The 7 Worst Guys An Expat Can Date

Expat Dating - That Girl Cartier

Photographer: Dave Meier

We have a tendency to get a little bit lonely living abroad.  Expat dating can be tough!  It’s not always easy to meet someone who speaks English, and if you haven’t been somewhere long then your foreign language skills might not be strong enough for the dating world.  Men we’ve met while living abroad and trying to feign off loneliness haven’t all been bad.  The stereotypes represented are just that, stereotypes and generalizations, so please take this all with a grain of salt and a bit of a laugh.  Before you go locking up your love and throwing away the key, see if you notice any similarities herein.  This is all about the very worst of the worst: The 7 Worst Guys an Expat can Date.  Click on the links to expand your expat dating horizons…

Expat Dating - That Girl Cartier

Photographer: Ben White

The Local

This guy just wants to date someone foreign he can show off to his friends.  It’ll be a fleeting romance and a shot expat dating experience.  You’ll wonder what exactly you both were thinking.  In Korea, they call this phenomenon “Riding the White Horse”.  I’ll leave you and your imagination to that one.  This isn’t always the case, of course, but as a caucasian woman with blue eyes and blonde hair I’ve found more often than not this type of local’s intentions are pretty transparent, and they’re simply not for me.

Expat Dating - That Girl Cartier

Photographer: Taylor L. Spurgeon

The Green (CARD) Monster

This fellow might come from a country with a less than ideal passport situation and is looking to change that through expat dating.  Alternatively, he might have visions of moving to a different country for fame and fortune.  The Green Monster just wants you for your connection to your home and native land, land of hope and glory, or the home of the brave (most likely the latter, in my experience).

Expat Dating - That Girl Cartier

Photographer: Amanda Jordan

The Military Man

The Military Man tends to want to settle down.  Being deployed over and over again means he’s a lone wolf.  More often than not he’s “exclusively dating” a few lovely ladies.  They really do want to have their white picket fence and 2.5 kids, but the struggle is real when living in what amount to dorm rooms.  If you find a diamond in the rough, he will be the most loyal, caring gentleman in the world.  The standard review of the Military Man is that he’s a dirty dawg.

Expat Dating - That Girl Cartier

Photographer: Frank McKenna

The Eternal Expat

Flitting from city to city and country to country “sampling the local fare”, this guy has found a good life.  Probably considered to be generically attractive from a North American perspective, he’s got a charming personality.  Somewhere down the line he was likely a varsity athlete or fraternity brother.  He’s got natural game and women everywhere swoon.  He’s never settling down in one place, and for him you’ll never been enough.

Expat Dating - That Girl Cartier

Photographer: Ben White

The Lifer

Like the Eternal Expat, The Lifer doesn’t want to return home for fear he’ll just never have it as good.  He’s a 6 at home, but a 10 abroad.  Out every night of the week, he’s got a local girlfriend, but still crushes Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid on the regular.  With expat dates across the city during the week, he’s got a locally-sourced meal every Sunday night.

Expat Dating - That Girl Cartier

Photographer: Ben White


The LBH or “loser back home” is a nightmare for both expats and travelers alike.  This guy has no social skills, but collects friends like Pokemon cards (note: he’s got a fat stack of those back home, too).  He’s likely well-educated (at least a Bachelor’s degree) and assumes that because he’s foreign (read between the lines here, ladies) he’s got something over the rest of the males in the country.  He’s not picking up the cheque anytime soon (which is fine, but let’s at least go Dutch) because he’s got massive student loans in arrears.  He probably has an acoustic guitar at home and has learned to play all of 3 chords.  Avoid this one like the plague…his friends are way cooler than he.

Expat Dating - That Girl Cartier


The Travel Romance

This one shouldn’t be avoided altogether, but you must know upon entry that your risk of heartbreak is about 90%.  Meeting in vacation mode gives you the opportunity to live without the stress of work and other responsibilities at home.  You both are at your best around one another.  You’re swept up in the bliss of being in a new place with new adventures at every turn.  Give in to the Travel Romance, just don’t give away your heart completely while Expat Dating.  It will fly away to the other side of the planet to taunt you with ransom letters every time your time-zones allow you to connect.  Mine has now moved to Sweden Australia to date a “woman” ten years his junior.  I’m mortified…

Have you had an expat dating experience or travel romance which has stood the test of time?  Make sure to leave a comment below!  If you’re in Korea, check out this list of stellar date spots in Seoul.  From the budding romance to a tale as old as time, The Toronto Seoulcialite has got you covered.

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That Girl Cartier is the alter-ego of a Canadian girl in Korea. A candid look at the expat life, That Girl Cartier explores Love, Beauty, Fashion and other finds around the world.

19 thoughts on “The 7 Worst Guys An Expat Can Date”

  1. When I came to Korea, I tried using Tinder to meet friends (so I eventually change the setting to looking for female LOL). I don’t have plans of dating anyone but I noticed that I can classify the guys there into three: the Military guys, the English teachers, and the Korean guys. Thanks to my long distance boyfriend, I got to avoid these worst guys. 😉

  2. So happy I never had to play the dating game abroad (let’s hope I don’t have too 😉) . I have seen these sorts through friends though and sometimes their stories are just too funny.

  3. The closest I got to experiencing this was a guy who was a combination of travel romance and eternal expat. It wasn’t a bad thing, but I knew pretty early on not to get too invested. I do have friends who dated Green Monsters, though — not fun!

  4. Haha I find that there are so many guys that stay in Korea for so long because they can be about an 8 here while they are about a 5 back home. When I first came to Korea, I had a BF back home in Scotland but I was like WTF, slim pickings out here. Then, after distance got too much and we broke things off, I found my own expat BF who, fortunately, doesn’t fit any of these categories 🙂

  5. This is a fun read for me who doesn’t have to contend with this hehehe… I am an expat wife from the time my husband and I moved here. We were newly married then and we now have 2 sons. Enjoy your dating life, though. Have fun and it would be great to hear more from you.

  6. Girl, this is so spot-on and props to you for perfectly summarizing this epidemic in the dating culture of Korea for expats! “Like the Eternal Expat, The Lifer doesn’t want to return home for fear he’ll just never have it as good. He’s a 6 at home, but a 10 abroad.” I feel like you took the words right out of my mouth. Sad to say that on Sundays he has a locally sourced meal but I don’t think you can get more candid than that. This is why I am AMAZED I found a life partner in Korea who was on the trajectory to be a Eternal Expat! I feel like the luckiest person ever! This needs to be circulated to all women who are dating in Korea who get discouraged by the dating scene so they can realize its not us… it’s them 😛

  7. Funny for sure, but I do think people can sometimes tend to jump to conclusions about others before giving them a real chance. I know a ton of guys that fit into these categories and are still amazing people and are nothing to run away from. When dating, you should always guard your heart, but finding true love is worth taking a chance on!

  8. Interesting take on the expat dating life. I haven’t really dated anyone since being out here, but as a guy, I’d like to think I wouldn’t fall into any of these categories. Bottom line is dating when you’re living abroad can be quite hard. Good post!

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