Model and actor Antonio Sabato Jr. has a new job as chief romance officer for the international dating site anastasiadate.com. The dating site claims it’s, “The fastest and most efficient way to connect with the most beautiful and captivating women from throughout Russia & CIS.”
He offers advice on his blog called Tips from a Celebrity Wingman. Antonio gives some good tips, but there’s one that I believe is terrible and can potentially lead to a lot of problems: “Date outside your comfort zone. Think past your city, town and country borders. The trend of international online dating has made meeting women from different cultures easier than it ever has been before.”
Notice he wrote “meeting,” not “meeting and having a good relationship with.” He wrote this, of course, because anastasiadate.com specializes in international online dating.
Why is it bad advice? Here are five reasons:
1) Low success rate. Long-distance relationships can be as wonderful as local relationships, but they have a much higher chance of working if the couple met and dated in the same city before their relationship became long-distance. If they have never met in-person, they’re building a relationship on a foundation of romantic illusion, which is magnified due to the distance. Under 30 years-old or not much relationship experience? Multiply the romantic illusion by 100.
2) Language barrier and cultural differences. Communication is the number one problem in relationships. Traditional relationships are difficult enough, and if you’re both not fluent in the same language, relationship harmony is going to be much more of a challenge. Add expectations and the cultural differences to the mix, and it can be a recipe for disaster.
3) Visa requirements. If you’ve attempted or even researched this you know how difficult it is to stay long-term and work legally in most countries as a foreigner, even if you get married.
4) Lack of money. Unless you’re financially set for life, attempting to move permanently to a new country for love can cause more problems than it’s worth. Even if he lives in the same country, relocating for love without putting your career first can cause great strain on the relationship.
5) Hidden agendas and dishonesty. Google “foreign marriage horror stories” and you’ll find some unfortunate accounts from both men and women of many different countries.
It’s important to acknowledge that many foreign relationships have worked out beautifully, and many of these people find their partner more compatible than the possibilities in their own countries. However, it can be difficult to determine if your potential love match is being upfront and honest until you spend months together in the same location.
So what do you do if you happen to meet what seems like a great catch but she lives more than a few hours drive away? Two things:
1) Never consider anyone you meet online, but not yet in-person, more than an online friend. If you do, it’s way too easy to get carried away with romantic illusions and relationship fantasies, even if you’re aware of the inherent problems. It’s best to remind your online friend of this as well, so you can keep each other grounded in reality.
2) Do not make the mistake of being “exclusive” if you’ve never even met in-person. This is not a real relationship and may never be. Keep your options open and continue to date- locally!
Copyright © 2013 Stephen Petullo