Dating Diaries – Stop Dating Ugly Men

“If you want to be happy for the rest of your life never make a pretty woman your wife…”

This Jimmy Soul tune blasts through my head every time I swipe right on a guy who isn’t generically attractive, but who looks goofy and like he would be a good time. I hate to admit it, but I figure that a guy who isn’t exactly a stud would make for a more committed partner and potentially even a good father to offspring (should we ever be so lucky with my dusty old eggs).

Why I Gave Ugly Men a Try

What’s that old saying – “You’ve gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince”? Well – I’m making my way through the toads, right now. Toronto hasn’t exactly been a mecca for good-looking men, full stop. Let’s not even get started on the qualities I actually desire in a partner. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, then, pursuant to my newest hobby of cutting the crazy, I’ve been trying something a little different.

I date hot men. While I’m certainly not a 10 myself, I find it easier to strike up a conversation with an attractive, confident man, than someone has “nice guys finish last” on repeat. I bat outside my league pretty frequently, but what has that ever gotten me? Heartbreak and absolute agony was what I got from Adonis, I was cheated on by ex co-p, and ghosted by the hotness monster. I’m trying to date within my means and based on common values and interests.

Back to the Song. The lyrics go:

"If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.

A pretty woman makes her husband look small
And very often causes his downfall.
As soon as he marries her
Then she starts to do
The things that will break his heart.
But if you make an ugly woman your wife,
You'll be happy for the rest of your life,
An ugly woman cooks her meals on time,
She'll always give you peace of mind."

Okay so the song itself is dated and offensive, sure. Remember – it was released in 1963 and I’m considering it all from my own personal perspective towards men, capisce? I’m swiping right on these guys I’m certainly not over the moon about. Give these plain boys a chance, right? Sadly, I’m getting the exact same result except now there’s no eye candy.

It’s amazing! Even if we’ve had a good time and I’ve convinced myself that I could grow to love someone’s gummy horse teeth or his Frankenstein five-head. Hot or not, I often get the message back that they had a great time and would love to see me again, but just as friends. It makes me wonder – what part of me is the Frankenstein bit?

Hunky Guys and Ugly Men – they’re all the same inside.

I can whittle myself down attacking every point which could have put me in dim lighting. A comment, perhaps, which made me appear as a know it all. My weight – it always comes down to that, doesn’t it? At the end of the day, I think it’s just that the dude didn’t want to be rejected first. Recently, I had simply thanked the guy for a lovely evening and for picking up the cheque (which he didn’t need to do, but was nice). His immediate response was to send back the “just friends” message. No part of me thought it was a love match and sparks certainly were not flying. I’d have given the poor bloke a second chance to redeem himself, though.

Stop Dating Ugly Men

I can’t imagine a man analyzing his looks and behavior the way I picked apart mine. So, I guess that’s just it. If there’s no immediate, earth-shaking spark, you must hurt them before they can hurt you. Both ugly men and beautiful ones will give you grief if they’re out to give you grief. Stop selling yourself short. If the uggos have the kind of confidence to hit on you, you might as well swing for the fences, too. Better to receive disappointing news from a pretty face, don’t you agree?

*Beauty is subjective. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure!

Dating Diaries: Is Your Tinder/ Bumble/ Hinge Profile Hurting Your Game?

Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Sculpture Abstract Art

During the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, if you visited the Olympic Village you were gifted your very old gold medal – er Tinder account. Tinder upped the ante by giving each and every member enjoying the festivities in and around Gangwon province special privileges. It was entirely overwhelming for the women I knew, but for men it was an absolute blessing.

gold laurel wreath

With a Tinder Gold account you can see who likes you (has swiped right), change your location, and hide your age (if that’s your jam?) You get unlimited likes, can rewind the last swipe (no more swiping left on your soulmate!), and you get 5 superlikes a day (LOL cause you need to joke that often, right?) From my straight male friends’ perspectives, they get far fewer matches than the ladies. Jackpot with Tinder Gold. For us gals? Too many matches to sort through (humblebrag, but only kind of!) I found that I was no longer swiping through men in my area, but was limiting myself to those who had swiped right. What a mess of offensive images, profile bios, and anecdotes!

tinder dating app phone swipe right

If you’re finding you’re not getting quality matches, maybe it’s time to analyse your own profile on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, or any other of the plethora of window-shopping opportunities you can manage from your smartphone while dropping a deuce.

Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and other dating apps are taking over the way we meet people and begin relationships. Is your profile hurting your game? Typically when I put together an online dating profile, I think about how someone from my company would react if they stumbled upon it. This probably stems from the fact that I used to work for Plenty of Fish, but it’s a good rule of thumb, too. First dates are like job interviews – you’re seeing if there’s a mutual connection. Always be honest, but make sure to put your best foot forward. I went to my instagram followers to see what the most off-putting profile elements were for them. As the saying goes, ladies first:

Ladies’ Tinder/ Bumble/ Hinge Profile Fails

Ladies’ Photo Fails

  • Photos that are too dark or far away – we want to see what you actually look like – yes, even on Tinder!
  • Group pictures – if your profile is all group picture, we’re assuming you’re the “ugly one”.
  • Overly filtered/ Snapchat – That dang puppy ear/ mouth filter. You’re 35, woman. Get your act together. If you don’t show up on a date with those damn ears, you’re paying for the drinks or craft supplies I’ll need for that to be a reality.
  • Dirty Mirror Selfies – or ones with unmade beds or clothes all over the floor. If you can’t clean up, at least learn how to crop!
  • Only headshots – do yourself a favour and have at least one full-body shot. If you’re not his cup of tea, it’s better not to match at all (in my personal opinion).
  • Old photos – we have the most advanced camera phones out there. Why are you still using your webcam?
  • DUCK FACE – none of us are Paris Hilton and this isn’t 2002.

Ladies’ Profile Fails

  • Trashing the ex – if your Tinder/ dating profile has a laundry list of things your next boyfriend better not replicate from your last relationship, it shows that maybe you’re not quite over that ex of yours, maybe you’re still harboring resentment/ hurt feelings, and maybe you’re not quite ready to move on. Not the best look, right?
  • Listing things you want in a relationship – pretty much any laundry list isn’t going to portray you as the most open-minded person on the planet. Also, throwing yourselves into a relationship scares most men (and women!) Go out on a date before deciding that he’s “the one”!
  • Negativity – most people want someone around whom they can relax and be themselves. If you’re already showing lots of negativity in your profile I think most people would agree it’s a left swipe!

Men’s Tinder/ Bumble/ Hinge Profile Fails

Men’s Photo Fails

  • Photos that are too dark or far away – we want to see what you actually look like.
  • Group pictures – if your profile is all group picture, we’re assuming you’re the “ugly one”.
  • Only selfies – do you have friends? Is your body not proportionate to your head?
  • Shirtless selfies/ gym mirror selfies – again: do you have friends? Why aren’t they telling you to stop this?
  • Riding an elephant or cuddling a drugged up tiger – it’s 2019. We KNOW BETTER.
  • Drinking straight from the bottle – Even on Tinder, it’s just not classy! Is this something you do so often that you feel you need to advertise this element of your life right away?
  • Fishing – honestly? I like getting out in nature, but there’s just something about someone displaying a live fish like a trophy that’s totally off-putting.
  • Middle finger up or other lewd gestures. Why, guys, why?
  • Picture of your junk – okay, so meeting the love of my life on Tinder is very unlikely, but even if someone is just on the app for a good time, not a long time – women value a little mystique. Women tend to react more emotionally than visually, too. Putting your junk out there isn’t as effective as, say, going out for a few drinks and creating an emotionally stimulating connection. Food for thought.

