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Q & A: What If My Person Isn’t In My “Dating Radius”?

Did you know about the Ask Nancy feature on my website?  You can ask me as many questions as you’d like, related to dating or relationships, and I will post a response on one of my blog posts.  It’s completely confidential and it’s free!  In this month’s post I’ll be answering a question from one of my readers.  The question reads…

I was dating a guy for two months, and that just ended. I did have so much fun with him and did so many new things that were WAY out of my comfort zone (rock climbing and glass blowing!), so there are good memories there. He also gave me hope that the type of person I am looking for really is out there. Anyway…I was watching Fixer Upper on HGTV and saw a handsome man, who of course was married and they had a beautiful family. That show is filmed in Texas. So jokingly, I said “I need to move to Texas!” It was a joke at that time. I don’t think I would consider moving solely for the sake of finding my person, that’s a huge decision, but what if he isn’t here? I don’t necessarily believe in “the one,” I do believe that there are probably multiple people that could be good for me…but what are your thoughts around “what if your person isn’t in the same city/surrounding area/state?” Am I really to assume that he is close enough in my “dating radius,” if we haven’t found each other yet?

I love this question AND I love Fixer Upper (who doesn’t!).  I’m sure some of you reading this have had this thought. If you’ve been single for a while or have been on a string of bad dates, you are bound to wonder why you haven’t met someone.  It’s natural to try to come up with reasons to try to understand why we’re in certain situations. Your feelings of frustration, sadness, impatience, worry and fear lead you to ask this question.  Other questions that may come up are:

“What if I’m meant to be alone?”

“What if he’s/she’s just not out there?”

“What if he’s/she’s married?”       

But let’s get back to this particular question, “what if he doesn’t live in my dating radius?”  Let’s assume that this is true. She moves to Texas and, after a year, hasn’t met him. She then watches another show and thinks that maybe he’s in New York.  She moves to New York but, nothing there either. She could end up on a wild goose chase from state to state trying to find him and spend money, time, and stress out in the process of all that moving!  

This question also implies that we believe there is only one person for us.  I disagree with this wholeheartedly. There could be someone in Texas for her but there could also be a match for her right where she lives, or nearby.  So, I personally, wouldn’t make that move to Texas.

Thankfully, it sounds like we have a smart woman here.  She acknowledges that it’s a huge decision and wouldn’t move just for that reason.  The are two things she says that I really like. One is that she DID meet someone in her dating radius who was the kind of person she was looking for…so that, to me, is proof that there IS someone within her reach.  The second thing is that she believes that there could be multiple people that are good for us.

You can find several articles online about the “best places for single people to find love.”  Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Houston, Chicago, and Atlanta, to name a few, make it on those lists.  CNBC posted a study last year by WalletHub who looked at 150 cities with the highest population and applied scores across different categories and metrics related to dating.  They selected the top 13 cities for singles to find love by giving a score between 25 and 70. Houston, Texas was number 13 on that list with a score of 57.55. San Francisco came in 1st with a score of 70.21.

Here’s the problem I have with these studies.  If you walk up to a single person in San Francisco and ask them if it’s easier to find love there, I bet they’d probably say “no.”  I know amazing people that live in those cities and they’re still single.  These studies can look at all the metrics they want but it assumes that the reason people can’t find love is external. I think the reason people don’t find love is internal.   

So, in this situation, I have to look underneath the question.  When worry or fear take over our minds, we find ways to calm ourselves down by asking these “what if” questions.  If there was a reason for why we were still single then it’s something we can work on. However, we have to be very careful about the types of questions or assumptions we make.  Here are two things you could do the next time you have a “what if” question:

Fact Check –  Could it possibly be true that there is no one in her dating radius?  Maybe…if she lives in Arlington, Iowa with a population of 406. If you live in LA, New York, Austin, Phoenix, or any of the bigger cities, I’d say your chances are pretty good at meeting someone close to where you live.  AND, based on census data, there are actually less men than women in Texas. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, she actually did meet someone who lived close to her and was the type of guy she was looking for!

Name It To Tame It – This phrase was created by Dr. Dan Siegel, an author, neuropsychiatrist, and a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA.  Name it (the feeling) to tame it. In this case, this woman may have felt some fear or worry about her current situation. Maybe she’s surrounded by friends who are getting engaged or married, maybe she’s getting older and starting to worry that she needs to find someone now, I don’t know for sure.  But what she can do is name the feeling and say, “I’m feeling scared that I’m not going to find someone” or “I’m frustrated or sad that I haven’t yet met my person” and sit with that feeling until it passes. Take some deep breaths while you say it. It will pass, I promise. This may stop you from coming up with questions or making assumptions that are driven by fear and worry.  If it doesn’t stop you, hopefully it’ll help you say to yourself, “It’s just my worry acting up” when a question like that pops up.

Thank you so much for your question.  I really hope this post helped!

Do you have a question you’d like to ask?  Don’t be shy. Click here to ask YOUR question.

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