Online Dating – What Gives
Are you in an online relationship?
Online relationships develop for different reasons. Some couples meet each other on dating sites; others have been together offline but one partner may work abroad for long stretches of time. Regardless of why you find yourself in an online relationship, they are common place in today’s connected world.
Couples in long distance relationships often experience unique challenges relating to communication; as well as having to cope with the physical distance. So much is lost in translation when it comes to dating online, and just like couples who live in the same place, couples in long distance relationships have difficulties that are exacerbated by the realities of their situation, for example, only seeing each other every couple of months, miscommunication, fears of meeting face-to-face, intimacy deficits, and the list goes on. Some couples feel their difficulties become overwhelming and end up feeling lost, frustrated and misunderstood.
During human interaction and communication we use our senses (sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing) to gain and process information. When couples communicate online they don’t benefit from non-verbal cues of communication as offline couples do. Think about what it feels like to hug your partner after a disagreement. Touch is a physiological need that forms part of human survival.
When considering the five senses we can readily imagine the challenges couples experience when distance is their reality. Online couples need to develop a way of communicating that compensates to some degree for the lack of physical touch and intimacy. They may not always know how to do this.
It is not surprising that online therapy has become more popular of late, and engaging in online therapy has similar benefits when compared to face-to-face counselling. Through online counselling, each person’s difficulties are explored, mediated and collaboratively a solution is achieved by strengthening communication to avoid the escalation of further relationship problems.
With the increasing popularity of online counselling in a comfortable space (often where couples live in their respective homes), there is no reason not to enjoy the benefits of confidential and professional couples therapy.
“Communication is the fuel that keeps the fire in your relationship burning, without it, your relationship goes cold” – William Paisley