Taking Online Connections on the Road

September 9, 2009
Category: Dating

I’ve been recently chatting with a very nice guy in another city who is eager to meet someone available, honest and into the same things that he is. I understand all too well the process of weeding out potentials from online, especially when you have a huge  desire to be with someone.

During one of our chats, he mentioned how he was going to be traveling to meet someone he had been chatting with online, and that the fella had offered to "buy" him a flight back if he could get himself out there. Just the whole idea of it, put me on edge (maybe its the Daddy in me coming out...) but I began to think about what are good boundaries to have when traveling to meet a man in a different city. Questions like: Who pays? Where to stay?  And how to stay safe.

A few thoughts to consider before you hop on that plane;

1)    Make your own arrangements. If you can’t afford the entire  airfare or travel money to get to him and stay on your own (with friends or a hotel) the first time – then it might not be a good time to go.

2)    Money is power and who has it, often controls the situation. It’s great to be “invited” out for a “come meet” but even if your potential partner is paying half the expenses, there is no guarantee he will follow through with his commitments. This is especially true if the chemistry isn't right. In other words, you could be left on your own in a strange city, no place to stay and no way to get home.

3)    Have a back-up plan.  Are your plane tickets refundable? Can they be changed? If things aren't going well, can the hotel reservation be cancelled or can you get an early check out?

4)    Who knows you are going out to meet him? Make sure you share  his profile name, the site you met him on, his “real” name, phone, etc. with a friend before you go. Plan a “phone” check-in during your visits – don’t announce to your new pal when they have to happen – just let him know you will need to be in touch with a friend at home a few times during your visit.

I've spent 20 years of working in the public health system and unfortunately have seen how even the best of intentions can go awry. Just remember, we all want to find love but protecting yourself first when meeting men is your first priority.

Tags: Dating Tips
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Comments

There are a number of things to keep in mind in this kind of situation, chief among them is independence. It is essential that one be completely self-reliant when traveling for any reason, particularly so when meeting for a first "romantic" encounter. That means all the things mentioned above: your own travel plans to and from your destination, accommodations, meals, and transportation.

It is a guilt-edged necessity to know who you will be meeting and have carefully vetted the individual in question. If at all possible, get somebody you already know well to vouch for your new contact. If you are an edge or rough player, make sure that your potential playmate is a skilled practitioner and that your skills are well understood and practiced. Serious scenes involving breath control, or other severe austerities such as prolonged bondage, captivity, or other demanding physical challenges should only be attempted with somebody that comes with references from men you know and trust. Don't get in over your head: be honest with your potential partners and yourself.

The advice to have somebody watch your back given above is good. Leave a trail and information with a trusted friend. Make sure that check-ins are mutual, and be sure to negotiate with your new playmate exactly what you expect in the way of an ability to communicate with the outside world.

If you are the guy watching out for an adventurer, be absolutely diligent in your duty. Call when expected to do so, call when you don't hear from your charge when you should, and in general be sure to make clear arrangements to keep in touch and verify the continued good health of your bud. Have a plan if you loose contact with the man you are looking out for. You may have to make a missing persons report, so be prepared to do that if too many deadlines have passed without contact. Your charges' life may depend on it.

There are predators on the internet, and some of them are dangerous. Everybody needs to be careful when traveling for sex. You can't just think with your dick, you have to use your head, and that head has to be clear enough to think about what is being offered, what you are offering, what you are going to accept, and what is being accepted. If you have doubts about anything, ask questions. If you think you smell a rat, stay home.

There is another side to meeting a man long distance. I agree that you should pay your own way. I learned from experience from a man in Charlotte NC who flew out to meet me for just a weekend - a short time in case we didnt have chemistry. Well, we seemed to have great chemistry and he bought me a plane ticket to see his home. He told me he wanted to "win me over" and hoped to get me to fall in love with both him and his home state. After the first visit to his place, being treated like gold, a lavish trip, meeting family, I was back in Montana. He was crazy for me to return and bought me a $900 plane ticket to see him again at his place. So I went. There were "I love you"s and talk of rings and asking my mom for permission - he seemed totally in love with me. I was in heaven.
But following that second visit, something happened and when I got home he cut me off. No feedback as to why he no longer wanted anything to do with me. He emailed me three weeks later saying I was an 'expensive lesson' and saying he hoped he 'hadn't done anything to compromise (his) health." I was hurt, insulted and just devastated.
I still dont know what happend. What I either did or didnt do.
The point here is that long distance relationships, while they have cell phones and emails and webcams, they dont have touch, togetherness, and the dynamic that comes in person. No amount of technology can take the place of a hug, or a smile or even a fight. Its too easy to walk away long distance and leave the other man out questioning in the dark. While this may not be threatening physically, it is damaging emotionally. I have met many wounded hearts, which bear scars as real as anything overtly physical.
I have wondered if I should take my profile down and just hope to meet a man locally who I can be with in person - no plane ticket required.
J

J,
Thanks for writing of your experience. Those of us on here who live in areas where there seem to be the same ten men on here all the time reach out to men in other areas only to get blown off. No pun intended there. But hey, you're already doing much better on this site than most men. You actually met someone. After the two years I've been here, I am taking down my profile. The idea of being alone doens't sit well but the reality of being ignored is rather emotionally damaging as you've written. Good luck.
D

Having met several online friends face-to-face, I would just like to reiterate the bit about having enough money to get by if things go south. I once traveled halfway across the US to meet a guy; he paid my way there and swore up and down he'd pay my way back if things didn't work out. Things didn't work out (guy was bipolar and had failed to mention that fun little bit of trivia about himself), and I found myself dropped off at the bus station (I barely got the guy to drive me there, I almost had to hitch-hike). I literally had just enough money for the ticket home and a soda out of the vending machines (the trip was a day and a half, I was pretty damn hungry when I finally arrived home). If the ticket had been $5 more I would have been screwed.

