Something every human being craves whether we admit to it or not. As a remote working community, the mostly transient nature of travelling from place to place can make it exceedingly difficult to build deep relationships. (We touched on this briefly in our article about balancing work and life, check it out here.) We know that in order for folks like us to have those deeper connections with others, we cannot just leave it to chance. We know that we have to be intentional about it.
What is interesting though, is that when it comes to finding a soulmate, we tend to leave that almost entirely to chance. Perhaps we hope that during the course of a nomad meet up, we’ll meet that someone who makes our heart skip a beat. Maybe if we go on an experience we’ll meet “The One.” Alternatively, we may even shelve the idea of being with someone until we settle permanently somewhere, and in the meantime we have casual hook ups with people but nothing serious. Wherever you are on that spectrum, what I’d like to give you for your consideration, is the viewpoint that you can deploy a strategy of intentionality to find love. It’s a big statement, I know.
A lot of us are moving towards having a life that is rooted in intentionality. Intentionality is “the fact of being deliberate or purposive.” i.e. you make a series of deliberate, thought out choices. You’re proactive, instead of being reactive. You make preparation to receive positive things into your life. That’s all it is. All of us are moving towards a life of true freedom and joy. We design the way we work, where we work, who we work with (to a degree). We pick the experiences we want to have and where we want to have them. We decide what is important to us. We choose our goals, and our achievements and design the path to achieve those things. Why can’t we do the same with finding love?
So let me explain. What I’m not saying is that you can force a specific person to love you. I’m not even going to open the can of worms around ‘chemistry’ and how that affects things. I’m just saying that it is possible to position yourself to find love, i.e you make it much more likely to come into contact with people, who want what you want, understand this crazy lifestyle, and have the potential to be that person who you want to love with your whole life. I’m being dramatic…you know what I mean.
So what things can we do then? What can we do to prepare the ground? I’ll keep this short and sweet.
#1 - Love you first
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people say this, or write it in articles. The other added one is “You’ll find love when you least expect it.” Yeah thanks for the heads up. Unfortunately, these crazy people aren’t wrong. Well, at the very least, they aren’t wrong about the importance of loving yourself anyway. I’m gonna be vulnerable here. So as someone who has dealt with anxiety and low self esteem throughout my life, I can honestly say that looking back, I’m pleased that I didn’t get into a relationship with somebody else. Why? I didn’t believe that I was enough. I didn’t believe that I was already complete as a person and I was looking to fill that void by having a significant other. Nobody can be made responsible for making us feel whole. That’s something that needs to come from inside of us. I don’t want to drag you down with philosophy, but often our travels can become a distraction from being honest with ourselves and how our experiences with love have shaped us up to this point. Ignoring this doesn’t stop these experiences affecting you and your future relationships.
We all have insecurities around various things; we are human beings, it goes with the territory. BUT left unchecked, insecurities destroy what could be an awesome connection with someone else. It can also attract to us, the people that will inflict further damage; if you are settled and happy with yourself, not just on the outside, but truly on the inside, you’re unlikely to want to be in a serious relationship with someone who isn’t the same. There’s less of a gap for someone to come into your life and exploit your insecurities to feed their own egos. So get to a point first of all, where you love who you are right now and let it be a deep truth to you that you have something beautiful to offer to this world and the people in it. Know that you’re valuable. Out of that deep, genuine love for yourself, you’ll be able to give that love to another person. Don’t move forward until you are well on your way to a healthy self acceptance.
#2 - Decide what you want to do with your life
People who are static i.e. they stay in one location most of their lives, they get a job, settle down and just live, potentially have a bit more leeway when it comes to this idea of figuring out what they want before settling down with someone. If you’re a digital nomad wanting a serious relationship, then you are going to need to accelerate this process a little more. The digital nomad community is filled with some of the most motivated, ambitious and energetic people out there. A lot of you know what you want to achieve, you get on with it and you achieve it. If you’ve decided you want to make the world a better place, you do it. You want to encourage others in some way, you do it. So if you are still in the stage where you’re wandering, not sure what you really want focus on, perhaps it is wise to decide this bit first.
