Long Distance Shidduch Dating – Am I Living in the Wrong City?

by | Dec 25, 2021 | Finding & Qualifying Dates

A Reader Asks:

I often hear from friends, family, and well-meaning neighbors, that I should consider moving to a larger dating center such as Israel or New York.  They believe that my opportunities would be greater there. I’m wondering if this is really necessary because where I’m currently living I have a great job, family, a support system, and a community I love.  Are the pastures that much greener on the others side?? Am I really selling myself short by not moving?

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Rachel Responds:

I have many single friends still living in these larger cities. I asked a friend who recently moved from NY to Jerusalem which city she thought provided greater dating opportunities. She responded, “ The best city 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 just 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 only that easy.

It is true that New York and Jerusalem are the two largest Jewish dating destinations in the world. Obviously, cities with a greater number of singles will potentially provide greater exposure, more options, and maybe even dates, but 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 and feel burnt out early on from over dating. You may say “no” to potentially good dates just because the options are dizzying. You may be disappointed in your job, the social scene, or overall quality and pace of life.  You may not feel like a unique individual in a large city where you can easily get swallowed up.

By the same token, you may also love the big city and feel like it is the best fit for you, your personality, and your social/dating needs.

I deeply support those that choose to stay in a comfortable hometown environment.  You may flourish more as an individual in a small town where you feel supported and capable of contributing to your community.

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.

That said, here are a few things to keep in mind if you make that choice:

You need to be more flexible about travel. You’re likely going to need to drive or fly from time to time to go to events, meet matchmakers, or mingle in an appropriate single scenes.
You may have fewer dates.  It isn’t about quantity, it is about quality. Don’t be disappointed if you will be dating less living out of town, just make sure it is quality on which you’re focusing.
Do your homework. If you are traveling for a date make sure to do your research so that you don’t make a long trip, only to be very disappointed by factors that could have been avoided with a bit of research.

Men are definitely less likely to travel to out of town communities when they have many options in their backyard.  I would invite those men to consider that if they are looking for an “out of town” type of girl – more laid back, less focused on externals, less of a “hustler” – she may just be there…out of town!  Those men may also want to consider that although they have many dates, they may not be finding the kinds of relationships they most value.

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 optimum dating, we need to be positive, confident, and self-assured. If we are not, no great date will change that for us.

Whatever decision you make, in truth we really only need one, the right one, and we never know where that ‘one’ will come from. No matter how long it takes, we believe Hashem has us taking the shortest distance we possibly can take to find that special person with whom we’ll build our longest relationship.

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