|Long Distance Dating: Romantic
It sounds like something out of a fairy
tale. Shes in Los Angeles: hes in New York. They met through
an online dating service, started with e- mail, moved up to phone chatting
and now theyre sure theyre in love. Only problem isthey
have never met in person.
But they can both tell its the
real thing. It must be lovehow else could the talks they have on the
phone be so intimate and make them feel so close? Sure, it will be difficult
and expensive to get together, but hey, this is true love! And sure, if they
are to be together that means one of them has to give up their whole
lifestylefamily, friends, work, etc.and move thousands of miles
away just to be with the other.
If youve never been in one of these
long-distance romances you might wonder why in the world anyone would try
to start a romance with someone who lives so far away. Ask any pop psychologist
and theyll tell you its a perfect set-up for people who are afraid
of commitment. The long-distance lover gives you a place to focus all your
romantic fantasies of having the perfect person to love, without any of the
romance-dampening realitieslike discovering that they yell and throw
things when angry, or they hate being around your friends, or that they see
nothing wrong with a drink or two before noon.
When you have just broken up with someone
or when you have been on an endless merry-go-round of dates that go nowhere
or when its been months and months since you met anyone to date, you
can become vulnerable to the lure of long-distance romance. I may seem very
opinionated on this subject, but thats because Im trying to save
you from the heartache of another relationship gone bad.
Lets get one thing straightthis
is dedicated to people who want a serious, long-term, committed, monogamous
love relationship. If you just want to play, then you might find long distance
dating exciting and fun. But if you want to find the right kind of partner
and develop a real love relationship, you are going down a dead end road
if you get involved with someone who is too far away.
What's Too Far Away?
Whats too far away? It actually has more to do with time
than with actual distance in miles. Based on my experience Id say that
if it takes more than an hours travel time for you two to get together,
thats too far away. I tried it with several good prospects that I met
dating online who lived over an hour away and it was just too difficult for
us to get together on any kind of regular basis. Sometimes two or three weeks
would go by before we could get our schedules to mesh well enough to see
Believe me, all it takes is a few
nerve-wracking 90-minute drives through Southern California traffic to take
the luster off your budding romance. And thats if they are only 60
or 70 miles away. As a relationship develops you want to spend more and more
time with the person. You can put up with the travel time at the start when
everything is new and exciting, but it gets old rather quickly.
So now you should know whats coming
next. If Im telling you 60 miles is too far, what do I think about
hundreds or thousands of miles? That's relationship rouletteand the
house always wins! Okay, I know youve heard stories about one of these
long distance deals that did work out. They flew across the country to see
each other, it was instant chemistry and they got married and lived happily
ever after. What are the chances that it will happen that way for you? Pretty
close to zero. (Id bet that lovely couple in the story is no longer
together a year or two later.)
The One Hour Rule
So heres the bottom line: long distance dating is DUMB! Dont
do it if you want a real love relationship with a real person. Make up your
mind right now to put the One Hour Rule into effect. There are many people
that are a good match for you within one hour from your home (except maybe
if you live in the Australian outback or Alaskan wilderness). We all have
many more than just one soul mate on the planet at any given time.
I used to live 6,500 feet up in a little
mountain town of 6,000 people where I could not find any men I wanted to
date. So I got on the net and did a search for men within 40 miles and dozens
of profiles popped up. One of them was my future husband, living right at
the bottom of the mountain. There he was, but how would I ever have met him
without the online dating service?
It took about 45 50 minutes for
us to drive to one anothers homes, and by the time wed been dating
for 6 months or so we were really tired of all the driving. But that was
long enough to determine that we wanted to get engaged, move in together
and eventually get married.
You must want a great long-term relationship
or marriage if youve read this far. So develop a rock-solid resolve
deep in your heart that you will not be tempted into starting a long distance
online flirtation with anyone, no matter how cute their photo is or how perfect
they seem in their profile. It is an utterly futile pursuit and will NOT
get you to your goal.
The best thing to do is to clearly state
your No long distance dating preference right up front in your
profile and then stick to your guns. Some lunkhead that lives four states
away will still try to contact you and you can just ignore their message
or send a blank reply with NO LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS or NOT INTERESTED
in the subject line if you want to give them the courtesy of a reply.
Advanced Search Options
The better dating services have advanced search options that let you choose
a geographical category according to zip code or number of miles. You know
what the average travel times will be in your home area and can figure out
which zip codes or how many miles will keep you in the under one hour
When you first do your own searches restrict
them to people 20 30 minutes away. Most people will find plenty of
prospects in a nearby geographical area. If youre not having any luck
expand your search criteria to 45 minutes or 60 minutes at the most.
There may be times when you feel lonesome
and bored, when you havent met anyone really interesting in a long
time. Thats the time when your resolve will be tested. Youll
start to think Oh, well
heres a message from someone whos
only 3 hours away. Maybe Ill just check out their profile. This
is dangerous thinking that could very well put you on the road to disaster.
Remember that while you are fooling around with the wrong person, you are
not available for the right person when they do show up.
So now youre thinking, Boy,
this lady is tough on us poor singles! Yes, Im being tough here
for a good reason. People like you and me who value and cherish the idea
of having a great marriage have to be tough enough to say NO to situations
that have little or no chance of producing the long-term relationship we
Im glad that I instituted the One
Hour Rule for myself and stuck to it, no matter what. Thats why I was
able to find my great guy living close enough so we could really get to know
each other. And thats why that great guy and I are happily married
today. I sincerely want the same for you! The One Hour Rule will help you
get there faster.
Barbara Wright Abernathy is the author
of Venus On Top: Women Who Are Born to Lead and the Men Who Love Them.
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