No doubt, if you've been in dating mode for a while or fall into a "certain demographic," (ahem - that would be women over the age of 30) the thought of dating someone who lives a few states away will conjure up the vision of "Sleepless in Seattle" - Annie nervously sitting on a plane, talking about lying instead of flying, followed by the map of the dotted-line plane taking off from the east coast to land in Seattle and then her eyes just missing locking with Sam as he drops another gal off at the airport.
Conveniently, Annie is a writer who seemingly could get a job anywhere and Sam is an architect who left vibrant Chicago and fell into a job working on million dollar houses.
Is the real world really like that? Okay, for some it is. But for the rest of us - should you even consider dating across distances?
Long-distance dating CAN be a great idea for some people. Safety issues aside (which are covered separately) here are 5 tips for jumping into long-distance dating.
- Don't presume that long hours on the phone equal "knowing someone well." Anyone can be whoever they want to be on the phone, and under the veil of VOIP, many people will take advantage of this degree of anonymity to talk a bigger game than they actually possess.
- Make sure you have the budget to commit to traveling. Yes, leaping on a plane to fly to your Romeo seems like the stuff dreams are made of, but those charges can add up fast. When you fly to meet someone you've met online and spoken with on the phone, book your own hotel and a rental car, and either rent or take a GPS unit. And on that note, as well, make sure that you discuss the travel responsibility quotient. Don't always be the one flying there; make sure it's a balance of each of you taking a financial burden to be somewhere.
- Take time to get to know who you're meeting as if you were meeting in your hometown. Just because you're flying and on a "mini-vacation" doesn't mean you need to leave your brain at home. Treat first dates like first dates and every date thereafter like the equivalent of what you're comfortable with.
- If you are a not a seasoned traveler or travel makes you nervous, dating across distance is not a good idea. I don't mean to be the rain on your parade, but if you get especially anxious when traveling, whomever you are meeting will not be seeing you at your best, so if you're that kind of traveler, skip it.
- Know thyself. If you're the type of person who wants to get someone you're dating on your Google Maps Latitude list so you can track when they're at the diner, I don't recommend dating across distances. If you're comfortable with dating someone who is leading their own life in their own place, regardless of where that is, then go for it.
Like any dating scenario, you need to know yourself WELL and understand exactly what you want to have a successful relationship. If you're hoping to date someone because you want help with the yard work, it's best to stick to a smaller dating radius.