Should My First Meeting With A Guy I Met Online Be Out of State?

black haired woman wearing pink sleeves watching the clouds

I met someone online and he lives 900 miles away. He’d like me to visit and is willing to pay for my plane ticket and stay in his guest room. I have creeped on his Facebook page and it doesn’t seem fishy — nor does he seem fishy. We text every day throughout the day and speak on the phone twice a week. He’d like to talk everyday but my work schedule and the time difference have not allowed more phone conversations. This has gone on for 3 weeks. My head says it’s crazy to go visit him, but my heart says otherwise. And one of the reasons I’ve continued communicating with him is because I was already thinking of moving to his area in the next 2-3 years. How do you know in situations like this when it’s ok to visit someone out of state when meeting for first time?


Dear Michelle,

One of the hardest parts of giving advice is that there is no such thing as one-size-fits all advice. In other words, anything I tell you can easily be shot down by another woman to whom the advice doesn’t apply. Hell, I can shoot down all my own advice just as easily. And yet, a question demands an answer.

Predictably, my answer is a reflection of my larger worldview.

Whether you believe it or not, there is a guy in your city who is JUST as great as this guy… you just haven’t met him yet.

First, I’m not a fan of LDR’s. Although my sister married a man she met online (she lived in NY and he lived in SF), I am, in general, against long-distance relationships for one primary reason:

They add a degree of difficulty to the dating/relationship process that is entirely unnecessary. Don’t you think dating is tricky enough without one person having to relocate? Don’t you think relationships are hard enough to get off the ground when you only live 10 minutes away? You bet. Whether you believe it or not, there is a guy in your city who is JUST as great as this guy… you just haven’t met him yet.

Next, I am a believer that men should court women — which means making the primary effort in the early phases of dating until an exclusive relationship has been established. In my opinion, it’s his job to call you, plan the date, pick up the check and follow up again to see you again. So why would YOU go to HIM to meet for the first time?

Furthermore, most women I know won’t lift a finger to buy their own Starbucks if it’s a first date. You’re gonna shell out $450 for a flight? Seems like an expensive and risky proposition for you when he can just as easily get on a plane himself. Understand, I don’t judge you. I have flown to the East Coast to meet women. I have had women fly from the East Coast to meet me. But I will tell you this: I flew to the East Coast to meet a woman I was REALLY interested in. The woman who flew out to meet me? Not so much. If she asked me to pay for a flight to visit her, I probably would have skipped out entirely.

In other words, to some degree, how much time/effort/energy/money a guy puts into courtship is a larger indicator of how interested he is. Not always. In general.

If he doesn’t have to do anything except text you and wait for you to show up, he has NOTHING to lose and everything to gain by you making the effort.

Put another way: if he doesn’t have to do anything except text you and wait for you to show up to sleep in his “guest room,” he has NOTHING to lose and everything to gain by you making the effort.

It’s not “crazy” to get on a flight to have sex with a stranger. It’s also not remotely indicative as to whether he’s truly interested in you. Allow him to make the effort for you, and if you like him enough on that first weekend when he’s staying at the hotel near your house, THEN you can visit him on your second outing (presuming he calls all the time and follows up the way a boyfriend should).

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  1. 1

    Evan, the question said that he was willing to pay her way to visit. Does that change your perspective?

    I agree that I think he should come to your city and get a hotel room for the first meeting. If that works, then maybe for a 2nd outing you can meet in a fun city somewhere in the middle and then go explore the city together. Then maybe you can go to his turf.

  2. 2
    Karmic Equation

    I’m with Evan. Let him fly to you. Obviously you like him. Let him show how much HE likes YOU. That is more important at this stage of the game.

    Flying to him seems like a desperate move to me.

    There is NO way that you cannot find a guy you like who lives anywhere from 5 mins to an hour from you. If you truly can’t then it’s because you really don’t want to find love, just the fantasy of it.

    Look for love closer to home.

    Or relocate FIRST, THEN look for love in your new location.

    That would be logical and not desperate.

  3. 3

    Sounds like it could be very risky. Furthermore, just because you’ve been communicating with him via text and phone calls on a regular basis doesn’t dismiss the fact he is still a stranger. They’re just words. You don’t really know him. And so what if he pays for your ticket, is that suppose to make him a good guy? People lie to get what they want all the time and how convenient for you to be staying in his guest room if things heat up. I agree with Evan. If he’s truly interested in you and a possible relationship, he would make the effort to come see you and stay at a nearby hotel.

  4. 4

    Listen to Evan Michelle, this is not something you need to do. If he’s willing to pay your airfare let him come to you and DONT let him stay in your house or apartment. Find a hotel near by and let him book in there for a night or two. If the meeting doesn’t work out there is nothing lost on either side and your integrity is not compromised.
    Please be careful, your safety is more important than some guy who lives so far away. If this guy is honest and upfront he won’t mind one little bit that you are being careful.

  5. 5

    Evan seems to have missed the bit about him paying for your airfare. Other than that, he made some great points.

