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Dating dilemma - The type of people I want to date always seem to live in New York. I'm happy in my small town and don't want to move. How do I best approach this?
April 17, 2012 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Dating dilemma - The type of people I want to date always seem to live in New York. I'm happy in my small town and don't want to move. How do I best approach this?

I am very picky when it comes to dating. Physically and personality wise.

I setup multiple OkCupid profiles in 8 major cities around the world and where I live (locally). After a few months I started to notice a trend. The guys I was interested in getting to know all seemed to come from the New York area. Probably 90% more then any other city.

I don't live in New York however, I live in a small town in Canada that I adore. I can't see myself moving unless I had met the right person and we had a long-term relationship.

Of course the majority of the people I'm interested in - once they find out that I don't live in proximity - their interest seems to vaporize. Which I can understand, most people are not interested in long distance at the start of a dating relationship.

I have New York listed on my profile currently so "my type" of guys can find me. However I don't know if this is ethical and I should make note at the top of my profile my real location or rather discuss it once I get to know someone?

If I set my location to where I live in Canada, I get hardly any messages because location-based seems to be key.

Unsure how to proceed to still get the results I want while being honest.
posted by audio to Human Relations (55 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Can I get clarification on something?

if you don't live in New York and have no plans to move, how would you actually go on dates with these people? Do you do a lot of traveling?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:36 PM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Have you considered that perhaps the OKCupid user population, as a whole, simply includes many people from New York?
posted by odinsdream at 1:38 PM on April 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I travel to New York every now and then for work. Most likely we would Skype for awhile and then decide to meet by making a trip out of it.
posted by audio at 1:39 PM on April 17, 2012


I wouldn't worry about the ethics! I think you've got a practicality issue, combined with a cold-reality issue. Pace EC.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:40 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, you set up a NY profile as though you too are a NYer, but really you live in Canada? I think you are misinterpreting their lack of interest upon finding out you are not local - it's not because you live in Canada, it's because you made a fake profile and pretended to be from New York.
posted by elizardbits at 1:40 PM on April 17, 2012 [33 favorites]


That could be true. I'm surprised though my profiles in Los Angelas and London get so few messages.
posted by audio at 1:40 PM on April 17, 2012


I haven't told anyone I've been chatting with yet.
I guess it is more of a practicality / cold-reality issue.
posted by audio at 1:42 PM on April 17, 2012


I travel to New York every now and then for work.

You may be better off clearly stating that in your profile; I get the sense that these guys don't find out about the Canada thing until you get to say it in an email. I've actually even seen someone who had a similar sort of life as yours - he had "New York" listed as his location, but right in the very first part of his profile he said "I actually live in Vancouver, but I travel to New York a hell of a lot." So at least I knew from the very first what I'd be getting into. (And messaged him anyway.)

If you have the fact that you live in Canada clearly stated in your profile, then the guys who get interested and then drop you when you mention that in an email are just kind of dim. But if you DON'T have it in your profile, they may feel like you've lead them on.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:44 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are certain things that you should be honest about right away when you're pursuing online dating, and where you are located is one of them (marital status would be another). I think you should scrap 7 of your 8 profiles and start just 1 that is honest about where you live. You can always message guys in New York, especially in advance of a trip if you want to set up some dates for when you are in town.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:45 PM on April 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


I've heard of older small town people who occasionally go forward with these long distance type relationships from the get-go.

Young men in New York though? They probably have literally millions of better options for a relationship than a "pen-pal SO." Putting your real location in your profile is a good start, but this is going to be a tough sell no matter what.
posted by Winnemac at 1:47 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I don't know many people who use OKC to start long-distance relationships. So even if you had a note at the top of your profile, if you were indeed being honest then you'd have to say that you live in a small town in Canada and you have no intention of moving.