Men’s Profile Fails

  • No bio – putting no effort into your bio at all tips the scales for me. Even if you’re really cute, I know nothing about you and will most likely swipe left.
  • Just your height – this is almost worse than having no bio at all. Really? You think that’s all it boils down to? I’m interested in way more than your height, just as I hope there are various elements of my personality and my life which will be of interest to you.
  • “Tell you later” – uhhh, no you won’t ’cause I’ve just swiped left.
  • “No fatties” – bugger off. Seriously? You’re no prized pig, yourself. Even when I was in the best shape of my life (for me I was about 20% body fat and damn – I looked and felt great!) I’d swipe left on anyone who wrote this in their bio. That’s so rude and hurtful and unnecessary.
  • “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take – Wayne Gretzky – Michael Scott” – We’ve all seen The Office. This isn’t original or funny anymore, it just shows you’ve given no thought to your bio. Special mention to: “Work hard, play hard” and “You win some, you lose some”. Next!
  • Having “Assistant to the Regional Manager” or “Mr. Manager” as your job title. See above.
  • Fake testimonials – “Takes great pictures without his shirt on” – My Mirror, “Get out of our house” – My Mom, “Woof” – My dog.  PLEASE STOP DOING THIS

Have I missed any major dating profile faux pas? Let me know in the comments!

Candidly Cartier: Conflict Resolution – Why Don’t We Try A Little Harder?

Conflict Resolution in Relationships

In healthy relationships there’s always a little conflict. Whether it’s the cat and mouse game when first pursuing/ being pursued or the “will they/ won’t they” I once fondly remembered as being “juicy”, conflict and conflict resolution make for healthy relationships. If there’s no conflict, typically one party is sacrificing who they are as a person to appease the other. If your partner doesn’t respect how you think or feel, I might question how strong the relationship really is. It can be so easy to give up and walk away. You can swipe right on your next love, bff, or even your job! Why aren’t we trying harder to resolve that conflict and level up inter-personally?

Fixing Failures

After my ex and I broke up we both started dating others in an effort to put a band-aid on our poor little hearts. My relationship didn’t work out because, let’s be candid, I always had one foot out the door and was waiting for the other shoe to drop with him. The ex, on the other hand, learned from our “failed” relationship and has bent over backwards for his much younger lady love. Why? Well, he said he couldn’t face the hopeless feeling of another failed relationship. Rather than giving up and getting on Tinder, he’s making an effort to manage and resolve conflict. I wish we had tried that hard, and I commend him for his efforts.

Repairing Through Conflict

If ex’s new(est) relationship has taught me anything, it’s that maybe I need to give a closer look to conflict resolution. If someone as stubborn and sarcastic as he can make it work, I think it’s time I take a look at ways to navigate conflict in my next relationship (you know – if I ever meet a dude I want to see a second time in this city).

Make Eye Contact

Give the person your full attention. If they’re bringing a complaint your way, give them your eye contact and listen actively. If you’re bringing a complaint to the table, don’t be sheepish. Ensure your body-language is open so that your partner feels you’re emotionally connected and open to what he or she is saying.

Be Direct

Don’t dance around the issue. Before coming to the table with an issue or set of problems, consider why you feel a certain way, and what you might say (and how you’ll say it) in an effort to come to a resolution. Be direct in saying what you’re feeling or how something is particularly effecting you. Wishy-washy statements using “maybe” or “I dunno” aren’t effective. Say what you feel and let the other person react. Working through issues as they come up can help you/ your partner’s self-esteem, and make big blow-ups a thing of the past.

Don’t Assert Blame

The person may not even realize that a particular action is bothering you. Passive aggressive comments will just upset the other person, bringing you much further away from intimacy and mutual respect. Statements like “my problem with you is ___” can be better positioned as “it’s a problem for me when ___”. Avoid saying “you did___” even if what the person did is entirely infuriating. You want resolution, not further conflict, right?

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Avoid Making Sweeping Generalizations

Use specific instances and “I Feel” comments. Be genuine and pick your battles wisely. Don’t name-call, use sarcasm, or roll your eyes (I personally have serious work to do on this one – Tina Fey and I share epic eye-rolls).

Listen

We have two ears and one mouth – maybe we should be listening a little better! Hear your partner’s complaint(s) thoroughly without interrupting. Respond when they’re finished and try to use elements of what they’ve just told you without contempt. Don’t just wait to speak. Listen.

Find Positive Even in the Negative

When I have a tough day at work, I’ll typically start considering feelings about particular moments or actions. When I turn my thoughts to my daily tasks and long-standing projects on the whole, I think about how interesting my career is and how much I love what I do. Your relationships are the same. Certainly there are moments which will make you want to strangle the other person, but on the whole – do they bring you joy? Is this person a major contributor to your life? Focus on those elements and, if possible, bring them up. If you find ways to make (non-sarcastic) jokes in the midst of a negative conversation, you might be able to lighten the mood and find a break-through. Try to brainstorm a solution rather than letting the issue sit as a problem.

