Should I go travel and work remotely or try and settle down with a girl I don’t have?
March 28, 2011 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Should I go travel and work remotely or try and settle down with a girl I don’t have?

I have turned 30 this year. Male, single, working as a software developer.

I live in one of the Eastern European countries (Hungary - my home country), where I have been working remotely for an English IT company for the last 2 years.

I work as a software developer, solving my client's problem, the pay is really good, I'm making 2-3 times more than what my peers are making because I get paid British salary while living in Eastern Europe.

Work is 9-5 GMT time, hardly ever extra hours, practically no stress, regular paycheck, and it's possible for me to work from any place in the world as long as I adhere to 9-5 GMT-0 time and as long as I have a solid Internet connection.

I think I should take advantage of my remote work, and go travel more while working at the same time. I could go to Thailand for a few months, or to Argentina (I speak Spanish) for a year for example. I feed kind of bored now at home (I live in a major, beautiful city though), and I think I could do with a change of scenery. I need to bring more excitement into my life. My life seems boring and repetitive although I try and do various activities after work.

However at the same time I feel that socially I should be settling down. If I don’t find a girl now it will be even more difficult later as most girls will be taken. I don’t want to be a 35-year old man hitting up on young girls (as older ones will be taken). Note that in Eastern Europe it’s pretty rare to be >30 and single (even for men) – it’s not like in the US or Western Europe.

Note that on intellectual level I do understand that it’s absurd to think in these terms, and to have such worries, and that you need to be happy with yourself before finding the one etc, but still.. on the emotional level these beliefs do seem to be blocking me.

My home country is paradise when it comes to women. All women are beautiful and smart, yet in spite of that and having dated many girls for the last 2 years, I haven’t been able to find a girl I’d like to settle down with (I’m a rather good looking guy in shape). The reasons for that could be that I simply haven’t found the one yet, there’s too much choice in girls making it even more difficult to make a decision, or that in spite of me missing being a relationship I don’t really want to be tied down at the same time just yet.

I keep telling myself that travelling will make me into a richer, more interesting, more desirable character, therefore improving my chances of attracting a woman with similar qualities. But at the same time I feel like staying here in my country will give me more chances of meeting someone eventually.

The common answer people give is that you should go travel while you have this possibility. But my fear is that if go travel I will forever have this “possibility” and will remain single forever… Sure you never know when you will meet your love, but you do seem able to increase the odds of finding one by staying in an area full of women, and being more proactive…

When I come to give more thought to my question, perhaps it’s not that I necessarily need to travel, but that I just want to give myself permission not to worry about being single, and live freely, and not be thinking that my life will be over if I turn out to be 35 and single.

Would appreciate any advice from you folks!
posted by martinmartin to Human Relations (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
You might also be missing out on this future mrs. martinmartin by sitting in one spot. Never put off living for a hypothetical! Go, travel, meet people, maybe even meet someone very special.. you never know.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:55 AM on March 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Would you be open to dating or marrying outside your nationality?
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:56 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I split from my first wife, I took eight months to drive around North America and visit friends and sleep on couches. I had a well paying telecommute job at the time so could earn money at the same time. I look back on that time as one of the most important parts of my life. Not only did I see some beautiful places and have some fantastic experiences, I met some wonderful people....including my present wife, who I'd known only electronically before my "tour."

So, yes, travel while you can.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:04 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the future mrs. is somewhere other than where you are now, you'll never find her by staying put.
posted by The World Famous at 12:05 PM on March 28, 2011


Note that in Eastern Europe it’s pretty rare to be >30 and single (even for men) – it’s not like in the US or Western Europe.

Who says that's rare in the US? The median first marriage age for us males is 27.7, i.e. half of men aren't married by age 27.7.

Regardless, moving around a lot is, in general, one reason that a lot of people are getting married later and later. Distance and instability are killer on relationships.
posted by valkyryn at 12:06 PM on March 28, 2011


I don’t want to be a 35-year old man hitting up on young girls (as older ones will be taken). Note that in Eastern Europe it’s pretty rare to be >30 and single (even for men) – it’s not like in the US or Western Europe.

