Do you ever get that feeling that you know what is about to happen, or that you are going to have to do something in the near future because all of the not so obvious clues are pointing to it? You just “feel” it in your bones. Well, I saw this coming, but I saw all the signs, heard all the voices, caught all the hints, and still couldn’t avoid it, so here I am, doing it. Strap yourself in and please keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times.
It has been “requested”, “asked”, and one person even diligently “pleaded” with me to do this based on all their feelings that I am somehow capable and qualified to do this. I have to differ strongly, but as these are friends, I have no problem embarrassing myself to prove a point.
And thus begins a new section entitled Relationships by Rocket (which can be found in the category – relationships). Someone suggested “Ask Rocket” but that was so, um, cliche` or used that I just couldn’t bring myself to use it. Now, I have to tell you right up front that this category wont be severely restricted to relationships as some of it will be general advice in response to general questions. So we may stray a tad, just outside the boundaries of relationships and meander over to other sideroads or less defined paths.
So, without any more babbling, the first question was posed to me by a reader who prefers the quiet comfort and enjoyment of reading without any requirement to interact.
“My question is two-fold. I am in a relationship (not married) with someone I know only through the internet and over the phone. I’ve known this woman for over a year, but we have only recently (a few months ago) seem to have stepped up the communication to a more serious pace. I don’t think we have let more than a day go by without any communication since this increase. My feelings toward her are genuine, and I truly believe hers, toward me, are as well. First part of the question is, do you feel a relationship of a romantic and involved nature can be serious at a distance without having met in person, and two as I am being the gentleman and not bringing it up, should I continue to wait for her to suggest meeting in person, or should I be the one?” – Anonymous
I have had some experiences in this area so here is what I think. First part first. I believe that relationships fundamentally should be based on a solid foundation of a friendship that has had time to develop where trust and a bond has been established. The friendship is the foundation upon which everything else in the relationship is dependent if it is going to be a healthy relationship. Can this happen over the internet? Most certainly. Before the internet we had “Pen-Pals” that began forging long distance relationships. Coupling the phone communication into the relationship for both pen-pals and internet born friends, adds a new level of the relationship based on communication in a different sense. The voice.
Tone of voice and emotions are added to the relationship as another form of communication to help define and support each of the parties involved. This also breeds a closer feeling and strengthens the bond of emotional involvement that isn’t so easily attained just from reading text. Keep in mind that not everyone is born to be a famous and recognized book author capable of explicitly conveying the exact tone and emotion of ourselves (or the characters in the book) to the reader through text alone. This is why the verbal communication breaks new ground and becomes so important in the development of the relationship.
I want to stress here that communication is a skill. A skill that we are not automatically pro’s at performing. Good effective communication requires a diligence and determination to become very good at, which requires learning about all the different kinds of verbal and non-verbal ways to communicate as well as being an effective listener. The more knowledgeable and skilled two people are at communicating, the better the chances are they can and do effectively communicate in both extreme and normal situations. I consider the internet and pen-pals as an extreme situation, versus the normal situation where two people are in close visual and audible proximity where body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice all play a part in a massive amount of verbal and non-verbal communicating. So can two people become romantically involved on a serious level as a pen-pal or over the internet with the addition of phones to the equation? Sure, if they are compassionate, understanding, patient people equipped with an extra helping of communication skills.
Now to the second part, eventually the relationship is going to want, even require close proximity and physical contact be it sitting in the presence of the person you admire and care for so much or holding hands or being able to just simply rub shoulders on a walk or what have you. The non-verbal and physical communication is going to be added to the relationship to reinforce and continue to add to the bond of the relationship. This is because communication is 60% body language, 30% tone of voice, and 10% what is being said or “typed”. At what point is it right? There is no right answer as to when, or even how much. It will happen when you both feel a mutual need for it, or even, by accident or fate as you may both find yourselves in the same place at the same time due to circumstance not related to the relationship in any way at all. I think it’s great that you are being the gentleman and allowing her to have control as to how much and when with full concern of her comfort level in the relationship, however, it may not even apply if she is the type that wants or likes a guy to be assertive in certain aspects or all aspects of the development of the relationship. Only you can know that through your past and ongoing experiences with her. I do feel it’s important that you two introduce the rest of the communication into the relationship at some point, but when and how is going to be up to the two of you.
I hope this information has been of some help to the two of you on some level and I am not going to wish you good luck, as I don’t feel luck has much of a part in relationships as does how much effort one puts into relationships. So I wish you two great success in your efforts to building a great, healthy, and lasting relationship.
From the Desk of Rocket,
Until next time……Peace!