Bonny Albo
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Gillie wants to know if her online boyfriend is real, just really shy and/or busy, or, if she’s being catfished.

“I’ve met a guy online and we’ve been dating through  Skype and Facebook for a long time. We both really like one another and have yet to meet in person. The physical distance is negotiable but so far he’s been too busy to bridge the gap. Why won’t my online boyfriend meet me?”

Let’s Start With the Basics

Physical distance is a problem if you want to take your relationship to an intimate level. From the nature of your question, I’m going to assume this is important to you – and that you’ve ensured he’s not catfishing you. Meaning, you’ve seen him live on Skype, not just used it to hear each other’s voice.

If, for any reason, you’ve yet to see him physically in live-time (“my webcam doesn’t work,” or “I only have so much data on my plan,” etc.), please learn what is catfishing, and read the article in its entirety, before you do anything else.

Your Online Boyfriend is Real? Check!

So, phew! You know he exists, everything between you seems healthy, you’re basically just doing the long distance dating thing.

Fantastic. Wonderful. Stupendous!

Or, wait. Not really, because you really want to meet him, hug him, perhaps kiss or get intimate with him.

These are all valid, and I want you to know it’s okay to want these things. Often times in long distance relationships, we trick ourselves into thinking, “It’s okay”.

Really, though, what we want and crave is a partner that puts their arms around us and loves us not just virtually, but physically. That’s truly, perfectly okay, and the first step is accepting this.

Here’s Where To Focus

Next up, I want you to spend some time learning to love yourself. When you figure out the various ways and methods you feel loved, it’s easier to teach someone else (and in turn, learn how they feel loved).

An added side benefit? You can give yourself all the love you need, and therefore, don’t need your partner to do anything… other than respect you.

If you embraced the messages I shared in the loving yourself article, then you’ll probably already know what to do next. If not, let me give you a hint: it involves telling your online boyfriend what you need, and then waiting and seeing if it’s something he wants or is able to give you.

What To Say To Your Online Boyfriend

Now, there’s a difference between, “Dude, why don’t you want to meet me?!” and, “I’d really like to hug you. Do you think we can meet this week for an in-person date?”

When you love yourself, it becomes less about what-can-you-give-me, and more this-is-what-I-need. As well, you get to set healthy boundaries, stay in control of your own happiness, and honor the other person’s needs.

If you just wait and practice silence, your online boyfriend (if they love themselves) will tell you whatever it is they need, and what they feel comfy with.

If they can’t, don’t want to, or make excuses, it’s time for you to make a decision. Are you okay with an online-only boyfriend, or do you want more?

If you want more (and again, that’s perfectly okay), then you can say it. “Honey, I really care about you. I need an in-person relationship, and you’re telling me that’s just not something that’s going to happen. I respect that, and I respect myself, so I’m going to spare us both the frustration and disappointment and end this now. We just want different things”.

Remember: His Absence is a Gift

See how this loving yourself thing can benefit you? I’ll hazard that if it’s uncomfortable for you to read this, you’ve got some work to do still. Go back to the loving yourself article, follow it to a tee, and then have a chat with your partner.

Loving yourself means you make sure, in every moment, that you’re seeking or feeling joy. Refuse to deny yourself that.

Yes, you know he's real. Of COURSE he is... yet... you still haven't met him. So, what do you do? You ask a dating columnist for advice. Is your boyfriend real, and if so, how can you meet him?