Just as a thought experiment, I am considering how I would react if I clicked on the profile of someone who seemed like an amazing match and whose profile said they live in my city and found that no, they don't, they live far enough away that getting there would have to involve an airplane. And honestly, it wouldn't matter how good of a match they are at that point - I'd just click away.

The best you can do is to have that note on your profile that says you're not really in NY but you travel there for work - and specify how often you travel there, and be honest about that - and that you'd like to meet someone local. But again: They should know up-front that you only visit periodically and have no intention of moving. I think the real issue here is that OKC's pool of local people is usually so wide that there's never a compelling reason to use it to start something up with someone you wouldn't be able to see regularly.

And yeah, if I did message someone and then they dropped that info on me after a couple messages - even if hypothetically I might have been amenable to something if they'd been up-front - that would be the end of that.

On sort-of preview, ThePinkSuperhero's advice is probably the best way to do things if you want to be honest with people. You won't get the same frequency of response, but that's the cost of honesty, you know?
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:48 PM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


You have been using OKCupid for months and still have not met anyone? When you finally meet someone in person, what do you think the chances of them matching up to your expectations are? Or that you will match theirs? I think you are engaging in online dating in a very ineffective way.
posted by grouse at 1:49 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm all in favor of having standards and looking for the right person to be with, but bear in mind that the New York Metro area has a population of around 22 MILLION people and OKCupid's userbase skews urban. There are lots of fish in the sea, but a lot more of them live and work in NYC than in or around your small town. I agree with ThePink that you should be honest in your profile and with yourself about what you're looking for.
posted by Wretch729 at 1:52 PM on April 17, 2012


^ I feel like my situation is quite different. Physically, most guys find me attractive and I happen to have done very well for myself financially. So I seem to attract either A. guys that just want to use me for sex / are shallow B. guys that want to date me because of my money.

I have to be very careful.
posted by audio at 1:53 PM on April 17, 2012


Agree with ThePink.
posted by audio at 1:54 PM on April 17, 2012


People in New York -- especially the most of us who take the train -- will refuse to get into relationships based on the fact that they have to travel between boroughs (that Seinfeld plot is surprisingly accurate for New York dating.) To someone with no car, Canada may as well be the moon. Either be honest, or prepare yourself for a lot of rightfully confused rejection.
posted by griphus at 1:57 PM on April 17, 2012 [24 favorites]


It's hard to get most New Yorkers to date someone who doesn't live in the same borough as them, let alone someone entirely outside the city. Some folks (myself included) will temporarily do long-distance with someone from a nearby city like Philly or Boston, but in my case I was only willing to do so because it was a friend-of-a-friend situation and so I had someone else vouching for his being "worth" the trouble. And even then, most of my local friends tried to talk me out of it.

People in other, smaller cities closer to you might be more willing to meet you in the middle. But even then, where do you want the relationship to go? Would you be willing to move to a smaller city? Do you expect them to move to your small town eventually?

I guess it isn't clear to me what your goals are -- do you just want to go on fun dates while you're in town on business?
posted by Narrative Priorities at 1:57 PM on April 17, 2012


So I seem to attract either A. guys that just want to use me for sex / are shallow B. guys that want to date me because of my money.

....And you think you're less likely to meet guys like this in New York?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:58 PM on April 17, 2012 [30 favorites]


I live in a big city (not New York) and I'm on okcupid. I am, admittedly, not interested in a long-distance relationship in the first place - but if I did, I would definitely still not be interested in one with somebody who's including basic falsehoods on their profile like "I live in your city." Online dating is, by its nature, very much about eliminating people very rapidly; "willing to lie about geography" - not "I live in the city" when it's really just the suburbs, but outright national relocation - is, in my book, grounds for Moving On Immediately.

^ I feel like my situation is quite different. Physically, most guys find me attractive and I happen to have done very well for myself financially. So I seem to attract either A. guys that just want to use me for sex / are shallow B. guys that want to date me because of my money.

