It’s Complicated || Dating as a Digital Nomad 

Dating sucks sometimes. Especially when you’re not in one place for long. I’m rarely in the same state or country for longer than three months. Which makes me feel like a free bird and at times like a caged dove. Either wild and free or always alone.

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While being an avid traveler can be life changing and enriching it can also be lonely. I sometimes feel like being in a relationship would distract me from my travel goals. I’d be missing bae more and enjoying travel less. It’s just a theory, but I’m pretty confident with my hypothesis.

When I moved from California to Atlanta I was still dating someone who lived in California. Missing him made my transition even more difficult. Long conversations took our relationship from “miss you” to “love you”. Pretty soon I was planning trips to see him. This continued for a year, until he told me he’d found a girlfriend. Yep, a girlfriend and could I blame him? I’m the one who decided to move across the country. So I had to let him go right? I had to move on and date locally. Find a nice southern gentleman to “yes ma’am” me.

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Eventually, I found one. He was kind, considerate and single. But I was leaving to work out of state for three months. So before it got too serious, I decided to “friend-zone” him.

While I was away I started receiving texts from my California Love and that’s how our “complicationship” began. He’d told his girlfriend about me. That we’d dated before he met her and that I’d moved away. He also told her that he still loved me and wanted to continue to see me when I was in town. She agreed to be in an open relationship with him and in a way, I guess I did too.

We’d talk and text frequently. Sometimes he’d tell me that our communication made her feel insecure or jealous. But what else did he expect? I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be sharing either, but at the time it seemed like the logical thing to do. As long as we were all being open and honest with each other, what was the problem?

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The problem was, love is not logical and after a year in this complicationship, I had to cut ties. It was harder than I expected, but in the end I felt empowered. I also learned that although I’m liberal and open minded, open relationships are not for me.

I decided to update my online dating profiles and put myself back out there. After a few duds I met someone cool and right away he asked me out for coffee. During our date he let it slip that he had a girlfriend. I didn’t cause a scene or skip a beat. I continued on with our conversation and my chai latte. When he dropped me off I knew that would be the last time I’d see him.

He called to ask me out again and I asked about his girlfriend. He was honest about being in a relationship but said that they had an “understanding”. Here we go again right!? Nope! I wasn’t getting caught up, so I politely declined. His response was, he thought I’d be cool with it because I traveled so much and wouldn’t want to be tied down.

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He was right on two accounts, I did travel a lot and didn’t want to be tied down. But I also wasn’t looking for another complicationship. So I thanked him again for the coffee and that was that. Chatting with a friend I asked if I had “Open to Open Relationships” stamped on my forehead? After she assured me I didn’t, I asked if she’d ever be open to an open relationship.

Even after finding dating apps and online communities for digital nomads, I decided to delete my online dating profiles. My current thought process is, if I meet someone interesting in real life, I’ll see where it goes. Otherwise, I’m just going to focus on work, family, friends and travel.

Are you an avid traveler who also happens to be single? How has your lifestyle affected your dating life? Have you tried alternative dating styles or open relationships? How did that work for you?

10 thoughts

  1. This is the story of my life! I think part of the problem with meeting people on the road is that they often left home for a taste of freedom. Every amazing guy I’ve met travelling has told me he’s ‘not looking for that kind of relationship’ or ‘not at that stage in his life right now’. It doesn’t help that they’re often quite a bit younger than me too! I’ve met loads of potentials while travelling and none on dating sites, and I have the same attitude as you. I’m just going to continue to live my life the most exciting way possible and if I meet someone then great, but if not I’ll have no regrets.

    1. I feel you girl! I’m over looking for the one. I’m gonna do me and if someone sparks my attention enough, we’ll see where that leads. That traveler life can be a lonely one. Still, more positive than negative.

  2. I feel you girl! Although, when I was living in Cali (for 11 years, mind you) all of my relationships were complicationships – so now that I’m traveling, I’m more optimistic than I was back then. Is this the definition of irony?

    1. LOL! Probs. Since I’ve been traveling, it’s been super easy to meet people and date, but a little more complicated to find that love relationship. I know without a doubt that it’s because I haven’t opened myself up to one. As I know I will be traveling and if I do, I’ll miss that person. And missing BAE sucks!!! So I’ve been happy to date casually and just see what’s out there. But, I’m getting to a point where I do want a meaningful love relationship in my life again. So I gotta figure shit out! LOL. Thanks for your comment Vianessa, you made me reevaluate my entire life! LOL

  3. Soooooooo I actually wanna try out an open relationship. I might feel like you and wanna shit it down completely, but I guess I feel like I like SO MANY GUYS ALL THE TIME and I meet so many amazing people that I wanna have them all like Pokémon! But I’ve actually never tried an open relationship nor polygamy to see if it’s for me. Sometimes I think honesty is the best policy and other times I’m like literally he will never know, so why make it complicated? Am I a fuccgirl? Maybe haha.

    1. I agree. Honesty is the best policy. Although my last open relationship didn’t end on a great note, I would be open to trying it again. In that situation, we just kinda fell into it because I was away so much and we both loved each other but wanted to be open to dating other people who were in the same city, state or country as we were. For me, when it comes to the heart, nothing is easy. It always seems to get complicated by emotions. But some things are worth it and I guess life is about figuring out what things and people are worth the stress. LOL! I say give it a shot! You never know until you try, right?

  4. Yes, i can definitely relate to this article. I love to travel and explore. I am even boldened to approach others in a way that I would not normally do. Conversations can get very interesting because there is a sense of ‘why not?’ I may not ever see this person again anyway attitude.

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