Online Dating – Long Distance

Good morning and welcome to my Blog on online dating – by long distance. I was asked to write an article on this topic, so here goes!

Firstly, online dating is a fantastic way for people to meet. I’m using the word “meet” here in the broader context of either in person, face to face or a “virtual meet” online. And there is a big, big difference between meeting someone face to face or virtually.

With online dating, the whole introductory process in conducted online – by its very nature!! This is obvious…..Kisses are sent or other form of interest is shown, then come the emails and then maybe more emails, SMS and phone calls. At this point, it is usual to consider meeting in person if there seems to be enough sparks flying.

Meeting in person to me, is the crucial part of the dating experience. It forces the connection into a reality state rather than a virtual or fantasy state. From my own experience and what I have heard from clients, there is a lot of creative marketing practices happening in the world of online dating. I was even told by one brazen bloke that I was naive to think that profiles would display the real age of a would-be dater. He assured me that most people fudged their age by at least two years if not more.

I have also heard stories where two people have met in person for the first time and one party was unrecognizable because she had posted her daughter’s photo instead of her own. This can lead to feelings of disappointment, anger at having precious time wasted and a cynicism about the online dating experience.

It takes courage, a healthy self esteem and lots of patience to enter the world of online dating. So, it doesn’t help when the person you believe you have a nice connection with turns out to be a fraudulent fantasy.

Now if your intention is to conduct an online relationship to fill a fantasy need with lots of romantic emails, possibly based in fiction, then online dating by long distance will fill that need. Just be really, really careful if the person lives internationally and needs some financial help in coming to meet you. They may even suggest you buy your own ticket to their country and once you arrive, make it difficult for you to leave once you have come face to face with reality.

Nightmare stories of this nature have made headlines.

So my views of online dating – long distance, is that it simply remains a fantasy unless you eventually plan on meeting and then my view becomes – it could be disappointing or even dangerous.

10 Questions I would ask before entering into online dating long distance:

  1. What are my intentions for going online? What sort of relationship am I looking for? Am I looking for a virtual romantic fantasy, pen pal, friendship, long term life partner etc?
  2. What are the intentions of the other person? What does he or she write in their profile that caught your interest?
  3. What do they say about the possibility of meeting or not?
  4. How long will the online dating continue?
  5. What form is it going to take?
  6. Are they suggesting meeting for online virtual sex?
  7. Are you comfortable with that?
  8. Does that sort of “relationship” suit you and what is important to you about that if it is?
  9. If the other person wants to eventually meet, how can you check out that they are legit?
  10. Has any of their communications to you been suspicious or have you had any uneasy feelings during your time online with them?

Please leave your comments below. What are your views on online dating long distance?

Relationship Counselling By Christine Bennett Caring4Couples

 

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When Lifestyle Gets In The Way of Love

Welcome to today’s blog post about lifestyle and love. Lifestyle and love can often be incompatible and lead to a couple separating or conducting a long distance relationship.

There have been enough instances of couples in my counselling room now to talk about how lifestyle preference can get in the way of a couple continuing their relationship together. It is a big enough issue that couples and families have been separated as a result of irreconcilable differences in their way of life.

This is particularly relevant to couples and families moving to Sydney from another country. Often one member of the family is given a promotion or opportunity to work in Australia and they truly believe it, at the time, to be the opportunity of a lifetime.The decision is usually made in consultation with the partner and children and there seems to be agreement that this is will be a fantastic opportunity to live in a different part of the world.

In other cases, individuals who have traveled from other parts of the world to holiday in Australia meet one another and fall in love. They are here on holiday and then decide to make a life here together. This is fine and means permanent residency visas become an issue. Often one party is already sponsored by their employer and it is just a matter of time for residency issues to be sorted. This can take some time with all the formalities involved.

During this long period, if one party finds that living in Australia is not all they had hoped for, things can become tricky. Where is home going to be for the couple? One such couple made the decision to separate when the newly married woman was unable to settle here. She missed her home country, family, friends and lifestyle so much that she decided to return, leaving her new husband behind.

