Dating, Distance & “The Scarcity Complex”

Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Not too long ago, a former love interest texted me with an interesting assertion: that the reason I was single is because I travel so often.

“I’ve always been interested in you but your life consists of selfies all over the place,” he said. “You don’t live anywhere so that makes it hard. And that’s rad but not in alignment with me. I can’t be with someone who’s gone all the time.”

I immediately countered: “Maybe… or maybe the guy who’s right for me will feel more fondly re: my absence. Traveling a lot is not the same as living nowhere.” But it got me thinking. Why am I so unlucky in dating in Phoenix? I’m a 34-year-old single woman with an established career and financial security. I’m smart, funny, and I get compliments on my looks. I’m a catch!

My problem can’t be that I’m away from home for 30-percent of the year. The problem is what’s happening (or rather, NOT happening) during the 70-percent: that it’s impossible for me to find a mature, interesting, clever, and attractive man who wants to pursue me from the same geographical location.

My experience dating in Phoenix/Scottsdale

Let me share with you an interesting  — nay, frustrating — phenomenon that I’ve experienced over the last few years.

The phenomenon, part 1: Julie is at home in AZ. Julie goes out. THE END.


The phenomenon, part 2:  Julie is on a trip somewhere away from home. Julie goes out. Julie meets local guy. Guy communicates. Guy arranges outings; he likes Julie a lot. When Julie goes home, guy continues to text and call Julie. He keeps contact alive. He suggests visiting Julie. Guy PURSUES Julie.


Enter: The scarcity complex

Enter what I call the scarcity-to-availability complex. For the men I meet in the 5th largest metropolitan area in the U.S., my perceived availability dilutes their interest. The setup by a mutual friend is in no rush to give me a call. The acquaintance can keep waiting for the right moment to ask me out. There’s always tomorrow. 

But when I’m traveling, because I live elsewhere, I’m unavailable and inaccessible and therefore, more attractive to men. It ups their interest. I’m a rarity, a precious metal. I come into wherever I’m visiting like a wrecking ball, and just as quickly, I will be off. I leave for the airport in a manner of hours or days, so time’s a-tickin’ to fortify that connection!

Okay, I admit  — my misfortune in dating might not be so easily diagnosed. Maybe I have to chalk some failures up to unfortunate incompatibilities or the crop of single men in Phoenix/Scottsdale.

And so, an experiment to test the theory…

So… this spring, I’m going to find out if the grass might be greener (literally and figuratively) outside of Phoenix. I’m hitting the road and heading east! I’ll spend one week in New Mexico and four weeks in Texas. Of course, I’ll be journaling my dating experiences for all of you via blog and vlog. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the drama!

If the mountain doesn’t come to (wo)man… (wo)man can go to the mountain! Wish me luck!!

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