Candidly Cartier: The Power of No

Men are simple. Women are often pretty simple, too. We all want what we can’t have. Anything that is out of reach is challenge; a goal. It bothers most of us when we’re given a simple “no”. Isn’t it amazing how one little two-letter word can hold so much power?

Patterns in relationships are changing. As they evolve, I find that traditional, cisgendered, heterosexual relationships are going the way of the dinosaur. “Love who and how you want to love” is my sentiment, but my ultimate goal is a lot more traditional. As much as I hate being cookie-cutter, I like the option of a conventional relationship. I’ll put it right out there: I want to get married and have a family. I’d like to be able to dance with my father in a nice dress at my wedding (albeit destination with a limited guestlist).

Do you have to take some “settle” when you want to settle down? My mother always told me, “men are like streetcars – another will be along in a few minutes.” Sure, but if you’ve ever taken the TTC during rush hour, you’ll know it’s a balancing act to get on and a fight to the finish. Welcome to dating in Toronto. A signal problem is effecting all lines. Welcome to your thirties.

TTC Crabs

Toronto takes the cake for crappy dating pools. The men in Toronto are old, crusty towels with tinder profiles stating their height and ‚Äúno fatties‚ÄĚ. Riveting. When you meet one who is good-looking, is employed and ambitious, and takes care of himself, can you imagine the desperation he must be able to smell? Quality men are not like streetcars. They don’t come along frequently, and when they do I’m assuming single women look at them like they’re unicorns. I mean – I certainly do.

These men are used to hearing the word “No”, but they’re not used to women meaning it. I’ll probably get a lot of flack for this, but women I know and others I read about or watch on TV often fall into the same old script of saying no then giving in. These dudes are smooth! They often get what they want without even asking. There’s power in pushing him away – channel it.

There is power in “No”. The saying “always leave them wanting more” isn’t unique to dating, but the shoe sure does fit. Silly romantic comedies with particular sets of rules exist for a reason – we’re the rule, not the exception. If you (er – I) want to have a traditional relationship, when I meet a new unicorn, a coy McCoy and negative Nancy I’ll sure as sh*t need to be.

Re-pat Dating Diaries: “LOL – It’s Complicated”

Looking back on my teen through mid-twenties crushes, I thought the juiciest thing in the world was the time at the beginning of a relationship. The heart/ gut-wrenching “does he or doesn’t he like me” feeling was one I looked back on almost fondly. Potential romance was fleeting, but almost as lovely as the romance itself. The excitement, the uncertainty, the torture, and the relief were things I looked back on as feeling like my heart was on fire.

That feeling left me entirely for three years, and for that I’m now so thankful. While I was in Korea, I dated 3 men who, in the beginning, gave me no feelings of uncertainty. I developed feelings not just of confidence, but self-assurance and safety from my partner. It wasn’t precarious – in the beginning I never felt like I was about to fall or my world collapse.

Dating now that I’m back in Toronto is disappointing. I keep meeting these complete and total losers who genuinely make me feel like I should give up and get a cat (or a second job!) Then, it’s like the Universe recognizes my disappointment in humanity; my loneliness.

I’m certainly not the free-spirited, lithe, fun-loving woman I was from 28-31. I’ve gained weight, lost confidence, and have retreated to the lost little girl I was in my teens through mid twenties. A glimmer of hope in romance leaves a world of doubt. Still, the Universe has brought me a forest fire.

I want a partner – someone with whom I can adventure, but also in which I can confide. This man is irreverent, masculine, sexy, and arrogant. He hasn’t quite shown me many of the answers to his brooding mystery, yet. Over the past year I’ve questioned whether I would ever be “cool enough” for a relationship with him. Recently, he has made me feel safe in the most emotionally nourishing intimacy I’ve experienced since I packed the man I still consider to be the love of my life into a taxi to the airport.

You can have sex without intimacy, and I’ve had incredible intimacy without sex. Just having someone hold you and interlock your fingers in theirs is like the emotional Kama Sutra.

Will he or won’t he feel the same way?

Flings, Stings, Constant Cravings: Am I Summoning a Demon on Earth?

Secret Whisper Couple Brunette Toronto Dating

Exes & Oh No’s: Part 2

It’s always amazing how when you’re happy with someone new, your old beaus come back to haunt you. The night before Adonis moved to Korea, an old fling who had hurt me quite a bit came back to explain his actions and beg for forgiveness. When I started dating Co-P, Adonis took responsibility for each and every thing which had driven me bonkers during our relationship. The way I handled all of those things was certainly the reason for our relationship’s demise, and the fact that he knew he had done a plethora of stress/ rage inducing things throughout our tenure (but was too stubborn to change) created a flood of emotions which were confusing, especially when I was starting to date someone new.

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Flings and Stings

We all have a bizarre sense of when the winds change, but what about people who haven’t made that much of an impact, yet? I work near this guy I met almost a year ago. Things got very intense really quickly, and he ran for the hills. I thought he has ghosted me entirely. He has come back time after time with the caveat that he doesn’t believe in monogamy. (*LOL ROLLS EYES INTO BACK OF HEAD FOREVER!*) I think that just means that he’s scared – scared to miss the opportunity of another notch. He’s scared to actually feel something and potentially get hurt. He’s scared to put in a little effort.
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Constant Cravings

I rarely run into him, but when I do it’s always when I’m starting something new with someone else. I’ve been on a few dates with someone who seems to have everything I’d like in a partner on paper, but he’s starting to pull back and I just don’t have the time or energy for that.¬† Enter guy who works nearby – let’s call him ‘Sensory Overload’. He always manages to bump into me when I’m questioning my self-worth. he’s a total f*ckboi and I hate that I actually have a crush on the dude, but when you’re with him you feel like the only person on the planet. He will literally stop traffic to give me a hug. He’ll hang up the phone (he’s always on the phone, of course he is) to ask what’s going on in my world. He sends cute messages once we part ways. When I need him casually, he’s always around.
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Why can’t we ever get what we want at the right time? This is why we turn into gremlins when one from the fold has found “a good one”. Tinder is like Pok√©mon-Go – we search the city swiping for monsters. We’re desperate for structure and consistency. Why am I summoning this demon each time something good starts to go a little sour?

Repat Dating Diaries: Oh no – I’ve been on this date before!

