Dating columnist Beth Cook thinks you need to expand your online search for potential partners. 

Beth Cook is a dating coach and wing-woman who throws private dating events for San Francisco’s most awesome and unattached. She also writes and draws about her own dating experiences and would love to hear from you. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

This past week I heard about two instances of people ditching online date plans because of distance. Not long distance. Short distance. The distance of a city.

How lazy have we gotten? Very.

These days, it’s not just about how cute someone’s photos are, how eloquent their profile is written, or how brilliant their ice-breaker message is. It’s about whether they live on your bus line. Now we want to find people in our backyard—not a few neighborhoods away.

Let me tell you a little secret: It’s a major turn on when you take the train from Brooklyn to Manhattan, from San Francisco to Berkeley, from Chicago’s Lakeview to the West Loop. You’re sending a message to your date: You’re worth the effort. And he or she might think you are too for making the trip.

I get why long distance sucks, but short distance travel can actually be pretty great. You’ll get to explore a new area of the city (your date’s neighborhood and likely the area in-between), you’ll end up having more sleepovers (it’s convenient to skip the back and forth, and you’ll expedite the question of the hour: “Do I like you enough to make you my boyfriend/girlfriend?”

Making the trip will feel awful if you’re not that into the guy/gal and awesome if you are. (After all, you get a whole 45 minutes to plow through your unread New Yorkers and anticipate your hot date!)

And when your relationship crashes and burns, wouldn’t it be fun to have an ex not in your neighborhood where you’ll most definitely run into her/him at the coffee shop, the grocery, or local watering hole?

The next time you go online to look for dates, do me a favor and set the search to “within 50 miles.” Most people have a 30-60 minute commute to work; let’s be open minded and try commuting for love.

Photo by Taylor Liberato

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Dating columnist Beth Cook is finding that a little privacy can be a good thing when it comes to Facebook and relationships.
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