Conflict – Just Move On

Ultimately, conflict is a significant source of stress for most of us. It makes us uncomfortable. Often we don’t know what to say or there you’ve just tried too many times to make the other person comfortable. Are you constantly bending over backwards for someone who is just using you? Evaluate whether it’s worth the conflict resolution or if you should give up and move on. You might just find it’s a great relief to back off and move on. Take a break. Sometimes it’s worth coming back to and sometimes it’s better left alone.

Conflict is a sign of maturity when resolved through open and honest communication. Using Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, or any of the other hundreds of dating apps and sites out there to find the next best thing instead of putting a little effort into your current relationship is immature and irresponsible. You wouldn’t send a perfectly good car to a chop-shop due to a flat tire, right? Don’t throw away a solid relationship due to a disagreement or even a fundamental issue which could be resolved through communication and changed behaviour.

The Worst Guys A Re-Pat Can Date in Toronto

Aladdin, Jasmine, Disney

The Worst Guys A Re-Pat Can Date in Toronto

If you’ve been following along with my “Tinder Nightmares” stories on Instagram, this will not be a surprise. In fact, after my series on “The 7 Worst Guys an Expat Can Date“, this one’s a long time coming. A year in the making, if you will. You would think that I wouldn’t have to specify that this isn’t about particular men, but groups in general. I also didn’t think I’d have to write a caveat of “Not All Men“, but damn some of you get really livid when you notice traits about yourselves in my writing. I write about men because I date men. I don’t write lengthy articles about women because I don’t date women. That said…

Women of Toronto are incredible, educated, intelligent, ambitious, successful, beautiful people who take care of themselves and their communities. The men in Toronto are old, crusty towels with tinder profiles stating their height and “no fatties”. I thought dating while living in another country was tough, but wow is Toronto ever slim pickin’s. Here are just some of the offenders. These are their stories.

Mr. Still in Love with His Ex

Let’s be real – this one should be the most obvious. Not unique to Toronto, there are plenty of men around the world who think the best way to get over one woman is to get under another – or 12. He hasn’t spent time identifying and working on the emotions associated with the end of something meaningful. If enough time and introspection hasn’t been given to mourn the loss, comparisons will be made. I don’t know about you, but the feeling I get when I can’t measure up to someone I don’t even know is torture. Don’t date until you’re ready. Please.

Mr. Still in a Dang Relationship

This lunatic has so much love to give that he’s shopping it all over the city. I can’t even get 1 person to like me long enough to be exclusive. How is this dirtbag carrying on multiple relationships? Sadly, this one is hard to spot. Why do you think women have gotten so good at the social media sweep we’re practically CIA candidates?

Mr. Doesn’t “Believe” in Monogamy

On the flip side of Mr. Ex and Mr. Relationship comes the man who doesn’t believe in monogamy. There’s nothing wrong with being in an ethically non-monogamous relationship even though it’s not what I’m seeking personally. This guy is the flat-earther of the dating scene. He explains ever so tenderly that he just doesn’t believe that homo sapiens should be anything other than hetero erectus. Mr. Monogamy is incredible in bed – and why wouldn’t he be? You keep him as a priority because he does it better than any of these other losers. Unfortunately, you’re making a priority of a dude with a big dong who has you saved on speed dial as “Thursday”. Don’t waste your time (even though it’s really, really tempting).

Lumiere - Beauty and the beast | BE OUR GUEST! | image tagged in lumiere - beauty and the beast | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

 The Visitor

I often match with guys on dating apps who are in town for the weekend and it’s just such a disappointment. You can’t determine whether you want to build something with someone after just one date. Well, you can – but it’s incredibly rare. The logistics of doing long distance dating can get really complicated, and that’s just when he’s honest. Who knows what’s going on in a different city or even country? Co-P cheated even though we only lived 45 minutes from one another, imagine someone on the other side of the world? The Green Card Monster comes to mind, too…

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The Monster who “Won’t Go Downtown”

Feelings are all this guy will eat, but he fully expects you suck that silly, selfish sausage. It’s gunna be a “no” from me, dawg.