Cold, Quiet, Dry Winter Months

It’s been seven months since my return from the land of morning calm (Korea, dweebs). In that time I’ve tried to date as much as possible, if only to provide you lovely Seouls with fresh content so you can feel better about your lives as we go into the cold, winter months. I thought Itaewon was bad for guys and girls alike furiously swiping left and right while at a bar full of decent-looking, age appropriate humans with at least the common expat connection.¬† No, no – Toronto is far worse for tinder tendinitis.

Double-Dipping for Dating

I got pretty lucky meeting the hot, young, Italian 3-minute Stallion. I met a guy who flew all the way to Jamaica for some fatherly advice after we got “too intimate too quickly” (read: we went on 3 dates that week and he met my roommate’s dog). There was a carpenter, but if you’ve been reading for a while then you know there’s only one carpenter in my heart (and no, it’s not JC). Beyond that, I’ve yet to really date the same dude twice – except I did.

Repetitive Repercussions

Keep in mind that I had been living on the other side of the planet for 3 years when I tell you this story. I thought the pictures were kind of familiar, but I just didn’t put two and two together. It was like a bad episode of “How I Met Your Mother”. There I was sitting in a booth at The Drake Hotel (a popular West Queen West spot) and my date walked in. He wasn’t anything to write home about, but I probably wouldn’t have kicked him out of bed either. Then, he opened his mouth and it all came flooding back. After 3 years, he still told me the same stories about his 1 trip to Poland (tldr: he got drunk the whole time and saw no historical attractions). My date was still bragging about buying his condo with 0% down.

I’ve Learned Nothing

Was this a trap? Did he know that I knew who he was? Was he pretending we had never met before, too? This was the first time I had doubled-down on a dreadful date. Are there really so few single men in this city? Have I completed the circle and come back to the start?

Who knows…

I’ll probably make this mistake again.

 

Dating in Toronto: Are Local Men Commitment-Phobes?

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Dating in Toronto: Are Women Too Intimidating?

Now that I’m back in Toronto I’m trying to assess the dating pool from the outside looking in.¬† While I’m more focused on finding a job than a date (current job ‚úď, new job August 20th ‚úď), my gal pals are on the prowl.¬† I’ve returned from Korea to find I only have a handful of single male friends.¬† It seems like I have more single female friends in my age-group than ever, and they are all experiencing the same problem.¬† Is it that Toronto men are scared of commitment or scared of a confident, successful woman?¬† Let’s take a look at some examples of my single pals and other gals dating in Toronto.

 

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Lisa Fotios

 

Dating in Toronto: Lisa

Lisa and I have known one another for over 10 years.¬† She’s got a pretty dominant personality at first, but is pretty chilled out and easygoing when it comes to making plans.¬† She finished her MBA a few years ago and has taken on a senior role at a start up.¬† She’s passionate about her work, her dog, and her family.¬† I haven’t seen my friend Lisa in 4 months.¬† Why?¬† Well, she’s been pretty heavily into the Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid scenes.¬† For her, Dating in Toronto is a full-time job, too.¬† She’s met a pretty attractive man who seems to take up a lot of her time, yet another commitment-phobe, plus she’s juggling a gazillion first dates.¬† Seems like she’s collecting a variety of styles, throwing them at the wall, and just seeing what sticks.¬† So far she hasn’t really gotten anywhere, and I haven’t really seen my friend!

 

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Dating in Toronto: Abby

Abby is 25.¬† She goes out every Friday to the exact same bar hoping to find a husband.¬† I shit you not, this girl honestly thinks that the first guy who doesn’t back away when she smashes her face into his is going to make for a great provider for her 2.5 children, dog, and white picket fence in Thornhill.¬† Abby joined ultimate frisbee because she thought it would be a great way for her to meet guys.¬† She does it all for the ‘gram.¬† She captions with the likes of “your vibe attracts your tribe” on a picture of a group of people who don’t actually know one another.¬† With someone like Abby, you can’t share your interest in a particular member of the opposite sex.¬† She will undermine any sort of connection you had by trotting over, tits out, making the game real easy for ya man over there.¬† Why work an hour for $100 when someone’s dangling a $20 note in your face, right?¬† She gets off on creating competition with her remaining female friends.¬† She’s a juvenile, insecure, little girl who needs the validation of strange men more than the loyalty and support of gal pals.¬† Don’t be an Abby, don’t take home an Abby, don’t befriend an Abby.

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Eneida Nieves

Dating in Toronto: Jessica

Jessica has a revolving door of men.¬† She keeps 2 or 3 in play and has a whole bunch of guys on the bench.¬† She climbed the corporate ladder quickly at the same company for the last 8 years.¬† Recently, she bought a condo and furnished it exactly the way she wanted having lived in a shitty, run-down old building for most of her time in Toronto.¬† Dating in Toronto changed a lot for Jessica when she made the move.¬† All of a sudden the dudes who were freelancing and bartending on the side felt the need to get their shit together and move on up in the world.¬† Jessica was finally showing the wealth she had accumulated, and these guys were not into it.¬† The two men she’s currently dating have told her those three little words over and over again (“I love you”, for those of us who are jaded).¬† Neither of them want to date exclusively.¬† It’s sad, but when you’re dating in Toronto everyone is always on the look-out for something better.¬† They could have their perfect man or woman doing naked back-flips in their front yard, but unless they put down the phone they’ll remain completely oblivious.

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Jennifer Decan

Dating in Toronto – Candidly Cartier

So what’s the secret to actually meeting someone in Canada’s largest city?¬† I thought it would be easier than my experiences in Korea seeing as there are more native English speakers here and many of us grew up with similar cultural backgrounds.¬† In reality, it’s far more difficult.¬† Why is dating in Toronto so obnoxious?¬† When I met Adonis, it was an instant connection.¬† Our wifi signal was weak and I can honestly say, for me, it was love at first sight.¬† I don’t think that feeling will ever go away, and even thousands of miles apart I still feel like we’re connected.¬† With ex-Co-Pilot it was easy, too.¬† I begrudgingly met him after a series of crappy first dates and it was a “right place, right time” situation.¬† He was absolutely incapable of being alone, and I needed a band-aid.¬† Now I’m in a situation where I have a great apartment, great job, and some great friends.¬† I’m no longer working as a conventionally “female” gender role (as a teacher), and the intimidation factor is out of control when you’re dating in Toronto.

