Guest Post by Sean Mars: Commitment in a LDR

I was talking to “Pamela” for almost 2 years. Finally, at a beer garden overlooking the Allegheny river I finally had the chance to meet her. After the first pint I had an idea that we had differences of opinions. She exceeded all of my expectations; I felt a wave of disenchantment and disappointment coming from her. By the third pint it was clear that I expected too much and came all that way for nothing. For a moment I regretted putting myself out there. I went to bed that evening rather depressed, wondering what was wrong with me. 1000 things could’ve been wrong with me that she did not agree with, looking back. I was happy for the chance to have finally met her versus having her as a possibility that I would maybe someday, one day, get enough strength to meet in person.

A few months later she told me that she had no romantic interest in me and wished to be friends. I agreed, knowing then that now it meant a distant acquaintance.

When people talk about long-distance relationship that started on the Internet(ie. Internet LDR), it usually involves deep thought-provoking conversation, instant messaging throughout the day and the occasional cyber sexual encounter. While many people talk about meeting each other, such an occurrence might happen or not. Both parties earnestly want to see each other in real life. Stories like the one I told above doesn’t help that.

People get afraid.

Finding an Internet LDR partner can be such a gift. You can see people, they can see you, and you have a wide variety of mediums to make your relationship work. But there comes a time where we have to come out from behind our respective screens and hold the hand of the person who was touching another keyboard in another room, far away.

To do that takes a different type of commitment than to figure out time zones for possible date nights. It is the desire to be engaged, though the prospect of success might be poor. Think about it, meeting an Internet LDR partner in real life for the first time is like meeting a possible partner in real life. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a blind date, connected through a message board or dating profile. Distance becomes irrelevant. All that matters is time. For someone who is local that real life meeting commitment happens in days or weeks. An Internet LDR could be months and years.

Sooner or later one partner would want to meet the other, willing to travel great distances to seek out the possibility of a real-life relationship. The other partner might be not want to meet for a variety of reasons. Those reasons have to be dealt with.

If the point of an Internet LDR is to meet, marry and live happily ever after, then the there has to be an overall commitment to make it work. Meeting in person is just the opening of this larger cluster that is a committed relationship. It’s not about promising to meet and never following through. It’s about having this virtual relationship with the understanding that it’s temporary and will be superseded by a real-life one.

Yet people think that an engagement ring, gifts and elaborate virtual encounters make a relationship. But what are they really? Is it someone who will never hesitate to tell you that they love you? Someone who willing to stand by your side in all encounters? What about that person who’s willing to travel to ends the earth, literally? A $2000 engagement ring delivered via special courier pales next to your former virtual lover placing a $150 ring on your finger. One is a financial commitment, the other one is a commitment of many resources. The former looks great to your Facebook friends, the latter appeals to your emotional and intellectual needs. The problem with gifts is they are material and somewhat ephemeral. You wear the ring, but the ring is a symbol of commitment. If after a period of time no action has taken place, the two of you are still apart, that symbol would look like an indictment of idleness.

Yes, again, it’s possible that nothing could come from taking a chance with this person. They might go ghost on you in the last possible moment. You find out they are really catfishing, not who they claim to represent. Finally, they could reject you for a variety of reasons. But what is the alternative? While there are some merits for having an Internet relationship that is not the goal for most people. When exchanges of love happens, intimate conversations ensue, people start thinking of each other all the time, each person want to know are they going to share their lives with this other person physically in a meaningful timeframe.

If you been afraid in meeting your Internet LDR it’s time to show some bravery. Pick a date that the both of you can agree that you will get together and make arrangements. If you and your partner live on the other side of the world and the both of you are financially capable why not meet in the middle? For example, one person lives in Calgary, the other lives in Johannesburg. Why not try to meet in Paris or Madrid? It doesn’t have to be fancy(a three-star hotel in Madrid gives a unique cultural flavor missing from better hotels) or particularly long (5 days should do it), but it should happen.

When you meet and hug each other it will feel like the beginning of something new. Hopefully that feeling to be with you forever, long after details fade away in memory.

 

About the author:   Sean Mars, writer of A Google 365 Days blog is currently not in an Internet LDR. He lives in Detroit, Michigan.

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Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try

I’ve been in a Long Distance Relationship for over 2 years now and still there are days where I wish someone would’ve handed me a map at the beginning of it (or maybe just a Magic 8 ball ). When you finally decide to give it a try, it’s when you realize you are already there (yikes!). The good news is that the ones traveling that road -myself included-  will always leave some directions in every turn for the ones deciding to take the same route. As the Grand Master Yoda said: Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try.

