When can you call it a "lasting relationship"?

I was talking with someone online who posited that no lasting romantic relationships could be formed online. It was too soon to call any online relationships “lasting,” she said, because the internet hadn’t existed long enough. I said that I have been married for eight years to a man I met online, but this wasn’t lasting enough to prove it, according to her.

When does a relationship become a “lasting relationship” in your mind? Am I in a lasting relationship that originated online?

I certainly think so.

I don’t know what amount of time causes a relationship to be “lasting”, though. To me, it’s always been more about the level of commitment than the time. I have a friend who’d been in a relationship for about 5 years now (they met in person), and while that’s no small amount of time, I don’t know that it was ever considered “lasting” by any of the friends watching it. It was “serious” (they were engaged when they broke up), but his commitment level and hers were very different in a lot of little ways.

Still, the word implies time over commitment, so I guess that’s just my long-winded way of saying that I have no idea, timewise.

It’s lasting when the participants think it’s lasting–if they care, that is.

What I really hate is the insinuation that a relationship has to be “lasting” to be legitimate. As if endurance is what wins the brass ring, and that if it doesn’t endure, it wasn’t really “real”.

Ask your friend if people who are widowed after eight years are allowed to say they were in a “lasting” relationship. How a relationship ends doesn’t validate or invalidate what went on during its course.

I’m not sure that I’d use the terminology at all, but if I were to scrape together some criteria it would be something like:

  • has existed for longer than a year (I have a personal glitch about relationships ending around the year mark, so if it’s made it past there without blowing up it at least isn’t excluded)

  • stable and settled down – not in the initial pink-fluffy-stupids whee-I’m-in-love stage, but to the point where there’s some level of reasonable awareness of what being involved with that person entails

  • more or less consensus on how the relationship is and will look long-term; operating day-to-day more or less like that

  • run from there
    I have basically Manda JO’s problem with the concept of “lasting”; it just strikes me as a way of dismissing other people’s partnerships as not qualified because of some arbitrary declaration. (I was actually relieved when my husband and I had been together for ten years, because then I could respond to, “So do those sorts of relationships work? Has anyone seen one that lasted ten years?” I could point at myself, rather than sitting and seething about having my perfectly functional relationship blown off as arbitrarily disqualified. Next stop: fifteen or children.)

This reminds me of a friend who divorced and married another woman. The first wife carried on that they weren’t right for each other, blah, blah, blah. When the couple ended up separating after 18 years, the first wife chimed in, “See? I *told * you it wasn’t going to last!” What. EVAH.

You’re married?

That sounds lasting to me, except for those people who get divorced when they realize that one of them wanted a marriage and the other one wanted a wedding :stuck_out_tongue:

8 years? Does your friend realize the immense majority of relationships last a lot less? The amount of people who break up at the 7-year mark?

Heck yeah, you’re in a lasting relationship. You’re hoping/expecting it to last, you’re commited, and it’s already lasted quite a goody while. If 8 years and married isn’t lasting, then what is.

What MandaJo said. Apparently, Dad’s death makes my parents’ 35-year relationship non-lasting… heck, it’s not ongoing any more, but I’d say it lasted enough.

When one of the participants dies might be long enough for your friend, perhaps?

Lasting != Healthy or Happy

Spencer Tracy and his wife had a lasting relationship.

Lasting would not be the criteria I’d use to evaluate relationships.

Yeah, good point.

This person was attempting to say why she would never internet date. I guess the thing for me is that I don’t care if someone doesn’t internet date, but why slam those of us who do with some dismissive criterion?

I wasn’t offended, mind you, just a little surprised. This wasn’t a friend, just an online conversation with someone I don’t know at all.

Not only do you need to define “lasting”, you also need to define “originate online”. If two people arrange a just-barely-non-blind date via an online personals site, does that make it an online relationship and thus incapable of lasting? What if they chat online once or twice first? Where do you draw the magical relationship-killing line?

This person’s full of crap… but I’m sure you know that already. :smiley:

My husband met online about 12 years ago (on a Bulletin Board System, BBS). We have been married for 6 years.

We just survived finding out my husband had a hidden drug addiction. I’d say if we survived that, we fall under the category of lasting. However, had I killed him in anger, I’d have probably said the same thing.

We are in it for the long haul. We have been since the start. It’s “lasted” so far, and I hope it lasts much longer.

My partner and I have been together for 3 years and were friends for 2 years prior to getting romantically involved. I call it “lasting.”
There are certain components to our (I guess, most) relationships that make them successful;

  1. Mutual love/genuine caring for the other person
  2. respect
  3. the same goal for the relationship
  4. honesty
    5 committment
  5. the ability to communicate and compromise
  6. the desire and ability to work through the inevitible issues that arise in romantic relationships

We have that and that is what has kept us together for these 3 years and these are the things that will contribute to being together for 100 more. You can’t predict how long it will last but you sure as hell can do what’s necessary to try to make it last.

Oh, and whether you met online, at a party, married a one night stand, met in a bar, through friends, have known eachother since you were four, or had an arranged marriage, no one can say but you and your partner if it’s “lasting” or if it will work.

Tell your friend to piss off. :wink:

Sure, the Internet hasn’t been around that long, but meeting people via a phone connection has. My dad used to run a BBS in the late eighties and early nineties, and so many of our members (I was CoSysop at 7 ^_^) got hooked up it wasn’t even funny. And most of 'em are still together.

I’ve only been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half (or thereabouts - he keeps track of it more than I do). I’d assume that a lot of people wouldn’t think we’re in a “lasting” relationship because we have no plans to get married. However, we live together, split costs, rarely fight, love each other, and plan on spending the rest of our lives together. We both have moral issues over marriage and won’t go there, but essentially, we ARE married, just lacking in the little piece of paper that says so. His daughters think of me as their stepmom.

I hate having to justify my relationship to people - friends are sucky, but family is the worst. According to my grandmother I’m living in sin - not because we’re not married, but because he’s 14 years older than me (my parents are 14 years apart but THEY weren’t living in sin…). Whatever.

No one can define your relationship except you, and never let anyone try.


Is your friend single?

I’d never internet date, but I’ve been involved with my husband since the web was new, and I’ve known him since the IBM PC was new. I’m not anticipating needing to find a date.

But between 1984 and 1995 (the period of time we were friends, but not dating), I did date. And, let me tell you, what you say you’d “never do” may not be what actually happens once you discover that all the men you know are happily married, involved or you aren’t their type. When you feel the need to get into a relationship, how you meet someone may become less of the criteria point than actually meeting someone.

If there’s a second conjugal visit, I count it as lasting…

Hell, in my book, a second date would qualify!