Are online relationships viable long-term?

More people than ever are turning to online dating sites to fulfill their romantic needs. Although dating sites have led to hundreds of thousands of relationships and marriages, some people still wonder about the efficacy of long-term relationships that are developed online. Take a look at what you should know about online partnerships and under what circumstances they can thrive.

Unique challenges

The thing to remember about relationships that are formed and thrive online is that they face a completely different set of challenges than relationships formed in person. As you might imagine, people dating online do not get the physical intimacy that comes with dating in person, and they also have to wait a long time to be with their person of choice. Sometimes, dating site users can even feel disconnected from their romantic partners when they can’t be with them, and that can spell doom for a relationship, especially when distance is involved.

Then again, online relationships have been used to overcome some rather unique challenges in the recent past. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic shut down the typical means through which people found romantic partners. That led to a massive influx of people using online dating sites as a way to host their relationships. Even the people who used local dating sites could still meet their partners for fear of contracting the ailment or breaking the law. Fortunately, site users were still capable of hosting great dates online. That is not the only way that online dating has been used to help people overcome various romantic problems. People that want to date specific types of individuals can use online dating sites as a simple, private way to meet minority groups. For example, people who want to get involved with crossdresser dating UK can seek out a match using a dating service. Doing so subverts the challenges involved with meeting someone that is into cross-dressing in person, saving a user from stress, embarrassment, and scheduling difficulties. Websites are safe and effective for finding matches for people that would otherwise have difficulty meeting partners. All in all, online dating comes with its own set of problems, but it solves many others. You simply have to determine whether the issues for which it provides solutions give your life the balance it needs.

Not all long-distance relationships crash and burn

A major belief that people have about long-distance relationships is that they are doomed to failure. However, the facts do not support this line of thinking. In fact, a study showed that roughly 58% of relationships that were considered long-distance managed to survive as long as relationships between people living within close proximity. The people in these relationships found that around the four-month mark was the hardest part because that is when things started to get serious. If the two partners were willing to make an effort to support the relationship, then it would survive a nice, long time. If they did not feel like trying to meet or put in the effort to communicate, then the relationship would falter. As such, online long-distance dating relationships are far more likely to succeed when people spend several hours each week talking to each other. According to people that have been in these relationships, it’s best if the methods of communication vary quite a bit. For example, you might want to try using video chat one day, calling on the phone another, and always sending each other messages like a couple that is closer to one another. One of the things that make online, long-distance relationships easier to manage compared to others is the fact that the two individuals are insulated from the day-to-day mundanity that can make relationships seem boring. Every time you talk to your partner, they will be excited to hear from you and want to spend as much time together. If you manage to foster this sort of enthusiasm for each other and then survive the period of time when you live apart, you’ll have a lasting relationship when you are united. Long-distance relationships are not doomed to crash and burn if you have the right disposition towards love.

Review some important factors that can help romantic relationships to be successful

As we have already said, some factors can help online relationships last, no matter if they are long-distance. Take a look at each of these and determine how you can either implement it within the framework of your romance or fix it before it becomes a problem.

1. Have a relationship development plan

You need to set up goalposts for your relationship to meet. That means having a plan about where you want the relationship to go and how to get there. Figure out how long until you want to meet, what your life plans are, and your overall compatibility.

2. Talk about your hardships

You can’t be silent about the difficulties in a relationship. Talk with one another, reinforce your plans to be together, and be faithful.

3. Be intimate with one another

Intimacy is key to a relationship. Although it might seem hard to pull off online, you and your partner can still use chat, pictures, and calls to be intimate with one another. While it might take some time to get used to, it will tide you both over until you’re in one another’s arms. Moreover, being intimate will build love and trust, even if you have to schedule it.

4. Communicate often

As we have said, it’s a good thing to communicate in many ways to keep up your morale. Aim for at least 8 hours a week.

5. Find things to do together digitally

The internet empowers people to watch movies, cook, and play games together. Find something to do with your partner.

These tips will help your relationship thrive while you are in the long-distance period.

Online long-distance relationships are unfairly maligned because the people involved cannot physically be together. However, the fact remains that you can make something of such a relationship. As long as you put the work into maintaining and growing your connection, you have a great chance of staying together.

Linda Raley is a Psychology Faculty student, a freelance writer on sex and relationships, and a relationship beginner psychologist-consultant.