Q: I’ve been doing the online dating thing for almost a year. I’ve had some strange and discouraging experiences doing this: Like, I had this one woman “Liz” that I went out with several times, then found out she was living with her “partner.” It was bad enough that she had a partner, it was even worse when Liz’s partner showed up for my date – without Liz. Somehow she found out when and where Liz was supposed to meet me.
There were several times, after chatting with women for quite a while and mutually coming to the conclusion that we should meet, that we’d schedule a meeting, but they didn’t show.
There were other strange things, like, twice when I met someone, after connecting and thinking that the person was worth meeting, I find out – when we met – that their pics weren’t current, so they were either much older or heavier than their online pics showed them to be. With one woman, no matter how I squinted or tried to imagine her as being the person I thought I was meeting, I couldn’t see the resemblance! (I truly believe she had someone else’s pics on her site.) It was bizarre.
Now, I’ve met this woman, “Anna,” on the dating site. She lives in Mexico, but is a U.S. citizen. Since we are so far away, we do a lot of phone calls and texting. This all started in late October. Several weeks before Thanksgiving we starting texting and have been communicating constantly ever since, at least six to eight times a day, and now speak on the phone three to four nights a week. I feel that it is really good that we are getting to really know one another before the sex thing comes into play. Anna is self-employed, does her business by Internet, and has told me that she could move her business anywhere since it is Internet-based. She also makes a lot of money, unlike me.
I’m a professional person but work in social services. (Do I need to say more about my income?) I asked her if she would be willing to fly to Michigan for us to meet, as I can’t afford a ticket to Mexico right now. Also, if our relationship is going to go anywhere beyond phone calls and texts, we really need to meet face-to-face; otherwise, this is really just a long-distance friendship, and feels a little unreal.
Anna seemed to agree and said that that would be no problem, and she’d get a ticket soon. That was in mid-November. Still no ticket, and no really good reason why she hasn’t gotten one. She doesn’t seem to want to talk about it; every time I bring it up, she changes the subject.
Jody, I don’t want to seem desperate – because I’m not – or make her feel like I’m pushing her. I’m interested in finding a life partner. Anna surely seems like someone that could fit the bill, but I want to move on in my search for a partner if she’s not really interested. (Though, I would certainly dread jumping back in, given what I’ve already told you about my luck online.)
How do I get her to listen and not change the subject without appearing unreasonable, pushy or desperate?
A: It is completely “reasonable” – and not “pushy” or being “desperate” – for you to want to know where this relationship is heading, and if and when she’s planning to come and visit you. It’s time to find out if she can be a good listener; when you speak on the phone with her again, let her know that there is something you need to know, and it’s important for her to address your concerns. Then, tell her what you have told me regarding wanting to find a life partner, and if she, too, is interested in pursuing that path.
If so, she needs to come so you can get to know each other face-to-face. If she is into pursuing a relationship with you, you both need to think about and be prepared for how difficult long-distance relationships are. For 10 rules for making a long-distance relationship work, go to my Facebook page.
P.S. If she just wants a friend, then you’ll have to decide if you are open to that kind of relationship with her.
Jody’s on Facebook! Search for “Dear Jody Valley.”