    You should definitely NOT go to him if you have to pay. And if you decide to go to him because he paid, don’t stay with him. Spend some time with him, but stay at a hotel (or AirBnB).

    Other options are him coming to you, or the two of you meeting somewhere in the middle. But whatever you do, like Evan said, it needs to feel as though HE’S courting YOU as much as possible. If you feel it’s unbalanced – like you’re making most of the effort and he’s just sitting back and enjoying it – pull back and see if the energy shifts.

    If you find you guys really like each other, proceed with caution. I do believe it can work, as it did for Evan’s sister. But distance can blind you to things. So, be careful. Good luck! I’m optimistic for you.

  6. 6

    I agree, let him come to you. You need to see if he is as invested as you are, and you may not even gel well in person.

  7. 7

    OMG! This is truly a bad idea. I can’t believe that she is even asking this question.

    The first time you meet a guy, you need to meet him in public to ensure that he didn’t send you a fake picture. You need to get a feel for this guy by spending time with him in person in a public location.And if you are going to visit a guy you have never met, DON’T stay with him, stay in a hotel or with a friend.

    Ladies, if a guy wants you to “spend time in his guest room,” “visit with him,” etc., the end game is sex. Please don’t delude yourself and think that you are going to be spending time in a guy’s “guest room,” or sharing a room with him or any other similar arrangement and not having sex. Please, please DO NOT delude yourself. There are NO guys that consider a woman sleeping in his bed or “living in his guest room” any kind of platonic arrangement where he gives her time to “get to know him” before she is “comfortable with sex.” This simply doesn’t exist. So don’t delude yourself. Please do not argue with me, just realize us guys are not built that way. If this is what you want, to have lots of sex with him, by all means stay with him. Just be aware that if you are not interested in this, DON’T do this.

  8. 8

    Bad idea. I meet many men that travel for business. My ex traveled also extensively. I think that a man should come to the woman. She should feel comfortable on her turf. Particularly, in a scenario where he’s contemplating relocating to the area, wouldn’t it make sense that he would consider it A) opportunity to meet you B) he can play tourist and prospect the area to see if it’s a good fit for him. Let him come to you, he can reserve his hotel and follow the same protocol for safety that you would with a first date with a local man. Meet him in a public location, don’t go back to his house (hotel), etc. I think sometimes when people ask questions, they are just validating what they know in their gut doesn’t sound right. So, I’m glad that she wrote in to Evan.

    I agree and have entertained a two hour away LDR with someone that I liked and would have considered dating. In that case, I considered his coming to me the first few times followed by meeting somewhere halfway (which is still an area that A) I’m comfortable and safe with B) I have a relative through my ex husband a.k.a. safe place to go and then from there could determine if I’m driving out to see him (still getting a hotel room or staying with friends who are within 20 minutes of his location). However, after talking on the phone a few times, I could see that he was pressing for me to only come to him. No thanks, buddy!

  9. 9

    Evan is right

    A guy offered me a flight to meet him in Chicago. It felt arrogant because he implied his time was more valuable than mine . Even if he’s paying for the flight, you appear like you are chasing him.

    Stay local

  10. 10

    Wow, Michelle, you need an emergency transfusion of street smarts stat. You are entirely too trusting. All successful con men and predators know exactly how to behave in ways that will gain your trust. They can be expert manipulators. So there you are, asleep in his guest room, when you are startled awake by him on top of you. You fight back, he overpowers you, and you can guess the rest. Not only do you have to live with the memories of that night for the rest of your life, you have to deal with the legal system, if you decide to report it. Which you likely won’t do, because you’ll blame yourself for putting yourself in such a vulnerable position in the first place. Check out Twitter #beenrapedneverreported, then read Gavin de Becker’s book The Gift of Fear, then follow the rest of Evan’s advice about long distance relationships. An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure.

  11. 11

    It’s all about trust. If you don’t trust this guy enough to fly out to see him and stay with him, then you don’t have any trust at all and should do the guy a favor and let him find someone who DOES trust him.

    1. 11.1

      Why should she trust a dude she’s never met who speaks on the phone twice a week? This is how scammers work. Most online dates don’t turn into relationship when you meet locally. Why would the odds be better here?
      “She should do the guy a favor and let him find someone else” …are you serious?? He can find anyone in less than 900 mile radius as it is ….

      1. 11.1.1

        Hey, I’m just repeating what I’ve been told in the past on this site whenever I’ve suggested a woman take the normal precautions when meeting any new guy (tell a friend when/where they’re meeting and give her his name, for example). But everyone on here jumps down my throat for being a paranoid, untrusting, man-hating psycho. I personally don’t see how that makes me a fearful freak any more than they are for locking their car doors when they go to the mall, but hey–if Evan says we should trust total strangers 100% with our lives, I guess we should do the right thing.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Wendy, you’re so tiresome. But as always, I’ll take the bait.

          The OP’s greater concern shouldn’t be her safety. It should be making the effort for a passive guy who should be making the effort for her.

