The perils of Internet dating sites and finding a match 2,000 miles away

So, a month or so ago I signed up for OkCupid. Pretty much a waste of time except I got a lovely response from a woman in Canada, but she lives like 2,000 miles away. We traded messages and joked around a bit and had some fun. We have a tonne in common.

The thing is, we then traded phone numbers, and started sending a few texts here and there. I have yet to speak with her but we have traded enough personal information that I know this is legitimate. We get along famously.

We have traded pictures with one another; nothing untoward. She is quite pretty, and I assume she finds me attractive also. But we have our independent lives 2,000 miles apart and that is tough to deal with.

We like the same food, we are compatible with music tastes, we share the same beliefs on all major topics including religion, in which we’re of the agnostic/atheist viewpoint.

She’s a wonderful lady, and to be honest we have, by text and email had some rather erotic exchanges to the point of “happy ending.” We communicate daily now. Sometimes dozens and dozens of text messages. We are both wondering what to make of all this as we are really compatible and are spiraling into something that doesn’t seem sustainable, given the geographic divide.

This is unlike me. And by the sounds of it it’s unlike her. I’m 51 and separated for a year, and she’s 43 and divorced. So, now I find myself wondering what to do about all this. She seems unlikely to give up her career and move to my location, and vice versa. There’s no easy answer to this so maybe I’m just rambling.

Anyone else go through this? We have communicated, and if our personal situations were different it would be a no brainer to get together, but alas I have kids from my marriage here, and she has a life there. Woe is me, I know.


Go and visit her for a couple weeks. Otherwise you will wonder about it for the rest of your life.

Meet her in the flesh. You don’t know until you do. There may be something there that is worth one of you moving for. There may not be. But you won’t know until you do!

At least talk on the phone.

My husband and I started a relationship while we were 2000 miles apart and now we both live where he started. Granted, I had a lot of flexibility given that I was ready for a change and had no reason to stay where I was other than inertia, but it can be done under some circumstances.

But if you haven’t at least spoken on the phone, you are getting the other person much more filtered.

Talk on the phone. Still sparky? Meet in person. The only thing you’re really risking (assuming no one is a psycho) is a broken heart. Big deal!

This is the crux of the issue and you seem to be aware of it. Back before I met my current wife I was in a similar situation with a woman who only lived 100 miles away. We got along wonderfully, but after the initial thrill of romance comes the practical application, what does the future look like?

She had a great job at a university that she wasn’t going to leave, I had an upper level management job at a manufacturer that I wasn’t going to leave. We both had kids with ex mates that would be upset if they had to move farther away from the other parent. I was taking care of my mother and she had similar responsibilities. We could have worn out a few more automobiles but the facts were not going to change.

When you look at the situation in the cold light of day, what are the possibilities? A great love story is a wonderful thing to have in your life. But a real, permanent relationship involves practical details that must be addressed.

The answer you seek is in the part of your post I quoted above. And I am sorry.

I met my spouse online. I am in southernmost California and she was pretty far north. She flew down to see me a lot and eventually moved here. I think she’d say it was worth it :cool:. Maybe you’ll have an adventure!

It’s a great relationship and we’re really happy. We’ve been together 10 years.

I’ve never done internet dating, but from what I gather from other people’s experience:

  1. Having an actual relationship is not the same thing as being virtual pen pals. No matter how frequent and wonderful your email exchanges are, what matters is if you actually get along in person. And I’m not even talking about some sort of “Catfish” Manti Te’o scenario. Email hides a lot of annoying habits.

  2. Maybe find someone closer? I mean considering your match is nearly the distance between New York and LA away, how hard can that be?

I don’t know if the internet is the best way to find a partner but it’s definitely the best way to dump one.

Are you saying you haven’t talked with her on the phone? Try that for a while and then go out and meet her and see if you have actual chemistry.

Although I can understand that it’s hard to uproot yourself if your kids are close by. I was dating my American husband while still living in Canada. It was a lot of trips. But can be done if you want to see the other person.

If you don’t meet the person within a week or two, it is an “internet-only” relationship. That is to say, an unfulfilling steaming-pile-of-shit relationship.

Meet her in person, as soon as you can. You are on a road to nowhere.

If all you’ve done so far is communicated by text and email, why not try a phone call or webcam? It’s a way to test compatibility a little more without the commitment and expense of a 2000-mile trip. No, a Skype conversation isn’t the same as sharing a cup of coffee together in person, but it can give you more of an idea of the level of chemistry between you. My husband and I started off messaging on a dating site from 600 miles apart, then moved to the phone, and then web/video chat for a few months before we met in person.