With all due respect no, your situation is not quite different. Lots of women are attractive. Lots of women make a decent amount of money. Neither of these situations automatically leads into "Claiming to live in a city when you don't." There's no reason at all that you need to go into your finances right off the bat, for one thing. And many people, of many different levels of attractiveness, have to be careful about online dating being a resource for no-strings sex when what they want is a relationship.

If you want to engaged in a long-distance relationship with New York boys, say so in your profile, and accept that it's a handicap because you're competing with girls who those New York boys can actually meet up for a drink after work. If you aren't satisfied with that... maybe you really should move to New York. But either way, outright lying about where you live is neither ethical nor smart.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:58 PM on April 17, 2012 [24 favorites]


I travel to New York every now and then for work. Most likely we would Skype for awhile and then decide to meet by making a trip out of it.

Based on what I know about online dating I would highly suggest not doing this. It's a recipe for finding someone that will get unreasonably emotionally attached to you before you actually meet and have meaningful interactions in real life. The vast majority of normal people aren't going to waste a lot of time being a pen pal with someone before they have any chance to meet. I know from experience that it can be a bummer to be in a less populated area with a less diverse dating population, but logistically it is significantly easier to go on casual dates with people if you live close enough to meet them.

I have New York listed on my profile currently so "my type" of guys can find me. However I don't know if this is ethical and I should make note at the top of my profile my real location or rather discuss it once I get to know someone?

To me the most obvious solution to this would be to put your real location on your profile and instead of waiting for guys to message you, start messaging guys that seem interesting to you. If that's someone in New York and you want to deal with the long distance thing that is fine, but just say "Hi, I know I don't live near you but I looked at your profile..." and go from there. Yes a lot of guys you message will not be interested in doing the long distance thing and won't respond, but that's going to be the case anyway whether you are upfront about it or not. As an added bonus, if there does end up being an awesome person near you who you would actually want to date, they can find you as well.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:59 PM on April 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't know about ethical, but it's kind of douchey.

... you should be upfront that you are living far away. Lying about where you are- would mostly make me feel like you are just using the profile as a "what if" game. If I were looking for something serious- I would be a little miffed that you were waisting my time with games.

Realistically, There are few people who can handle a long-distance relationship. Very very few people who can start one that way, and even fewer who would even want to.

If you don't want to leave your nice canadian town- work more at meeting people who fit your paramiters. Date people in a 100 mile radius. Surely, there is someone in 100 miles who fits your interest.
posted by Blisterlips at 2:02 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


You don't know any New Yorkers. You know their internet shadow-selves. Also, you're setting yourself up for trouble again.
posted by MangyCarface at 2:02 PM on April 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


With all due respect no, your situation is not quite different. Lots of women are attractive. Lots of women make a decent amount of money. Neither of these situations automatically leads into "Claiming to live in a city when you don't." There's no reason at all that you need to go into your finances right off the bat, for one thing. And many people, of many different levels of attractiveness, have to be careful about online dating being a resource for no-strings sex when what they want is a relationship.

Based on the poster's history, they appear to be male and a teenager -- that might make answers to this question slightly different, given the concern about not wanting just sex.
posted by modernnomad at 2:04 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Indeed
posted by audio at 2:05 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Based on the poster's history, they appear to be male and a teenager -- that might make answers to this question slightly different, given the concern about not wanting just sex.

This is true, and I apologize for the bad assumption.

I still stand by everything else that I said.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:06 PM on April 17, 2012


Most likely we would Skype for awhile and then decide to meet by making a trip out of it.

The sort of New York resident who has both the disposable income and job flexibility to fly out to western Canada for a date, has absolutely no need to fly out to western Canada for a date.
posted by griphus at 2:07 PM on April 17, 2012 [20 favorites]


I feel like my situation is quite different. Physically, most guys find me attractive and I happen to have done very well for myself financially. So I seem to attract either A. guys that just want to use me for sex / are shallow B. guys that want to date me because of my money.

