Fotolia When I first joined OkCupid, I kept my online dating location settings at the default, looking for people up to 25 miles away.
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I didn't really think about it. Honestly, I didn't have a good sense of what areas that included. It seemed practical to only date people who could easily drive to my place and back over the course of an evening.
But recently, I've met some people and learned some facts that have made me reconsider these narrow criteria. First, while out on a rooftop bar in Manhattan, I met an engaged couple. After a year of messaging and visiting each other, he proposed. This wasn't the long distance dating websites relationship I knew that began online while two people were residing in different places.
Stephen, 31, put far more thought into his OkCupid settings than I did, determining he could handle miles of driving and gas money, and seriously dated two women who lived over 50 miles away.
Peter, 45, looked 75 miles and two hours away in Davis when he wasn't having luck in his home city of San Francisco. Others have gotten into long-distance relationships online without even intending to.
Andrew, 23, met his dating websites on Tinder while he was visiting New York from Berkeley, and they've been together long-distance for nine months, though they plan to eventually live in the same place. Rosemary, 27, befriended her boyfriend on Facebook through mutual friends before they confessed they had feelings for each other. She lived in Redlands, CA, while he lived in Brooklyn.
He moved to Redlands for the summer, and they moved in together in Brooklyn long distance. I'll admit, when I heard these couples' stories, I was skeptical. But after hearing their reasoning and speaking with online dating expert Julie Spirawho wholeheartedly advocates geographically expanding your search for love, I've taken the plunge and updated my OkCupid location settings to "anywhere.
Here are some I once had and the answers I've arrived at. Giphy It might seem incredulous that someone could be willing to cross the state, country, or world to meet someone they've never spoken to in real life.
But given all the long-distance modes of communication available to us now, the definition of "real life" has expanded. Sometimes, you can just tell someone's right for you before even speaking.
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It was just a case of how long it was going to take to make it reality. Our relationship developed so naturally and felt so effortless. We knew a lot about each other before we met for the first time.
I did my research, and everything he told me checked out I had no doubts long distance meeting him, but if anything, I had been dying to see England! Giphy It may seem more convenient to date people closer to you, but that's sometimes easier said than done. Some people just aren't feeling it with the people in their own region. Not to mention, meeting people compatible dating websites you is difficult enough to begin with.
In Manhattan, for example, there are about three straight, single, college-educated women ages 22 to 29 for every two men, according to Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game by Jon Birger.
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Lauderdale, the gender ratios for women are so bad that women might want to expand their date search to other cities. Conversely, men who live in San Jose aka 'Man Jose' might want to consider something similar," Birger said, adding that a less extreme solution might be for women to look in the suburbs surrounding their city, where more men tend to settle.
Learning about gender ratios was the straw that broke the camel's back in my decision to expand my location settings. New York's dating market is awful for women.
Eligible bachelors not only are few and far long distance dating websites but also get to act entitled due to their scarcity, since women can appear disposable. But if I'm open to meeting someone who lives in Silicon Valley, where women are a commodity, I may find not only more options but also more appreciative partners.
Expanding location settings also lets people find the best person in the world for them, not just the best in their region. If you're only hoping to meet somebody who lives in your neighborhood, you're really leaving the opportunity for deep love on the table. It's a limitation we place on our pool of options due to convenience.
But dating someone far is away is not as inconvenient as it used to be. Aren't Long-Distance Relationships Hard? Giphy Most people I interviewed who entered relationships with people more than just a few hours away expected one of them to move at some point.
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Personally, I would be excited for the chance to visit a new place every few months and possibly long distance dating websites relocate, and a long-distance relationship would provide the perfect excuse to do that.
Spira recommends meeting up regularly, communicating throughout the day with "good morning" and "goodnight" texts, and making Skype dates to help long-distance relationships last. If you don't nurture it, it will go away.
She recommends that those hesitant to travel "start within miles where it's easier to develop a real regular schedule. One of these is the ability to connect with others all over the world.
Gone are the days of dating.