Thursday, June 4, 2015

Globalized Dating & the BLOW OFF

The world is becoming a more and more globalized place and it’s no exception when it comes to dating: Tinder enables us to hook up around the world via Tinder Passport, low-cost travel options are abundant, and modern technology allows us to feel like we’re in touch even when we aren’t close proximity-wise.

Even real estate is adapting to this shift to transient lifestyles. There is a new trend called “micro-apartments,” comparable to the size of a subway car: “At least some micro-apartments will be rented as part-time homes for people who split their time between Chicago and another city… The people who fly in for a couple of days every week and then fly home with their laundry in their suitcase want the flexibility.”

Here are a few examples I've seen of not limiting oneself to geographic proximity when dating:

· A co-worker no longer restricts her geographic reach on online dating sites to Chicago: she includes Seattle, where her brother lives, and at one point was talking to someone who lives in St. Louis.

· A former roommate developed a crush on one of her co-workers—they would IM and text throughout the day (and not just about work). Only he worked in the New York office and she worked in the Chicago office. At one point she met him while she was in New York on business but he had a girlfriend, so nothing transpired.

· A college friend who volunteered in South Africa for a summer and fell for a fellow volunteer. At the close of summer, she returned to college in Illinois; he returned to his job in London. After keeping in touch via Skype and a few visits, she moved to London and they got married.

· A friend’s brother who lives in Indiana for work didn’t really like the Indianapolis scene after a tough breakup. So he committed to traveling back and forth to Chicago for the weekends (a ~3 hour commute), going so far as to sign a lease for an apartment in the South Loop with some friends.

· A date’s business partner living in Iowa took Korean lessons from an instructor in South Korea via Skype. Over the course of a year, they went from talking via Skype every day and visits to Asia to her relocation to Iowa and, recently, wedded bliss.

If things end up getting serious, dating that’s contingent on the virtual requires two things:

· Beware of Vacation Brain and Hibernation Mode: Everything is lovely when you feel like you’re on vacation, experiencing a lovely new locale and a lovely new person. Not everything is lovely in The Real World, with schedules and deadlines and shared bathrooms. At some point, you have to figure out if you function together in The Real World. Experience each other’s pet peeves and pesky habits for extensive periods of time and spend time with each other’s friends and families (for additional insight, see #8 Don’t go into hibernation mode together).

· It’s simply not sustainable. It will only work if there’s a deadline and an action plan to be in the same place (see #3 Plan your end game).

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Is it wise to expand the pool of candidates to not just those in our metropolitan area? Or is it perpetuating and exacerbating a reliance on technology to meet and get to know people?

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