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To think it's not a proper relationship if you've never met?

(63 Posts)
Endlessmusings Wed 05-Apr-17 15:35:43

Talking about relationships at work and one guy said he'd been with his partner for 8 years. I was surprised by that as he's 22. Turns out he met his gf online and didn't physically meet for 3 years.

I know you can have feelings for someone but surely in a relationship you need to physically be with that person? Not just sex, but little things like having dinner together, going for a walk, sharing a bed etc

NoncommittalToSparkleMotion Wed 05-Apr-17 15:39:07

Yanbu

Hesdeadjim Wed 05-Apr-17 15:41:25

Disagree to a point.

I think if you then meet up and things continue, it's fine to consider the first part of the relationship "part" of it.

DP and I met when we were 17. We met in person not online, but then both went off to different Uni's and were long distance. We stayed together throughout, were exclusive and saw each other about once a month. After Uni we moved home and bought a house. I say I've been with him 9 years which is the total length of our entire relationship, not the 4 years we've lived together.

Hesdeadjim Wed 05-Apr-17 15:42:37

Also, be VERY careful with this statement: but surely in a relationship you need to physically be with that person?

You're going to upset a lot of long distancers with that.

BorpBorpBorp Wed 05-Apr-17 15:42:50

If he and his gf feel that their relationship was a real relationship during those first three years before they physically met, that's what it was. It is entirely up to them. Maybe for you a relationship wouldn't be a relationship until you had met someone in the flesh, but it doesn't mean their relationship isn't valid.

VeryButchyRestingFace Wed 05-Apr-17 15:44:00

Presumably for the 3 years they didn't meet he wasn't dating anyone else?

blackteasplease Wed 05-Apr-17 15:44:29

Does it matter to anyone outside the relationship itself?

TJDetweiler Wed 05-Apr-17 15:45:44

YABU. You don't get to decide what counts for them as being in a relationship, only the couple can do that.

redjoker Wed 05-Apr-17 15:45:55

Its a tough one, I was 'in a relationship' for three years with someone I'd never met (met online, first ever love interest, long distance, I was 17!) we met and dated for another 2 years (lived together so went from nothing to it all very quickly!).

At the time i was very much in the 'yes this is a relationship' mindset but now ive grown up and had BF's and been with a partner for 6 years I see that it was a very warped type of relationship

I think maybe its hard to understand if you haven't been there; but to come extent i get it my partner works away now and i hardly see him some weeks so it's a little bit the same in some respects

It's a hard one, I really think it depends on the people involved and what they are trying to gain

the whole three years i spoke to him i was emotionally very attached but content and happy. and only towards the very end needed the physical side of things

I was young then.. I dont know if I could go back and do it again

tissuesosoft Wed 05-Apr-17 15:46:49

My sister and her now husband only saw each other for a weekend every two weeks for 6 months then he was on tour (armed forces) for the next 6 months. This happened for 4 years. They stayed together throughout.

redjoker Wed 05-Apr-17 15:50:20

Id like to add that in reality now i only see my partner now and then as hes military, and its works very well, maybe I have a thing for long distance. I don't miss the physical side really, and cope very well without it. Although am preggers now and wishing I could have a back rub now and then!

Again, it depends on the people, its a very personal thing, and think its harsh to judge anyone really, if they see it as a relationship, then it is

Endlessmusings Wed 05-Apr-17 16:02:10

I'm not talking about long distance relationships. I'm talking about people who have never seen each other in "real" life.

Hesdeadjim Wed 05-Apr-17 16:04:10

I'll also point out that a long distance relationship can be just as, if not more fulfilling than a traditional relationship.

I LOVED the 5 years we were long distance because every time we met up was like the first time. I have very fond memories of fake tan and leg waxing the night before he'd arrive on the train grin. I truly believe we spent those years talking and getting to know each other much better than we would have done if we'd been in the same place, and the fact we didn't see each other every day made the times we did see each other so much more special.