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Caitlyn Wilson

Dating in Toronto is Exhausting

I’m too tired to get dolled up and go out on Friday nights.¬† I’d muuuuuch rather Netflix and Chill.¬† Going out clothes sold here are either hoochie-mama bralets and booty shorts or totally binding triacetate-polyester blend urban professional attire.¬† There is no in between, anymore.¬† My feet hurt.¬† Doing my hair and makeup, stuffing myself into spanx, then trying to get that dang zipper up by myself is exhausting – and for what?¬† All you see at these meet markets are people trying to get the bartender’s attention or simply sitting in a corner and swiping all night.

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Swipe for Your Life

Speaking of swiping, I’ve been out on my fair share of first and second dates having met through a dating app.¬† My aforementioned friends and I get the same message each and every time we opt to keep our legs together for more then a couple of dates.¬† “I think you’re looking to take things a little slower than me.¬† I’m looking for something more casual.”¬† Sir, I’ve met you twice.¬† It’s entirely unfair to imagine that you know what I want.¬† It’s cocky to think that you’re such a stud that I’ve fallen head over heels in love with you after seeing you in two different outfits.¬† Also, it’s pretty pathetic that apparently I’m only good enough to be your booty-call.¬† I was prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt after your horrendous first kiss because we had good banter.¬† I’m starting to think that these morons just want their tinder date to turn up and bend over before agreeing to ever meet again.

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Martin Jernberg

A Girl’s Gotta Eat

These guys seem to think that I want the ring, the house, and the 2.5 kids immediately.¬† It’s not that I want something serious, I just want something consistent.¬† I’m starting a new job and have a pretty full schedule, but a girl’s gotta eat, right?¬† Realistically, I’d like to have a companion with whom to do absolutely nothing on Friday nights, and maybe to go hiking with on Saturday mornings.¬† I like breakfast in bed, too.¬† Yeah – I’ll make it.¬† Don’t get up.¬†¬†There’s still so much of the world to see, and I’m plenty happy as a solo traveler.¬† If you’re along for the ride, great.¬† Please don’t assume to know what I want.¬† Don’t dismiss me simply because you’re intimidated or a Toronto man scared of the first inkling of commitment.

 

Re-pat Dating Diaries: Younger Men? Yes, please!

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The Newest in Dating Diaries: Repatriation

When writing about something as sensitive as dating, it’s kind of tough to write something positive without hurting someone’s feelings.¬† You might be thinking “huh? What’s she talking about?¬† Why would writing something good hurt someone?”, but hear me out.¬† When you write something – anything at all – and it strikes a chord in a man (even one you may have never met!) the comments section can get a little heated.¬† I’m ready and waiting with popcorn (Smartfood, I’ve missed you) for all of the man-hating, extreme feminist names they have stored in their back pockets.¬† When you write something about men in general, and someone else he thinks he’s the man in your life, feelings can get hurt.¬† I am single.¬† I am all over the map literally and figuratively.¬† In the (almost) 3 weeks I’ve been back in North America, I’ve met some truly wonderful people, and surprisingly young and accomplished men.

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Dating After Korea

Since leaving Korea, I’ve been through Bali, back to Korea, to Canada, the United States, and back to Canada all within 40 days.¬† If any of you think dating in Korea is wonderful, welcome to the rest of the world.¬† It’s your damn oyster!¬† If you’re having trouble and want to explore the dating world more extensively, maybe the contract life in the land of the morning calm isn’t for you.¬† I know I’ve always been the queen of bad timing, and Korea pressure didn’t help.¬† I’ve recently had a freedom and flexibility which seems to have been pretty attractive to men.¬† Well, pretty attractive to the average ODB and younger man, alike.¬† It feels nice to have most people believe I’m somewhere between 21 and 25.¬† Guess my multi-step K-Beauty routine has been working!¬† I’m always honest and upfront about being 30.¬† Ain’t no shame in that game.¬† My Tinder is set to meet men 25 – 37, which I feel is fairly age-appropriate.¬† Meeting younger guys (organically) has actually taught me a lot about how to relax into the dating world again.¬† In honour of The Real Housewives of New York City returning to Bravo, let’s let my favourite cradle-robber, Carole Radziwill,¬† tell you all about why repatriation is best with a younger man by your side.

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Confidence

At 30 (and after living in Korea), it’s really easy to get anyone’s number.¬† I’ve just been living in fantasy land (as far as any recruiters are concerned) for the past 3 years.¬† If you can’t walk up to a random hottie and pretend you’re just two SIMS characters after that, what HAS Korea taught you?¬† Seriously – after 30 we just don’t care.¬† There are dating opportunities everywhere.

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You Can’t Hurry Love

You might think that dating is the same everywhere.¬† That notion would be entirely incorrect.¬† Living in Korea has completely shaped the way I interact with men.¬† Expats don’t typically buy into the Korean way of dating, but we definitely don’t do it like we would back home.¬† We’ve all got that added pressure of our contract’s time limit looming over our heads, so more often than not we rush.¬† I remember by our 3rd date (in as many days) Co-P asked me to be his girlfriend (and subsequently married the next woman he only met a handful of times.¬† Bullet = dodged).¬† Adonis went from traveling SEA to living with me in the course of a month.

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You’ve been out of the game for X many years

Things happen so quickly when you’re living abroad or traveling.¬† I had a whirlwind romance turned roller-coaster ride in Bali over 10 days.¬† It’s insane how quickly things develop.¬† Because of my experiences, I have the emotional ADHD of a much younger human.¬† I need to learn how to slow down and actually meet people again the Western way.¬† In order to do so, dating a guy on my level has a number of benefits:

He’s Not Necessarily Established

Coming back to live in Canada I’ve stayed with my parents, gone on a blogger trip, and am currently house-sitting.¬† Until I sort out my job and living situation in Toronto, I’m 30 and living in my parents’ basement.¬† Good news!¬† He’s¬†probably still living with Mommy and Daddy, too, or he may have just moved out on his own.¬† You’re ready to re-enter the social scene and he’s eager to experience the city.¬† Nobody’s there to make you feel bad about starting over since he’s starting up as well.

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He’s Protective

The younger guys I’ve met thus far have been far more earnestly doting, caring, and chivalrous than guys my age.¬† Maybe there’s been a renaissance in upbringing or maybe they feel like they have more to prove with the change in typical gender dynamics.¬† Whatever it is, I’m appreciative.¬† All my life I’ve been so worried about losing someone precious.¬† Suddenly I feel like I’m the important one they don’t want stolen away.

