Dear Em & Lo – When Online Long-Distance Love Goes Wrong, Very Wrong

photo from Arbron

Dear Em & Lo,

I am an 18-year-old girl and recently got engaged to a 30-year-old guy. We have an online long distance relationship. I really like the guy and he likes me too. Things were really awesome between us after our engagement, he used to be really romantic and we used to flirt 24-7. Moreover, he actually used to be very desperate to talk to me in those days. But now after 3 months, things have changed. He isn’t romantic at all, never really flirts, and he doesn’t mind not talking to me for weeks. Like he doesn’t really miss me. It’s like all his romance has fizzled out. I don’t know what to do to bring back the old him. I never complain about it to him, because I think he is too busy with his job to even miss me. But can this be the true reason behind it, or is there something more to it?

— Child Bride

Dear C.B.,

We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume this letter is for real: You are too young to get married. Don’t do it! At least not for several more years. And when you do do it, please let it be with someone you have a real, loving (not just “liking”) relationship with that involves open and honest communication and actual face-to-face time. An online, long-distance connection with someone who goes weeks without talking to you is not a foundation on which to build a marriage. It’s just a way to kill time with unrealistic fantasies. Do yourself a favor: find a way to go to college, date, don’t date, get some love and life experience under your belt, and after a couple of years only then start thinking about the possibility of marriage, but only with someone you know really well and trust completely (i.e. not this guy).

Tough lovin’,

Em & Lo


  1. Yeah, my main concern is have they ever even met?! I don’t understand why you would become engaged to someone you’ve never seen in person.. And how long as this relationship been going on? Only 3 months? A lot of things in this letter seem strange and definitely not a recipe for a safe, trusting, healthy marriage.

  2. “old him”

    I know he is only 30…but kiddo…that is the old him and he will only get ‘older.’

  3. It sounds like you haven’t met him face to face yet, and while online relationships can be fun and exciting, that’s not enough for a marriage! The age factor is huge too…at 18 you have SO much to look forward to, so don’t get too caught up in a virtual romance.

  4. I wholeheartedly agree with Em&Lo, honey, you are WAY too young to even think about getting married. There are so many years of learning, becoming educated, dating, playing around, there is no reason to get married to a man you barely KNOW and who certainly appears to have lost interest.

    Was Jen right? Have you not even met this man in person? There’s a huge difference when people meet face to face. You can’t fall in love without actually meeting someone, spending time with them, DOING things with them and seeing how they react in real life situations. People can SAY whatever they like online, but how they act in real life is the real thing. “Like” isn’t’ enough to marry someone. Love is necessary.

    MOVE ON, sweetheart. There are plenty of young men (or older ones, if you actually get to MEET them and like an older man) out there for you to meet, try before you “end up” with one of them. OK?

    As for Anna’s response, I have no freaking idea what she said. I couldn’t make heads or tails out her response.

  5. Anna- I wouldn’t assume that she’s even met him in person- especially given their age difference and the way that she talks about him, I’d be surprised if she had. People do get engaged online without ever meeting, for whatever stupid reason.

    If you’re in a serious long-distance relationship, you don’t go for weeks without talking to someone (by choice), as that communication is all that your relationship consists of.

    Unfortunately for her state of mind now (but likely fortunately in the long run), he’s just moved on. Hopefully she can take this as a sign that she needs to develop relationships with men closer to her age, that she can actually interact with in daily life. 18 is far too young to be involved only online with an older man- she needs to experience some real life first.

  6. If he really liked her or it should be love, then he would mind not talking to her for weeks. People dont just out of the blue change for no reason especially if they care about the person. Without communication a good relationship is not possible. There’s better out there she shouldn’t settle and just put up with it.

  7. Anna. That’s not the way a guy acts when he is interested in a girl.
    Also. if the “unromantic” behavior makes her/you uncomfortable it will only get worse over time. This will leave you more uncomfortable, more confused, and more frustrated as time goes on.

  8. hey
    jst read ur rply. to dt msg

    but wat if da guy is really nice n actually likes da girl,,but has become unromantic for sum reason,,which da girl is not able to figure out…….wat if the girl is sure dat he is the one for her.??wt do u have to say den….plus she says dt dey are engaged,,so she has obvsly met him n knws him in person…..
    EM n LO should be tellin her ways to bring the romance back in dere life,,,cuz she has said dat da guy likes her,,so dre mst be smthing temporarily wrong wid da guy ,which makes him behave the way he is behaving…

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