In today’s world we’re more likely to get into a long distance relationship than we ever have before.

You meet a great guy on Instagram who doesn’t live in the same country…

You start dating the perfect man in your city, only to find out he’s been offered a new job 1,000 miles away…

And suddenly, you find yourself having “Skype dates,” and you now spend half your work day sending silly photos to each other on Whatsapp.

You feel like you’re falling in love with this guy – but can it actually work long term?

Should you follow your heart and go for it, or should you listen to your head and call it quits? What’s the answer?

Here’s what you really need to know…

First, how much can you trust how much you think you like the person? A term that perfectly describes the trap that you may fall into when the person you’re attracted to lives far away:

Cognitive dissonance – liking someone more because they’re far away; while being blinded to their negative qualities and the problems the relationship would present if you were actually together everyday instead of intermittent honeymoons.

Consider the notion of putting a premium on a relationship simply because you can’t have it because there’s a barrier. That doesn’t just apply to distance – it applies to any barrier.

Or, Romeo and Juliet.

How much could Juliet really trust how much she liked Romeo? Did she really like him because they had an amazing rapport and connection? Or, was it the case that she thought, “Oh, he’s a nice guy.”

Then when she heard that he’s also part of the wrong gang and she couldn’t have him – she asked, “Can’t have him? We’ll see about that.”

Why is it so important to assess how grounded in reality your feelings for a person really are? Because in a long distance relationship you are playing with a resource that is impossibly finite – your time.

You can squander away months or years in a long distance relationship that never pans out. The reality of long distance relationships is that they’re incredibly easy to slip into. You start talking to someone; you flirt; you realize that you find them charming; you want to speak to them more.

You enjoy telling them about your day and before you know it – what started as harmless and fun leads to an exclusive relationship where you are now committed to somebody that you can rarely – if ever – have sex with. I know that sounds abrupt.

Why did I jump to sex so specifically and suddenly? Because, what separates a deep friendship from an intimate relationship?

Intimacy.

Some of you might argue that intimacy can be created from afar. This is where it’s so important to follow those sage words, “Know thyself.”

You have to know how important physical intimacy is to you. If, like for many, physical intimacy is so important to you – it’s something you need on a regular basis in your relationship, then you know going into it that a long distance relationship is something that will be its own form of torture for you. Which, in turn, makes it so important that you actually have a plan to be together.

A long distance relationship is figuring things out for a means to an end. Do you like each other enough for one of you to move to be with the other person?

It’s not – we’re doing Skype calls because it’s fun and we miss each other. Or, when are we going to do our next holiday?

You can’t live for a holiday. You have to live for real life. And, real life is – someone committed enough to make the investment to actually leave where they are to be with you or vice versa.

If that’s not going to happen any time soon – you may want to seriously consider whether an exclusive committed relationship with this person is worth it.

This is not to say that if you met the love of your life that you should throw it out the window because they’re not geographically desirable. I am saying: be honest with yourself. Are you being lazy? Are you just comfortable getting your fix at night talking to someone about your day instead of taking a risk to meet someone new?

Do you have a scarcity mindset that there’s no one who’s going to come along so you have to settle for this person who’s miles away? And, is there an actual plan? Because if there’s not – no matter how perfect you think you are for each other – neither of you are really taking the relationship seriously.

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About The Author

Nicole DiRocco

Nicole DiRocco, founder of Dating With Grace, is devoted to helping executive women have the confidence and skills to attract a healthy, extraordinary loving relationship. A recovering human resources executive, Nicole is a certified dating and relationship coach, blogger, global speaker and chocolate enthusiast. Nicole understands the challenges facing women in the business world and how working in such an environment can influence how women approach dating and relationships. Knowing that it is in being in your feminine grace that will attract the right man, Nicole supports smart, savvy professional women single again after a long relationship or divorce gain the know-how they need to date successfully and attract love from the inside out. Nicole writes for Huffington Post, Dating Advice, Digital Romance, and is featured in Bustle. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.