really that impossible to set up a meeting? Or are you actually comfortable keeping the status quo, because you subconsciously fear disappointment if you do meet?

    Either way, I think your best course of action at this point is to do everything within your power to meet him. Realistically, I know that you’ll always wonder “what if” if you choose to break up without ever having met in person, so this is the only solution I can offer to quell those “what if” feelings. Make every effort to do so. Yes, flights are expensive, but there has to be a way. Hell, start a Kickstarter fund if you have to.

    On the other hand, if you simply can’t meet, then I’m sorry, but my advice is to break up. You can always keep in touch, and if sometime down the line, you get the chance to meet… awesome. But, I think you really need to get out into the “real world” in the meantime.

    Good luck.

    And welcome to LemonVibe.

  2. Jacs77 says:

    [See my Blurb “Long Shot” and take a look at some of the answers to my similar situation….Might help you a bit 🙂 Good luck!

  3. Talnoy says:

    [I’m with Dennis on this one… A connection can only be so strong based on mental goings on. As humans we’ve evolved to require physical contact in relationships – you can’t get around it, it’s just what life is. Your connection rests on the idea of being one day able to see one another; “The grass is greener on the other side” so to speak. Being 19 and with no immediate way to meet up, that’s not exactly the easiest spot to be in.

    If you truly do love this man, then you have to find some way to make it happen. Have you looked at becoming an international student? Denmark has some great schools, and student loans can allow you travel. Once you’re there, you need only get the ball rolling for citizenship if that’s the route you want to take.

    Case in point is that you need to choose what way you’re going with this; find a way there (or he does the opposite) or leave it alone. “Maybe it’s not meant to be” is just a cheap cop-out. No omnipotent force is guiding your life, it’s just you and your choices.

  4. AKchic says:

    [Oh Sweetie… I feel for you. I really do. You’re young. Moldable. Innocent. And yes, naive.

    Yes, you have strong feelings for this person. The thing is, I really doubt that the two of you will ever meet, therefore you will never consumate this relationship. It’s “safe”. Why? Because it’s mostly virtual, therefore not really “real”. And if it’s not real, it can’t “hurt” you. He can’t abandon you like your father did (repeatedly, by your own admission). You are using this psuedo-relationship in order to avoid a real, flesh and blood relationship in your proximity because you’re scared of getting abandoned. Scared of getting hurt in general. You may not realize that’s what you’re doing. Unfortunately, I can see it. Some of the others may see it as well and start to call you out on it.

    You’re 19. You still have time to change your dating style. I say style because you’re still young enough that it’s not a PATTERN yet. Don’t let this become your pattern. Learn from this psuedo-relationship and grow from it.
    Don’t romanticize it. Essentially, you’re talking to a guy in another country who tells you how to move your vibrator while he gets his rocks off. Once he logs off his computer, he has his own life, and very likely, he isn’t thinking of you while he lives it. You are his online persona’s girl. Many people have online personas. I’m much less cool online than I am in person. Helps keep my fans from stalking me online and derailing chats, topics, discussions, etc that I happen to be in. I’m also my pre-accident weight online. Much easier to fit into that series of tubes around the internet 🙂

    After two years, if you two haven’t figured out a way to see each other in person, then you need to set a timeline. If you can’t save money to meet up within 6 months, then why bother being in a “relationship”? Move on and find someone close by.

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