Dear Rabbi Singer,
I recently met this wonderful man online, who happens to live across the country from me. We have talked extensively for a while now, and I find myself starting to have feelings for the man. However, he recently asked me “if we were ever really going to meet,” which made me sit up. The way he phrased the question made me think that maybe he’s not willing to make a relationship out of whatever we have going on. Which is disheartening because, even though he is not willing to relocate, I am. And on top of that, I would be willing to come out and visit him and was hoping eventually he might feel the same way. I don’t know what I should do. Should I continue our conversations in the hope that he will change his mind, or should I stop contact?
Confused in Dallas
Dear Confused in Dallas ,
After reading your letter, the first red flag that pops up for me and probably everyone else is: long distance relationship. So let me clear this up first. The fact that this guy lives thousands of miles away is not a deal breaker per se. I’ve seen long distance relationships work, under the right circumstances. So what are those “right circumstances?” You must meet at the beginning or at least very early on in the relationship. Once you’ve spent some quality time together in person, you can then carry on long distance if you absolutely have no other choice (until, of course, you settle down together and live happily ever after).
Nobody who is serious about building a long lasting relationship will want to carry on a virtual relationship without physically meeting you, primarily to determine if there’s physical attraction and chemistry. If those things aren’t there, the relationship won’t work.
I’m assuming that you’re serious about building a relationship, right? Then you need a guy who’s serious about meeting you ASAP. Ideally, he should come out to meet you. If that’s impossible, then he should invite you to visit and offer to pay your way, or at least chip in. If he’s not coming to meet you or inviting you to meet him, then you’re wasting your time and setting yourself up for major disappointment.
So here’s the answer to your question: ask him point blank if he’s interested in meeting you…for real. That means setting a date and buying a plane ticket. If he doesn’t say YES, say Ciao and move along without looking back.
I don’t see why it’s necessary to meet “ASAP”. Relationships can start as a virtual friendship first and foster into something else.