I am pro-internet dating, let me just make that clear up front.
Does distance matter? I find it can, and has been an issue. Anyone that has ever dated anyone living in Minneapolis may also share the same feeling. Nothing against Minneapolis either, but typically (there have been a few exceptions) the people living in the downtown area are hyper-social people, always something going on, always somewhere to be, and always with someone. It’s almost as if the city provides a comfort of allowing a constant social stream which, in turn, supresses the fear of being alone. Suburbanites have tendencies that are totally opposite. They involve themselves in smaller social circles, take more time for families or to themselves, and are not anywhere near as social.
Is there a right or wrong place to be? No..but the two don’t seem to mesh well, especially when distance is factored in. When the drive also includes 20 minutes of scoping out a parking place and paying $10 to park just to see someone, it begins to wear on the strength of the relationship.
City people often don’t like leaving their bubble, and suburban folks don’t like leaving their open spaces. This adds to the challenge of internet dating. E-dating has also allowed people to pick their preferred distance range, which they naturally overshoot by about 5 miles because they run out of good candidates inside their search area. Five miles doesn’t seem like much at first, but it too can be overwhelming if you’re the one doing the driving all of the time. Sometimes I wonder what dating would be like if e-dating hadn’t been invented. Would we still meet people the “old fashioned way” like our parents did, or would we have found some other way to make a connection from the comfort of our own homes?