Just wanted to point out that this exact situation is that of SO MANY PEOPLE IN NEW YORK. Seriously. So many.
posted by functionequalsform at 2:07 PM on April 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


ok- being gay in a small town changes things considerably.

sorry kid- you still shouldn't lie about being in the city.
posted by Blisterlips at 2:08 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Two things come to mind:

1. Anecdotally (and anecdatally!), everyone I know who is in a long term relationship that began over OKC espoused the same philosophy: moving from messaging to a meeting as soon as possible.

2. Until we invent teleportation a la Star Trek, there's just no way you can live in a small town in Canada and carry on an active dating life in NYC without being in NYC far more often than "every now and then."

So, maybe you actually aren't looking for an IRL relationship, in which case, no worries. But if you are... I think maybe you need to solidly face the choice in front of you: to move where the boys (whom you like) live, or stay and date locally while also looking for penpals in NYC. Because...the odds of starting a romantic (IRL) relationship with a New Yorker just aren't in your favor, otherwise.
posted by artemisia at 2:10 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Based on the poster's history, they appear to be male and a teenager

I assumed that the poster was older given that they have said as much in a previous question. Now I'm not really sure what to think.
posted by grouse at 2:12 PM on April 17, 2012


Young adult.

It seems like a grim reality. I might consider moving to NYC to give it a shot. Maybe once I get know someone IRL they would consider moving back to Canada. lol

I know that seems f***** up.
posted by audio at 2:15 PM on April 17, 2012


It's not fucked up -- lots of people move to be with their partners. But's probably not that realistic either, for a variety of factors including your age.
posted by modernnomad at 2:18 PM on April 17, 2012


you are a young gay male in a small canadian town who does not want to move from that town. you have two choices: accept that you have a very limited pool of people from which to pick to date, or move. the cities you mentioned that you set up profiles in are all very large metropolitan cities with millions of people. the likelihood that someone from one of those cities would prefer to start a relationship with you, who lives thousands of miles away, rather than someone local, from the millions of local options available to them, is pretty much almost zilch. long distance relationships are hard even when two people already have an established relationship, nevermind trying to start one up from scratch.
posted by violetk at 2:18 PM on April 17, 2012 [14 favorites]


It seems like a grim reality. I might consider moving to NYC to give it a shot. Maybe once I get know someone IRL they would consider moving back to Canada. lol

I know that seems f***** up.


That's actually not terribly uncommon. Now, I don't know how much the particular, weird, semi-unique dynamics of NYC impact this, but I've known plenty of people who are in a city because that's where the people/jobs are, but have long-term plans to relocate to a nice quiet small town. Or develop those plans because they meet some awesome person who spins lovely tales of nights out under the stars. Or not. But "I met someone awesome, and my career is a bit location-flexible, and they want to move back to their small town," is a much more likely scenario than "I'm healthy and happy but also developed a long-distance relationship that I'm very serious about, and did so choosing to not date any of the millions of people who actually live close enough to hang out with on random evenings."
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:19 PM on April 17, 2012


Welp. Ok, then. If you want to move here, I would to amend my previous comment.

Do not move here under the assumption that you will find the man of your dreams within the next, like, 5 years*. I moved here thinking that finding an LTR would be easy, because it had been easy in other cities. And, oh boy, was I up for an adventure.



