Integrating Compassion with the Wisdom of God’s Word


The purpose of Aunt Dara’s Christian Advice Column is to glorify God by addressing human needs with compassion and the wisdom of God’s word.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Can a Long-Distance On-Line Relationship be the Right One?

Dear Aunt Dara,

I’m kind of frustrated with this young man I meet three years ago.  He always wanted to be with me but I never really felt in my heart to give him a chance until the beginning of this year.  We started talking and everything was going well until my parents found out.  To make a long story short they weren't too fond of him.  The problem is he lives in Kentucky and I live in Iowa, so we have only communicated on Facebook, texting and webcam.  My parents don't like the fact that we meet on Facebook.  He swears up and down that he is in love with me and wants me to be his future wife, but we have never meet each other face-to-face.  He wanted to take me out many times but I never wanted to because my parents wouldn't allow me.  They said they have to meet him first before I can even be his girlfriend.  I told him that and he got really upset and asked how he could meet my parents if he has never met me.  Also, there are two things that really frustrate me.  Sometimes he can say really mean things to me that really hurt my feelings and then act like he never said them, and other times he can be a true sweetheart and really make me think he really loves me.  Secondly, I feel as if he is not ready to sacrifice for me.  I can't stop thinking about that, and it bothers me.  Yet, sometimes I get so lonely that I find myself texting him just to pass the time.  

Do you think I should still talk to him?  Is he worth my time?  Do you think he loves me?  Could he be after something?  I wonder about that because we had gotten into a big argument and didn't talk for months afterward, and he ended up getting with another girl.  He said he broke up with her because she found several pictures of me on his phone.  He said he wasn't over me.  
Lone Star 

Dear Lone Star,

You raise some interesting questions regarding your on-line friend.  You met him on Facebook three years ago and have been talking via Facebook, texts, and webcam.  You can get to know a lot about a person in three years, even though you have not met face-to-face.  Your parents may not understand that and wish to protect you.  I can appreciate that, and I also can appreciate their desire to meet him before allowing you to be his girlfriend.  The logical solution would be for him to meet for the first time with you and your family together, or you could invite your parents to talk to him via webcam so they can become more comfortable with the idea of allowing you to have a boyfriend that you met on Facebook.

I can't answer whether or not he is worth your time or if he loves you.  However, you raised some issues that may help you to determine the answers.  How often does he say mean things to you?  Have you spoken to him about this and when you do, does he acknowledge his behavior and how it affects you?  What do you mean that he doesn't
seem to be ready to sacrifice for you?  What has he said that makes you feel as if he is unwilling to make sacrifices for you?  You seem to be worried that he was with another girl after the two of you broke up, as if that indicates that he may not be sincere in his current intentions for you.  I would not be too concerned about that, from the information that you gave me, but it is an issue that deserves further consideration.  You question if he is after something.  What do you think he may be after?  What signs do you see that would indicate that he may have a hidden agenda?  What is the general tone of your communications with him?  How frequently do you communicate?  Does he welcome your texts when you are just feeling lonely?  How much personal information has he shared with you?  Has he shared any of his own personal thoughts and feelings with you, or have your communications been mostly superficial?  Most importantly, is he a Christian and does he put God first in his life?

I know this is a lot of things for you to think about.  It is possible to maintain a long-distance relationship via electronic communication, but use those opportunities to learn as much about each other as possible.

God bless,
Aunt Dara