It is important to be realistic when starting a long-distance relationship online. If you have a career that is incredibly important to you, and you cannot see yourself leaving it for any foreseeable reason, you must 1) make this crystal clear to anyone you become involved with online prior to entering into a long-distance relationship, and 2) be willing to accept that they may not wish to become seriously involved with someone who is not willing to make certain sacrifices to make the relationship work. If you do, however, determine that your career can be put on hold or can be altered altogether, you also need to make sure the other person is as invested as you are. If not, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and possible heartache.
The most important thing to remember in this process is that you must be one hundred percent honest with both yourself and with the other person to make sure you are both clear on what each of you is willing to offer the relationship, and what cannot be compromised upon. It may be difficult when you feel like bending your needs to suit the other person simply because you want to make it work. It can particularly hard not to make little concessions here and there simply to feel wanted or to not be alone. Ultimately, however, you’ll eventually have to come to terms with those things you compromised on if the relationship does progress. All those little concessions can add up and build up to what may turn into resentment. Save yourself and the other person confusion and hurt feelings down the road by being up-front and truthful from the very beginning. Most serious dating websites will include questions regarding your preferences on religious affiliation, number of children wanted, how serious you intend to get in the relationship, life goals and aspirations, sexual orientation, as well as possible hundreds of numerous other questions which allow you to be more accurately matched with people you may be compatible with.
First and foremost, your safety should always be a priority. Maintaining safety when meeting individuals through the internet is slightly different from meeting people in person and should be approached a bit differently as well. You must take care not to send sensitive personal information about your or those you care about to anyone you’ve just met online. If anyone asks for your social security number, address, or anything else that may compromise the integrity of your identity or physical safety you must decline the request. No one should be asking for that sort of thing from you, and if they do you should block and report them straight away to website or application admins as they may be attempting to commit fraud or other more sinister crimes.
You should be wary of anyone wanting to meet up with you in remote locations, or away from public spaces. This is a potential red flag for what could end up being a sinister situation. As sad as it is, the human and sex trafficking trades are extremely alive and well in basically all parts of the world. Because of the existence of such despicable business practices, you must take extra care not to fall victim to some of the traps set by individuals working in this business. Free dating sites always help. Let them know when you are leaving, where you will be, who the other person is, how long you plan to be where you are going, where you may be headed after you leave, when you are leaving, and when you get home. There are far too many real life horror stories where unsuspecting individuals are lured into very dangerous situations and no one knew what happened to them.
Another precaution you may want to take is to limit the types of pictures and videos you share with others online. Sometimes, it may seem like a natural progression when getting to know someone new to eventually share more personal material. While this should not be frowned upon once you have established a certain level of trust, you should always be aware that anything you’ve sent online or otherwise could possibly be intercepted by a third party. A good rule of thumb to follow is that anything put on the internet lives on the internet forever. Any pictures or videos you post can always be downloaded by someone else and saved to their hard drive, the cloud, etc. and can come back to haunt you or be used maliciously to leverage you in very unfortunate ways.
You should also never let someone you’ve just met have remote access to your computers or other devices as they may be able to access sensitive information. It is possible to install keystroke logging software to log bank and other website passwords. It could also be possible to hijack your hardware to allow viruses or other malware and spyware to access your information or hardware processing capabilities. These are sadly some of the precautions you must take in order to protect yourself from a myriad of possible issues because we live in such a digital world.
Taking the Next Step
Once you have taken steps to make sure you are safe and have built a good rapport and online relationship with your new potential significant other, you will need to plan what will happen next! If you have both decided to take your relationship to the next level, now is the time to make it happen. If you live near one another, try meeting for a simple date that involves some of your shared interests.
Here are some ideas for simple first dates to try when you meet up with your new love interest:
l Meet at a local coffee shop to enjoy some tasty beverages and possibly a light meal. Eating something light on a first meet-up can be helpful, especially if either of you is experiencing nerves about meeting each other for the first time.