*Different for everyone. Life is life. You could meet him in year 1 or in year 10. But generally, New Yorkers aren't the most gung-ho about long-term relationships. From my experience, it's so much more complicated here. We're pretty notorious for being LTR pains in the asses—both men and women. In fact, I call us "The Land of the Misfit Toys" fairly often.
posted by functionequalsform at 2:25 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I grew up in New York and immigrated to Canada as an adult and honestly, as a first step, I would suggest moving to Toronto. There's a reason it's the most populous city in Canada -- it's a great city! I feel confident you can find what you need here, in terms of dating. (I say this because I found the man of my dreams here via OK Cupid and truly, I am neither rich nor attractive.) Rereading your question I see that you're quite happy in your small town in Canada, but what about it appeals to you if you are exclusively attracted to people who live in big cities?
posted by kate blank at 2:27 PM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just as a data point, I had very little luck on OKCupid as a straight male in a fairly large suburban town in New Jersey. I also frequently messaged women who lived in NYC - I was about a 40-min train ride away, and I was hanging out in the city all the time. These women never, ever responded to my messages. I had much more luck once I moved to NY. I'm not going to tell you that you have to move, but if you're a gay man, you're definitely going to have a lot more luck in an urban environment, so you may want to consider relocating, especially if finding a partner is a priority for you.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:43 PM on April 17, 2012


once they find out that I don't live in proximity - their interest seems to vaporize

Well, yeah, because you basically lied to them. "I visit New York on business fairly frequently" is quite different from "I live in New York! Wait, I don't actually live in New York!"

I know lots of people who have fun relationships with people who live elsewhere and visit their city on business. I don't know many people who aren't turned off by flat-out misrepresentations in dating profiles.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:45 PM on April 17, 2012


I am a New Yorker. I am extremely sensitive to the fact that you are gay in a small town in Canada. That must really not be fun.

That said, this is a losing proposition in many ways.

1) Most New Yorkers love their city. I mean, fanatically. It is "the city," the one ring to rule them all. People leave, but usually for short periods of time and then return.

2) This is amplified for the gay population of the city, for whom the idea of moving to a small, not gay-friendly town is, shall we say, not the first choice on anyone's list.

3) Even those people who might want to move to a small town, don't want to move to yours. Sure, some people talk about moving to a small town. They mean, "a small town within driving distance of the city." Like in Connecticut. Or upstate New York. Maybe New Hampshire. These people, in themselves, are longshots.

4) New Yorkers are also American citizens. While many cheerfully become expats at one time or another, it is usually for far more exciting climes than, well, Canada.

5) Posters here talking about the availability of local dates in NYC are spot on.


Here's a question. What makes living in your town so good? What do you like about it? And is that experience, those things you like, maybe something you can find elsewhere?
posted by corb at 2:46 PM on April 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


1. Make a OKC dating profile that's honest and based in your city. Maybe something happens, maybe it doesn't.

2. If you TRULY travel to NYC frequently (like, once a month frequent, not a couple of times a year "frequent"), make a second OKC friend-only profile and try to meet some local friends. Make a real effort here to get together when you're in the city (this will maybe not work because NYC people like to have NYC friends also but you never know). Maybe one day you'll meet a friend of these friends who would be okay with dating long distance. I think this is a rare, rare shot but it's the only possible one. Someone who's going to take that on is going to have to meet you and establish the worthiness of that relationship first.

Then you would have to convince them to move to small town Canada which... sorry dude. So, so, sorry. That's like romantic comedy unlikely.

If you can get the immigration sorted out, then your option is to move to NYC if that's the kind of guy you want.
posted by marylynn at 2:53 PM on April 17, 2012


What is it about NYC that makes it seem like the ultimate city to you? Lots of cities -- even much smaller ones -- have vibrant gay communities, arts scenes, business communities, higher ed consortia, populations of young people, etc., at a fraction the rent and pretentiousness of New York.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 3:00 PM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd move to a major metro in Canada. You have to make a decision, do I a) stay in Calgary or b) find a boyfriend.

Once you date someone for a few years and are LT you can discuss the possibilty of maybe moving back to a small town. But, I wouldn't count on finding someone like that for a few years.
posted by eq21 at 3:05 PM on April 17, 2012


To be honest this seems like you have been letting yourself live in a fantasy world.

It's understandable. There are few available men in your town, so you've been "window shopping" for available men online even though -- and this is the key point -- men who live thousands of miles away in another country are not really available to you.

