GEOGRAPHY – A Response to Ruby’s Response! (Champagne Hero)

So it seems City/Suburb dating has you all keen to reply!

No sooner had he read Ruby’s response to The Enigmatic Flaneur’s original post ‘The Out of Town Dater’, than Champagne Hero contacted me to say he wanted to respond too!

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx

Ok so it’s been with some intrigue that I’ve read these accounts of GEOGRAPHY and the attitudes people have towards travelling to a date or even the location itself.

To be quite honest, I’m very surprised that this idea could be such a drama for some people.  Our generation is one of more well travelled, well educated, and open minded adults than those before us.   We live in an age of fast internet, smartphones, ever increasing globalisation and more inter connectivity than ever before.  So what’s the problem with a dating commute?

I lived in London (Ealing) for a year a while ago and I bloody loved it.

I think London is a fantastic place with so much to do and I had an amazing time. But, you know what my favourite bit about the Big Smoke is? The fact that I can leave it and have a life outside of it.

I don’t know if anyone else feels like this, perhaps as a non-Londoner in a blog community of predominantly Londo- based contributors I won’t gain much traction, but I found that living in such an enclosed world such as a big city like London changed my attitudes in a way that I wasn’t necessarily happy with.

There is so much to do in London – it is such a busy place; everyone is busy; everything is loud.  Whatever you do, it is guaranteed to be expensive, and thanks to the combination of phone apps like Twitter, iMessage, Facebook and a relatively decent transport system, everyone is in a rush to do everything.  All at once.

To be quite honest, I find it bloody infuriating when I’m out in London and people seem to spend more time in their phones than with the people around them!  Why do we need to update the world about where we are, and what we’re doing?  Just get on with having fun and speak to the people you are with!

I’m not against modern technology and all it has to offer, not at all: I am writing this on an iPad whilst also chatting on my phone online.

My point is that in an environment or atmosphere of a big city, it somehow seems socially acceptable to have your attention spread to the four winds.  It’s too easy to apologise for being late, or to have somewhere else to go.

Also, London (like any city) is a big place and before you know it in, the rushed lifestyles that people seem to lead a lot of time is spent travelling all over the place to get from event to event each day. It’s no ones fault, it’s just the situation people find themselves in and for many that’s something they are very happy with.

For me though, it’s not.

And that is why I am happy to date those people outside of a city, or travel to go and see someone. To put this into context, I grew up in a small town just outside of London that could easily be considered ‘countryside’ and have lived in a variety of places in Sweden, Australia and Germany that have varied in scale from a village to big city.

Over the years, I dated in these places  and I certainly feel like I have enough experience and opinion to rebuff this idea that travel or location is such a drama, and that cities are the way forward etc etc – what I read as the central themes of the posts on this topic so far.

For one, if you consider how much time you spend on tubes, buses, walking around a city, etc –  it probably doesn’t equate to much less time than I would spend to go and see someone outside of the City.

For example, last week after the ED meet up I had to go to Warwick Avenue, which took about an hour in total once we’d walked to the tube, changed stations, waited, walked some more.

Considering that on the map it’s only a few short miles away I was surprised by this.

It’s the equivalent of me driving from my hometown into London –  about an hour’s drive.

When I was dating a girl in Sweden I thought nothing of travelling the 45 minutes to her place, because I liked her.

So, what’s the difference?

Also, the pace of life and attitudes out of a city are entirely different too. For one, it’s outside your comfort zones and as we have all seen various cheesy motivational posters etc “The risks of breaking out of your comfort zone aren’t nearly as bad as the risks of staying in it your whole life”. So, for me, going somewhere new to meet someone else, either on their own turf or at a mutually new place adds a new and exciting level to a date.

And so what if being outside a city or travelling to a date means you only get to do one thing? Why the rush to fit in loads of different things? Why not stop, look around and enjoy where you are for what it is with who you are with?

In my humble opinion, focusing on one thing at a time and realising it is ok to give something your undivided attention, is something our generation is losing.

A new place – either in a city or outside of it, can give you that.

Without the constant distractions I mentioned earlier that seem to be the norm when in a big city or even just in your geographical comfort zone, you are entirely focused on that person. Which is the very point of a date surely?

I have experienced it myself and noticed the differences between when I have been on dates on the lady’s own turf vs when we met somewhere on my terms vs a mutual place that either of us knew.

It seems that those who remain in a place they are comfortable in act a different way, and it’s not always attractive, mainly because you are seeing a caricature of someone who is defined by where they are, not who they are.

Like I mentioned before, smartphones, inter connectivity, and rushed lifestyles are all great. But, when I’m on a date, I like to know that she and I are focused on each other. And that’s what being somewhere new can offer.

So why am I so against the idea of geography being a constraint?

I genuinely believe that moving outside of your comfort zone – either geographically or otherwise –  can offer a whole world of opportunity that you would otherwise miss.

You get to see the person entirely as they are, not distracted about what’s around, or living up to their geographic safe cocoon that they aren’t able to leave.

Also, perhaps someone who lives in a different place can broaden your horizons, make you feel secure outside of your comfort zone and grow as a person.

Do we really want to be defined by where we are on a map rather than what we do and who we are?

I think that breaking out of your geographical comfort zone can make a great difference to a relationship.

It shows trust, interest and a desire to put in the effort and become a better person for it. Because after all, when we date and look for relationships, aren’t we looking to become a better person for it?

Champagne Hero

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