To most people, a long distance relationship occurs when you live in another state or country than the person you love. But in Los Angeles, where three hour commute times are the norm, living in a different neighborhood than your date can feel like another planet. We had L.A dating expert Kelly Seal break it down for us: Should you commute for a date?
As residents of L.A., we’ve come to expect a certain amount of time in our cars. It’s inevitable that we spend thirty to forty minutes driving only a few miles in a city packed with so many people (and so few options for mass transit).
But how does all this one-on-one time with your car affect your love life?
If you are single and dating in L.A like me, you’ve filtered your online dates according to geography. In fact, dating people near my neighborhood was a must for me, since it took so long for me to get from my house to my job. I turned down dates who lived in the Valley or even West Hollywood, since I lived in West L.A. and even the thought of crossing the 405 made me extremely anxious.
I know many of you can relate. We Angelenos feel that we lose a lot of our valuable time – and ultimately a portion of our lives – sitting in traffic. But there are ways to work around it. Eventually, I figured this out for myself.
While it’s nice to date someone who lives only ten minutes away, basing your matching criteria on geography is a lose-lose situation. While I don’t advocate long-distance relationships, I think it’s important to consider someone based on other attributes besides where they live.
Here’s the thing: you’ll probably change jobs at some point, or get transferred to another location, so you can’t be too married to your work commute. It’s the same thing with dating. If you meet someone who lives in Pasadena but you live in Westwood, if things work out, you might end up moving and won’t have to worry about commuting.
Plus, there’s always some compromise to be made. If you agree to go out with the guy who lives in Pasadena, maybe you can meet in Hollywood, halfway between you. Both of you can have a chance to explore an unfamiliar neighborhood together, which can be really fun and romantic.
You should also consider people who live close to where you work. Wouldn’t it be nice to skip all the rush hour traffic and have dinner and drinks with your date instead?
If you’re determined to meet people in your neighborhood only, then instead of just relying on online dating sites, it’s a good idea to get out there in person. Try mobile dating apps like Tinder that are location-based, or check out networking events in your neighborhood. Volunteer your time for local causes that are important to you. Get to know people who live close by. You never know who could introduce you to your next girlfriend or boyfriend.
L.A. might be a difficult place to get around, but that doesn’t mean you should limit your choices. If you find the right person, the commute will be worth it.