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Mr. Lives With His Parents

This one isn’t always the worst case. If he’s lived away from home and knows the basics like how to boil an egg and how to do his own laundry it helps. I know some people who have moved back home so that they can save for a downpayment in this horrendous housing market, and to them I tip my hat. It’s not easy returning to “my house, my rules”. That said, if he’s just comfortable letting mommy cook and clean up after him he has no place in my home, nor my heart.

Mr. Unemployed

Mr. Unemployed could be Mr. Parents’ twin, or the same person altogether. I would never have dated when I lost my job back in 2014 because I knew I was watching every penny and couldn’t afford the luxury. I didn’t want anyone else bankrolling me either. I’m plenty happy to go for a walk and get to know someone, but it can get really frustrating when he either expects you to bankroll him or complains that he can’t participate over and over again. Also, how is it that this guy has no responsibilities, but still manages to cancel plans at the last minute over and over again?

Prince Charming

This one you really, really have to watch out for. He’s trouble you can spot a mile away, but the speed at which your hit makes you completely unable to move out of the way. Prince Charming has a great relationship with his family, a stable job, his own place. He’s probably endearing and attractive. He says all the right things because he’s the perfect manipulator. Prince Charming knows a little bit about a lot of things so he’s able to tackle any of your hobbies and interests, creating a fantasy if just for one night. Prince Charming is like personality photoshop. Don’t fall victim to the imaginary.

Me

My best friends are living with their boyfriends, engaged, or married. I am the last Single Sally. Sometimes it’s really fun going out with these awesome women ready to dive down the rabbit hole. There’s no competition when we’re out and about, because they’re off the market. That said, it can be really rough when I’m sick and taking care of myself. UberEats is the closest thing you someone ensuring I’m on the mend (but there’s no playing doctor with the delivery person). Events like Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, my Birthday, or say – my best friend’s wedding can really get you down. Jordan Quinn, author of Korkscrewed (buy it), calls them the “Alcoholidays” because you’ve gotta knock a few back to get through them solo. A lot of guys who read my blog say it comes across as me being “A Woman Scorned”. I like to make light of these pathetic situations through my writing. I’m not angry; I’m perpetually alone.

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Mr. King West

‘Nuff said.

Candidly Cartier: Deleting 4 Dating – Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and OkCupid

Single Sally Stops Swiping

When it comes to Bumble Fails or Tinder Nightmares, the stories write themselves. My writing has become boring in Toronto, however. Life in Korea was interesting because it was foreign and everything was a challenge and new and exciting. The guys I dated were damaged. One was having massive internal crises about love. I wish I could have helped him, but he will have to learn to help himself. Others were with me because they wanted to be on the blog. Ex-co-p I’m looking at you and your wife who still creep my social media – literally LinkedIn today. Writing is a way for me to work through the weirdness I experience while navigating these relationships. I haven’t watched Bird Box yet, but if following the memes gives me any idea, deleting all apps and trying to navigate the Toronto dating scene blind seems to be the only way to avoid the monsters.

Tinder

Deleting all Apps

Ladies and gentlemen, I went into 2019 sans swipe. My instagram storied lacked some serious mansplaining and offers of pantsless Netflix and chill. I only lasted about 16 days over-eating, working out, and over-sleeping without window-shopping for men. This is hardly the recipe to meet a mate, and I’m starting to realize why people get cats. Instead of a cat, however, I bought a ticket. Normally my travel talk would be limited to The Toronto Seoulcialite. I haven’t yet posted about Bali because how do you write the top 10 ways to eat, drink, and bang your way through Gili Trawangan?

Beach Cebu Philippines That Girl Cartier Tinder Toronto Dating

Va-Kate-tion

Of course, I’m kidding. My Gili T romance was full of passion and drama, but there was only one apple of my eye. I am clearly unable to distinguish the b*tches from the beaches, but I do know when a deal is too good to pass up! Toronto, Canada to Cebu, Philippines for $575 round trip and tax-in was a great buy. I’m going at the beginning of April. The weather is supposed to be insanely good and without much rain. In March it will be a year since I left Korea. While there are some cute guys online/ on dating apps, in person they tend to look like moldy coleslaw. I find Hotness monsters on the beach, and I just signed myself up for 7 days of babe-watching.