Take care of yourself, and if you can't dig up a some emergency money for food and a bus ticket/plane ticket home, don't go.

Weve known for decades that health care costs are bankrupting the U.S. (though many Americans mistakenly believe that the government spends more on the military). The latest New Yorker has a good article on how the money actually gets spent.

Robert..what the hell does this have to do with this blog?

After travelling abroad to visit guys from the internet who then turn out to have 'omitted' some significant feature about themselves (like a partner they 'haven't quite left yet') I have this simple piece of advice.

Don't travel for sex. If you're going there anyway, meet people. But don't make it the purpose of your journey.

This way, it works - you travel within the limits of your budget and the scope of your interest in the places or cultures. If a romance happens while there, great. If it doesn't work out, you have lost nothing, not even your dignity.

Hi
Chuck Dillon writes:I know 10 years is not a long time, but by this time in my teaching career I think I have had just about every type of student. Earlier this year to relieve my stress I started categorizing and sketching out each student type (Comic artist Daniel Clowes already touched on this categorization
http://www.westbrook.net

Having traveled through all 48 lower states in a big rig, I've discovered that it's about a 98% chance that the really nice guys that I chat with on the phone or through email will flake out when it comes time to throw down. Excuses abound, from "my parents came for an unexpected visit" (left me hanging for two hours before calling to tell me) all the way up to "my landlord found me unconscious on the floor and I spent a week in ICU" (he called six weeks later). I've pretty much given up on the on-line thing. There's nothing more satisfying than eyeing another hot trucker and getting a knowing smile back. Face time is where it's at.

Basic logic dictates that a guy has to be able to take care of himself, and stand on his feet. If you are above the proverbial age of ten, you must know this.

I would not travel long distance to meet a guy for whatever only. I would, however, try to make contacts, meet other guys, if I am about to travel somewhere. Change is the spice of life, and meeting other people is what this is all about.

I understand that we all have different background, and that some of us have a bit more in our pockets than the others. Yet, travel, within the country is affordable. If you really think that the guy you want to travel for is worth your trouble, he ought to be worth the trouble of earning the petty cash needed for your travel expenses, too.

A guy who starts any relationship by having someone pay for his trip is actually already putting himself in a position of clear inferiority. It goes without saying that most daddies happen to have a bigger bank account than most hunters. Equally so, in a number of cases, a Daddy tends to be a bit on a sugar side, since this too, stems from the nature of things. Yet, if a dude is so short of cash that he cannot afford a trip, he might want to reconsider his priorities, and get a job first. Once the preliminaries are over, other financial arrangements can be made.

Basically, there is something unmanly about a guy, who cannot afford to stand on his own feet to such a low extent.

SC

If you are unable to develop a relationship in your own area, it seems there are at least two sensible solutions: (1) move somewhere there are more gay men and gay activities, or (2) get into some form of self-improvement education like group therapy or physical-development (gym/sports) with other gay men. You will soon find the objective truths of your attractiveness or lack thereof, so you can do something constructive about it. Thinking your soul mate is waiting for you somewhere over the rainbow is magical thinking and a great way to avoid the real reasons for your isolation.

Hang on top for me

Hi
Moms are sexy. Thats why I love seeing them fucking and sucking. When an older woman wants to please you, theres nothing you cna do, except enjoy the moment: she knows what shes doing! Guys, meet Barbie!

My boyfriend returned from a wonderful two and a half year, round-the-world trip last year. He's still at home, and while he is keen to settle down at home, he's very restless. I don't think he has found his 'place' in the world yet.

The Internet is a wonderful tool. It has opened up the world to so many possibilities. However it provides so many people with the ability to hide their true selves.

Never leap blindly or without a parachute. You should be able to pay your way to anywhere to meet the right man. If you cannot afford to travel but he can-let him come to you and split a hotel room in your town or nearby. Take precautions, have a safety net and make sure you can get yourself home. People date face to face for months before realizing they. Are not a good match.

I start with the assumption that everyone I meet online is full of shit until proven otherwise-funny thing is I met the love of my life Online 11 years ago (remember aol?) after we met face to face we realized we worked for the same company and actually shared a printer. Been together ever since

Think with your big head boys!

I would never meet up with a person whop could not afford his cup of coffee and although I would travel any where int he DC metro area I wold not do it if I had to pay some I was metting because he did not have any money.

I perfer to meet face to face and if we click I'll split a hotel room in fact I would even travel and ahave some one I was coresponding with meet me there. I like renting rooms for my privacy and no hassel to clean it up when I'm finished, plaus IU can stock as I like and enjoy the evening even if an encounter did not work out. Moy yo ,emtion that every hotel and motel has camera's in lobbies and hallways just in case some creep shows up. I also find behind closed doors people are more themselves.

Here is a simple question. If you cannot afford to travel to meet someone, how will you be able to afford to move the relationship forward??? If you are planning on scraping your last dimes together to move to another part of the country with the intent of moving in with someone you have never even met before, I suggest you spend the money on a therapist. As previously stated, it takes time to get to know someone before you can determine if he is the right guy for you, and that requires spending time together, which is definitely going to require more than one trip !! It is unfair, and dare I say detrimental. to expect the other guy to foot the bill. Money is power, and if the travel expenses are not shared, the relationship gets off to an unbalanced start. The bottom line is, if you cannot afford to travel to the part of the world where you are seeking men, you should be looking closer to home.