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HomeRelationship & LifestyleI traveled 500 miles for a first date

I traveled 500 miles for a first date

I had just moved to a new country and was practically bursting with excitement.

Sure, some of that excitement was for the new foods I’d try and the exotic-looking buildings that dotted the town I would now be calling home.

But, if I was honest, most of my elation was for a date I’d had lined up for weeks.

Ahead of my move, I connected with a stranger online (the way many love stories seem to begin these days) who was originally from the U.S., like me, but had moved abroad to the same country I would be relocating to.

We chatted for hours and video-called each other, so I trusted that he was the real deal. I was so confident about our chemistry that I wasn’t even deterred by the 500 miles separating my new town from his.

I offered to book a flight to visit him one weekend since he was hesitant to travel to my town, and he happily agreed to the plan. Finally, we would have our first real date.

Other people questioned my judgment. They made comments like, “You don’t really know him, so why would you travel across the country to see him?”

A couple of friends, understandably, worried for my safety. Still, I got on a flight, nervous but buzzing with anticipation, and just over an hour later, I touched down near his stomping grounds.

He didn’t wait for me at the airport or help arrange a ride for me — red flag? — so I made my way to the nearby metro station with my weekend bag and eventually figured out how to navigate to his neighborhood.

We met that night and spent most of the weekend together. The experience offered what any pleasant first date would, even if it did involve a longer-than-average journey. We bonded over dinner and drinks, had thought-provoking conversations, and kissed.

However, no matter how well our date went — and it went well — it wouldn’t make up for what happened next.

At the end of my romantic weekend getaway, I hopped on a train headed for the airport, my head filled with questions about what would unfold between me and my date: Would we have a long-distance relationship?

Would one of us eventually move to the other’s town? Would we move back to the U.S. together one day? I was so swept up in daydreams about our future that I almost didn’t notice my train had come to an emergency stop.

I remained stuck in the train carriage long enough to miss my flight and was bumped into a new one the following morning.

Stuck in my love interest’s town without a plan, I informed him of my updated situation, expecting he’d be happy to spend more time together. Instead, he said he was busy and brushed me off.

There were numerous possible explanations for his response — maybe he was truly busy and couldn’t rearrange his schedule, or perhaps he just didn’t think we hit it off in person.

But it was that night, as I was roaming around a foreign town in a country that was still new to me, feeling alone and discarded, that I realized going the distance (literally) wasn’t the craziest part of my date.

The craziest part was that I’d gone the distance for someone who wouldn’t have done the same for me. 

The red flags started to emerge as if I’d been colorblind for weeks: his reluctance to visit my town, the way he didn’t offer to help me after I’d arrived, and now, his blatant lack of interest in me. 

Sacrifice is integral to any relationship, and to some extent, that sacrifice starts on day one.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a chance or leaving your comfort zone for someone special. But no matter how thrilling the conversations might be or how much your interests overlap, a relationship will suffer if only one person is willing to stretch themselves to make it work.

Thankfully, I met someone else a few months after my long-distance date who lived in a city neighboring mine.

Even if the trips weren’t as far, my new love interest would gladly go out of his way to meet me and spend time together — as I would do for him — and, years later, we’re still together and thriving.

From my experience, I would never discourage someone from making big moves early in a relationship, as long as the effort is mutual.

Source: Your Tongo