I’ve recently been having a small measure of fun on Twitter. By small measure I mean not very much but some. Enough to go back each day and read some of the Tweets and on occasion click on some of the links. The greatest reaction you’d see me give would be one you’d have to be in my mind to hear and that would be a mere, “Hmmm…interesting”. In all, Twitter is a promotional site as far as I can tell. It just seems to be a bunch of people promoting themselves…and I’m one of them. We’ve become a world of self-promoters. We are now our own best ad agencies. Sigh. But that’s not the reason for this post.
On Twitter or….due to my experiences there…I’ve come to realize that people like Hitch are not uncommon. When I first saw that movie, I thought, “How could anyone seriously make any money doing that?” Well, not only are there dating coaches out there, they actually seem to be making money doing it. I haven’t done the research on what the qualifications for a dating coach are or how much they make, but the job position clearly exists and it isn’t like there are just one or two out there.
I sometimes think I could be a dating coach. After all, I date a lot and I get callbacks. I make it to the second and third and fourth cuts usually unless I opt out first. I seem to be doing some things right most of the time. I learn from my mistakes when I don’t and keep moving on.
Other times I think I could use a dating coach. Those are the times when I encounter a dating situation that I just don’t have the prior knowledge or the required skillset to be able to negotiate the situation seamlessly and effortlessly.
Now is one of those times.
Certain events have transpired to create a unique situation for me. The specifics have me trying to wrap my mind around certain things.
These are the things I am trying to wrap my mind around:
When in a long distance relationship, and you finally meet for the first time, clearly the person isn’t going to travel a great distance for just a two hour date. In the case of an international relationship, just the ordeal of working out passports, visas, and going through customs indicates a fair amount of commitment to the cause, and one is not going to go to all this trouble for a dinner date one evening. Right?
So, my question is, if the guy comes in from out of town for the weekend, or the fortnight is that entire time considered the first date? Or is just the first evening the first date?
If the first evening is the first date, and he’s come to town from overseas to see you, then if you “play by the rules” is the third evening he’s in town the third date? There is at least one school of thought that suggests the first date should be only two hours long. So the question then becomes, is the first two hours you’re together considered the first date? Or is the entire visit considered the first date?
If the entire time is considered the first date does this then mean he has to come back overseas two more times before it is considered the third date?
Or, conversely, if the first two hours are considered the first date, then by the sixth hour if you haven’t put out should he be getting on the plane and heading home? If he hasn’t made a move on me by the sixth hour do I figure he’s just not that into me? What amount of time is appropriate to consider getting romantic, the sixth hour, the sixth day or the sixth overseas trip? I’m just having a really tough time understanding the rules here.
Does the Third Date Rule even apply here?
Let’s revisit the thinking that says you shouldn’t spend more than two hours on the first date together. Let’s play that tape again: he’s flying in from another continent. You’ve both planned this trip for months. He gets off the plane after traveling 22 hours and battling customs. You tell him two hours after he arrives, “Well, I should be getting home now. I had a great time. Thanks for everything!” WTH is up with that?
Or how bout the idea that says you shouldn’t see each other more than twice a week at first? Hit stop! Rewind! Let’s play video back at a slower speed. He’s traveled 22 hours by plane, battled customs at great expense to come see you for two weeks to see if the two of you have what it takes to develop a viable relationship. He’s making no expectations and covering all the expenses and all you’re going to give up of yourself and your time is four hours at two different times each of the two weeks he is in your country? Ummmm, what about all that sounds gamey, manipulative, contrived and very selfish?
Now clearly, I’m not necessarily advocating spending 24/7 with him either, but it seems there has to be a bit of a balance here. It seems that the nature of the Long Distance Relationship, especially when two different cultures and countries and the expenses that are involved requires some special treatment and consideration and flexibility.
If you insist upon going by all those rules, can you see how it just gets very confusing when dealing with a distance relationship? Do you adhere to the letter of the law or the spirit of the law when dealing with a long distance relationship? (And by long distance, I mean one where you cannot possibly drive to see the person in eight hours or less.)
It seems to me that the spirit of the law is the guide here. The questions to really be asking are how do you develop and sustain trust across the miles? How do you deal with technological snags that limit communication and still move the relationship forward? How do you show caring and respect and continue getting to know each other. How do you take care of you even though you are spending a significant amount of time with another person? How do you overcome the cultural and social challenges that might come your way? How do you support and care for each other when you cannot be in the same location? How do you keep the interest alive when you are spending so much time together during visits and then no time together during non-visits? How long can this go on before you have to consider ways to close the distance?
I mean I could be wrong here, but isn’t the challenge in every relationship that of maintaining and caring for who you are while also respecting and caring for the other individual too? There has to be togetherness as well as space and distance and the two people in question are either able to negotiate this or they can’t. If they can’t it is probably not going to be a go in the first two hours, the first six or on the sixth trip. I could be wrong.
Maybe I should ask a dating coach.