Should She Travel The World Or Settle?


Question: Hi ATWYS,

I posted this about 2 weeks ago, and I’m not sure if you got it, so I’m sending it again.

I have been actively looking for a partner for two and a half years, and haven’t had a second date with anyone I felt good about. I approach dating on the basis that it takes time to build rapport and attraction, so always accept second and third dates (within reason) but none have blossomed into a relationship so far.

My lifestyle is pretty adventurous – my business allows me to spend large chunks of the year in some great overseas locations, and I often spend 3-4 months in one location before moving on to another. This has led to some amazing experiences, and I’ve met some fantastic people, but there haven’t been any romantic adventures so far.

Last year, I decided to stay in the US to find a relationship, and after 12 months of online dating, speed dating, going to relationship coaches, attending seminars, buying products related to attracting men, and approaching / fliritng with men in real life, I haven’t met anyone with “relationship potential” I have now made peace with the fact that I won’t get what I’m looking for.

By relationship potential, I mean someone I can see myself spending a lot of time with. Enjoying holidays with the family together, travelling together, having fun and supporting ourselves through life. I believe in investing time to get to know the guy better, but if there’s no platonic attraction, I don’t see the point in taking things further.

Ideally, I’d love to meet someone who I can do all the above with, and whose work allows him to travel with me. An entrepreneur, full-time blogger, freelance writer… an adventurous guy who ditched the 9 to 5 to be the master of his own destiny. Deep down though, I know that a man like that in the 40-55 age group can easily attract a younger, more attractive woman. In fact, I’ve met them while travelling, and they have their pick of very young exotic beauties.

I’m ready to resume my travels and focus on work again, but family and friends are pleading for me to stay and keep on trying. When I explain that the options available to me are limited, and that my ideal man has the pick of younger and prettier women, they look upset and say things like “if you had more self-esteem/confidence, you would have attracted him by now”.

Logically I know that I can either lower my standards and force myself to make a relationship work with a man I won’t be happy with, or carry on with my previous nomadic life, be open to meeting new people, use the skills I’ve learned in the US, and let whatever happens to happen (even if that’s nothing).

The second option sounds more realistic. What do you think?


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17 Responses to “Should She Travel The World Or Settle?”

  1. TTFK Says:

    The one thing that really stood out for me in this letter is the writer’s desire for the man to conform to her lifestyle and ideal relationship dream while not giving any indication of being willing to adjust HER lifestyle to that of a potential mate.

    If you are searching for nothing but unicorns, that’s all you’ll ever be happy with.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0


    • fuzzilla Says:

      Yeah, and the kind of man that does have that lifestyle has it precisely because he doesn’t want to settle down, as evidenced by the men in her social sphere with their “young exotic beauties.” Even one of them couldn’t tie that kind of guy down, probably.

      If she truly wants a partner (and her behavior says maybe she honestly doesn’t, and that’s okay), she needs to be more open-minded about a man’s lifestyle. Or go the “exotic beauties” route herself and just have a bunch of different flings and FWBs.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1


  2. UWSGal Says:

    “Or go the “exotic beauties” route herself and just have a bunch of different
    flings and FWBs”

    ^^ What she said.

    There is actually plenty of 20-something guys who are looking for their Mrs. Robinson and would love to travel to an exotic location with her. Assuming she pays for their expenses of course (as those men do for their exotic beauties). Why bother with some entitled 45 yo guy who needs constant validation and ego stroking when you can get a 25 yo starving artist/surfer/instagram enttrepreneur type? It’s not like she’s looking to settle down into some version of american dream with 2 kids and a dog anyway.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4


    • Parenting Says:

      To each his own but I’d be bored with one of those. You can only have so much sex before you actual conversation.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4


      • UWSGal Says:

        You can have an actual conversation with them too. They can even teach you how to use snapchat.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1


      • fuzzilla Says:

        That’s why you’d have a rotating cast of characters. If you can’t meet someone who wants to commit and don’t really wanna commit yourself, why not?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0


      • UWSGal Says:

        Actually come to think of it, I would seriusly recommend going for a younger guy. I dated a youbger (9 yrs, I am in mid 30ies) guy as a fling and it was nice. It was very refreshing, his non-jadedness. It reminded me of when I was the same way- a bit naive, not yet jaded and scarred by life’s experiences and when I dared to dream. It was good. I did pay for him everywhere lol but he was worth it. And he wasn’t dumb like somebody here implied. He actually went to an Ivy League school, he was just young and broke. We talked about books, and music, and everything.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6


        • ATWYSingle Says:

          Wow. Books AND music? And he let you pay for everything??


          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8


        • Yvonne Says:

          I’d say he was very, very smart.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2


        • fuzzilla Says:

          Eh, they both knew what they were getting into and enjoyed it, UWSGal isn’t claiming she was so different and he was the great love of her life or anything. Although I’d probably hit on “exotic beauties” once I hit my destination, rather than pay someone else’s airfare, if I had the means and inclination for a sugar mama kinda thing. I mean, if you get sick of them, you’re stuck with ‘em on a trip.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1


          • UWSGal Says:

            Exactly. For my first foray into being a cougar/sugar mom it was enjoyable. I didn’t pay for his living expenses obviously, just to for him to accompany me to places where I wanted to go (and which he couldn’t afford) – simply because I don’t find it enjoyable to be spending time at places where 20-something starving artists hang out :) What’s the point in having money if not to have a bit of fun. It was definitely more fun than going out with some out of shape, emotionally broken and delusional mid-40ies guys (which i got a fare share of). But, of course, I was never contemplating this as a serious relationship. Just a nice fling.

            Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1


  3. Yvonne Says:

    Interesting as I’ve been dating a man who’s kind of like the type you say you want. While he’s an entrepreneur, he’s also got a well-paid professional career which has allowed him to be a world traveler, although primarily for business. I’m not certain that a man who’s solely an entrepreneur, full-time blogger, or freelance writer would have the stability that you say you want. I’m guessing these footloose men you see are having flings with these younger, exotic women and might not be settling down with anybody.

    Both my guy and I are over 50, and while presumably this type of man in the 40-55 age group can attract younger women, younger women in the long-term usually want kids, and kids are a hindrance when it come to world travel and living a low-budget lifestyle. Not all men need the younger arm-candy either.

    You say “I approach dating on the basis that it takes time to build rapport and attraction”, yet you also admit that you haven’t had a second date with anyone you felt good about in 2 1/2 years. Sounds like a bit of a contradiction to me.

    I’d say live your life the way you want to live it. At your age, does it really matter what your parents and friends think you should do? But make sure you really do know what you want.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0


  4. Noquay Says:

    Guys 45-50 are generally focused on their careers as these are their top earning years. A retiree has the time to travel. Choose older. Not having a second date in that long a time period means there is some other issue here; you’re either making horrid initial choices, setting the bar way too low or looking for utter perfection. I’d say just travel. As it’s work related, you may not get the chance after retirement and take time on your journeys to do some serious self introspection. Going into a relationship feeling as though you’ve settled for “less than” is not fair to either party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0


  5. Mark Says:

    To the LW:

    In your letter you identified both the issues and your experiences with respect in your efforts to find the right guy.

    Frankly, based on the information you provided, I’m not sure your continued efforts will be entirely successful without a serious re evaluation of the type of guy who would be a good fit.

    Bear with me on this.

    You note that you often travel. Sometimes 3+ months at a stretch. Yet you also say that you want to enjoy holidays together, travel together, etc. As you say, you aren’t looking for a 9-5’er. Rather “An entrepreneur, full-time blogger, freelance writer..” will likely have his own schedule. That’s very, very few men. Esp. in the age range you are targeting.

    You have also discussed your efforts ranging from – online dating, speed dating, going to relationship coaches, attending seminars, buying products related to attracting men, etc. Net result being one or two dates and very little after that with respect to relationship potential. That’s a telling sign.

    As you say, you have a choice. Either modify/expand the potential list of possibles or continue your current career path.

    I can’t answer that one for you. Only you can.

    Best of luck and hope you make the right choice for yourself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1


  6. Mandy Says:

    You seem to be looking for an independent guy, an equal, that you can share your life with. But this guy has to be able to up and drop everything to accompany you on your travels, on your schedule. I think these two things are fundamentally opposed. If he’s an equal, shouldn’t he have his own life? His own travels? You don’t seem willing to give up your plans for him, why should he for you?

    I think you’re a perfect example of someone who should stop looking for “Mr. Right” and start looking for “Mr. Right Now”. Maybe that’ll turn into something longterm, where both of you are willing to change your lifestyles for the other. Or it won’t, and you’ll go your separate ways.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0


  7. Dave Says:

    I think I saw this post a few years ago. It looks like a re-post.

    Talk about expectations: “Ideally, I’d love to meet someone who I can do all the above with, and whose work allows him to travel with me. An entrepreneur, full-time blogger, freelance writer… an adventurous guy who ditched the 9 to 5 to be the master of his own destiny.”

    So take a look at “The Points Guy (TPG)”. This 33-year-old ditched his 9-5 job and “has been publishing hands-on travel advice–how since 2010. What started out as a points and miles blog has turned into a lifestyle brand with more than 3.5 million unique visitors a month, a growing team of writers and editors, and loyal following that grows by the minute.”

    If you look at his blog, he travels all over the world, blogs about his trips usually to beautiful exotic locales, owns an investment property in the Hamptons, regularly does charity work for disadvantaged children for PeaceJam foundation in Ghana, takes the helicopter to JFK airport from Manhattan when he needs to commute to the airport to fly, discloses that his credit score is 805, carries 35 credit cards, and if you look at his photos, he is often with young sexy women – flight attendants, hotel staff, charity workers, the occassional celebrity – but he also doesn’t make it so obvious by making sure he also has lots of photos where he is the center of the party with many happy fun people, and he especially loves to take photos of himself in First Class drinking champagne, lounging in complimentary pajamas, oh what a narcissist.

    Yea, this sounds like what the OP is seeking, but can you imagine a guy like this wanting to date her? I am laughing so hard.

    Ok so there are more subtle guys that travel blog, like the guy who does “One Mile at a Time.” But then, he’s openly gay.

    High expectations, pun intended. Too funny.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7


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