Friendships and relationships need constant hard work and nourishment. The long-distance ones can be even more challenging to keep alive with time. ”Far from the eyes, far from the heart” – sadly yes, in my experience.
It happened that many people in my life I first met online. Sometimes I amuse myself with the thought ”what if we first met offline – would it had been any different?”. In other cases, I moved out of town or the other person did. Many factors define whether a friendship or a relationship would flourish or fade away, however, my impression is that the less you see someone, the harder it gets to maintain the relationship. As the years go by, things become more difficult. Even with the best of intentions, discipline, and commitment, something changes somewhere on the way. Probably deep family relations thrive better in time and space than any other relationship.
My best friend for a few years and I lived in different towns and met for drinks, at parties, and concerts. There was a great connection, lots of laughs, always something to discuss. He suddenly dumped me. I was shocked and refused to accept it for a long time. I realized that it was all my fault – I was unable to respond to his romantic feelings for me and crushed his hope to ever become something more than best friends. Pity but eventually I accepted it and moved on.
I was luckier with romantic long-distance relationships. One of them was a fiasco before it ever started. At least I enjoyed some pretty scenery on a 14-hour train ride between New York and Toronto. Another one was so good that I ended up with a life partner, across continents and an ocean.
When I meet new people and someone really stands out from the crowd, I can’t help it but think about what would it be like if this person moves to another country, to a different continent. There will be Skype, emails, some occasional meetings face-to-face, maybe some amazing trips abroad, and…?