It was bloody hard at times but for someone to minimize our commitment to each other by proclaiming it to "not be a real relationship" is pretty harsh.

FYI we're getting married next year, 10 years to the day after we met grin

I liked the independence of it i think.

Hesdeadjim Wed 05-Apr-17 16:04:39

Endlessmusings but they have seen each other now, and they're still together right?

VestalVirgin Wed 05-Apr-17 16:08:21

Do you really not have anything better to worry about than whether other people's relationships are up to your standards of what constitutes a "proper" relationship?

Why would it matter?

Kadena127 Wed 05-Apr-17 16:08:57

Having been in a long distance relationship i agree. It didn't feel real til we met in person. Then i only saw him once a month so that didn't help. Til we moved in together six months ago now it feels like we are properly together

Endlessmusings Wed 05-Apr-17 16:09:25

It was bloody hard at times but for someone to minimize our commitment to each other by proclaiming it to "not be a real relationship" is pretty harsh.

Who said that?

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Wed 05-Apr-17 16:09:25

I think it's very easy to be a different person online to the extent that some people not only exaggerate to sound more interesting, but also lie entirely about who they are so I'd be suspicious of online only relationships. However given that they've been together for a further 5 years it's obviously not the case here.

Endlessmusings Wed 05-Apr-17 16:10:11

Do you really not have anything better to worry about than whether other people's relationships are up to your standards of what constitutes a "proper" relationship?

No my whole life revolves around this.

Mintychoc1 Wed 05-Apr-17 16:10:43

I think that people are misunderstanding the OP.

This man is now in a relationship, but really only for the past 5 years. The 3 years when they hadn't ever actually clapped eyes on each other or been in the same room was not a real romantic relationship. Internet friendship yes, but nothing more. The past 5 years have been a real relationship.

And this is nothing to do with long distance relationships. Totally different thing.

Endlessmusings Wed 05-Apr-17 16:12:47

Endlessmusings but they have seen each other now, and they're still together right?

Yes but what about in the 3 years they hadn't met. I'm just not convinced I could say I was in a relationship if I'd never so much as seen that person with my own eyes.

I was talking to someone online for 5 months and whilst I felt like I didn't want to be talking to someone else .., I didn't feel like I was in a relationship.

Endlessmusings Wed 05-Apr-17 16:14:32

Thanks Minty.

This thread is in no way about long distance relationships. Neither do I think these relationships are any less than a relationship where you're with your partner every single day.

floraeasy Wed 05-Apr-17 16:16:40

one guy said he'd been with his partner for 8 years. I was surprised by that as he's 22. Turns out he met his gf online and didn't physically meet for 3 years

Those 3 years must have laid a solid foundation for them if they have now been going strong for a further 5 years after that?

Perhaps it worked for their personality types? It certainly eliminated being swayed by sex/passion/lust and perhaps allowed them to really get to know each other on another level?

These days a happy eight-year-long relationship is somewhat of an achievement!

CotswoldStrife Wed 05-Apr-17 16:19:13

YANBU IMO. We are talking about people not meeting at all, not long-distance relationships here. A friend online dated someone who didn't even exist (scammers) and referred to her 'boyfriend' in glowing terms hmm

Posters referring to LDR have met the person which is different.

I have wanted to start a thread on what constitutes a relationship for a while but can't face the bunfight!

Meekonsandwich Wed 05-Apr-17 16:19:23

Honestly it depends on what you want from the relationship. Just as sex and physical contact and living together might be important to some people, to others, just hearing their voice on the phone or Skype is good enough for them.
Doesn't make it any less real because they haven't met in person.
Just as if you havent had sex before marriage, you might be with someone and it's still real and valid just because you haven't explored all the avenues available to you yet,
Maybe it's the same to them? They're looking forward to seeing them eventually, that's the goal and then it will be a long distance relationship, so it just the type of relationship that has changed

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