When scrolling through feedist spaces, namely but not exclusively Feabie, I equally encounter two common complaints:
- “Why are all the cute ones in another country?”
- “There is no one in my [often large] city!”
It’s rather endearing to see these sometimes. They often pop up within moments of each other and I can’t help but chuckle about it. However: these are really limiting beliefs.
I’m going to state something outright that is going to be a tough pill to swallow if you seek any type of real-life feedist experience: travel is almost certainly going to be part of the package, friends. This is especially true if you are seeking a long-term or otherwise committed relationship.
I don’t mean you should be ready to drop two grand to beeline to New Zealand at the drop of a hat just because someone promised to eat for/feed you, but you all are really holding yourselves back and selling yourself short if you discount the connections you want to make simply because of something so silly as distance. Half the fun of socializing online in any context is the fact you can meet people from all over the world! So embrace the opportunity for adventure if you are fortunate enough to take it.
Here are some reasons you are holding yourself back if you give up when no one is in your city or state:
Online and long-distance relationships are not “less than” proximate ones
I said what I said! How many of us have met close friends over the interwebs in our lifetimes, especially us Elder Millennials? How many of us have dear friends we’ve never set our own eyes on in the flesh, but still consider them a part of our lives? Psychologically, we still get social fulfillment from our digital relationships across the social spectrum. They are not better or worse than relationships we have nearby us in person, they are just different.
You’re only limiting yourself
Maybe it’s just because I’m American, used to long distances, and think nothing of jumping on a plane to go somewhere if need be; Los Angeles to New York is a six-hour flight. It’s entirely possible I’m spoiled by our interstate highway system and that I grew up in the Midwest, often hauling myself across entire states before drinking age without thinking twice except that my engine was tuned and I had a full tank of gas. If there was a show I wanted to see or go along with a friend to their cabin, eight hours in the car one-way was half the fun.
Unless your specific locale is part of your kink (and as an Angeleno, you know, I get it)… which is better: knowing you could meet the actual best fit for each other or simply the most convenient that is just good enough?
Friendly for both commitment phobes and not-phobes
This one sounds weird, but hear me out. As someone who is a (recovering!) fearful-avoidant—that is, someone who both fears and desires connection—I can’t think of anything better suited for me than a situation in which I go about my life for weeks and then either host or visit a significant other for a predetermined time frame. For me, personally, it shows a level of commitment without over-committing: we each have our own lives, but our own dedicated time together. Being able to carve out time where we are each other’s priority makes my Quality-Time love language heart go pitter-patter.
My personal brand of attachment issues stems from a lack of ability to trust, not a lack of desire to. It’s not enough to tell me you’d like to travel the world or country “someday,” but it is more than enough to book the flight and actually get on the plane. It demonstrates a desire to try and follow through instead of letting fears stop you. Additionally, there are some perks in this specific time frame with the pandemic.
And if you are the opposite of a commitment-phobe, what’s more exciting than knowing that someone anywhere else on the planet is so excited to try something new with you that they would travel to do it?
This doesn’t mean that, if things are working out, a pair shouldn’t consider and work on closing the gap, but if dual-country or bicoastal life is working out for now, take it and run!
This leads me to my next point…
Non-traditional relationship paths might be the right fit for you
Getting into a long-distance relationship with someone creates a lot of challenges. But letting that rigidity of what a traditional proximate relationship “should be” like guide the way is only going to hurt everyone in the end.
You’re going to have to get creative, brave, and dare I say… vulnerable with someone effectively and consistently. Because physical intimacy can’t happen until after someone gets on a plane, you will have to re-examine exactly what it is you want out of a relationship. If you cannot bond with someone before getting physical, are you really creating a relationship at all? Or just a fantasy?
Sometimes people don’t know how to move a relationship forward even when they’re face-to-face (and given the dating culture these days, that’s not even just “some” people, it’s most of them). When you give a long-distance situation a chance, you have an opportunity others don’t: to really slow down and let excitement, trust, and anticipation build. You have to pace things more evenly and look further ahead.
Life is short and the planet is not that big
Some of the best stories I have in my life are from travel and not only the fact that I was in a certain place and time, but why.
Here’s the thing: when I share a travel story with someone and provide the context about why I was where I was, that is often just as exciting or interesting as the experience itself. So what if you got on a plane to go meet someone, spent a week with them, and things didn’t work out? Wouldn’t you have rather found out than always wondered what-if? What a lesson to learn, no?
On the grand scale of the universe, humans are infinitesimally small, and the distances we think are vast are nothing. Time and distance even in our own solar system are almost too large for us to comprehend (and ones outside of it are too large for us to conceptualize). Earth is not that large, a few thousand miles like being nose-to-nose with another body in the celestial space.
You’re focusing on the wrong barriers
International flights are expensive and domestic ones add up fast, especially if you have to buy two seats for yourself or have to navigate finding routes on specific aircraft and carriers that you know will accommodate you. It takes months for a passport to process, and add more weeks of stress if a visa is required. Figuring out a new ground transport system that’s different from what you’re used to is daunting. Currency exchange rates are bonkers sometimes and culture shocks are real.
But I’m telling you—none of that really matters. I’m not ignoring the reality of late-stage capitalism standing on our necks or implying you just aren’t working hard enough to earn this but it’s about understanding that the very real obstacles that can prevent us from opening up ourselves to what may really be out there for us are not the issue.
Money, time zones, logistics—these are all subjective inanimate concepts. They are unfortunately very closely tied to the way our lives go, but they are not us all the same. They are not our desires, fears, wants, hopes, insecurities… they are none of those things. They are the stressors, but not the real things that stop us. Affordability and logistics are real barriers but they are simply facts, not something to fear. If we choose to fear, not accept and process, those things instead, you may be denying yourself access to something special.
The airport moment is real (and worth it)
Ever get sucked into the corner of YouTube dedicated to reunion videos? Me either, never once! Nope.
Of course, nothing compares to waking up with someone every morning, but I’m telling you: that moment at the airport is something else. And it makes every minute of struggle leading up to it worth it all. It’s cheesy but true.
I don’t really have anything to say to that point besides that; I guess I’m just a sap at heart.
Thank you for reading my post today! If you enjoyed it, you may also be interested in my erotica or even a commission. I am also currently seeking submissions for an upcoming advice column.