Monday, June 22, 2009

The Excitement and Challenges of an International Relationship

You might think that having met online and falling in love based on each other’s personality would make a love stronger in every way. Well it does make the bonds between two people stronger, and the chemistry can be intense. I guess that old saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ could definitely apply to an international relationship. There are so many wonderful qualities that develop in online relationships. First of all trust. With an online relationship trust is vital. You have to learn to trust what the other person says, and trust what you can see happening in the relationship.

You also have to trust that when the person isn’t in the instant messenger box with you, that their heart is still with you and not someone else. That can be a challenge, but as you get to know the other person, if you trust your instincts and communicate with them well, you’ll know if you are the only one. Some things just can’t be hidden, and if someone isn’t hopelessly in love with you, they can’t fake it that well. Just be sure not to be blinded by the attention and gestures, your instincts should always be listened to. This is probably the biggest challenge in an online relationship, learning to trust yourself and trust what you know. A lot of people don’t trust themselves, and they don’t listen to their instincts. You can’t make a relationship into what you want it to be, you have to let go and let it be what it is, then appreciate and accept it for that. We all want to be loved, but you can’t force it.

You also both have to learn to use your words to get the right effect. If you can’t see someone’s face when they are talking a lot of the emotion is lost. And I know some people say you can’t convey emotion over text but they are wrong. Words can be very powerful tools. Anyone can say I love you in text and the person they say it to would have to figure out how to take it. After all, there are many kinds of love, and you run the risk of the person you say it to thinking you mean it deeper than you really do. However if you say ‘I’ve never felt this way about anyone before, you have a special place in my heart that no one else will ever be able to fill, I love you’ then your chances of the other person knowing you are falling hopelessly in love with them and never want to be apart again is much better. There are so many ways to phrase your words to convey the emotions you have. After all, if you say I’m ecstatic, anyone can tell that means you are much more than just happy..right? Also you get the added benefit of not having to face rejection. Now, if you are close you aren’t likely to get rejected, but it’s easier to tell someone your deepest feelings when you aren’t face to face because most of us fear rejection. So you may find it a lot easier to be very detailed and intimate when talking to your online love.

Time can be a challenge in an international relationship. Suppose you and your love are operating on a 9.5 hour time difference. That means when he/she’s waking up, you’re going to bed. So the last thing you do each night is send him/her a good morning message. That can take a little getting used to, as well as not saying good night when you talk around that time, because he/she’s staring their day. You may find it helpful to put up a clock on your Vista desktop sidebar with his/her time on it, and label the clock with where he lives. You could also put a weather gadget with his/her weather there with the clock. You could put these up to help you keep up with the time, but may also find it fascinating to watch and see when your weather is the same, and to see the time and imagine what he/she’s doing at that point of the day. It may actually help you feel closer to him/her.

Continuing Posts on this topic:
International Relationships Part 2 - Logistics
International Relationships Part 3 - Communications
International Relationships Part 4 - Long Term Relations
International Relationships part 5 - fighting over email

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