Then again, if you know for sure that neither one of you will be willing to pick up and move to be with the other, then maybe it’s not worth getting yourselves in deeper. I was at a point in my life and career where a trial move to the US was feasible.

First of all, if you have no intention of moving to be with her and she has no intention of moving to be with you, it doesn’t matter how compatible you are. We haven’t invented teleporters yet. So figure that out first, and cut it off if the distance is literally insurmountable. Or, if you are satisfied with a long-distance dalliance and honestly know that things between you can never work out in the long-term, that’s fine. But if so, you have to be honest with her and yourself. No need to break hearts unnecessarily, especially when one is your own.

If you can pass this hurdle, then you **have to **meet in-person. ASAP. I’m a long-distance relationship veteran. It’s very easy to connect with someone long-distance. In-person chemistry has no guarantee. Better to find out now what she’s actually like. So visit her for a week or 2, or invite her to visit you.

I am very happy with my former-long-distance boyfriend. We lived 600+ miles apart when we first met on World of Warcraft. But I was willing to uproot (wanted to desperately, in fact). He would not have been, so our relationship couldn’t have worked out if I hadn’t been willing to relocate. He came to visit me for a week, it was grand, and I started looking for a job over there. Now there is here, we’re engaged to be engaged, and my life is the best it’s ever been. But that’s one success story, keeping in mind that I met (and invested *way too much *into) 3 long-distance duds prior to meeting this guy.

Just don’t get your hopes up prematurely. Going forward, you might want to start pruning your search results to only pull people within a 25- or 50-mile radius. I know okcupid has that option, or did when I was a member.

Leaffan: What exactly is the situation with kids? Do both of you have them? How old are they? Who are they currently living with?

I have them on weekends. Used to be every second weekend, but for the last three months it’s been every weekend.

I think you both suspect it isnt a feasible relarionship, as you havent even spoken on the phone. When kids are involved, its much harder to change things up. Nothing wrong with a long distance thing, but if theres no flexibility its probably better to accept it for what it is, not for what it might be if a miracle occurs. And I say this as a woman married to my online date from yes, 2000 miles away.

Enjoy it, hopefully keep being friends, maybe even visit. But keep being realistic.

Leffan, you’re torturing yourself. If the only girl you can find compatibility with is 2,000 miles away, you need to take a hard look at yourself and ask yourself: Why?

Is the reason why you opened up to this girl is the fact that she lives 2,000 miles away and you felt safe in doing so? There are many other factors you should consider, I really think you should take some time and take a hard look inward. What you’re doing is irrational if your end goal is to find a mate.

All of this, except I was in another country and seven thousand miles away. Go see her. You never know.

I agree. At best, Leaffan, you’ll meet somebody with whom you’ll get along famously, and the two of you will start planning ways around the problems you’ve mentioned. At worst, you’ll meet a new acquaintance, get a mini-vacation, and give those of us who are about 2000 miles away from you an excuse for a Dopefest. :wink:

ETA: You need not bring your new friend along to such a Dopefest; but perhaps you can leave enough room in your itinerary to allow for one.

Couple other points:

  1. Echoing what other people said, long distance relationships suck. My wife and I did one for a few years, but we were both in grad school and I had planned to move to where she was as soon as I was finished (since I completed my program first). Otherwise, it just becomes a bullshit made-up relationship with no contact.

  2. It seems to me that rather than move 2000 miles to be with someone, it might be easier to fix whatever it is that makes you only compatible with one woman within a 2000 mile radius.:wink:

I met someone online. Not a dating site. Actually an Facebook page catering to Army personnel (she was divorced from a soldier but still worked on post). Now its a huge page but then there were only a couple thousand. She saw a couple of my responses on threads and contacted me. We PM’d, texted, talked on the phone etc. She seemed great and a good fit. But she lived in Kentucky and I live in New Jersey. But I decided to go visit her for a weekend. It went horrifically wrong. Right from the beginning we had nothing to talk about. I am a pretty quiet person and I’m not good at faking it. Anything I started to say she would shut down. It was the most uncomfortable I have ever felt in my life. I left early.

Two weeks later I went out on the first date with my girlfriend. We are still together and living together more than three years later.

But it could work for you.

I’m not saying its the case here. It seems like it isn’t. But when I tried online dating the only women that had no distance restriction on their profile were scams. If I got contacted by someone from 500 miles away I knew I could ignore it. Who in their right mind seeks out long distance relationships? Most who find themselves in one fall into it. They don’t seek it out.