Reality of Online Dating: Long Distance Relationships and Psychology

Posted by on January 31st, 2017 in Relationships
Relationships Psychology

Previously, we’ve talked about the reality of online dating with the main theme being its effect on communication. If you haven’t read it, you should check it out before reading this. Today, we’re going in depth with online dating with respect to relationship and psychological problems. Yes, these are serious, but again as we’ve said, don’t let these things deter you from trying out online dating. Loving someone even though the distance and computer screens will show that it isn’t easy, but it’s sometimes worth all the trouble.

Relationship Problems

Every relationship has its own fair share of fights, disagreements, and problems. However, LDRs have all these things with miles and miles between two people. Therefore, it makes it very difficult for partners in an LDR to resolve these problems quickly. Check these problems out.

Challenge of dependency

A-frame, H-frame, and M-frame are the three types of dependency in a marriage, but it can easily be applied to any romantic relationships as well. This was made by a sociology professor and co-author of the book Marriage and Family. His name is Dr. Kenneth J. Davidson. Davidson explains that “an A-frame equation is one in which one partner is too dependent upon the other. An H-frame is a relationship of total independence in which very little couple identity develops. An M-frame equation, on the other hand, balances dependence and independence to form an interdependent relationship.”

In online dating and LDRs, couples may fall victim to following an A-frame pattern. If not, the relationship can grow into an H-frame in the long run. This results in a fast downward spiral for the relationship which is why there are numerous problems that can arise in an LDR.

Growing apart

One thing that can be upsetting about LDRs is that possibility of you two growing apart. It’s somewhat inevitable that distance can do this to couples in an LDR since the quality of the relationship isn’t the same as the one that offers physically being there. Plus, there isn’t a lot of opportunity for one or the other to grow on each other through physical means, and start committing to the relationship. Although it’s important to grow individually, growing together as partners will increase the commitment factor between the two. Therefore, in an LDR, the couple will have to invest more time, energy, as well as emotions in their commitment to the relationship to make up for their physical distance. With just a couple of fights and disagreements, the effort taken may provide the possibility of growing apart.

Tangible support

Beyond the lack of physical interaction and the possibility of growing apart due to issues, LDRs or online dating couples will be able to experience the absence of tangible support. It doesn’t matter if the technology is there to lessen the miles between two people. There is no tangible presence available in long distance relationships and online dating. Sometimes, when one needs support through both the good and bad times, it won’t happen because of the distance. Promotions can’t be celebrated with dinners, but instead, it’ll be celebrated with phone calls.


In addition to the possibility of growing apart from issues and fights, issues can also be blown out of proportion. Sometimes, fights in a romantic relationship mean exchanging hurtful words possibly out of anger. However, these types of fights are usually intensified due to the distance. With distance, there’s an invisible force field that surrounds the relationship when a fight happens. This force field knows the fact that you can be angry and the other won’t be able to see how angry you really are. So, the fact that your faces aren’t shown to one another tricks us into thinking that someone is making a big fuss about something so small. Examples are unanswered emails, texts, or calls. These are usually the root causes of issues that are blown out of proportion. I’ve actually seen this happen.

So, striving to fix things through the use of communication with efforts from both parties may help resolve the issues “to attain an ideal M-frame style of relationship, and commit completely to nurturing, building, and sustaining the relationship.”

Physical interaction

As some may already know, physical interaction is very limited and even expensive in LDRs and online dating. Why? Because you don’t see each other often since you’re far away. Plus, it usually includes expensive plane tickets to go visit one another. Physical intimacy is very important in a relationship. With the lust of physical intimacy and interaction in online dating and LDRs, it creates an atmosphere that will make monogamy very difficult. This can create very big problems for the relationship, and create even bigger tension.

Psychological Problems

Yep, psychological problems can occur due to online dating together with LDRs. The most difficult part of having an LDR is the impact on your psychological needs. These include depression, loneliness, anxiety, insecurity, as well as uncertainty. The challenge of an LDR takes into account your emotional health as there are several things that can impact your emotional stance in your everyday life. Yes, it’s very sad to say, but this is part of the things you and your partner will have to overcome. As these are the things that make you question whether or not the distance is really worth it.


This is probably the number one feeling a couple gets when they’re in an LDR. This is due to the fact that after the effect of happiness of finding someone, a looming uncertainty soon follows as the distance between you two may create an absence of mutually agreed goals. Online dating most often constitutes an uncertain outcome since both parties may put an unknowing strain on the relationship. In this case, patience, trust, endurance, a strong sense of commitment, and frequent visits to each other may help remove uncertainty in the relationship. Together with these, effective and healthy communication is the very key to tackling problems and challenges people experience in LDRs. These will help improve emotional fulfillment that will offer a strong connection and a deep bond toward one another.


This feeling can break a relationship apart, and leave one or the other broken-hearted. Furthermore, it’s a difficult feeling to process loneliness. This is the case when one or the other cannot fly to each other’s arms due to financial reasons or even schedule reasons. Most of the time, loneliness is what a lot of LDR couples battle through at one point or another.


Anxiety, unlike loneliness, can create issues that aren’t really there. In psychology, anxiety can be intrinsic or extrinsic. “Intrinsic factors like one’s own trust levels and agreements on set boundaries, acceptable/unacceptable relationship behavior may put strain on the relationship while extrinsic factors like a partner’s frequency of interactions with members of the opposite sex and estrangement or low time investment by the partner may create rifts,” according to Know Psychology.


Sometimes depression can set in from loneliness and anxiety. If there are heightened instances of anxiety and loneliness kicking in, there’s a possibility that an individual could suffer from depression. A person in an LDR could have depression set in due to the lack of fulfillment as well as a discernible discrepancy between what image they may have of their situation and the reality of it.


There is a high possibility that one or the other will get insecure. This is caused by the interactions that one or the other will have with the opposite sex. Since it’s a natural thing to happen, sometimes it can’t be helped that someone feels insecure especially if a person doesn’t think he or she is attractive enough for someone like you. So, since jealousy may emerge, this can be a cause for behavior that could create issues. This, in the end, could lead to emotional damage.

Now, after reading everything, we urge you not to be disheartened. We urge you to look for these possible telltale signs that break LDRs. If you avoid these harsh realities, you can prevent bad breakups in your online dating relationships.

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