Here are some notes left for the ones standing in the middle of the road:

  • Make a decision. There is no “trying to see if it works”, no 50/50. If you decide to be in a LDR you have to give 100%.
  • Remember you were friends before you were a couple and if you weren’t, build a good solid friendship so you can feel comfortable with one another.
  • Get to know everything you can about the other person. You are not together physically so you rely on sharing to better know each other. Learn from one another in terms of language, culture, traditions. There is always something new to experience.
  • Involve friends and family when you can. You want to treat your LDR as a normal relationship and support may be needed.
  • Communication is the key (or one of them). There will be a lot of talking, texting, messaging and sharing in every social app/messenger you guys have. Learn to talk and listen and keep in mind you can’t actually read intonation from a text message.
  • There will be arguments. A lot. Don’t let emotions cloud your judgement and don’t make decisions when angry. Calm down, talk, understand and resolve your issues.
  • Knowing what you want is half the battle. If you want it to work, make it work. Make time for dates, calls, video calls…anything that can make you feel closer. There are lots of ideas to keep your LDR fun. Browse the internet or make your own. Each couple is different.

I’m sure there are a million advice for everyone that decides to embark on the adventure that is a LDR. It wouldn’t be an adventure if we knew everything that was going to happen along the way. We have to enjoy the ride while we arrive at our destination. With that said, the last thing to do is to remind you (and myself):The paths less travel by are for the bold so Don’t Quit. Live, Love, Plan your future together. You want your LDR to be a real love story and not some fairy tale  written in social apps. Just don’t forget to leave some notes along your road.

 

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To read more about Pre-LDR Advice and see the writing prompt that inspired this post, head to the LDRBN site. If you are in a LDR and want to be part of the experience, APPLY HERE. Don’t forget to mention my name  Gibran.

 

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Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Award

I could finally sit and take some time to Thank my fellow LDRBN blogger Kaye for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award. I was very excited to be nominated and if you haven’t checked out her blog… what are you waiting for?

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award. The rules are simple:

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

First…

VB about me.

My nominees are… (in no particular order)

  1. A Google 365 Days
  2. Simply – Defined Me
  3. 1548 miles of love
  4. Sparks and Sounds
  5. Leffe Loves Destrua
  6. The Eleven Eleven Diaries
  7. The Owl Timers
  8. 3627 englishspringerspaniels
  9. Sugar and Sunshine
  10. hey delia!
  11. Dating Through The Distance
  12. Extra Postage Needed
  13. Davy & Janey
  14. Voice of a Broken Heart
  15. Loving From A Distance

I have to say that not all my picks are from WP. I included some nice and interesting blogs from other parts of the blogosphere. If you have been nominated before… Congrats! More people think you have a cool blog.

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My Monthly 3: March Goals

MM3MarchThis month I’m praying for the luck of the Irish so I can accomplish my goals. Each month our friends at LDRBN ask us to share 3 goals. I’m proud to say that I accomplished 2 of my February goals:

  • Save 1/4 of the money I need for my passport
  • Write about a specific topic

Two out of three ain’t bad huh? This month My Monthly 3 are:

  1. Go on a hunt for a new school: I have to decide if it would be wise to transfer my son to another school.
  2. Finish the book I’m reading: I abandoned the second of a series of 6 books. What’s wrong with me?
  3. Bake: I need to raise some money if I want to transfer my son to another school and there is no better way to do it than to bake or make some desserts.

Last but not least…Relationship Goal:

  • Learn and Practice Arabic: I only know some basic things and terms of endearment and Ahmad asked me to learn to read it (he will teach me). I’m going to learn a thing or two on my own and practice before we start.

Maybe this month I will find my Lucky Charm…

 

 

LDR Advice: Listen Carefully and Choose Wisely

When it comes to Long Distance Relationships (and everything else in life) everyone has some advice to give. Some of it will even come from people who hasn’t been in a LDR before. We do understand that they do it out of the goodness of their hearts but that doesn’t mean you have to follow through with it. For that reason we should listen and pay attention to what friends or family have to say but we have to choose wisely in terms of what we think it’s the best for us and our relationship.

When I started my relationship, one of the best advice I received was from my best friend at the moment. The funny thing is that he gave it to me to actually discourage me of pursuing a relationship with my now boyfriend. His words still echo inside my mind: The heart doesn’t know about distance. He said the words in order for me to give up, because once I fell in love, we would want to fight for it because after all it wasn’t impossible; there are planes and ways to make it work. With that said, you thought I was going to give up? He just said it was possible! Turns out his reasons were very personal and he was just trying to save me from heartache but his words gave me the push I needed to jump on board the LDR Express.

Because we know that sharing our sadness or talking about what makes us feel down actually makes us feel better, that is the time when we get the most advice from our best friends, close friends and even relatives (everyone you share with will give you the magic solution according to them). That’s exactly when my friend Sean gave me the best advice of all: do something to get the fucking guy. Short like a greeting card but as powerful as a nuclear blast.

LDRadviceSean His words were and still are the reason why even at my lowest I keep going forward. I do want to get the guy. Every day I work hard on keeping my relationship because I have to do something to get the guy.

In the end, everyone will have something to say. It is our right to choose what we think it’s best for us because we are the ones living with the choices we make day after day. Remember to listen carefully and choose wisely.

 

 

 

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To read more about LDR Advice and see the writing prompt that inspired this post, head to the LDRBN site. If you are in a LDR and want to be part of the experience, APPLY HERE. Don’t forget to mention my name  Gibran.