Willpower Weakness

In the 2 and a half weeks without any dating apps I did find I approached more men in the hopes of initiating an organic connection. It really worked the first time, however someone who I thought was a friend ended up f*cking him in the men’s bathroom of a popular downtown bar (and breaking the baby change table in the process). I met another since we had exchanged numbers before both deleting our dating apps. He indicated he was interested in seeing me again, but ultimately ghosted (because of course he did). Now? I re-installed tinder, but no other dating apps. I don’t open it very frequently. My dating life is actually improving, believe it or not. Tinder managed to bring me one special guy who is hitting all the points of communication I so desperately crave, and another who I’m not quite sure about, but who is ambitious as all get out. I think there’s something to be said for simplifying, and I’m not going to say no to putting a few more chucklehead tinder nightmares on blast in the process.

Expat Dating Diaries: Are You Scared to Be Lonely

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I’m not the girl I used to be. The manic pixie dream girl you fell in love with on a moonlit night en route through sandy streets to 7-11 exists somewhere, but she’s not here. The stressed out, overworked, manic, afraid of failure girl you loved because you had to isn’t here either. I’m back in Canada where there’s no mania whatsoever. Honestly – I feel as though I must be crazy for holding onto this, but my life is so well-balanced and normal that it can’t be. I’ve either become completely boring or am walking the long line of a plateau; on the precipice of something great.

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I wake up and start my day with a light workout. I go to work and count my calories. After work sometimes I’ll go to boxing and sometimes I’ll make plans with a friend. Every two weeks I pay off my credit card and put money into a tax-free savings account. I’m now 31 and this is what you do here even though the notion that I’ll ever produce anything with my measly savings is one hell of a pipe dream. Occasionally I’ll go on a blind date because its next to impossible to meet someone organically. I’ll typically never see the person again and consider it time wasted on the search to find your replacement.

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Have you ever tried to replace a love which has moved you so deeply that it changed the way you approach every element of your life? The kind of love that can shake you to your core with memories of its intensity? I have. I was pretty successful too for a 4-month stint because I found someone who was even more afraid of being on his own than I.

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For most of my life I was a lone wolf. I was more concerned with getting ahead in my career than finding a partner. I dated, sure, but I had never felt like a piece of myself or my heart was missing until my trip to Thailand in 2016. I was free before I met him, and now i’m scared I’ll never feel free or love/ be loved the same way ever again. It was my 29th birthday and I met the puzzle piece I never knew I was missing at a hostel on the beach in Phuket. After a week together I grit my teeth and made my way back to Korea and feeling emotional pain unlike anything I’ve ever felt in my life.

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When he made the leap of faith and moved to Korea to be with me, I didn’t know how to be thankful in a humble way. I didn’t know how to love him without smothering him and unintentionally pushing him away. It was such a foreign concept to me that someone like that could make such a sacrifice for me, that every day was worth celebrating. Colours were brighter. Food tasted better. Parties needed to last all night because why wouldn’t everyone want to rejoice in my newfound discovery?

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It was exhausting for us both, eventually, and when he left I felt a pain even more excruciating than before. It stayed with me for another 4 months through which time I must have dyed my hair 10 times and blacked out even more.

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Then at the beginning of March I met someone. He was still in a long-distance relationship at the time, but I had had no idea. We didn’t have that much in common, but he kept me on a schedule which improved my health and pulled me out of the darkness. He told me his mother always said he was a white knight to maidens in distress. I never imagined that my darkness would take me that low. Eventually I regained my footing and my strength. Of course that was a turn-off for him, and he sought another insecure woman. My replacement had replaced me. You told me you always thought he looked weird.

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Looking back to that time in Thailand when we had just met, I remember something he said then reiterated the day he moved in with me in Korea and about a year after we broke up. He had told me about this theory that some people were built for one another. I laughed it off because he told it to me in far more graphic terms than I’m explaining here (more emphasis on the body than the soul 🍆), but feeling the need to repeat it one last time when we were both in replacement relationships something I still just can’t shake.

