I had an interesting conversation with one of our female members recently and I came up with an analogy that I hope you might reflect on.

OK I’ll be honest – I’m getting on my high horse again to talk about distance. I keep doing this because I keep being proved right in my thinking by so many members who marry through us yet who do start off living quite some way from each other. And before you say ‘it was different for them, my circumstances are different’, let me tell you 99% people feel the same way about distance – i.e. they don’t like it and would like to meet someone local – so please don’t tell me you’re different. You’re only different if you won’t open your mind to possibilities and if that’s the case, then truly you are your own solution to your singleness.

So many members tell us that they haven’t contacted various people because they live too far away and the distance is just too far. “There’s no point” they say; or I rang him/her and when they found out where I lived they said “sorry I’m not interested – you live too far away.”

Now I completely get the fact that developing any friendship when you live a significant distance apart is not easy! And don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to persuade people to develop a long distance relationship. Of course making friends and developing a friendship with someone who lives close you to is preferable and easier than if that person lives far away.
But if you’re single and wanting to find a special someone in your life – for the long term – then considering distance as your FIRST criteria as to whether they are worth getting to know is complete madness.

Let me paint a scenario – as I painted to the woman on the phone. Let’s suspend reality for a few moments. Let’s imagine I have a crystal ball and I can see into the future.  Now imagine we introduce you to 20 people who live locally to you and 50 people who live a significant distance away. Now in my crystal ball I can see that all the 20 people who live locally aren’t your type. You’ll meet some of them, but all will turn out to be totally unsuitable.  I look again at my crystal ball and see one person who lives a long way away from you but is just the sort of person you’ve been dreaming of finding. More than that, I can see that at some point in the future you get married and are blissfully happy.

My crystal ball shows me two scenarios – in one you only contact the local people and don’t find anyone suitable and remain on your own. In the second I see you contacting the far away person and eventually getting married and being blissfully happy.

Now which scenario would you prefer?   Which one would you choose?

I’m serious – which of these two scenarios would you choose?

I’ll be gobsmacked if you tell me you’d still rather contact just the local people?

I don’t know a good way of getting through to you that starting any potential friendship off with working out how far you live from each other is a bad place to start. I mean why would you bother to travel x hundred miles to someone you don’t know. There’d just be NO incentive to do that would there?

I’m writing this on a train travelling from Banbury to Bournemouth. It’s a fair old trek and I certainly wouldn’t be doing it for a stranger. Personally I hate travelling – I don’t like driving – a 10 minute commute to the office is 10 minutes too long and I don’t like shelling out money on trains and petrol. So I get this whole distance thing completely. But this weekend, I’m doing it to meet up with some very special friends. I’d probably still be doing it if the meeting was in Orkney because the incentive for doing it is very great. They are friends!
I see plenty of other people around me doing the same. Travelling to see friends and loved ones. In fact I see this most clearly on Christmas day. People travel miles and miles, for hours and hours, on this of all days…… to see their loved ones. They aren’t travelling to see a stranger.

That’s why being friends first is so important.  Once you are friends and have established that you have something in common, then the incentive to meet up (whatever the distance involved)  is there. And it’s that incentive that makes people travel.

What does it matter if Mr or Miss X lives 5 miles from you. If you don’t like them or get on with them, the fact they live 5 miles from you isn’t going to help you like them any more. But if Mr or Miss Right lives 200 miles away and you get to know them and find out that in fact you do have masses in common, then once you’ve established some sort of grounding/friendship/relationship between you, then you’ll have an incentive to travel and before you know it, neither of you will be complaining about the distance. Yes it’ll be an inconvenience – it may be costly in the short term, but it’s not insurmountable and if things work out between you, it’ll be a short term problem.

So if you live in Bristol and we send you someone in Scotland, please don’t dismiss them out of hand. Ring them and find out if you have anything in common. If you do, great you can start developing a friendship by letter, email and phone. You still haven’t had to leave your house or do any travelling.

If you don’t like them from your first contact, well you’ve lost nothing have you – the fact is you don’t like them and it doesn’t matter if they live 2 miles away or 200 miles away.
I remain convinced that so many of our members over the years have missed out on finding their soul mate because they looked first at where they lived and didn’t get in contact as a result. I do so hope this won’t happen to you!