A wise man once said to me “Find your assignment, before your attachment.” In my britishness I thought, “How very rude!” Then I gave it some thought. Chemistry makes up a lot of what brings a relationship together, yes I appreciate it, but a compatibility of overall values and goals, is essential to longevity. Furthermore, if you know what you want to contribute to this world, you’ll respect and honour that drive in somebody else. You could meet someone working on a totally different project to you, but because you respect the fact that they are working on something important to them, you’ll look at being a help to the cause, and not a hindrance. You won’t allow yourself to be a barrier to someone’s success and you are less likely to pick somebody that will be a barrier to yours. So get a grip of what you want to do with this life of yours. It’s not about specific interests, it’s wider than that and deeper than that. For example, if you’ve decided that you want to be a positive influence and role model, that will inform everything you do. The projects and business ventures will change, but the heart behind the ideas stays the same. If that’s who you are, it’ll filter out the people who don’t want to do that. Alleviates a lot of the stress later on down the line.
The next basic tips, are practical things you can put in place to help you on your way.
#3 Dating Apps
Try using technology to help you on your quest. Dating apps, are great way to meet new people who you can chat to. They do obviously have a reputation of facilitating just casual hook ups, yes, but I'm sure we all know people who have found their long term partners online too. The beauty of dating apps, is that you can get specific about the kind of interactions you are looking for. I’m not going to go into a huge amount of detail over this as Jess has written a whole article about dating apps, but essentially it’s a great way of getting intentional about your dating life. It can be a little daunting; how do you convey your awesomeness in a short profile? Hmmm...I think there’s a mini article that could be written for that. Let’s do it! We’ll have a look at how to write a great dating profile that showcases your brilliance, without exaggeration or truth bending.
#4 Attend functions and events specifically for the remote working community
For those of us that have every intention of living this lifestyle for the foreseeable future, it’s highly likely that we’ll want a partner that is also onboard with this way of living. I know that there are members of the digital nomad community that have partners who are static, but it’s very hard to maintain that relationship. It’s different if you started travelling and you were already in a relationship when you left home. But if you’re already on the road, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to fall in love with someone who isn’t. But then again...love doesn’t always make sense does it?
Either way, if we want to save ourselves from romantic martyrdom, it’s wisdom to get involved in events where only remote workers are going to be. Why not become a regular at some of the events that happen annually or attend a regular meetup that happens where you are right now? If you’re not ready to take the plunge and fully commit to a travelling tribe as it were, this a great way to start (check out some great events coming up this year for digital nomads here) .
#5 Travel with groups for extended periods of time
This is a similar point to #4 but it’s like the upgrade. Doing life with people. What do I mean by that? Well living with people and making memories with people on a daily basis, increases the level of depth your relationships have. You get to see people at their best, you get to see people at their worst, you get to see and experience what motivates the folks you’re spending a lot of time with. As you build these relationships with others either at conferences, or by travelling with remote working communities, there will be some relationships that really stand out and inspire you. A lot of those will be amazing friendships that you’ll carry with you for years to come, but there could also be within that, a beautiful friendship with the capacity to grow into something more...romantic. You can see that it becomes almost like a funnel; get to know as many people as you can, enjoy many different types of personalities. You’ll find out pretty soon which personalities bring out the best in you, and then continue from there. Before you know it, you’ll build great friendships and maybe meet your soulmate which would be the icing on the cake.
WiFi Tribe has had a few beautiful love stories - you can read about Wilhelm and Brittany here. Although finding love is not the only reason to join a remote working community, (most of us aren't specifically acting as dating agencies), seriously consider travelling in some kind of group or booking yourself onto an experience where you are in close proximity with others for a decent amount of time. You never know what might happen!
So what’s the answer then?
Is finding love a game of chance or do we fashion our own destinies? The truth is that it’s a combination of both. Intentionally work on loving who you are and being the best possible version of yourself. Physically position yourself to be interacting with great people. Then what happens? You should (in theory) increase the probability of meeting that special person you want to be with.
But hey...reading this article, is the easy bit.
Amanda Scott is the editor in chief for The Wifi Tribe blog and passionate about creating an excellent resource for remote workers near and far to draw from. When she's not editing and writing, she's either cooking, eating or reading a good book. You can never go wrong with a good book.