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I often wonder: if so many of us are just replacing our missing puzzle pieces, has the other half of my heart just found a band-aid he can’t bear to rip? Are you putting a square peg in a round hole because you’re too scared to be lonely or too stubborn and afraid to admit you made a mistake?

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Scared to Be Lonely

Dua LipaMartin Garrix

It was great at the very start

Hands on each other

Couldn’t stand to be far apart

Closer the better

Is it just our bodies? Are we both losing our minds?
Is the only reason you’re holding me tonight
‘Cause we’re scared to be lonely?

Do we need somebody just to feel like we’re alright?
Is the only reason you’re holding me tonight
‘Cause we’re scared to be lonely?

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 ✓, new job August 20th ✓), 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.

 

Exes & Oh No’s: An Expat’s Guide to Ladies’ Sick Sense

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Photographer: Matthew Henry

Creepy Communication

We all do it.  Social Media makes it easier than ever to look up how our loved ones past and present are doing.  Are they living their best lives?  How happy are they?  It seems when I’ve finally met someone new, the ghosts of lost loves past have their interests piqued.  When I started dating my most recent ex, it breathed life into a few poltergeists.  The man I’ll probably always consider to be the first great love of my life reached out.  He said everything that I had needed and so desperately craved hearing, albeit all a little too late.  I was honest about our communication with my new partner, and he was honest (well…to a point) about his.  When I was living with the Adonis, he would call his ex while I was at work.  What did I care if they spoke?  They dated for 7 years – she was a huge part of his life and he was important to her.  She was also roughly 9,000 km away.  How much harm could she really do from that great a distance?  I think I’d be more worried if he wasn’t interested in her well-being and didn’t want to maintain mutual respect.

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Photographer: Ant Rozetsky

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

In a new relationship, it’s tempting to look back on your partner’s old ones.  Are you part of a trend or are you different, special – an outlier?  Are you far enough outside the particular set of previous patterns and failures to stand the test of time?  A jealous, pissed off, or threatened woman does better research than the FBI, CIA and Secret Service combined.  When in a budding relationship I was contacted by my (then new) boyfriend’s ex stating that he had cheated on the previous two.  She told me I was becoming a symptom of a much bigger problem.  I, of course, dismissed it at the time.  He told me just enough to make it seem like we had an open and honest relationship.  I was completely transparent.  When his pattern reemerged several months later, you had better bet I quickly learned about RSS feeds, source, input, and the ease of info gathering online.  I did it because I sensed a problem.  I had an underlying insecurity about the state of our relationship.  I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and unfortunately got more than I bargained for.

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Photographer: Allef Vinicius

Poking Holes in More Than Just the Story

What about the longstanding current girlfriend, fiance, or even wife, though?  I mean, she’s already won.  What use is it to look back on something which ended so very long ago?  On one hand, I can see that she means no harm.  She’s just curious about our history together.  How far down the line is it normal or healthy to creep?  Why does my ex boyfriend’s current love want to know about my daily activities now when he and I ceased all contact 7 months ago?  I’m sure there’s a small part where the “winner” can take perverse pleasure in popping up and rubbing it in your face that she’s enjoying your old memories.  Is there trouble in paradise or does she just want to lord her “success” over me without ever having to exchange words?

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When you’ve finally met someone new and are enjoying learning all about him, she’s there to drudge up the past.  At least when a man’s 6th sense kicks in, you might get closure.  When woman’s sick sense starts tingling, everyone just ends up shaken.  It’s better on both sides to leave well enough alone. 

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Photographer: Matthew Henry

Personal Space

To my exes’ new girlfriends and wives: ladies, if you’re really that curious about me, reach out!  I’d rather be cool with your creeping than completely unnerved.  If that’s not your jam, please have the decency to use a fake account.  You don’t need him to block me.  You don’t need to control with whom he communicates.  The women before me prepared him to love you.  If your relationship is strong, it’s due in part to the fact that I made him ready to love you and that you’re a better fit together than we ever could have been.  The hell he and I went through together doesn’t negate the joy you have now.  It’s not in spite of it, it’s because of it.  We worked through issues together that have made him a more considerate boyfriend or husband for you.  They will hopefully have helped make me a better partner in my next relationship, too.

