Getting family members to accept the long-distance relationship...

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Getting family members to accept the long-distance relationship...

SMichelle SMichelle
About a year ago, I began talking to a man online. He and I quickly connected, and sort of began a bit of an online relationship. A few months back, I flew to the UK to meet him. We got along amazingly well; so well that he is planning to come here for a week soon, and I have already booked a trip to see him in another few months.

I have mentioned to my parents that I have a very good friend in another country that I simply adore. A few weeks ago, I made a comment about how frequently he and I talk -- evidently this got my mother concerned. She asked if I was serious about this man. I told her that yes, I was very serious about him.

Next, she asked about what I wanted in the future.. what I saw happening. I mentioned to her that, at some point in the future, I would like for us to live in the same country. I told her that he has said that he would relocate to the US, and that I would certainly relocate to the UK. I pointed out to her that all of this was in the far off future, and that there would be many more visits (some of them being extended) before we decided to take this step. Of course there's no exact timeline here of when we'd like this to happen; but I would say about a year or two of doing the long distance/visiting thing.. Then, we'd take the plunge and check out fiancee visas and all of that.

Since that time, she and my father have both told me many times that they don't approve at all. Further, that they think it is all ridiculous, and that they can't understand why I'm "wasting my time". At one point, my mother made a comment about how she doesn't fly, so she would absolutely not come to visit me if I were to move to the UK.

Any advice on how to handle all of this?

I realize that he and I have only known each other a very short time (really), and that it would be difficult for either of us to relocate to the others country..but... I do care for him deeply, and genuinely believe that he cares deeply for me, too. It's very difficult when family members just don't approve.
04/26/2012
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Chilipepper Chilipepper
I had the same problem with my father when I got together online with Master. My mother, fortunately, was keeping an open mind, but my father did not understand how I could be involved with yet another online guy (my ex-husband was from online) and one that lived in another country across the Pond. "What kind of relationship is that??"

So, Master and I agreed to let my parents meet him on the "first date" when he visited the US. We all had lunch together. By the end of lunch my dad was talking and bonding with him because they had a lot in common. I know how weird it is when you have to bring your parents along on a first date, but - in my case - it thoroughly helped my parents understand what I was doing and they ended up greatly approving of him.

I think that a lot of people don't understand that we in the LDR's know that a LOT of time and coordination is necessary for anything to blossom. We really aren't in it for the instant gratification of just having someone right there, we're in it for a "long haul" arrangement, and we're willing to find out if it can be done.

All that can be said is let them meet him, and let time show them that you're serious.
04/26/2012
Ansley Ansley
I don't have any advice for you because I quite agree with your parents. I don't think long distance relationships work and I don't think that online relationships work. You can say anything and be anything when you are online and the reality is often very, very different.

Honestly, it's not up to you to make them understand. It's up to them to want to understand because they are your parents and they love you. As long as you are happy, it shouldn't matter where either of you are located.
04/27/2012
SMichelle SMichelle
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I don't have any advice for you because I quite agree with your parents. I don't think long distance relationships work and I don't think that online relationships work. You can say anything and be anything when you are online and the ...
You can say and be anything in person, too. I say that as someone who has dated a man that I met through a friend for years (in person, lived in close proximity, etc) only to find out that he was married the entire time that we were together. I had absolutely no clue that he was, as he was extremely good at covering it up.

Anyway, thanks for your response, I suppose.
04/27/2012
SMichelle SMichelle
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
I had the same problem with my father when I got together online with Master. My mother, fortunately, was keeping an open mind, but my father did not understand how I could be involved with yet another online guy (my ex-husband was from online) and ...
Thanks greatly for your response.

When he does make it to the states, I will certainly have my parents meet up with him.
04/27/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by SMichelle
You can say and be anything in person, too. I say that as someone who has dated a man that I met through a friend for years (in person, lived in close proximity, etc) only to find out that he was married the entire time that we were together. I had ...
I just realized that may have come across as harsh and that was not my intention. My apologies.

If it works out for you, that's awesome. But the reality of the process is quite different. Most people don't realize that it is practically impossible to get a permanent Visa in the United States after 9/11. Sure, you can get a tourist Visa that lasts for 90 days, but to get a work Visa? That's an entirely different ballgame.

