Break-Up Don'ts and Dating Do's - Expat Dating Diaries That Girl Cartier

Break-Up Do’s and Dating Don’ts – Expat Dating Diaries

Expat Dating Don’ts and Break-Up Do’s

Co-P and I started having the inevitable (inevitable because he’s leaving Korea, not because he’s a cheater) break-up talk. ¬†It would have been fine had it not been in Haneda airport 6 hours before our flight. ¬†A few days later our fast, serious, fleeting, expat dating romance was over. ¬†Little did I know then, he was already seeing (and sleeping with) someone else. ¬†The confidence I had in our direct, communicative relationship was an absolute lie, and I feel pretty stupid having trusted him. ¬†Because of the exciting, dramatic, and rocky way our relationship began, I felt like most of the time we were playing relationship chicken. ¬†I had several trips lined up before meeting him. ¬†He said he wanted to come, and without too many jokes or dares he booked flights. ¬†I should have taken my own advice…

Because of the dramatic way our relationship began, I felt like we were playing relationship chicken. I should have taken my expat dating advice! girl woman barbell weights muscles strength training athlete crossfit health fitness exercise working out people
Photographer: Alexandre Vanier

Looking back on our relationship (as shortlived as it was) I have a number of thoughts and feelings. ¬†We are completely different people with a few key common interests (fitness, food, and expat dating, it seems). ¬†Ultimately, we weren’t compatible romantically or with our timing. ¬†He tried to limit me to 2 tourist attractions per day on our travels. ¬†He wanted a 10 PM bedtime. ¬†I wanted to soak up everything (including the nightlife) in a new city. ¬†He followed the rules. ¬†I wanted to renegotiate them. ¬†There were so many times when I felt I couldn’t be as wild and outlandish as I wanted to be. ¬†In some respects, that’s a really good thing. ¬†Co-P pushed me to be the healthiest and strongest person physically I could be. ¬†I was well-rested, too. ¬†Ultimately, I got bored. ¬†I think he did, too.

Because of the dramatic way our relationship began, I felt like we were playing relationship chicken. I should have taken my expat dating advice! airplane travel adventure plane people vacation trip transportation vehicle helicopter
Photographer: Inge Wallumrod

As much as I’m content with my life without him as my boyfriend, there are still moments that give me pause. ¬†I miss having him as the friend I thought he was. ¬†There are a lot of lessons that can be learned from every relationship, and expat dating is no different. ¬†Take a look and see what you can extrapolate from every interaction. ¬†Here’s what I’ve learned…

 

Because of the dramatic way our relationship began, I felt like we were playing relationship chicken. I should have taken my expat dating advice! people man woman couple dating talking romance candle lighting lights bokeh
Photographer: Austin Call

Expat Dating Don’ts

  • Don’t have your first few dates at favourite spots in your neighbourhood. ¬†You’ll hate yourself going back to a memory you made together there every time you pass them.
  • Don’t invest yourself too much in the beginning…or really ever. ¬†It’s important to keep a balance and your own social life. ¬†Don’t be one of those people who gives up on your single friends when you’re coupled up.
  • Don’t ignore the majority of your friends saying bad things about him. ¬†Especially don’t alienate them in favour of the ones who speak kindly.
  • Don’t ignore his ex gfs if they reach out to you. ¬†There’s a reason they sound crazy. ¬†That reason is probably that he hurt them something fierce.
  • Don’t let things move too quickly. ¬†If he’s asking you to be exclusive on the third day you’ve met, maybe there’s another issue. ¬†Pump the breaks if things are heating up a little faster than anticipated. ¬†It might be exciting to jump into a new relationship, but you also might be left with the feeling that you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. ¬†He might have self-esteem issues, be self-indulgent, or just want to stir up drama. ¬†Co-P posted about his new girlfriend the day before a trip we planned together. ¬†(Super nice way to let me know you cheated, by the way…). ¬†Expat dating is tough!
  • Don’t get hung up on past heartaches. ¬†There’s a reason he’s not the one with you on this date! ¬†Focus on this new person who wants to spend time getting to know you!
Because of the dramatic way our relationship began, I felt like we were playing relationship chicken. I should have taken my expat dating advice! people girl woman couple clothing hand touch
Photographer: Christiana Rivers

Expat Dating: Break-Up Do’s

  • Do let yourself have a mourning period. ¬†Maybe you haven’t lost the love of your life, but you’re losing out on someone who has made an impact on it. ¬†You’ll be ready when you’re ready.
  • Do: ¬†It doesn’t matter if your mourning period is short. ¬†If you are ready to get back out there then do it!
  • Do: Say YES. ¬†If you get an interesting invitation then say yes! ¬†Surprise yourself with new hobbies and activities.
  • Do: Meet new people! ¬†It doesn’t matter if you want to get out on the dating scene right away or not, new people = new perspectives. ¬†Isn’t learning what we’re born to do?
  • Do: Widen your net. ¬†Meet people (new friends and prospects) you might not normally go for. ¬†Everyone thinks they have a “type”. ¬†If yours hasn’t been working for you, try something else! ¬†Whether you’re an expat dating or just meeting new pals, there are plenty of us in a concentrated environment. ¬†Go forth an experience new things!
  • Do: Look out for #1. ¬†Take care of yourself first. ¬†Don’t overextend yourself for someone who won’t go out of his or her way for you.
Because of the dramatic way our relationship began, I felt like we were playing relationship chicken. I should have taken my expat dating advice! sea ocean water waves nature horizon sky sunset sunlight sunrise sunshine people couple love man woman hug smile happy
Photographer: Christiana Rivers

I’m not looking for the stars and the moon in another human. ¬†I’m looking for a travel companion, good conversationalist, work-out buddy, party pal, and all around life partner. ¬†I’m looking for someone who won’t deliberately hurt me (or put me at risk) because he’s started to stray. ¬†Neptune has 13 moons. ¬†Uranus has 27 (and they’re outta this world, girlfriend). ¬†Our very own galaxy is full of stars and moons. ¬†If you’re an expat in Korea like me, you’ve likely circled the globe at least once or twice. ¬†He (or she) is out there, but you’ve gotta make it through the Star Wars first.

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ThatGirlCartier

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.

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