I’m Dating a Guy I’ve Never Met

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating by Debra Fileta8 Comments

Q: I am in a long distance relationship for about 15 months and yet to meet him in person due to the nature of his job. Should I set a deadline and end this by certain date (most people advise so) or continue to wait for God’s timing? I had peace within whenever I prayed about this that he is the right man, and we both believed firmly that God connected us.

A: To the woman who’s dating a guy she hasn’t met,

I’m so glad you had the courage to ask this question. You were brave enough to admit that you’re dating a guy you haven’t yet met.

I can assure you, you aren’t the first person to do this. In fact, I once met a girl who was engaged to a guy she hadn’t met. 

I can also assure you, you won’t be the last person to do it either.

These days, technology has really taken over the way we do life. It’s so easy to “meet someone” online, get to know them, and find yourself having romantic feelings for them. Social media can really make you “feel” like you know someone….even if you haven’t yet met. We call people our “friends” when we’ve only interacted with them a handful of times.

It’s no wonder there’s a temptation to make something more significant of our online relationships, before they’ve actually “earned” that level of significance.

When it comes to online dating, I have to be blunt here- I don’t think “dating” should be a part of it. What I mean by that is that I believe it’s perfectly okay to meet someone online through a dating website or app…but the meeting part and the dating part are two totally different things.

In order to “date” someone – you need to actually meet them….face-to-face, person-to-person. When I talk and advise about online dating, I always say that you need to bring your honesty, you need to bring your wisdom, and then eventually – you need to bring it to real life.

If you’ve been getting to know someone online for more than 3 months and you haven’t yet met face-to-face, I think it’s definitely time to start questioning what it is this relationship is really made of. I get long-distance. In fact, I did long distance. My husband and I were long-distance for the entire extent of our relationship before marriage. And as much as there is that temptation to keep everything behind a screen because it’s so convenient — we made it a priority to build our friendship in real life. We made it our goal to make our dating happen in real life. We made it our aim to live our engagement in real life.

We spent money on plane tickets. Energy on phone calls. Time on Skype conversations. And did everything and anything we could to carve out times on the weekends/holidays/vacations to spend time together and with one another’s friends and families.

For an online relationship to have any chance of growing, it has to be brought to real life.

I also think it’s important to come to terms with the misconception that not doing anything is “waiting on God”. Dear one, that’s not waiting on God….that’s sitting back and letting “whatever happens happen” rather than leading your life.

One thing I’m known for saying on this blog is that there is a huge difference between living a life of PASSIVITY, and waiting on God.

God calls us into action. God encourages us to engage in healthy relationships. God empowers us to make wise choices and live out healthy lives. That takes us to be willing to make things happen.

Like your friends have told you, I think it’s time to set some boundaries in this relationship. And then ask yourself, why is it that I’ve been okay with this type of relationship? I think it’s perfectly appropriate to set a deadline and decide that you’re going to make yourself a priority and stop settling for excuses. There’s no good reason why someone should be able to call you his “girlfriend” yet fail to make it a priority to get to know you – the real you- face-to-face. That’s a red flag if you ask me.

It’s time for you to set the rules of what you expect and deserve in a relationship. And it starts here. Praying that God gives you the wisdom and the courage to lead your life and relationships.

PS. Be safe. Just because you’ve talked to someone online for 15 months doesn’t mean you know them. Be sure to always meet someone for the first time in PUBLIC, never in PRIVATE. And bring a friend. Or two. Or three.

Catch up on the whole #RelationshipQASeries!

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. Her newest book, Choosing Marriage, is set to be released in the Summer of 2018! You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and all over the web! She’s the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, reaching over 4 million people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!

Want to learn how to do dating in a healthy way? Check out my book!

By the way, if you’re single and in need of some encouragement, I’d love to see you at the TLD East Coast Event coming up this weekend. Click on the photo for all the details



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8 Comments on "I’m Dating a Guy I’ve Never Met"

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Jeremy Legg
I’m having real difficulty figuring out which kind of job could mean that a guy can’t meet his “girlfriend” for over 15 months. Unless he’s aboard the International Space Station, these people need to make the effort to meet. A friend has just been badly hurt by an (international) long-distance relationship in which she was serious and committed and the guy was just stringing her along – and they had actually spent time together! If this guy can’t find a way to turn his passion into action, the two of them need to end it and seek something real, rather… Read more »
Oh, boy. I am winding up a three-year online relationship in which we met several times but never lived near one another. Due to a variety of circumstances, regular meetings were impossible for the first 18 months and difficult for the last 15. Skype, phone, text, and FB chat were our friends, but they could only do so much. Even if we had been to able to meet monthly, which we tried to make happen without success, it isn’t the same as popping in and out of someone else’s life. You can’t really know each other’s family and friends or… Read more »

I agree. I’m often pressured to be open to dating someone long distance when I really don’t see the point. I live in a very large metro area and aside from trying to spend time with the person face to face, there is the additional issue of one person having to move if the relationship does work out. It’s fine if that’s what other people want to do, but I don’t think I’m limiting myself by only dating locals when there are millions of people around me and I only want to date locally anyway.

You have a lot of good points including when you said “One thing I’m known for saying on this blog is that there is a huge difference between living a life of PASSIVITY, and waiting on God.” I have a blog post where I discuss the story of Isaac and Rebekah and how some think God will deliver a wife to a man when he is passive or sitting in a field and meditating as Isaac was when his wife showed up: Good point that talking online and even on the phone isn’t really dating like some think. It is… Read more »
Jane T
This is brave to ask, I agree. In my experience, there can be a great text dialog with someone. Things line up on paper. You may even know someone’s friends and get an idea of their character. You may know they come from a nice family. But unless autism spectrum is at play, sometimes in person it doesn’t translate to romantic interest. Sometimes there is no spark or chemistry. Or they are too goofy for you, or it’s just awkward and you can tell you aren’t a romantic match…not husband material for you. Maybe a great friend! But, one can… Read more »
I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but I don’t believe that any honest, self- respecting guy who claims to feel a connection with a girl would be satisfied with an online-only relationship, especially after 15 months. Personally I think he is hiding something, either physical eg. deformity/ disability; or material eg. A wife and family. Or he is not at all interested in a real relationship and is just stringing you along. Hopefully he is not one of those internet creeps who grooms young women by telling them everything they want to hear in order to gain their trust and… Read more »

I needed to hear some of this. I’ve been in a face-to-face, hang out nearly every day, relationship for 4 years and he keeps avoiding specifically answering where this is headed. It’s easy to be lulled into passivity when you get along well. It’s hard to be intentional and stand up….