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He’s Got the Energy

‘Nuff said.

He’ll teach you about the latest trends

I feel like such a geriatric creature bringing this one up, but there are pieces of generational technology I haven’t had time to peruse.¬† He’ll help you assess the latest gadgets and give you the specs before even heading in to buy the hardware.¬† When I’m still fighting with Olleh/ Korea Telecom (KT) to get my last account closed, it’s great to have a wealth of knowledge helping me along.

 

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Dating Younger: He Looks Good

Have you ever noticed how 30 year old men look these days?¬† Being stressed and overworked not only has an effect on the ol’ beer belly, but their skin loses glow, too.¬† Cameron Diaz’s character in “The Holiday” talks about how men age gracefully and women become haggard.¬† “I’m gonna call bullshit on that.”¬† That couldn’t be farther from the truth for me.¬† 5 years ago, a friend who had just turned 30 told me she was the happiest and in the best shape of her entire life.¬† I scoffed, but dammit if those words aren’t ringing like the Bell of Good Luck in my 30, flirty, and thriving ears.

In my mid-twenties I was fat and miserable.¬† I worked out plenty, but stress and poor eating habits got the best of me.¬† Coming back from Korea, I have a phenomenal beauty routine thanks to my friends at Leegeeham, G2Cell, CosRX (they just sent me a package I can’t WAIT to review for you), and Seoul Cosmetic Surgery.¬† Botox is no longer taboo.¬† Wouldn’t you want to stop the aging process dead in its tracks?¬† I don’t want to look like I’m dating a child, but I’m not ready to look like I’m dating my dad, either.

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Dating Expectations

When I was in my early to mid twenties, I went out with guys who I considered to be out of my league.¬† I dated a lot of douche-canoes; a lot of big Richards, if you will.¬† Ladies: you are worth it.¬† Don’t ever let a guy string you along without commitment simply because you think he’s too hot or too accomplished.¬† Spoiler alert: there’s no such thing!¬† If he’s interested in spending time with you in or out of the bedroom, then you need to be clear about your expectations.¬† When you’re happy with what you’re getting then that’s perfect.¬† If you’re not, make it clear!

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Dating Doubts

I’ve learned to care a lot less about what other people think.¬† If he fucks it up?¬† Well… I don’t care, really.¬† I mean it’s lovely for now, but he’s got a lot of living to do before settling down.¬† I’m looking to plant those roots in Toronto, but until then why waste good company?

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Warning: Dating Younger may have Drama Closer than it Appears

When dating a younger man, there’s always the chance there will be some pathetic fly on the wall desperate to make a meal out of a snack.¬† One day she’ll learn.¬† For now, ignore…ignore…ignore.

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Dating Deterrents

In my last year in Korea I dealt with the most vile, psychotic woman I’ve ever met because she thought she was dating my boyfriend.¬† She met him twice – before I had ever met him.¬† The vendetta lasted a year, and I’m sure the wine, fat-shaming, and name-calling parties continue even now that I’m gone.¬† There’s plenty more to the story, but that’s too juicy for today.

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Just one for the young ladies considering the paragraph above.¬† We’re older.¬† We’re wiser.¬† Take heed.

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Korea –> Canada: Dating through Repatriation

Living in Korea was great for my health, horrible for my heath, and taught me a lot.¬† It was great because in my first year I was able to create that work/ life balance I so craved.¬† I had the opportunity to cook properly, my favourite snack foods were disgusting in Korea (BBQ Cheetos – ew!), and I had split shifts meaning I could work out 2 hours a day.¬† I took my weekends off, and that’s where I’d let myself go off the rails a little bit.

Number 1 rule?¬† No gym on weekends.¬† Number 2 rule?¬† It’s okay to eat an entire pie from Pizza School (corn and all) on Sunday.¬† Was I hungover?¬† Absolutely.¬† Had I cleaned my entire apartment Friday night rather than go out?¬† Hell yes.¬† Did that have something to do with the “focus candy” prescribed liberally?¬† OH YEAH.¬† Korea helped me lose my stress weight and taught me about balance.¬† When you feel good you look good and that goodness radiates.¬† I have a whole new outlook on dating in Canada right now.

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My #1 Key to Dating Anywhere

What did I learn?¬† Well, this series is about dating, so we’ll keep it to that.¬† Communication is the absolute most important part.¬† Even if you’re dating someone from another English-speaking country, there are bound to be cultural differences.¬† Knowing what you want and what you can bring to the table is also important.¬† As someone returning to the dating game in my home country, I don’t feel comfortable dating someone who has just been blindly happy with the status quo the entire time I’ve been away.¬† Maybe it’s the Korean Skincare Routine, maybe I’m just not willing to settle for someone who has settled.¬† Regardless, I’m attracting younger guys – and I’m starting to be okay with that.

Carole Radziwill Bravo RHONYC Real Housewives of New York City GIF Re-pat Dating Diaries: Younger, North American Men - yes, please! That Girl Cartier

In conclusion, nobody needs to know you’re dating younger.¬†

You’re only as old as the man that you feel, right?

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Have you experienced something interesting and unexpected coming back to the dating pool in your home country?  Let Cartier know in the comments section below!

Love Bombs: Cuffing Season is Year-Round

The notions of "ghosting" (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or "bread-crumbing" (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats.  In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend: Love Bombs - ThatGirlCartier.com That Girl Cartier Expat Dating Diaries people man smoke bomb orange building outside
Photographer: Ezra Jeffrey

Cuffing Season is Year-Round for Love Bombs

The notions of “ghosting” (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or “bread-crumbing” (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats. ¬†In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend. ¬†“8 signs you’re being “love bombed” – it might be the most toxic dating trend yet“.

The notions of "ghosting" (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or "bread-crumbing" (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats.  In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend: Love Bombs - ThatGirlCartier.com That Girl Cartier Expat Dating Diaries people couple holding hands watch
Photographer: Ryan Franco

The concept of love bombs is one I’ve seen particularly frequently in Korea. ¬†The gist is that you meet a partner and it’s an explosion of feelings, but also commitments one or both parties have no intention of keeping. ¬†You have what you think are open and honest conversations about your emotions, about your goals, about the future. ¬†You travel together, meet your partner’s family, buy one another lavish gifts. ¬†In the blink of an eye, it’s over and done. ¬†Love Bombs. ¬†And what’s cuffing season?¬†‚ÄúCuffing season is that period of time between fall and the dead of winter when people start looking for someone they can spend those long, frigid months with,‚ÄĚ -Sameera Sullivan.

