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If you are serious about romance, you may want to get serious about expanding your reach and looking beyond your neighborhood for that special someone.
Check out this scenario:
You decide to walk down to your favorite coffee shop for a quick caffeine boost. Oh, and maybe, just maybe, you will run into someone interesting on the way there. You slip on your shoes and leave your ear buds at home, just in case. As you are walking, you notice the pissed off looking guy, the one standing outside the tattoo shop smoking his daily cigarette and you make a wide berth around him. You wave to the two happily married men who own the puppy grooming place next door and you skip around the young couple fighting with their toddler to duck into the coffee shop. Ah, your favorite barista is working. Kind of cute and fun to flirt with, but you ponder to yourself about how little the two of you actually have in common outside the world of coffee. You look around and notice the regulars, the usual suspects you see every day. Deflated, you pay for your coffee and head out, realizing that none of the people with whom you interact daily are ever going to be true love interests.
Is this you? If so, you may want to consider putting in a word with some non locals. You may fare much better in the romance department if you consider dating someone outside your zip code. Here are five reasons why:
1. You may be ready for a change.
You may have outgrown your neighborhood, but haven’t yet made a leap to somewhere new. You may just need a change of scenery to be able to express parts of yourself that are stifled. Or you may not yet have the emotional resources to move but are desperately wanting to connect to a different locale than the one you are in now.
In dating someone outside of the direct area where you live, you may just find need the right motivation you need to make the change and seek out a new location that fits a more updated “you”.
2. It’s easier to find your match.
Many of us have not had a great deal of choice in where we live. This can leave us unfulfilled in our personal lives if we don’t have enough in common with the people in our proximity.
You may identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered and are living in a rural community in which there are few resources, a minimum of like minded individuals or intolerant attitudes which get in the way of finding love. In that case, look at dating someone from a big city with a more liberal lifestyle. Maybe you subscribe to a specific form of spiritual mindfulness practice which important for your life goals. Again, it may be valuable for you to find someone in another part of the country, a life partner who shares your dreams. Or you may have esoteric interests, ones that are going to be rare anywhere you locate. Pockets of like-minded individuals probably exist in a number of areas not close to you. In that case, search by interest rather than time zone to find true love.
3. You’ll have better boundaries at a safe distance.
Do you slip easily into complacency because you become so completely focussed on your partner? A long distance relationship can be valuable for people who have issues with setting and maintaining boundaries, or struggling with losing themselves when it comes to dating. If you find yourself becoming too absorbed, consider dating outside your comfort zone and your area code.
While it is important to get therapeutic help with boundary issues, it can also be very helpful to start out dating someone who lives in a different place. There is a built in immediate physical boundary that guards against over-involvement early on, letting you practice setting boundaries. Not to mention maintaining your values, needs, and personal space.
You don’t make hasty or poor decisions quickly, because you can’t. Your friendships don’t wither and your interests don’t die. You can design a new kind of dynamic as you evaluate from a safe distance whether or not the relationship is worth investing in.
4. Difference is intriguing.
What we see, who we are around, what we are exposed to, and where we live can dictate our perspectives in life. Someone living in a different environment than us may see things in new and unexpected ways. Living in a coastal city builds exposure to alternative cultural influences like specialty foods, diverse people, and attitudes to spirituality. Living in a midwest small town grants access to established customs, traditional lifestyles, and close knit community values.
Difference can peak our interests in ways that similar landscapes cannot, helping us to grow and stretch ourselves and our ideas about the world.
5. A better chance at love?
Think about the message it sends to a prospective mate that you are open to dating or starting a relationship with a partner in a different area. Someone who is willing to literally go the extra mile is more serious and committed than someone looking to kill time or fill up space on a Friday night. Wouldn’t you want a lover like that?
Again, if you are serious about romance, get serious about expanding your reach and try looking beyond your neighborhood for that special someone.
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Leslie Malchy is a Relationship psychotherapist working in private practice, Soft Landing Therapy, in Downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada. She is an experiential therapist working from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual and strengths based framework of change. She holds a Master of Science degree in Psychiatry from McGill University and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University Seattle.
When Leslie is not working, she is busy writing creative and literary fiction, tending to and growing kale in her community garden plot or jogging along Vancouver’s gorgeous Stanley Park seawall.
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