(I have done this with fantasy houses, fantasy jobs, fantasy adoptable pets, etc - when these things are listed and searchable online, it's easy to spend hours on this kind of thing! And if you're having some success and people are writing back to you, so much more so.)

How can you take practical steps toward actually meeting people you might really have a relationship with? This depends on your job/school plans, but it seems that the most straightforward path is to move to a city in Canada that will give you what you want. You can plan to spend a few years there, make friends, possibly with an eye toward returning to your town once you've got a partner who wants to move with you.

Again depending on your job/school, it's a hassle to move to the US from Canada. New York is very expensive, if you get into a relationship with an American there will be a higher level of logistic hassle and maybe less chance they will want to move to your small town eventually etc. (It will be easier for a Canadian partner to eg get a job there, visit his family more often from there, etc than for an American.) Try one of Canada's wonderful big cities.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:15 PM on April 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


I have New York listed on my profile currently so "my type" of guys can find me. However I don't know if this is ethical and I should make note at the top of my profile my real location or rather discuss it once I get to know someone?

This is not ethical.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:22 PM on April 17, 2012


I don't care how hot or rich you are - if you tried starting a relationship with me predicated on falsehoods to be revealed later after some kind of emotional attachment I would dump you so fast and hard that you'd emit Cherenkov radiation.
posted by loquacious at 3:36 PM on April 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I was curious about which "small town in Canada", and am a bit surprised that its Calgary, a city of a million people. OK, so not New York (or Toronto, even), but you make it sound like you're in a small isolated hamlet in Northern Saskatchewan.

You have to be upfront about it, at the top of your profile. "I've found that I like the sort of people on OKC who are in NY, but I actually live in Calgary, Alberta. If you're one of those, I'd like to get to know you, and I'd be totally up to travelling to NY. I'm dying for a great art gallery here in the windy desolate prairies".
posted by bumpkin at 4:11 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmm. Or do you actually live in Red Deer? If the latter, I suspect that you might find Calgarians or Edmontonians more likely to travel to hang out with you than the Manhattan girls Ragged Richard was unable to lure over to Jersey....
posted by bumpkin at 4:15 PM on April 17, 2012


You know how people say that you "can't have it all"? When I was a kid, I thought that meant that you can't really be an Olympic gymnast and a concert violinist and a marine biologist. It is actually more mundane and obnoxious than that. You can either have all the things you like about your life in your rural small town or you can have a typical young, gay urban love life. You can't have both.

Plenty of people move to a bigger urban area, work and live for a while when they are young, then get into an LTR and move back to a smaller, more affordable hometown, or they make enough money to split their time between two places.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 4:19 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


More than feeling annoyed or led on, I would just assume you were running some sort of scam if we chatted on OKCupid and then you suddenly dropped the bomb that you were actually going to be visiting from Calgary.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 4:27 PM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Which is your priority: to find a boyfriend or to stay living where you are? No, you can't pick "both" as an answer.

If finding a boyfriend is the priority, then you need to move to somewhere gay-friendly/with a bigger dating pool. Because throwing out long-distance hooks trying to lure guys to move to your town is probably not gonna work. It isn't so far, 99% of folks aren't going to go for it, and you're kinda lying to people. It's entirely fair that everyone loses interest in you for those reasons.

If staying where you are is the priority, then accept that your pickings are going to be slim and maybe you won't be having both the ideal location and a man in your life.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:54 PM on April 17, 2012


However I don't know if this is ethical and I should make note at the top of my profile my real location or rather discuss it once I get to know someone?

Let's see — what are the pros and cons?

Reasons to put this note in your profile: it's the open, ethical, and honest thing to do. It will filter out people who wouldn't be interested in you, leaving the people who are potentially interested in you.