The notions of "ghosting" (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or "bread-crumbing" (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats.  In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend: Love Bombs - ThatGirlCartier.com That Girl Cartier Expat Dating Diaries people man woman couple dating walking smile happy love sweater ripped jeans
Photographer: Brodie Vissers

Expat Love Bombs

I can’t speak for expats in other countries, but I would venture to guess our issues of loneliness are all pretty similar. ¬†We leave our families and (for most of us) our friends and support systems back home. ¬†While social groups in Korea form quickly, they’re often made up of people with whom we’d probably never be friends back home. ¬†Romantic relationships are different. ¬†Expats often have “light-hearted” trysts, but once a connection is made, exclusive relationships are locked down very quickly. ¬†Everything is intensified when you feel instantly loved and cared for. ¬†I think most of us crave that adrenaline rush of passion. ¬†Unfortunately you can’t call a house a home without a little work, time, and attention. ¬†Most of us are only contributing one of the three in a new relationship while living abroad.

The notions of "ghosting" (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or "bread-crumbing" (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats.  In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend: Love Bombs - ThatGirlCartier.com That Girl Cartier Expat Dating Diaries people man woman fashion beauty swimsuit bikini beach ocean sea travel couple adventure vacation rocks love
Photographer: Christopher Campbell

My Last Love Bombs

My last two serious (albeit short-lived) relationships were definitely love bombs. ¬†I knew right from the start that these should be enjoyable little flings and that I shouldn’t invest my time or emotions too much. ¬†In Thailand, H dropped everything, flew with me from Phuket to Chiang Mai, and started making comments about ring shopping and spending the remainder of our vacation pretending we were engaged.

The notions of "ghosting" (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or "bread-crumbing" (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats.  In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend: Love Bombs - ThatGirlCartier.com That Girl Cartier Expat Dating Diaries people man woman couple happy love date amusement park ride ferris wheel street alley store shop summer
Photographer: Tim Gouw

Ex-Co-P was quick to start calling me his “Seoulmate”. ¬†He would call my apartment “Our City House” and his room on base “Our Country Home”. ¬†He shared what was his eagerly by bringing me goodie bags of things he thought I wouldn’t be able to buy (off post) in Korea. ¬†I was still getting over my last love bomb where the ye-olde-Adonis, H, actually gave up Bali to move into my shitty little studio apartment in Sincheon. ¬†I could see through Ex-Co-P’s bullshit immediately, but I chose to ignore it because he did all the things that H stubbornly refused to do.

The notions of "ghosting" (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or "bread-crumbing" (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats.  In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend: Love Bombs - ThatGirlCartier.com That Girl Cartier Expat Dating Diaries black and white people couple happy smile bokeh ring hairstyle love sweet outdoor man woman girl lady
Photographer: William Stitt

Blind Beyond the Art of Seduction

On our 3rd date (coincidentally the 3rd day after we finally met in person), he snapped a selfie of us to post on Facebook calling me his KECH (a play on my initials). ¬†He asked me to be exclusive about an hour later. ¬†FINALLY! ¬†Finally I had someone who wasn’t afraid to show off to the world that he liked me. ¬†I didn’t need any of the expensive gifts he had brought me on our first few dates. ¬†All I needed was someone who wanted to be close to me. ¬†That was my version of having a guy jump up and down on a couch on Oprah. ¬†Finally someone wasn’t ashamed¬†was proud to be with me. ¬†Everything seemed different. ¬†He even put together an outfit to accompany me to Seoul Fashion Week. ¬†He invited his family and friends into our life together. ¬†Sparks flew.

The notions of "ghosting" (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or "bread-crumbing" (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats.  In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend: Love Bombs - ThatGirlCartier.com That Girl Cartier Expat Dating Diaries people woman man couple blur sparkling light sparkler party celebration
Photographer: Priscilla Westra

Within weeks he was asking me my plans for the future (immediately by piggy-backing onto my Taipei and Tokyo trips), telling me his goals and dreams, and asking how we could fit into one another’s lives moving forward. ¬†He used to joke about me moving in with him on the base, but there was an underlying truth and neediness to it all. ¬†He made me actually want to have an easy life in the boonies running track on Sunday mornings, meal-prepping for the week in the afternoon, and cozying up with a movie Sunday nights. ¬†It seemed so simple. ¬†I couldn’t hear the tick-tock of the bomb because it had already detonated. ¬†Our simple, little, careless, time-sensitive relationship had immediately broken its contract and gone off the rails the moment I said “yes” to being his girlfriend.

The notions of "ghosting" (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or "bread-crumbing" (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats.  In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend: Love Bombs - ThatGirlCartier.com That Girl Cartier Expat Dating Diaries people hands distance reach out away sad love black and white monochrome
Photographer: Mitchell Hollander

Man-ipulation & Subconscious Un-Coupling

I can’t pinpoint the moment it all changed. ¬†In hindsight I think he continued to slowly chip away at my confidence by maintaining past drama. ¬†Ex-Co-P loved to drudge up his past relationships. ¬†He continuously brought up the issues he created for me in the workplace. ¬†He would perpetuate drama by inserting himself in issues I had had to rectify on his behalf that were having an effect on my life. ¬†I felt inadequate at work and at home.

The notions of "ghosting" (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or "bread-crumbing" (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats.  In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend: Love Bombs - ThatGirlCartier.com That Girl Cartier Expat Dating Diaries love locks hearts romance romantic
Photographer: Snufkin

After our one, and only, major argument, I coughed all night. ¬†The next day he demanded we run 6 km (round-trip) up and down Namsan Tower. ¬†He knew full well that I was a sprinter working on endurance and had a bad cough. ¬†He was testing me and patronizing me. ¬†It was clear that he was looking for a fight. ¬†When we got to the base of Namsan Tower, he asked me was if I wanted to go find his “Pont-des-Arts”-style love lock from two girlfriends ago. ¬†This was the girlfriend who was still friends with some of my friends. She even lived in the area of town I desperately missed. ¬†Had I not been dating this loser, we’d probably be friends.

