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.”


“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.

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Letters from the Ex-Boyfriend: An Expat’s Guide to Man’s 6th Sense

Letters from the Ex-Boyfriend: Man's 6th Sense - That Girl Cartier letter box mail
Photographer: danist soh
Letters from the Ex-Boyfriend: An Expat’s Guide to Man’s 6th Sense

Getting “that message” from an ex¬†both incredibly gratifying and infuriating. ¬†It seems like it’s the new vogue to write an apology letter to your ex-girlfriend. ¬†It’s like it just sits there waiting and waiting for the exact moment she’s over you. ¬†The moment she’s moved on and might just finally be happy, he clicks ‘send’. ¬†Is this man’s 6th sense? ¬†Has Google created a new alert? ¬†Am I the last to know that they’ve created the latest algorithm in social media f*ckery?

Letters from the Ex-Boyfriend: Man's 6th Sense - That Girl Cartier dark night box light letter signage neon
Photographer: Adam Birkett
He Hurt You

In this letter, he¬†finally takes responsibility for all the things he¬†did wrong. ¬†All the times he lied (and the corresponding gaslighting), all the times he¬†perpetuated gender stereotypes, all the times he just wouldn’t listen. ¬†How did he¬†come to the realization that this was the perfect moment to bare it all? ¬†Why is right now the perfect time for him to come to his senses? ¬†How does man’s 6th sense determine the right time to connect?

Letters from the Ex-Boyfriend: Man's 6th Sense - That Girl Cartier facebook social media smartphone mobile technology letters
Photographer: Wilfred Iven

I have no doubt that a recent post encouraging communication between partners is the most recent source for “the apology letter”. ¬†What about the other times, though? ¬†My rebound after H got his friend to message me on Facebook to see if I was going to Busan for an event. ¬†This friend owns a travel company and it was pretty clear that there was no way in hell I was getting on the bus for this sold out trip. ¬†How do these people know that you’re off the market? ¬†Most of these messages come from men with whom I’m no longer even connected through social media. ¬†Even if they are¬†able to look on Facebook or instagram, the messages are sent before there’s any sort of public trail of the relationship. ¬†It’s like how dogs can sniff out fear. ¬†These douche-canoes can sniff out happiness and want to stifle that shit immediately.

Letters from the Ex-Boyfriend: Man's 6th Sense - That Girl Cartier - flower pink petal bloom garden plant nature autumn fall tulip violet love passion intimate lettering
Photographer: Brigitte Tohm
Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

I went out with a military man who was just dying to make the blog. ¬†He was, indeed, a Tinder fail story. ¬†He lied to me about his location for no reason with the full knowledge that Tinder shows you the distance between you both. ¬†We lived pretty close to one another already. ¬†When he said he was out in the bush running drills, he was actually cursing the high cost of a side of guac at Lotte World Mall. ¬†I wouldn’t have cared if he was too busy to hang, but don’t tell me you’re being eaten alive by mosquitoes out in the peninsula. ¬†The night before H came to Korea, I got a lengthy message from MM apologising for it all. ¬†He even told me he had gone deaf in one ear and had nearly lost his job. ¬†We had only been out maybe 3 or 4 times. ¬†He owed me nothing. ¬†Some cosmic force in the universe (or man’s 6th sense) must have whispered that Cartier might be happy so it was the perfect moment to insert his thinly-veiled attempt at roping me back in.

Letters from the Ex: Man's 6th Sense stone wall letters symbols
Photographer: Matthew Wheeler

What does it all mean? ¬†Well, man’s 6th sense seems to hit him like a pile of bricks once he realizes there’s a chance you won’t agree to another shot. ¬†It’s not that he wants you back, he wants you to want him back. ¬†Toxic relationships are less partnership, more power struggle. ¬†He wants to have the upper hand back and he can feel that it’s gone. ¬†The best part? ¬†By this point you really should no longer care.

Letters from the Ex-Boyfriend: Man's 6th Sense - That Girl Cartier clipboards papers text quotes letters wood grain magic
Photographer: Chelsea Francis
Get Creative

Gentleman, what you must realise is that your messages contain several of the same phrases. ¬†When you all write the same thing, it doesn’t sound genuine. ¬†Here are some of the canned phrases in each message I’ve received:

  • “I just want you to be happy.”
  • “You’re an incredible woman.”
  • “You deserve the best in life.”
  • “Even if we don’t get back together, I hope we can at least be friends down the road.”
Letters from the Ex-Boyfriend - Man's 6th Sense - That Girl Cartier - card board letter paper slogan hand green tree plant nature
Photographer: Corinne Kutz
It is well.

