11 Tragic Signs You're Stuck In A ‘Virtual’ Relationship That's Not Real

It's either time to get face-to-face serious, or move on.

Couple talking on the phone, long distance relationship pixelfit, Rido | Canva

With technology, it’s so easy to meet and communicate with people all over the world, which explains why so many singles of all ages end up in virtual long-distance relationships.

When you're feeling lonely and looking for love, a flirty message from someone far away can lift your spirits like nothing else. One thing leads to another and the connection blossoms into a strong emotional bond.

Suddenly, you find yourself in a long-distance relationship, where you primarily rely on text messages, social media, video chats, and other virtual platforms to stay connected.


There's nothing wrong with enjoying an online relationship. The intimacy, caring, and support can be satisfying, but it depends on what your needs are.

Sometimes, creating intimacy is easier knowing the distance between you keeps you safe. After all, what are the chances you'll meet a far-away person who lives in another state or country?

RELATED: How "Fantasy Relationships" Provide The Illusion Of Closeness While Keeping Real Intimacy At Bay


Here's how to know if you’re really in love or stuck in a ‘virtual’ relationship.

1. You fear losing your freedom and think an online-only, long-distance relationship can work well.

In a long-distance relationship, you can easily protect your free time and limit what you share with your partner. From a distance, they won't ask you to join them at events or hang out watching TV. You've probably known of couples who see each other a few times a year for long weekends and holidays and love this arrangement.

Love at a distance is also incredibly romantic. Planning your first meeting and imagining what it will be like. Picturing yourself in his arms or meeting his family and friends. This is the stuff fairytales are made of. When a get-together like this is not likely, it can all seem perfect as you plot out every detail in your mind.

A relationship in real life never measures up to a virtual one because most of the thrill is in your head. The fantasy is far more enjoyable because it excludes the mundane stuff that is part of a real-life relationship.

The distance also reduces the risk of feeling judged, since you don’t spend time in person or around others. This is why an online love affair feels safer than a real one.


The geographic separation eliminates pressure, too. If you're just texting, it doesn't matter what your hair or makeup looks like or what you’re wearing. Some people engage in virtual relationships because they crave variety or more attention, but don’t want to risk physically cheating on a partner.

2. You've fallen in love and decided you want to move your long-distance relationship offline and into real life.

If your person is just killing time or emotionally cheating without physically cheating, they wouldn't want to take things to the next level and meet or spend quality time together.

Not everyone can handle a full-fledged relationship, and that’s why they seek virtual connections instead. The responsibility of a relationship is too much for some people. They don't carve time out to see you, vacation with you, or be there for special events.

They like things to stay as they are and feel more in control and safer behind technology.


As a woman falls deeply in love, she becomes intensely involved and attached. A desire for even more sets in. Not being able to take things to the next level and enjoy physical intimacy causes frustration, angst, and longing that can’t be completely satisfied by this online affair.

RELATED: What You Must Know In Order To Make A Long-Distance Relationship Work

3. You are serious about finding true love with a virtual partner.

You need to know a virtual, long-distance relationship might not work for several reasons.

The distance makes it expensive to see each other.

You may not have enough vacation time to visit as much as you want.

Ultimately, one of you will have to move to be together.


There may be cultural differences.

If they live outside your country, there may be visa issues and other legal concerns.

You'll never know how real the chemistry is without being there to use all your senses — seeing their body language and holding eye contact, the electricity of their touch, and how they smell of soap, shampoo, or shaving lotion.

They'll never kiss you, or hold your hand in real life.

RELATED: 3 Signs The Guy You Met Online Is A Big Liar

Here are 11 tragic signs you're in a "virtual" relationship that isn't going anywhere:

1. You've been texting/talking for months, but have never met (even if you aren't that far apart)

2. You may have met once or twice, but their time to spend with you is limited. Texting, Skype, or Facetime fit better with his schedule.

3. They say they want to see you, but they have loads of excuses for why they can't right now. (Illness, work, family needs, demanding boss, etc.)

4. You stalk them on social media and spend more time texting or talking to them on the phone, than on anything else going on in your real life.

5. They make plans with you and enjoy discussing details, but always cancel.

6. They always push off planning a trip or seeing you in the future.

7, Even if you fly to meet each other for a fabulous getaway, you still don't know who they are or what they're like when the chips are down — important details for healthy, lasting love.

8. They find it easier to share their thoughts and express themselves by text versus talking on the phone or in person. The written word, carefully chosen, can feel more meaningful than speaking naturally in the spur of the moment.

9. You'd rather wait around to text or talk to them than spend time with your friends or family.

10. They love to text all day, but might not have time to talk at night. (This can be a sign they are in another relationship.)

11. You text during the day and talk at night, giving up the rest of your life and putting off other activities and responsibilities.

Once you recognize you are in an online-only relationship and want more, you can either transition it to real life — or move on to find true love.


First, build up your self-esteem. Know you are worthy of having the real thing, and get frank with yourself about this relationship. Then, insist on setting a date with them for spending time together face-to-face. Let them know this is the end of the line, and you are very serious about your request.

Accept no excuses and give no second chances. If they truly love you and want to be with you, a quality person will do what it takes so they don't lose you. Realize that if they can't find a way to see you, it automatically makes them the wrong one for you.

Decide you will end the long-distance relationship if they cannot visit, meet you somewhere, or keep their word. Don't bother with idle threats — you must follow through and keep your word for your own good! Set up your support system to keep you accountable about making this real or walking away should they disappoint you one last time.


Plan for the aftermath in case things don't work out, such as indulging in plenty of self-care: getting a massage, Reiki healing, taking cleansing baths with Epsom salts, and working out or doing yoga. You can also watch chick flicks, read a good book, and hang out with your girlfriends.

If you discover you're stuck in a virtual, long-distance relationship that's going nowhere, it's time to end things. Then, once you feel ready to start dating again, look locally for love. A woman who is serious about finding lasting love with the right person knows her chances are far better with a geographically desirable one.

RELATED: 6 Super Common Long-Distance Relationship Problems — And How To Fix Them All

Ronnie Ann Ryan is an Intuitive Coach, Past Life Reader, and author of six books. She’s the creator of the free audio course How to Ask the Universe for a Sign and Get an Answer Within 24 Hours. She's been published on ABC, BBC, and NPR.