...

My home country is paradise when it comes to women. All women are beautiful and smart, yet in spite of that and having dated many girls for the last 2 years, I haven’t been able to find a girl I’d like to settle down with (I’m a rather good looking guy in shape). The reasons for that could be that I simply haven’t found the one yet, there’s too much choice in girls making it even more difficult to make a decision, or that in spite of me missing being a relationship I don’t really want to be tied down at the same time just yet.


So there are tons of women willing to date you now, but there won't be when you're a few years older? I don't know much about the dating scene in Hungary but that seems unlikely. I don't see why you couldn't spend a year or two abroad and then date as a 32-year-old instead of a 30-year-old. You don't sound like you are really ready to settle down even if you think it's "the right thing to do" so why prevent yourself from doing what you want to do with you life when you would probably still be single anyway.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:12 PM on March 28, 2011


Note that on intellectual level I do understand that it’s absurd to think in these terms, and to have such worries, and that you need to be happy with yourself before finding the one etc, but still.. on the emotional level these beliefs do seem to be blocking me.

So if I get it right, you have this belief that you need to be happy with yourself before finding the one. You know this on an intellectual level but on an emotional level it's blocking you. Decide if "it's absurd" to think in terms of your personal happiness or not.

If it's not, then go ahead and travel because it seems your heart is set for it.
posted by mkdirusername at 12:17 PM on March 28, 2011


Travel now, while you can, because if you do not then you will always wish you had when you are settled down and this option is no longer readily available.
posted by fenriq at 12:30 PM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Funny, I've made a decision similar to the one you're trying to make. I chose not to embark on a particular long-term traveling experience, because I didn't think it would be... optimal to my goals (professional, personal, romantic, whatever). However I would be open to a different travel opportunity.

One thing - I would not make my decision to travel or not based entirely on it making me more desirable to the opposite sex.
posted by jander03 at 12:43 PM on March 28, 2011


I think the young rope-rider has half your answer. First, ask yourself if you'd mary a woman who wasn't of your ethnicity.

But second, ask yourself if you'd be willing to settle down outside your home country for the right woman.

If the answer to both questions is yes, then you have no reason at all to hesitate. Go to Argentina, see the sights, meet people, and see if you can find a nice Argentine girl worth sticking around for. And if you can't, just keep moving — with solid English and Spanish, you can get by (and meet women) in an awful lot of different places.

If you'd insist on going back home to settle down, things get a little harder — not impossible, mind, but it would be rough to meet The Girl Of Your Dreams a few thousand miles from home and then discover that neither of you wants to make a permanent move.
Note that in Eastern Europe it’s pretty rare to be >30 and single (even for men) – it’s not like in the US or Western Europe.
Who says that's rare in the US? The median first marriage age for us males is 27.7, i.e. half of men aren't married by age 27.7.
Right, that's what he's saying. The US has lots of old single dudes, but Eastern Europe doesn't.

posted by nebulawindphone at 12:50 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


So you are saying that you are so afraid that you will have so much fun traveling that you will forget to go back home and do something you aren't really interested in? Good lord! You might enjoy your life more! Sounds like a terrible risk.

I'm 34 and I just got back into the dating scene last year. I live in central europe too and I have to say it's pretty fun and there are plenty of great women out there. I'm not quite settling down yet but a few years of maturity make it a lot easier to have adult relationships and I can imagine something more serious working out for me in the not-so-distant future.

Also, the under 30 women are not out of bounds for a 35 year old guy although some of them will seem pretty silly.

I went traveling at 24 and I have not looked back or regretted it at all. There was also plenty of romance along the way. I would say go for it. You don't have much to lose.
posted by mr.ersatz at 1:11 PM on March 28, 2011


I keep telling myself that traveling will make me into a richer, more interesting, more desirable character, therefore improving my chances of attracting a woman with similar qualities.

By way of direct experience - it is infinitely easier to find such people while traveling than it is to find them at home.

but that I just want to give myself permission not to worry about being single, and live freely, and not be thinking that my life will be over if I turn out to be 35 and single.