        2. Wendy

          I totally agree with you Evan. I just don’t understand why you’re not blasting all the other commentators on here for saying the exact same things I’ve said in previous posts, and have seen others get blasted for.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Wendy, I don’t read every comment on here. I have an assistant who approves them. However, when people like you attack me or treat me like I have no idea what I’m talking about, I tend to respond to them – which is probably somewhat foolhardy. Let’s agree that if you stop commenting here and attacking me for telling women to trust men, I promise to never blast you again.

  12. 12

    correction ..he can’t find anyone in less than 900 mile radius as it is

  13. 13

    As Evan also said, there is no one size fits all advice. Each situation is unique. My long distance SO has a severe anxiety disorder. I live in a very warm country halfway across the globe. Very hot weather is a trigger for him, let alone travelling to a country alone with a culture that is very different from his. He’d pay for everything and more if I come to him, more than the amount he would spend if he comes to me. Besides, him and I have more than 3 years of online correspondence and deep [online] friendship invested and have been there for each other when no other people would through the toughest times. Sometimes things are not that black and white.

    1. 13.1

      If your boyfriend has severe problems that don’t allow him to handle going to visit you I cannot help but think If you moved to his town, would he be able to start a real relationship with someone he has online been with online?. This seems like you would be the one taking all the risks in this relationship.

  14. 14

    I did this, I live in AZ and the guy i met lives in Montana…he swore he was 5’9″ tall…when i stepped off the plane and saw him…omg…he was lucky to be 5’7″….i knew it wasn’t going to work…i’m 5’8″ 1/2…lol Was a nice vaca tho.

  15. 15

    I meet a man online several years ago who lived in Texas and I live on the East Coast. I flew out to see him and boy was it a mistake. We had great “chemistry” on the phone, but in person, it was very awkward. I should have stayed in a hotel or left early when he started acting rude. I never felt afraid, but I would never consider doing this again. He later sent me an ugly email telling me that I was very insecure and he would no longer be calling me. Needless to say, I regret wasting my time and money, but at least I got over my fear of flying!!!

  16. 17

    I would not recommend this. Although I have gone out of state to meet someone, it was primarily due to the fact that he was in the military, so it was more difficult for him to get leave to come out of state to visit me. I met this man online, and there was a fairly lengthy getting to know each other process via texting and Skype. I did book my own hotel, and stayed there with no sex or funny business.
    Although the relationship did not work outit wasn’t an entirely bad experience, and he did visit me twice following that initial meeting. There were many incompatibilities and eventual red flags with his personality. These incompatibilities would have been obvious early, had we been dating in the same city. So I understand Evans point about dating within your own city, rather than focusing on someone long-distance .

  17. 18
    Mrs. Newlwed


    Girl please he could be a catfish! Can’t believe this question has to be asked & that women are actually flying out to see guys who are basically strangers.

    One dude I know told me he ‘did’ the women who flew out to see him and never saw her again as he wasn’t into her cause if he was into her he’d have flown out to see her!

    Allow men to chase and purse its their nature.

  18. 19

    Everyone should be cheering her on…isnt this the 50 Shades of Grey relationship u women dream about 😂😂😂

    1. 19.1
      Karmic Equation

      You obviously haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey. This is nothing like that.

      This is more like “Sleeping in Seattle” — unfortunately most women buy into rom-coms like that hoping to have a great “story” to tell how she met her love, when reality rarely happens that way.

    2. 19.2

      50 Shades of Grey is not my fantasy. Far from it.

  19. 20

    I’m not into LDR’s either, especially when they *start* LDR. I strongly believe that meeting in person before getting emotionally invested is the wise way to go, otherwise you could fall in love with a fantasy at best, a con artist at worst. It would take a lot of special circumstances for me to make an exception to not meeting in person right away.

    I met my husband in person in my area but he was from two states away and only local for six more weeks. Initially I was not impressed. First it looked like he was looking for a fling (he was : ), secondly I was not sure I wanted to go long distance so soon in the relationship, if relationship there would be.

    Ironically the one-year or so of LDR contributed to the success of the early stage of our relationship. My hubby needed a lot of time alone and I really enjoyed conversation-based skype dates to get to know him really well without the distraction of just doing “fun dates”. So daily phone calls and monthly meetings worked out well for us until we got a chance at a trial cohabitation for three months.

    To the Letter Writer, I would suggest the same as Evan and others have said. Allow him to court you. Have him come visit you the first time, with a stay at a nearby hotel, or meet halfway at his expenses. If all goes well you can go visit him the next time, also by staying at a hotel, regardless of whether sex has happened or not.

    This being said, it is unclear whether you chose to contact him or if he did the move to contact someone 900 miles away. It would make more sense if you initiated given that you are considering relocating there. In that case it might be harder to justify having him coming to you since you took on the pursuing role. If he did though, I question his motivation in looking for a lady so far from his area. Is he also considering relocating?

    All in all I actually find good that the guy is inviting you to visit him at home. He is not likely to be hiding a wife and a few kids. It does not mean you need to agree with his suggestion right away though.

    Good luck!

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