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Girl's Best Friend: Can Long Distance Love Ever Last?

Is geography threatening your happily ever after? Nathan Hale Williams says, just maybe.
Due to technology, modern relationships are quite different than in the past. In many instances, technology has made it easier to stay in touch with loved ones – I talk to my Godchildren via Skype. Yet, I do believe that technology has played a part in diminishing our people skills. For starters, it’s made long distance relationships easier to sustain. Only, how many of us really want to be in one?

Ironically, two of my sister-friends are confronted with the possibility of long distance relationships, yet under distinctly different scenarios.  My first sister-friend has been casually dating a guy for a couple of months that currently lives in the same city. They’d resisted dating and had remained distant because the guy knew he might be relocating. Still, they couldn’t fight their attraction, and despite their efforts to keep it friendly, began to date.

My other sister-friend was on a business trip and went out with a guy she’d met through a mutual friend years ago. They’d been Facebook friends for some time and had occasionally exchanged messages. They went out and hit it off ultimately going out every day that she was in town.

I’m not opposed to long distance relationships in theory. I’ve been in a successful one before that lasted three years. In the end, it wasn’t the distance that was the issue, but fundamental personality issues. So, I do believe, that long distance relationships can work depending on a few factors:  First, I feel it is easier to have a long distance relationship with someone who has once lived in the same city as you. In a weekend romance, it is hard to determine those key day-to-day elements that can make or break a relationship. With that said, the distance might prove to be a benefit for two people with busy schedules who feel pressured to make them overlap if they lived in the same city. That said, you can’t truly get to know someone from afar, modern technology or not.

Resources also play a major role. If two people have the resources and time to see each other, it makes the odds of a long distance relationship succeeding much better. There is no technology that will take the place of direct human contact. Intimacy is a fundamental ingredient to a healthy relationship.

I think there has to be some end point in sight. One of the parties has to be open to the possibility of relocating. To me, this is the trickiest part, because I firmly believe that a person should not relocate solely for someone else. There has to be a desire to live in the new city or you’re opening up Pandora’s Box, especially if things don’t work out.

I gave both my sister-friends the same advice: These days, it’s very difficult to find someone you want to date. I said, “Why not? Go for it!” The worst thing that could happen is that it doesn’t work out. It’s the same with any dating scenario. It makes no sense to close off a potentially great future just because of geography. I know many people who, as a rule, will not entertain a long distance relationship. What about you, would you date long distance?

Wishing you love and ceaseless joy! Follow @NathanHWilliams on Twitter.

Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.