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Photographer: Kaci Baum

Gratitude

To my readers: If your man is communicative, caring, and observant, chances are there’s a mother, sister, or ex-girlfriend who helped him along the way.  There’s not a single ex-boyfriend of mine with whom I’d want to get back together, but I have a genuine interest in their well-being.  Don’t try to police your significant other’s communication.  If he’s friendly with his ex and a better man with you than he was with her, you might even want to buy her a bottle of wine.

My Two Great Loves

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When I was in high school, Sex and the City was in its final seasons.  I thought Carrie Bradshaw was the height of sophistication, and that one day I’d find myself a Chris Noth look-a-like to sweep my off my feet on Pont-des-Arts (the love-lock bridge in Paris).  I wasn’t far off!  I was 17.  I had been to Paris twice.  I was obviously pretty damn close.  I was even closer by the love locks at Namsan Tower when H and I decided $7 was too pricy for a romantic gimmick.  There are so many quotations from dear SATC which I’m sure resonate rather shamefully with most of the women in my generation and beyond.  Recently, I was reminded of a concept Charlotte brought up in season 5’s “Anchors Away”.  In one scene, she states, “Everyone knows you only get two great loves in your life”.

The idea that we only get two great loves would terrify most people, but I think this irrational fear is far more prevalent than most people might realize.  This irrational fear of mine is compounded by the fact that one of my “two great loves” isn’t even a person.  You see, I recently lost someone who I thought might just be my last great love.  It’s  silly to think something so short could have meant so much, especially since it’s so one-sided.  Nonetheless, I’ve replaced him with my first great love: food.

When I lived in Vancouver we were somehow invited into the glamorous world of Vancity foodies.  Perhaps service is just paramount there, but I regularly dined at Michelin Star Restaurants and hobnobbed at hole in the wall bars.  In Toronto, I had a food blog and somehow managed to get on a few PR e-mail lists.  Now I was eating great food all the time…free of charge.  I got fat.  I mean, I guess I was a bit chunky moving home from Vancouver to Toronto, but with an expense account and a few years working in hospitality management, I was an absolute porker.

Culinary delights can often be as pleasing as the embrace of a loved one, especially when dining in good company.  I think that in my last relationship I may have had some of the best dining experiences ever.  A threesome with your two great loves?  I’m not sure I could have asked for more.

I had wanted to write my “The 7 Worst Guys An Expat Can Date” series in sequence finishing with “The Travel Romance”.  This should be an epic ending, but I can’t quite seem to admit to myself that it’s beyond over.  I can pinpoint the moment the exact moment I think I knew this would be more than a couple of smooches on the beach past midnight.  I had had lacklustre Tom Kha Gai (coconut chicken soup) for breakfast at our hostel in Phuket, and was craving some rich Thai curry.

I spent the day taking a Muay Thai sparring class followed by a tour of Wat Chalong.  I was hungry.  The “never dine alone” culture of Korea left me praying for a dinner companion.  Though we had no wifi beyond the hostel, we still arrived back around the same time.  I got my massaman curry and spicy dinner companion in one fell swoop.

When you’re in lust, love, or on vacation (I’m still not sure what this was) everything is just better.  Sun and salt water make my hair soft and wavy.  I care less about what I’m wearing and more about who I’m with.  Sunsets are more profound.  Food tastes better.  Whether I was in Thailand finally trying authentic versions of my favorite dishes, or sitting in a crappy all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurant in Hongdae where the exhaust backed up, everything was better.  Sugar is an addiction.  Food is one of my two great loves.  Right now I feel like I’ve got a monkey on my back telling me to chase the dragon.

“Some love stories are novels.  Others are short stories.  It doesn’t make it any less filled with love”.  This is not my account of “The Travel Romance”…it’s just a tribute.  For now, I need to make healthier choices with the first of my two great loves, don’t you think?  Have you felt addicted to sugar or food?  How did you kick the habit of going back to the ex?  Let us know in the comments!

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