The notions of "ghosting" (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or "bread-crumbing" (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats.  In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend: Love Bombs - ThatGirlCartier.com That Girl Cartier Expat Dating Diaries snow winter white cold weather ice nature people hand heart love scarf
Photographer: Tohm Brigitte

“Cuffing Season” is Bullshit

I wrote the 7 Worst Guys an Expat can Date nearly a year ago. ¬†Hundreds of comments came pouring in. ¬†Many said I sounded like a jaded woman scorned. ¬†I think most of those qualities identified in the article still hold true. ¬†Elements of each character can be found in both men and women. ¬†As a cisgendered, straight woman, I write about my own personal experiences. ¬†The list is not comprehensive. ¬†Let’s say I wrote about the “7 Treasures Every Expat Woman Should Seek Out”. ¬†You better bet your bottom dollar there would be no more use for this site at all. ¬†You see, if I was any good at taking my own advice, ThatGirlCartier would cease to exist. ¬†My Grandmother was RAF and my Grandfather was RCAF. ¬†It’s like I walk around with a giant AF magnet on my heart and “US AIR FORCE” tattooed across my forehead. ¬†Am I supposed to avoid every Military Man I meet? ¬†Who knows – you already know I can’t follow my own advice!

The notions of "ghosting" (going out with someone then dropping off the face of the Earth completely) or "bread-crumbing" (dropping short messages here and there to keep the other person around, but not a priority) are common, especially for expats.  In the interest of keeping current on the trends explaining outside elements of my tormented love life, I read an article about a toxic dating trend: Love Bombs - ThatGirlCartier.com That Girl Cartier Expat Dating Diaries people couple man woman love romance piggyback ride

Right now I’m talking to several men. ¬†I’m actually just dating and getting to know them on a personal, platonic level. ¬†No more intense situations right off the bat. ¬†No more instances of watching him pull the pin, drop the grenade and run away. ¬†Certainly no more “fuckboys in sheep’s clothing” (as so aptly a fellow Seoul Blogger described Ex-Co-P). ¬†I met H in August and Ex-Co-P at the beginning of March. ¬†Cuffing season is clearly not limited to the dark, cold, lonely, winter months…especially when it comes to sociopaths¬†“love-bombs”. ¬†When someone shows you who they truly are, believe them the first time. ¬†Don’t let love bombs’ smoke get in your eyes.

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Photo by Fredrick Kearney Jr on Unsplash

Expat Dating Diaries – A PSA to Grown Men: Stop Ghosting

Everything ends, but some things don’t even get a chance at a proper start. ¬†Grown men need to learn to communicate rather than “ghosting”. ¬†This is the story of my devilishly handsome, mysterious, and insanely cowardly rebound.

Ghosting: Everything ends, but some things don't even get a chance at a proper start. The story of my handsome, mysterious, and insanely cowardly rebound. That Girl Cartier people man guy black and white body tattoo art bracelet
Photographer: Jake Davies

My Most Recent Ghosting Experience

I recently went out with a man who I thought was interested in dating casually. ¬†As I was fresh out of a relationship, I figured he planned on getting to know me over time. ¬†It’s also fair to assume that he was seeing other women throughout the first month of what I’ll call our “courtship”. ¬†Tinder is like window shopping, and I had a brand new account. ¬†We saw eachother 4 times that first week, which was a little intense for me. ¬†It was also pretty similar to my last relationship. ¬†Co-P was in a new Facebook relationship a mere 11 days after he and I split. ¬†That’s such a shady look. ¬†Perhaps he shouldn’t have cheated¬†if he knew he’d get so butthurt about our break-up. ¬†I wasn’t in a place where I felt I needed to “win” the break-up. ¬†I want to wait until I actually know someone before determining I’ll be spending my valuable time with him alone.

Ghosting: Everything ends, but some things don't even get a chance at a proper start. The story of my handsome, mysterious, and insanely cowardly rebound. That Girl Cartier people man woman body tattoo art couple back black and white

So, rebound and I had some really nice dates. ¬†We went to some of my favourite spots in Itaewon as he was new to the city. ¬†A friend of mine came along on date #1 (what I call an “audition”), and his boss met up with us later that day. ¬†He joined me for a restaurant review and asked that we spend the next night “just us”. ¬†He held my hand in public and let other males around us know through physical cues that he was the alpha and I wasn’t going to entertain their advances. ¬†By date #3 he told me he didn’t want this to just be a fling. ¬†After that, I started to get the silent treatment. ¬†He’d go incommunicado for days, then blow up my phone with cute selfies and videos. ¬†We both left Seoul for the long weekend, but were in touch the whole time.

Ghosting: Everything ends, but some things don't even get a chance at a proper start. The story of my handsome, mysterious, and insanely cowardly rebound. That Girl Cartier people male hand arm shoulder body tattoo art
Photographer: Matheus Ferrero

When he got back home, he called me via video chat. ¬†He cracked a joke at one point, so I laughed. ¬†He told me that’s all he ever wanted. ¬†All he wanted was just to make me laugh and smile. ¬†The line was delivered with such innocence and fluidity I almost believed it. ¬†I rolled my eyes and that’s when he said the one thing that surprised me.

“You’re so cool. ¬†You play it so cool.”

“What?”

“Yeah, you act like you don’t care. ¬†I care.”

“I’m confused. ¬†You’re the cool one in this situation. ¬†I’m just trying to keep up.”

My bullshit-o-dometer was whizzing out of control. ¬†That’s when he told me he had the next 10 years of his life planned out. ¬†Where was I going to fit in? ¬†It’s nice to have a casual, physical relationship, but what were we and what happens next? ¬†What about the “dot…dot…dot…”? ¬†After I told him it was a little early to be having this conversation, I suggested getting together on the weekend. ¬†He agreed, with the caveat that now (after nearly a month of knowing one-another) was the perfect time for this serious discussion. ¬†After that? ¬†Radio silence…was he seriously ghosting me after trying to lock it down on freaking FaceTime?

Ghosting: Everything ends, but some things don't even get a chance at a proper start. The story of my handsome, mysterious, and insanely cowardly rebound. That Girl Cartier people girl man coffee relax chill restaurant coffeehouse bar shop mobile phone texting browsing
Photographer: Jacob Ufkes

Gentlemen, you know exactly what kind of shitty human being you are when you consciously decide not to pick up calls or respond to messages. ¬†Nobody is too busy to make plans with someone they like. ¬†When a man is interested in a woman, he’ll move Heaven, Earth, a board meeting or a boys night to see her. ¬†When you’re ghosting, you’re avoiding responsibility because you’re too chicken shit to have an actual adult conversation. ¬†Everyone gets anxious when it comes to potential confrontation. ¬†You owe it to the other person to provide a proper conclusion. ¬†I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: to get what you want you have to communicate.