It’s lovely for you to admit that you were wrong. ¬†It’s validating to have all those worries and frustrations confirmed as your¬†own f*ck ups. ¬†I’m glad you’ve managed to clear your conscience. ¬†Next time, don’t bother drudging up the past. ¬†The notion that I’ll ever see a¬†travel romance again is ridiculous. ¬†We didn’t work out. ¬†I’ve released your ghost. ¬†It is well.

Like it? Pin it!¬†Hover over the images to pin ’em to your board.

WDTDT: Who Pays on the First Date?

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Photographer: Wilfred Iven

Why Do They DO That?!: Who Pays on the First Date?

This new series entitled “Why Do They DO That?!” (henceforth: “WDTDT”) is all about the things¬†that some men do which baffle women. ¬†On wine nights the ladies have gone through it all. ¬†We’ve asked “why would he go back to her?”, “why won’t he call/ text?”, “why won’t he kiss me if he says he likes me?”, etc. ¬†The thing that baffles me the most is what they won’t do, or the sneaky and conniving things that some men do. ¬†This leads me to the age old question (for our generation, at least), “Who Pays on the First Date?”

Read to the end for my personal take!

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Photographer:  Jay Wennington

It Begins…

This is a situation I’ve encountered first-hand, but have heard from other gal pals as well. ¬†I find that this is particularly prevalent with guys you meet online. ¬†Whether it be Tinder, POF, OK Cupid, or even instagram, these particular guys have a heavy rotation for a specific reason. ¬†You chat for a bit online and he¬†suggests meeting up. ¬†He suggests a trendy new restaurant you’ve wanted to try. ¬†Great! ¬†You share a couple of dishes and he either says he’s not going to drink at all or he has a cheap bottle beer. ¬†Trying to match the vibe of the date, you either have the same beer, something of the same value, or water. ¬†You don’t want to go overboard, right? ¬†You don’t want him thinking you’re some sort of alcoholic or that you’d win first prize in a pie-eating contest.

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Photographer:  Mitch Rosen

He likes You (maybe)!

You finish up, you’re still a bit hungry, and he suggests you move on to the next spot. ¬†Awesome! ¬†He wants to spend more time with you. ¬†He likes you! ¬†What you may or may not realize is that in your effort to be polite and accommodating, he’s been in control the whole time. ¬†He grabs the cheque, you pull out your wallet, and he insists on paying. ¬†Ever so sweetly and carefully he lulls, “you can get the next one”. ¬†Why do they DO that?! I think you know why…

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Photographer:  Alex Knight

Bourbon by the Barrel

Your next spot is uber hip with a great atmosphere, low lights, and expensive cocktails. ¬†He’s pulled this trick before and wants you to foot the bill for his top shelf Boulevardiers. ¬†This might be the point at which you’re tuned into his ploy, it might not. ¬†Most girls I know don’t want to poke the bear, so instead of saying something we’ll go along with it and balance out his suddenly extravagant tastes with house wine or draft beer. ¬†While he’s downing two at once, you’re pacing yourself.

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Photographer:  Olu Eletu

So…Who Pays on the First Date, Then?

In this situation, you’re both paying. ¬†That said, you’re paying through the nose for his wild night out¬†since he’s made¬†the initial investment. ¬†This has actually happened to a friend of mine and me in Seoul with the same guy. ¬†She’s had some bad luck having also been out on a date with The Military Man (yep – Mr. Cherry Freak himself), too. ¬†This guy has the same M.O. each time: he takes the girl for Korean Barbecue, orders¬†some soju (maybe $2 a bottle?), eagerly foots the bill, and then suggests much pricier spots in Gangnam. ¬†When the remaining cheque(s) arrive, he sits back, sneers, and gives the same line without missing a beat, “your turn”.

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Photographer:  Gabriel Gurrola

Who Should Really Pay on the First Date?

I think that in this day in age, especially if you’re both teachers in Korea making the same salary, it’s ideal to go Dutch. ¬†If you’re in a relationship show that you care for one another by thoughtfully bringing over his favourite beer or wine for movie night. ¬†Never arrive at someone’s place empty-handed. ¬†This is pretty much a rule whether you’re dating or not (and with men and women, alike). ¬†If you are dating, go back and forth, but don’t be a doormat (that one goes for guys and girls, too). ¬†A relationship is a partnership. ¬†If you want a sugar-daddy (or a sugar-mama!) there are plenty in and around Seoul. ¬†If you want a partnership, however, it’s a two way street, ladies and gents.

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Have you been out with someone who played you with the line, “Your turn”? ¬†Have you felt like you were completely missing your backbone in that situation? ¬†Let us know in the comments!

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

Photographer: Freestocks.org

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 - 7 Worst Guys an Expat Can Date