Long Distance Relationships: How Far Would You Drive for a Date?

Posted by in dating after divorce, online dating after 40, self-esteem in dating | 8 comments

long distance relationshipsIt’s not simple to find a soulmate, is it? You’re looking for someone whose values and goals align with yours, someone with whom you will enjoy doing most things, from hanging out to laughing, and eventually growing old together. Oh, and don’t forget the importance of attraction. That’s a lot of things that need to line up, right? I am willing to make a big effort to find that special man, whether it be through online dating, singles events, or effectively asking for fix-ups. I am also open to traveling a distance to meet my match. He might live around the corner, but he might also live thousands of miles away. Long distance relationships can be challenging, but they can work if both people make the effort. That’s why I am always surprised when a man I contact online thinks that the 45-minute drive to my home is too much effort…

Here’s a recent email exchange between me and a potential match I met online. I share it so you can see how I handled the conversation, from initial contact to the final email.

Notice how I stayed centered in my core feminine strength; I wrote the first email, connected with some key points in his profile that resonated for me, but kept it light and fun. I asked a question, which helps elicit a response. And I closed with a call to action, letting him know that I’d enjoy hearing back, but not demanding a response, which would be very ‘masculine’.

I am particularly proud of how I handled his comment about Stamford being too far away, asking me to come to Manhattan.

Here is our email exchange to help you decode the ‘long distance relationship’ issue.

Me: Hey xxxxxx,

Your profile caught my eye for its confidence and intelligence. I wouldn’t want to compete with you when you have a sword in hand {he fences}, but I might enjoy some intellectual battling of the wits!

I like what you say about relationships…I agree. Are you ready to see if there’s a spark in Stamford? I look forward to hearing from you soon.



Him: Actually I used to rent a house in Stamford, Sandy. But Stamford seems like a hike. Are you in Manhattan often?


Me: Hi xxxxxx,

Thanks for writing back.
As for getting to Manhattan, yes I do make my way in, and would definitely agree to meet you there. I do want to let you know that If we did meet and decided to continue dating, I am at a place in my life where I like a two way street. I will make the effort to meet a man who lives further away as long as he’s also willing to meet me where I am. Is that something you might consider?

If not, that’s okay, we’ll just go our separate ways. But I wanted to be upfront with you about that.

If you say yes, then great, let’s meet for drinks or coffee and see if there’s a connection. Okay?
What do you say? The ball is in your court…


Him: Thank you for your note, Sandy. I will ponder what you say but I’m inclined to think I would not relish all the driving entailed.



My inclination was to write back: “I am so worth the 45-minute drive!”

But I don’t ever want to sell myself to anyone. If they don’t want to make the effort at the outset of a relationship, it won’t bode well for the relationship if one were to develop.

Ladies, follow your gut. If someone doesn’t want to make the effort to come to you, don’t beg, plead, or nag. You are worth the drive. And the right guy will travel great distances to get to know you.

All of my relationships post-divorce have been with men who lived between 45-minutes and 2 1/2-hours away. When the desire is there, the distance melts away. It never felt like an effort for either of us.

Have you ever had a man tell you that you live too far away? How have you handled it? Please share your comments below.

And remember, if you want to turn around your online dating success, click here for my free report on improving your profile.





  1. Great ideas Sandy, but I don’t understand why you wouldn’t meet for that first cup of coffee (on his turf only if you happen to be there, not going out of your way to be) and see if the spark is there. If it is, then the 45 minutes would seem like nothing to him. Before it is, it is just a pain in the butt.

  2. Hey Josh,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I was willing to go to the city for that first cup of coffee, as indicated in my email. My gut feeling was that he would never want to step it up, no matter the connection. That’s why I preempted the first date with how I see relationships as a two way street.

    I am definitely wiling to do my share to make it work. More than happy to do that, but not with a man who thinks it’s too much work. That’s a bad attitude, and I only want to date men who seriously want a relationship and will do what it takes to make one happen.

    My point is, don’t get involved with someone and hope for the best. When you’re clear with your values up front, the results are usually much better.

    What do you think?

  3. Earlier this year I reunited with an ex-bf (neither of us could remember why we split up in the 1st place). I was living in Las Vegas, he in southern New Hampshire (2700+ miles apart) – he has a well-established job & owns a house there. I was in the process of moving to the east coast for law school. I now live a mere 900 miles away, and am in the process of securing a 2nd year law school transfer, to put us closer together. So far, things are going quite well, considering neither of really wanted a long-distance relationship, but seem to have one anyhow. Hopefully, things will continue to move forward and flourish.

  4. I agree, it was so clear he couldn’t be bothered…if he had said “hey u never know, you may be worth it” then yes, have that coffee…

  5. I recently connected with a guy & we are a 40 minute drive apart. I live in the city & he lives in a remote area but works in the city. The issue I had with the distance was that everything had to be planned. I started to feel pressure to be ready for dinner at 4:30 “after he got off from work”. Then when we did go out, he would stay in my guest room as to avoid the long drive home. I went to his place once & there wasn’t really anything to do in his tiny town which consisted of one watering hole. The element of actually “dating” seemed to be removed by the distance. We went from great telephone conversations & just getting to learn about each other, straight into to me running a hotel if I wanted to see him. 🤔

  6. Sounds like it’s not working for you. Do you have a question for me?

  7. I have been talking to a guy for about a month. We live one hour apart from one another. He drove the distance to meet me for our 1st date. He blatantly stated that I will be the one driving for the second date. A fre says after our initial date, we agreed confirmed a 2nd date, and he reminded me that I’m the one that needs to go to him. Other material that I have been reading lately, suggests that I need to make him come to me for the first several times before I actually make the commute myself. Do you agree with this? I am 38, he is 44 yrs old. Any advice would be appreciated thank you.

  8. Brooke,

    In theory, in a long distance relationship, you put in equal effort into driving. However, a) you’re not in a relationship yet. You’ve only been on one date. b) It sounds like he’s demanding that you go to him, not requesting in a kind collaborative way. As you’re building a relationship, you want to see how much a man invests in you—with his emotions, effort, time, and finances—before you become exclusive. If he’s putting in such little effort right now, you’re going to end up feeling depleted by giving so much of your time and effort up front.

    I suggest you have a conversation about this before your next date. Let him know you’re interested in getting to know him better, and would like to continue seeing him. And that you’d like to discuss a plan that works for both of you if you’re going to try and make this work.

    Good luck!

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