Ghosting: Everything ends, but some things don't even get a chance at a proper start. The story of my handsome, mysterious, and insanely cowardly rebound. That Girl Cartier people woman girl sitting waiting alone blonde hair mobile phone

Ladies, here are some of the reasons why he’s ghosting you:

He’s Not Looking For Commitment

This guy will flip his shit at the simplest “how was your day?” text. ¬†It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a serious relationship or casual tail. ¬†He wants no strings attached and assumes you’re hunting for a ring. ¬†Drop the dud and play the field. ¬†He’s not worth your time.

There’s Another Woman

I always say that Tinder is like window shopping. ¬†¬†Men can certainly make the most of a shitty situation. ¬†In fact, a lot of guys I know actually exclusively Tind while on the can. ¬†If you’re dating someone actively perusing your replacement, he’s a turd. ¬†Don’t let yourself circle the drain with this one.

You’re the Other Woman

I met this wonderful man last year who really wanted to take things slow and get to know me. ¬†We went on some fantastic dates and I felt like we really started to make a connection. ¬†Then, he started acting weird and before I knew it – he was ghosting. ¬†It turns out his ex fiance was getting married and he just wasn’t quite over it all. ¬†It didn’t matter that their relationship was over. ¬†He wasn’t ready to make an emotional investment that might end with similar feelings. ¬†This one actually came back and we were able to talk it out. ¬†Eventually, we even became friends.

He’s Just Not That Into You

It sucks to hear, but the old Sex and the City adage is real. ¬†He doesn’t see this going anywhere and doesn’t wanted to get sucked into an emotional conversation where he’ll have to explain why. ¬†He doesn’t even respect you enough to have the common decency to tell you he doesn’t want to see you. ¬†Start swiping.

You’re an Option, Not a Priority

He wants to keep you around in case he needs an emotional relationship or a late night booty call down the line.  Unfriend.  Unfollow.  Block if you must.  Move the hell along.

Ghosting: Everything ends, but some things don't even get a chance at a proper start. The story of my handsome, mysterious, and insanely cowardly rebound. That Girl Cartier people girl female lady woman travel outdoor alone beach seashore sea ocean waves water summer mobile phone texting

Dating is tough. ¬†Expat dating is often tougher. ¬†When it comes down to it, we all want to feel important and cared for. ¬†Nobody wants to feel tossed aside. ¬†Ladies and gentlemen, don’t willfully neglect another human. ¬†Be kind, be gentle, and stop ghosting. ¬†I can guarantee that a reasonable person will respond much better (and likely stop responding altogether) if you tell him or her in a nice way that you don’t want to proceed. ¬†The calling, the texting, the passive aggressive social media posts (and lurks) will all vanish – and you won’t have to. ¬†If you want to alleviate guilt and avoid confrontational/ emotional conversations be clear. ¬†Stop ghosting.

Expat Dating Diaries: The Eternal Expat

Expat Dating - That Girl Cartier

Photographer: Frank McKenna

The Eternal Expat

The Eternal Expat is one of the most likely men you’ll meet from my list of the¬†7 Worst Guys an Expat Can Date. ¬†Flitting from city to city and country to country ‚Äúsampling the local fare‚ÄĚ, this guy has found a good life. ¬†Probably considered to be generically attractive from a North American perspective, he‚Äôs got an even more charming personality. ¬†Somewhere down the line he was likely a varsity athlete, fraternity brother, or both. ¬†He‚Äôs got natural game and women everywhere seem to swoon. ¬†He‚Äôs never settling down in one place, and¬†for him you‚Äôll never been enough. ¬†He might make a grand gesture. ¬†He might make it seem like he’d have you join his nomadic lifestyle and travel the world together (#travelcouple, #instaromance, the whole nine yards). ¬†When it comes down to the actual plan, he’s a lone wolf and you’re just dead weight.

Expat Dating Diaries The Eternal Expat That Girl Cartier feet legs couple people girl guy tattoo bed sheet blanket black and white bedroom bed pillow
Photographer: Denis Gavrilenco

New Notches

The main goal of the Eternal Expat is to carve as many notches on his bedpost as is humanly possible. ¬†He loves to have the girlfriend experience. ¬†He loves it so much that he’s collecting as many as he can manage and in as many countries as his passport will allow. ¬†Let’s be clear: this guy does not want a girlfriend. ¬†He wants adventure between the sheets and on the open road. ¬†He has 1 priority, and darling as lovely as you are, it’s never going to be you alone. ¬†Tucked¬†between expensive dinners out, museum trips, and spa experiences, the eternal expat must be a master scheduler. ¬†He can juggle multiple languages and even more women. ¬†Remember marinated cherries? He was juggling THREE of my friends all at once and one more he brought¬†on vacation! ¬†I wonder just how many other rolodex members he had on rotation…

Expat Dating Diaries The Eternal Expat That Girl Cartier matador bullfighter torero red cape ring stadium crowd madrid spain flag circle spectators
Photographer: Leeroy

Red Flags

The Eternal Expat won’t ever let you see his phone because he’s sending the same messages to you and half a dozen other girls. ¬†He will make it seem like he wants to date you exclusively right off the bat. ¬†He will tell you how amazing and beautiful you are. ¬†Far too early for heartwarming discussion, he’ll tell you straight up how much he likes you. ¬†He’ll tell you exactly what he thinks you want to hear in an effort to avoid having “the talk. ¬†Try to see through the bullshit. ¬†He probably does like you a lot. ¬†I bet you are beautiful and amazing, too. ¬†Just take it all with a grain of salt since all these lovely things roll off his tongue easily.

Expat Dating Diaries The Eternal Expat That Girl Cartier wood plank water ocean sea
Photographer: Samuel Zeller

Long Gone Silver: Emotional Pirate and Booty Chaser

If you encounter someone you think might be an “eternal expat” communicate your expectations and desires immediately. ¬†Don’t let yourself get surprised or hurt down the line thinking you’re in an exclusive relationship when he’s on a completely different page. ¬†If he’s not where you are, move on. ¬†You won’t change him. ¬†Why would you want to waste your time trying? ¬†It’s unlikely he’ll wake up one morning and realize what an idiot he’s been and what a loss you are. ¬†If he does, it won’t happen until he’s Long Gone Silver and you’ve moved the eff on. ¬†If all you want is a good time then that’s totally fine, too. ¬†Be adults and talk about the kind of relationship you want to have. ¬†He’s¬†got plenty of experience and¬†you’ll hopefully be more than satisfied. ¬†If you want emotional satisfaction, however, don’t walk that plank.