After I finished my one year backpacking trip my similar worries were put to bed forever. If it happens, that's cool, if not, I have this pile of other things in life to play with that'll get me just as blissed out.
posted by MillMan at 2:03 PM on March 28, 2011


Best answer: You basically say you don't actually want to settle down right now, which is probably why you haven't settled down yet, despite feeling the social pressure to do so. The more you put off doing the things you want to do before you settle down, the longer it will be before you settle down. So the sooner you do the stuff you want to do before you settle down, the sooner you will settle down.

Get what I'm saying?

Also, you have tons of flexibility, which is great. Taking 3 months or 6 months or 2 years off, with very little commitment to any plan or place leave you wide open to come home and settle down. In the grand scheme of things, waiting 3 more months or a couple years to settle down won't mean anything and it sounds like this is something you really want to do. Is there a chance you'll miss the girl of your dreams while you're traveling? Sure, but really no better than you missing her by not traveling. If anything, you have a better chance of meeting someone abroad as you will have a whole new group of people to choose from and given your job situation, if you were happy in the new country with your new significant other you could probably stay without too much problem.
posted by whoaali at 2:09 PM on March 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


When you reflect on this time in your life, do you want to think about all the great experiences you could have or think "Wow, I had this fantastic opportunity to travel but I never did?" I know I'd pick the first option...
posted by SisterHavana at 4:18 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was 33, I decided to give up on the idea of settling down and went to live abroad for a year. Two and a half years later I returned home, happily married.

Love can happen any time anywhere - sitting at home is not going to change your odds so base your choice on what will make you happy now, not on some hypothetical woman who may or may not be in the city you live.
posted by scrute at 6:15 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Go travel for six months. 30 vs 30-and-a-half will not make any difference to your dating prospects, whether or not you are correct about all the women settling down in the near future. Six months of travel will be enough for you to know if you want to do more of it, or if you got it out of your system. And it will make you a much more interesting conversation partner to attract those women when you get back.
posted by lollusc at 8:59 PM on March 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Response by poster: Lots of thanks to you guys for offering me your perspective. You won't believe how useful I found your advice. Especially the comments made by whoaali and lollusc resonated with me, and I've decided to embark on a few short-term travel opportunities just to test the waters and see if I like it or if I get it out of my system.
posted by martinmartin at 2:39 PM on March 29, 2011


I also vote travel as it completely changed my life for the better but a practical tip: check with your employer about the time difference.
If your employer wants you for 8 hours a day at particular times then you may find it awkward working in the middle of the night! Do you have to deal with European clients?

also to a certain extent you've dated for quite some time in your city, and you're still looking for something different. You probably won't find it in the same place you've always been looking.
posted by Wilder at 9:02 AM on March 30, 2011


I went traveling at 24 and I have not looked back or regretted it at all. There was also plenty of romance along the way. I would say go for it. You don't have much to lose.

Ditto. I took off traveling a couple of years ago at 28, and it turned out to be the best move I ever made. I eventually came back home, but I think the traveling changed me for the better - it gave me focus, lots of good stories + photos, plus it seems to have made me a bit more sociable. In fact, I had such a good time that I'm planning to head back overseas next year!

And if it's meeting someone that's holding you back, life has taught me the same thing everyone else here has said - it's much easier to meet someone when you're happy and doing something that you enjoy.
posted by photo guy at 12:24 PM on March 30, 2011


TRAVEL! Especially if you can make money while doing so!

I turn 30 this month (a 30 year old single woman!) and I have left my job (which I had begun to hate) and am traveling the world solo on my savings. I wish I had done more traveling when I was younger but. . . better late then never. There are many people who tell me not to travel- stay, get a new job, keep settling. . . . But surprisingly, my mother is one of the few people who encouraged me.

Our parent's generation was very different- there was a real biological need to settle as soon as possible. But with innovations in medicine (safer older pregnancies) and great ways to meet "older" singles. My mother said she wishes she were my age, with less responsibility and a few thousand bucks- she would be right on that plane with me, going for broke.

See you on the road - :)
posted by brooklynbabe at 8:57 PM on May 11, 2011


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