Just a while ago, I had an interesting talk with a friend of mine. We wondered why it seems to be hard for some people to commit to self-assured, ambitious, intelligent, … persons- especially to those who appear to be always busy and abroad for a vast time of each year: constant travelers.
Her take on it: they’re afraid. Afraid of not being able to keep up with that person, afraid of only being a minor concern to him or her.
Apparently, numerous writers have thought about this issue before we did and already answered to it – in glorious words, if you ask me. Read some of my favorite notes on why no man should be afraid of dating a self-assured, ambitious, intelligent, curious, sensitive, awesome, caring woman:
She spends her weekends jetting around Europe, her holidays trekking through Uganda in search of gorillas, volunteering in a school in Ghana or lying on a beach in Sri Lanka. She spends her evenings reading travel books, watching travel movies or following travel bloggers on Twitter. She might appear to be independent and solitarily happy but, in reality, she would really like that perfect companion to be able to enjoy all of these things with.
She is inquisitive, curious, and intelligent; after all travel is the best form of education. She can talk for hours about her travel tales, (…)
So is she worth it? She most definitely is! She might seem a challenge to pin down, or to arrange a date with, but if she likes you, she will pull out all the stops to make sure it happen. A girl that travels has seen so many places and met so many people, so if she likes you, you should grab the opportunity with both hands! She has dated the romantic Parisian, the fun-loving Australian and the sensual Brazilian, so if she has chosen you, there must be something special there! Don’t let your insecurities or jealousies get in the way, if she likes you, she will always come home to you and, for once, she might even look forward to coming home too.
Travelling is a journey of self discovery; often learning as much about yourself as you do about the destinations you are visiting. She loves to travel, but if you play your cards right, she just might love you that little bit more. And perhaps that next romantic Goan sunset can be admired by you both… Date a girl that travels and your life will never be the same again. (Hayley Gemma Wright)
Many writers seem to glorify dating travelers while forgetting the hardships of long distance relationships (I’ve never had one but have seen more than enough lonely tears, Skype fights, and SnapChat promises, …), others appear to be quite negative about striking up a relationship with a traveler:
We travelers are gypsies and vagabonds. Plain and simple. We will be there for you today but we probably won’t stay for going to the movies tomorrow. We are not dating material, please understand that. Don’t try to make us to commit because it simply isn’t in our DNA. We are free spirits who are capable of love and yes, we will fall madly for you and yet, we will be selfish enough to try our best to lure you into trying our nomadic lifestyle with us instead of adapting ourselves to your sedentary one.
And, if you are brave enough to take the risk of getting to know us, well, prepare to have the best of times when we’re together in the same city…and brace yourself for the sadness that will come when we’re not. (Raphael Alexander Zoren)
What’s the Matter?
Despite all that has been written and said so far (there are countless further blog posts about why (not) to date a girl/ boy/ man/ woman/ fish/ … who travels), I am not sure what to think of those notions. Of course, I’m aware of all the stereotyping and generalizing that is going on in these articles. However, after reading them I still wasn’t satisfied about the output.
Isn’t it all up to two individuals what to make of their relationship? They might need to face (unexpected) obstacles on their road to happiness. But they can stand through it – and live happily ever after. What if they don’t manage to? Well, that’s fine as well. Living in the present and enjoying life to the fullest is something, traveling teaches ones, too.
I personally do consider myself as a traveler – but not as a (slutty) vagabond (sorry, R.A. Zoren). I rather identify myself with the traveling girl H.G. Wright describes: independent but reaching for that perfect companion to to enjoy life’s beauty with. However, I am not sad at all about not having to manage with a long distance relationship but being able to enjoy my journeys by myself and with all those wonderful friends I make on the road. Together, we’re not afraid of anything: Neither of fellow girls/ boys/ fish who (don’t) travel nor of being alone or feeling lonely. You’re never alone, when you’re at ease with yourself and amongst friends.
So in case you wondered what my take on that commitment question is: Good things take time. If that one guy who I thought to be a great match for me turns out to be different from what I’m wishing for, that’s life. If I meet someone along the road to have a great time with – let’s spend as much of it together as possible. If we turn out not to fit together anymore, let’s leave it, stay friends and move on. You’re never alone, when you’re at ease with yourself and amongst friends.