Reasons to wait until you "get to know someone" to reveal this information: I can't think of any reason. Can you?
posted by John Cohen at 5:05 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do know some people who have used OKCupid either with the intention of or the openness to starting a long distance relationship, but they were generally looking for a pretty limited subset of potential mates (limited by shared cultural background) and also not in New York.

I think the best you can from where you are is to regularly come to New York, and in the time before you come (but after you have definite dates booked), message New Yorkers and try to set up dates. When you're actually here, go on the dates you've set up *and* build a social community here of friends and friends of friends that could eventually lead to an IRL beginning of a relationship. If you do end up moving to NYC (I don't know whether you have a job that could actually cross the border), already having a community here would be a tremendous bonus.

The other best that you can do is try to be more open to meeting people who don't initially seem like your type but who are local or who are easy to meet without putting the pressure of a plane ticket on the first meeting. I can't second strongly enough what burnmp3s said about the dangers of building up too much relationship energy before ever meeting in real life. On the other hand, it sounds like you're young and not in a great hurry to settle down so spending time meeting and exploring relationships with men whom you might not have thought were your type could be fun and rewarding.

If your job does get you across borders, I will be one of those New York cheerleaders who says, yes, come live here, it's fantastic! You can always move back to Calgary later.
posted by Salamandrous at 5:23 PM on April 17, 2012


No, I don't think it is ethical. You're lying about where you live--by a lot--in order to get them to like you enough to ignore their preferences. The ethical thing to do is disclose up front where you live.

And honestly, your response rate will be lower, but it won't take more work because you're just weeding out up front the people who don't want to start a relationship on a long distance basis (and you get to keep those who would consider it but are pissed about your lie).

Really, if you can't find the types of guys you like where you live (and I think sexual orientation makes this plausible in a small town setting), then you need to work on a plan to move. Not for a guy you meet online first, but to be there and then meet a guy.
posted by J. Wilson at 8:55 PM on April 17, 2012


I'd like to see some serious answers about WHY you want to stay where you are. In 2009 you asked about where to go that you could learn how to surf and it would be warm all year round (which, if you live in Calgary like is suggested above, is definitely not in the cards for you), what has changed between now and then? If it's family, that's a rough one. I moved far away from family in my early 20's and it was hard in some areas, but also very freeing and the sense of independence was just breath defying, but not everyone is into that.

Other then family, I can't think of anything that would really hold you back, and I say that as a small town Albertan who flew the coop. It's not a gay friendly province. At least, it wasn't when I was there. I was reading the newspaper when gay marriage was legalized. It was disgusting. I moved to a large city in a far more liberal province and suddenly everyone around me has the same politics and finding someone who would ever voice homophobia is so rare it never occurs to me. Maybe things have changed some since I left, but honestly I doubt it's been such a flip that it's still not on your mind when you discuss your private life with strangers.

To answer your question, I don't even reply to people on OKC who live an hour drive away, if I was interested in someone and they admitted they lived in another country of course I would end it. I imagine there are tons of people in my busy metropolis type city who would match up with me, why would I spend all that effort and time and money aiming for someone who wants me to move to a smallish leaning-right area, when I had spent so much time and effort landing myself somewhere busy and gay friendly.

(And as someone who left Alberta, if anyone, even the love of my life, tried to drag me back I would run screaming for the hills. Not everyone shares an interest in that type of life, and if they do they sure as heck don't live in downtown NYC!)
posted by Dynex at 11:09 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Your question sounds like the premise of a romantic comedy. Woman who lives in small town Canada but creates OKCupid profiles in world capitals because she likes the sophistication of men there. Then has to endure the practical difficulties of pretending she lives in said capitals to actually go on these dates, and undergoes personal crisis in deciding whether to stay in rural Canada when she clicks with Mr. Right.

Write the book, make it a best seller, parlay that into a successful best-selling career, and then you can afford to maintain an apartment in your city of choice to date the men who interest you while flying back and forth from Canada.
posted by jayder at 2:18 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


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