That Girl Cartier Dating Blog

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Have you encountered any Eternal Expats throughout your travels?  Leave me your story in the comments!

 

Expat Dating Diaries: The Local – Chasing the White Horse in Korea

Riding the White Horse in Korea That Girl Cartier horse animal outdoor trees plant nature blur sunrise
Photographer: Elijah Hail

The Term:

Riding the White Horse in Korea

I read every Korean blog Google populated in the first few pages and happened upon the concept of “riding the white horse in Korea”. ¬†What this meant was that there were certain locals in Korea who preferred socializing with foreigners, but only as a novelty. ¬†In less politically correct terms, this typically referred to a Korean man wanting to have sex with an All-American-looking woman. ¬†There are many Koreans (male and female) who do not subscribe to the homogeneous ideologies of this small nation. ¬†There are many Koreans who don’t make fetishes of particular races. ¬†I have several North American friends who are dating or who are married to wonderful Korean men. ¬†This article is part of the 7 Worst Guys an Expat Can Date, and is not about those people.

Riding the White Horse in Korea That Girl Cartier horse animal snout farm plants fence monochrome black and white
Photographer: Trevor Paterson

A Horseless Carriage

In my year in Busan, I met and socialized with a ton of Koreans in our little neighbourhood of Hwamyeong. ¬†On Friday nights we played guitar, a friend from a more central location brought a cajon, and we sang outside the local convenience store while eating instant ramyeon and drinking soju and/or beer. ¬†There was never a time I felt like I was singled out as a caucasian North-American. ¬†We were friends who enjoyed playing music together. ¬†On the other hand, there were plenty of caucasian males who would mess around with anyone they could, but would exclusively date Korean women. ¬†This is the North-American equivalent/opposite of what we’ll call “the local” from this point on. ¬†Seoul was a different dating story…

Riding the White Horse in Korea That Girl Cartier people men women friends crowd walking city signage bar korea mall shopping
Photographer: Alexandre Chambon

The Local

“The local” is chasing the white horse in Korea. ¬†He just wants to screw date¬†someone foreign he can show off to his friends. ¬†As a caucasian woman with blue eyes and blonde hair I‚Äôve found that, more often than not, this type of local‚Äôs intentions are pretty transparent. ¬†I¬†don’t believe a significant other should be a status symbol.

Riding the White Horse in Korea ThatGirlCartier people men woman wet market basket meat fish utensil refrigrator signage pail lamp light korea
Photographer: Alexandre Chambon

Where (not) to meet The Local

Korean men frequently try to pick up at events called “language exchanges”. ¬†This goes both ways, but I often hear about foreign women who want to improve their Korean skills and are instead propositioned. ¬†Most people who have been here longer than a couple of months will scoff, roll their eyes, and dive into their own personal anecdote about a language exchange situation gone wrong. ¬†They often involve the suggestion¬†they¬†“practice” Korean and English in a DVD Bang (a room with a tv, dvd player, couch, and a box o’ tissues), a love motel, or her apartment (as many Koreans in their 20’s still live with parents). ¬†This is definitely a consideration when thinking about why many foreigners give up on learning Hangeul. ¬†Language exchanges are great places to meet women who are new to Korea. ¬†Guys chasing the white horse in Korea tend to lurk here.

Riding the White Horse in Korea ThatGirlCartier guy fitness athlete health boy people court black and white asian
Photographer: Poodar Chu

Western Status Symbol

You shouldn’t date someone or even befriend someone because you think she’ll impress your friends (or teach them English). ¬†My old school asked me to help a young CEO of a Private Equity firm. ¬†I think he wanted to introduce his employees to someone who looked different to the women with whom they would typically interact. ¬†Meeting these men who couldn’t look me in the eye for the first two meetings was insightful. ¬†I wasn’t introduced for my teaching abilities, but for the way that I looked. ¬†Fortunately, these¬†guys realized that I could discuss the Financial Times and other such¬†publications. ¬†Within a few meetings¬†I was taken more seriously and some of my suggestions for their business were put into place. ¬†I stopped wearing makeup or particularly fashionable attire. ¬†I definitely don’t think I was brought in as a white horse in Korea, but it was pretty close.

Riding the White Horse in Korea ThatGirlCartier architecture building infrastructure room wooden bench people man guy thinking alone sad male asian
Photographer: Can Anh Khai

Dating Korean Men

I can’t speak from firsthand experience as I haven’t dated a Korean man while living here. ¬†I’ve been asked out on dates, but the way the question was posed didn’t really feel like it was a date. ¬†Dating conventions tend to be quite different from back home, and I just haven’t had the time for the runaround. ¬†I find Korean men to be quite beautiful. ¬†They often dress very well and have their own style. ¬†The #1 sales of cosmetics for men come out of Korea. ¬†While I enjoy getting dolled up, I don’t spend too much time on it. ¬†If my man takes longer to get ready than I do I’ll get antsy and peace out. ¬†Men in Korea tend to be more in touch with what we call their “feminine side”. ¬†I think I’m a bit aggressive and outspoken for them (and the aforementioned North-American counterparts).

Riding the White Horse in Korea ThatGirlCartier horse animal stem grass bokeh trees sunlight sunshine nature plants branches fog
Photographer: Annie Spratt

A friend of mine went on one date with a local Korean guy. ¬†After that one date they were exclusive (from his perspective). ¬†She went along with it even though she was still dating other men. ¬†This is why communication is important.¬† He would bring her around his friends and show her off, but there was no way he was introducing her to any family members, including his cousin who was his best friend. ¬†He wanted to meet more of her caucasian (only) friends. ¬†This “white horse in Korea” is a woman with some serious sexual prowess. ¬†No matter how she tried to entice him, he couldn’t keep up. ¬†Their relationship ended when she popped into the shower with him to spice things up. ¬†Things didn’t perk up – she never saw an erection from him again. ¬†Guess the white horse in Korea isn’t for everyone.

Riding the White Horse in Korea Blog Expat Dating Diaries That Girl Cartier Dating Korea Expat Dating Diaries