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My boyfriend is in Ireland (an Irishman) and I am in the USA.

 

We first started chatting on the net last October, then this February feelings burst forth like spring (!) He made the moves to come and visit me (his first visit ever to America), which he did in May. I didn't like everything I saw and he didn't like everything he saw ( he said a couple months after getting back home) - and a couple of habits like lots of smoking and some social drinking bothered me, because he really didn't make me aware of that before we met. ( However he did tell me he wore upper dentures - and I was fine with it. LOL!)

 

We have always been fond of each other in a curious way that goes beyond sexual, and because he has the money, has helped me out of a couple of hard financial times this year with no big deal over it. He never pushed sex on me, and is now wondering about the differences we have between us: a few religious differences, differences in talents and social activities ( he's a farmer/businessman who golfs, I am a retail-sales person who goes to Church with a vibrant spiritual life and artistic talent.) We speak to each other at least 3 times a day over the phone or on the net....he is 49 and I am 41. He does not have an interest in gambling, has never stood me up or gone out on dates after meeing me ( he has children at home with him), and we expect to see each other again in October; who visits who is still up for grabs, but since he owns his own business, he can get out of work more easily than I can....

 

He is separated - and it will be one more year before Irish Law permits him to divorce ( you have to wait 4 _amn years - I checked myself) and I am in no hurry for getting engaged again ( I am divorced) because I am trying to set things up so I can travel to that part of the world under my own power, and take telecommuting work with me so I'm always earning money no matter where I spend my time outside of the USA.

 

He's not the only fish in the sea, but I have been so busy trying to get my own finances and career in order, that I have not encountered other people whom I do not have to "wait for" that quite fit what I am looking for. All in all, at the end of the day, he is still my guy and I am still his girl, and, he's never told me that things have gotten so difficult that he wants to break off.... and he is willing to TRY to bridge those differences between us slowly.....

 

Has anyone gone thru this before here? Have you stayed and experimented with "bridging" your differences? Did you get results over time, or did you wind up breaking up?

 

 

 

~S.

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Other than

fond of each other in a curious way
and references to things you both dislike about each other I don't see any reference to love or basic compatibility. He seems more like a generous friend that you can lean on and who helps you out more than anything else. Are you both happy with that?
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Has anyone gone thru this before here? Have you stayed and experimented with "bridging" your differences? Did you get results over time, or did you wind up breaking up?

 

There is a fine line between "working out differences" and "changing who you are" as a person. I think it's best to either accept the person, differences, flaws, and all, or end things. You guys are both in your 40's which means you are pretty set in who you are as people.

 

If either of you change, neither will be happy...that's my take on things...

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I guess it really depends what you mean by "differences".

I was first attracted to my guy because he is SO different from me in a lot of ways, then started wondering if we were not in fact too different to even think of having a relationship that would last.

Then again...I believe we actually complete each other, in the sense that we are both learning to see life from different points of view (I'm the emotional, sensitive dreamer and he is the down-to-earth, cold-headed realist).

However, we do have the same values and ideas regarding a lot of things, and I believe those are very important to make a relationship work long term. We do have the same views on religion and beliefs (or lack there of in our case), finances, family, personal growth and freedom...etc

 

You have to start asking yourself if those "differences" are just little things that you can live with (differences in your personalities and habits) or if they are deeper differences that might become a base for serious arguments quickly.

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I guess I've had a relationship similar to yours. My guy was in the USA and I was in Europe.

 

The problem with Internet relationships is that you are not spending a long amount of "quality time" together - the crux is that one of you will have to move to the same country eventually.

 

The fact that in the short time you have spent together you found differences already is a red flag!

 

If you are already spotting differences in a short time together, then can you imagine if you actually moved to the same country???

 

My internet relationship was similar to yours as I was waiting on my guy to come live with me in Europe. But it kept getting "put on hold", ( it suited him to stay in the USA) I found it really frustrating, as my heart was not in meeting someone else, but I wanted a normal relationship. It was killing me.

 

In the interim, I found it really hard "to fish for others" and not put my eggs in one basket. I guess when I found out that he was not the man I thought, I ended it. I had to go there on business on a surprise trip there and he suddenly "was not available to meet me."

 

The one thing I will say to you, is that internet romances are best dealt with in the same country and within commuting distances.

 

You are right, Irish law does say your marriage has to be irretrievably broken down for 4 yrs before you can divorce - but I seriously would look at how much emphasis you are placing on this when you've not spent 6 months in the company of each other in the same city. Please don't make the same mistake I made and wait on this man! You deserve more.

 

You are young enough (in the summer of your life!) to meet other people. I'm not saying this Irish guy is not the one for you, but perhaps spread your wings.....

 

 

 

It does seem to me that you are panicking, or settling for this guy. I would seriously put him on a back burner. You need to get out there and date guys in your country and not be waiting on your Irish guy to come your way.

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I had an LDR for three months and during that time it was wonderful to purely communicate with words through phone calls, letters, and emails of course. It really builds up a relationship based purely on communication and thereforeeee I think opens up a whole world that you may miss if you are constantly together physically.

 

Go for it, try it, why not? I don't think you have anything to lose here, although after the three months of my LDR I was dying to see my boyfriend, and all of the visits were all the more beautiful.

 

As for different worlds, we are all from different worlds in our own way, I think that finding what unites us is much more rewarding than identifying 'differences' to reconcile, and I don't think that differences should be reconciled, afterall thats part of what makes you , you.

 

Good luck to you and all the best.

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