I had a boss who was from another country and it took three rounds of applications over two and a half years to get him approved. We had to have experts weigh in and say that no one in the United States was qualified to do his job because it was his technology and it was state of the art and "new". It cost thousands of dollars and he had to leave the country every three months and show his passport as proof. It was a nightmare and it strained the business relationship, I can't imagine what it would do to a personal relationship.

Becoming a citizen is even more tiring and expensive. And getting into the UK is no walk in the park, either. To be an ex-pat has its own stigmas and regulatory hoops to jump through.
04/27/2012
SMichelle SMichelle
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I just realized that may have come across as harsh and that was not my intention. My apologies.

If it works out for you, that's awesome. But the reality of the process is quite different. Most people don't realize that it is ...
Oh, no problem. I wasn't completely sure how to take your original post, but I do realize that you didn't intend for it to come off as I may have read it.

I do know that the visas can be a huge issue. We've done a bit of research on Visa already, just to get an idea of what options we have in the future. The best option for us would be a fiance Visa, but we're obviously not at that point.. and you're right, either way, it's tricky. Not impossible though.

I do have a friend who is living in England with her husband -- she's originally from the US. She went on a fiance visa (took a lot of time and effort to get), and was able to marry him to stay. The main problem was that they had to prove that her husband would be able to support her for a number of months, as she was not able to work in the beginning due to regulations. As it is now, she's there on a two-year probation period. After the probation period is through, she gets to apply to be a permanent resident.
04/27/2012
Chilipepper Chilipepper
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I just realized that may have come across as harsh and that was not my intention. My apologies.

If it works out for you, that's awesome. But the reality of the process is quite different. Most people don't realize that it is ...
That's part of the reason Master can't move here - his engineering specialization here in the US is not that high in demand; so if it does become permanent, I'm the one who's going to have to move to the UK (and looking up how to do it has left me flustered - complicated, indeed). Right now we're taking a break from "relationship stuff" and just being friends, until we can work out where we're going with this. As I said, it does take a lot of coordination and time to see if the long-haul is worth it or not.
04/27/2012
Beck Beck
Quote:
Originally posted by SMichelle
About a year ago, I began talking to a man online. He and I quickly connected, and sort of began a bit of an online relationship. A few months back, I flew to the UK to meet him. We got along amazingly well; so well that he is planning to come here ...
Well, if you did end up moving to the UK despite the fact your mother doesn't fly. I doubt she would actually let that interfere with a chance to spent time with her daughter. I'm sure she was just saying this to make you see her way. Besides, you don't have to fly. We have these wonderful things called boats too! LOL Plus not to mention video chatting and things like that.

I think Chilipepper nailed in on the head. When he comes to visit introduce him to your parents. Let them get to know him and then see how they feel. If he is a great guy and they see you are happy. They will change their mind. They are most likely upset with the idea of you moving to another country more than anything. Good luck to you.
04/27/2012
badk1tty badk1tty
Quote:
Originally posted by SMichelle
Oh, no problem. I wasn't completely sure how to take your original post, but I do realize that you didn't intend for it to come off as I may have read it.

I do know that the visas can be a huge issue. We've done a bit of research ...
I would say that, as you've said yourself that this is down the road, to take that off the table where your parents are concerned. It sounds like the issue is with their little girl leaving them. Just let him meet your family and such when he comes to visit, and don't make it a big deal about the permanence. If it's meant to be you'll find a way, and as visas take YEARS, you're in no rush to make them understand your seriousness. After it's been years and the process has been completed, they'll likey not see it as silly, since you both will have shown them you're invested.
04/27/2012
Raigne Raigne
I wish I had some advice for you. My mother's always been supportive of my decisions, and my stepfather thinks it's silly but it's my life. I met a guy offline for the first time when I was 13. I have had one visit me and I have visited another twice.

The closest thing is that my current boyfriend lives in Scotland, and my mother was nervous that I would be flying there to meet him instead of him coming here.

My mother is also not a flyer, so when the prospect of me moving there permanently sunk in she did start to freak out a little. But so did my best friend. Actually, I think the bestie may have taken it harder than my mother. But he's probably going to be the one coming here.

Good luck figuring it out.
04/27/2012
Total posts: 11
Unique posters: 6