Q: Am I Setting Myself Up for Long Distance Shidduch Dating?
Friends, family, and well-meaning neighbors tell me I should move to a larger city for dating. They say that if I don’t I’ll have limited options and will be stuck doing the long distance shidduch dating thing.
I’m wondering if this is necessary because where I’m living I have a great job, lots of family, a support system, and a community I love.
Are the pastures that much greener on the other side?? Is it true that I’m selling myself short by not moving?
A: Long Distance Dating Shouldn’t be Your Biggest Fear
I have many friends from my single days living in larger Jewish dating centers. One recently moved from NY to Jerusalem. I asked her which city provided better dating opportunities.
Her response: “The best city for dating is the one in which you find your husband.”
I thought that perspective couldn’t be further from the truth.
We so badly want that quick fix, the one that will find him/her fast.
Which is the best city for dating?
Who is the most networked with singles?
What website is the “best”?
Which outfit and look will do the trick?
I wish it were that easy.
Some people love big cities! If you feel like that is the best fit for you, your personality, and your social/dating needs, go for it!
It IS true that New York and Jerusalem are the two largest Jewish dating destinations in the world. Of course, cities with a greater number of singles have the potential to provide greater exposure, more options, and more dates.
That is definitely NOT a guarantee.
Those same cities may offer many of the wrong kinds of guys/girls for you.
You may be overwhelmed by the options or experience early burnout from over dating. You may say “no” to potentially good dates just because the options are dizzying.
Some who move to big cities become disappointed in their job, the social scene, or quality and pace of life. They also don’t feel like a unique individual in a large city where it’s all too easy to fade into anonymity.
I champion those that choose to stay in a comfortable hometown environment. If you flourish more as an individual in a small town where you have support and make contributions – that’s great! Own it!
That said, here are a few things to keep in mind if you do choose to continue living where you are:
Be Flexible About Travel
You’re going to have to drive and fly to attend events, meet matchmakers, or mingle at a well targeted single scene.
You May Have Fewer Dates
That’s OK. Dating isn’t some kind of scalps on the belt game. It’s about meeting people with whom we can connect deeply over the long term.
Don’t be disappointed if you will be dating less living out of town. Remember, it’s a high quality relationship you’re after. This is about gourmet dinner by a celebrity chef, not another shawarma joint off the main drag.
Do your homework. If you are traveling for a date make sure to do your research. Don’t make a long trip only to be bummed by factors you could have avoided with a bit of research.
For The Guys
I get that it might seem like a pain to travel to out of town communities when you have so many options in your backyard.
Here’s a thought: If you are looking for an “out of town” type of girl – more laid back, less focused on externals, less of a “hustler” – ya know, that girl you’re looking for …she may just be out of town!
You might also consider that although you have many dates, you may not be finding the kinds of relationship you most value.
The Most Important Location to your Dating Is In Between Your Ears
For that reason, whatever you choose, make sure you are not moving only for dating purposes. If you are miserable in other areas of your life it will not reflect well on how you present as a date.
For optimal dating, you need to be positive, confident, and self-assured. If you are not, no person or level of access to the dating pool will change that for you.
Whatever decision you make, in truth you only need one, the right one. We never know where ‘the one’ will come from.
No matter how long it takes (and please cut me some slack when I reassure you of this – it took me almost a decade and a half) Hashem has us taking the shortest distance we can possibly take to find that special person with whom we’ll build our longest relationship.