In another situation, an already troubled marriage was under greater pressure with a move to Sydney from the other side of the world. The stress of moving to a completely different climate, lifestyle, hemisphere and so on can be too much. When there is already stress overload on a marriage moving to the other side of the world or deciding to have a baby could be the tipping point of the relationship.

So, is there a way to avoid this happening in your relationship?

Here are ten ideas to consider. Maybe you can think of others to share?

  1. Be really honest with your partner if a situation arises that involves significant change such as moving to the other side of the world. To agree to anything to please your partner while ignoring your own feelings can lead to big trouble later on.
  2. Investigate what the change will involve. Do plenty of research.
  3. What support systems can you imagine putting in place to avoid feelings of isolation, entrapment and overwhelm?
  4. What are the consequences if the change doesn’t work?
  5. What contingency plans can be put in place?
  6. Is there an agreement on a time limit to give the change a real chance to work before bailing out?
  7. Is every family member in agreement? Have you entered into negotiation for a win/win outcome?
  8. How do you manage family relations from the other side of the world with those left behind?
  9. Is the change affordable in terms of time, financial considerations, career advancement and social/family connections?
  10. What sacrifices will you be making and are you making them willingly without resentment?

Do you have any stories to share about lifestyle choices and the impact on relationship? Please share your thoughts and be part of the Caring4Couples community!

By Christine Bennett, Caring4Couples

 

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What is the Secret to a Happy Marriage?

Welcome to today’s Blog. I’m going to be lazy today and refrain from spending too much time at the computer as I have had a tendency in the last month to blow up electrical appliances. To date, I have needed to purchase a new phone, new laptop and figure out why software that once worked on my Windows 7 machine no longer does – necessitating an upgrade that I would have preferred not to make….

Yesterday the circuit breaker tripped that supplies power to all my office equipment including computer, printer, land phone etc….Fortunately that was just the flick of a switch to get things happening again. Then, thinking it was time to get some washing done, I proceeded to laundry to push the appropriate buttons on that machine…….

No….nothing happened. Washing was transported today to be cleansed in my daughter’s machine. Washing machine fix-it man can’t come for another week!! Methinks I could be looking at another new purchase as said machine is now 19 years old. It probably deserves to be retired.

Meanwhile, I was interviewed by Kerrie Davies from Northside Magazine about relationships these days compared to days gone by. The topic of her article is “Did Our Grandparents Know the Secret of a Happy Marriage?”

Please click the link above to access the article. And please! Add your comments below. Do you agree or disagree with the views put forward in the article? Which are the biggest challenges we face these days in intimate relationships?

Author: Christine Bennett Marriage Counselling at caring4couples.com.au

 

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Has Your Interest in Sexual Intimacy with Your Partner Declined Over Time?

The days here in Sydney are becoming shorter, nights colder. I look forward to nestling under the doona into a warm bed at night and cuddling up to my partner. He has thoughtfully pre-warmed the bed by turning the electric blanket on low. Cosy :-).

Not all couples have this experience of looking forward to a snuggle in bed. Sexual intimacy has often gone out the window along with their desire to be together.

I hear all sorts of stories of how some of my clients go to bed deliberately at different times to avoid one another. Some people become so emotionally wounded within their relationship that stonewalling or avoidance become the norm in an attempt to stay safe. The carried hurt puts up an impenetrable wall of defense making a cuddle in bed, let alone sex, a distant memory.

The problem with this is the longer it goes on, the harder it becomes to re-connect. It becomes awkward. It becomes habitual. I often see couples, some in their 20s and 30s who have let months and sometimes years go by without engaging in sexual  intimacy. They have become like house mates, room buddies, rather than a loving couple.

There ARE ways to overcome the hurt.There ARE ways to re-connect if the willingness is there to do the work. There needs to be a commitment to recognizing when the relationship is losing energy and actively DO something to remedy the rift.

Following is an article by Amie M. Gordon from Psychology Today, on The Secret to Maintaining Sexual Desire.

I hope you find it interesting reading. And if your relationship has lost its lustre, what are some strategies you might practice to restore it back to health? Are you willing to take on the challenge?

Please leave your comments below. How do you keep the love alive?

Author: Christine Bennett Marriage Counselling at caring4couples.com.au

 

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