Dear Tamar,

I don’t understand why, when someone is looking for a partner they would take an interest in someone five states away!  It doesn’t make any sense to me. I hate to outright say no to an IM request but also feel bad about just ignoring it, too.  The same goes for someone who sends me an email from another state.  How do I respond (or not)?

Dear Long Distance Diss,

I totally understand where you’re coming from. I remember being on JDate and receiving IMs from people in other countries! I mean, really? It’s enough of a compromise to decide to open your area range to neighboring cities 160 miles away, right? The international IMs I would always ignore. Not even worth a second look in my book. But IMs from people 5 states away? Fuggedaboutit! (But click to read their message because they might be preempting with an “I’m moving to your state next week!” message in which case it’s game on!) But IMs from people 2-4 hours away (i.e. within driving distance or a short, cheap flight) should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and treated just as if the person were in your city. Check their photos, profile, preferences, etc and make the determination then. You never know, it might end up being the best road trip ever! Good Luck!