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.
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?
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 onfinding a jobthan 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Settling back into life in Toronto hasn’t gone exactly as planned. My career didn’t quite get off the ground the way I expected. I just settled into a condo downtown and now have to move. Everything’s just a little bit up in the air right now. Dating is no exception. Everyone at the bar is swiping left or right while in a perfectly lovely meet market. Tinder is for hook-ups. Bumble is allegedly for “serious dating” (sure). Meeting people through buttoned up/ tied-down friends is nearly impossible. I’ve now been on dates with a commitment-phobe real estate developer, a self-obsessed rocker, an UBER driver (yes – he drove me home and then we went out), a blogger who recently carbon-copied my latest post on The Toronto Seoulcialite, and a Tinder I had been out with 4 years ago. The conversation barely changed and he definitely didn’t clue in. Dating is depressing. Oh – and I went out with my old calculus teacher.
Hot for Teacher – Dating isn’t Calculus, it’s Chemistry
When you were in high school, did you ever have a crush on a teacher? How about that hottie who wasn’t much older, but just enough that the difference in age/ power balance would have been inappropriate? Imagine my surprise when the Facebook algorithm encouraged me to reconnect with my old calculus teacher 14 years my senior. I can’t imagine he’ll mind my writing about this. The probability of us meeting as we did was low, and the probability we’ll ever meet again is practically non-existent. He was my teacher for all of 3 weeks (and change) and we bumped into one another locally and in Kingston for all of 3 minutes each time. This round, after a lovely date, a hesitant goodnight kiss, and a few text exchanges promising to see one another again, it only took him about 3 days to ghost. Dating isn’t algorithms or equations, it all comes down to chemistry and the space-time continuum.
While it would be lovely to meet someone who had the raw, passionate, primal masculinity of Adonis, or the “jamais seul” nature of ex-Co-P, it’s summer. Dating in Toronto doesn’t really ever seem to be clear or direct – just derivative of our parents’ and grand-parents’ generations. In the summer it’s the least likely time for any of that to change. Our diluted and deluded perspectives of responsibility to one another make me believe that I’ll always be house-hurt from carrying the weight of rent completely alone. Owning at all is a pipe-dream. White picket fences are a thing of the past. There’s plenty I’m tempted to try. Did I learn anything from scratching off this bucket-list item? Not really. Just that I think I’ll keep my interests outside of the classroom.
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, androcky 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…
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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
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 “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 an even more charming personality. Somewhere down the line he was likely a varsity athlete, fraternity brother, or both. He’s got natural game and women everywhere seem to swoon. He’s never settling down in one place, and for him you’ll 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.
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 notwant 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…
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.
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 beenand 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.
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Have you encountered any Eternal Expats throughout your travels? Leave me your story in the comments!
I’ve been seeing tons of click-bait headlines making their way through the travel, expat, and lifestyle communities. Figured I’d give this one a shot, too. So sue me, right? Not quite – read on to see how you too can get him to commit with this one amazing tool.
Breaking the Rules
I’ve already gone back on my word by entering into a relationship with a) someone I met through Tinder, and b) on my list of the 7 Worst Guys an Expat Can Date. If you’ve read Expat Dating Diaries: The Military Man you’ll know that there are some dirty dawgs out there especially in and around Itaewon. I met my new Co-Pilot at Souva, which has quickly become the latest hot spot for my coupled-up pals. In our first week and a half we had been to at least 7 restaurants together, watched 4 movies, made dinner twice, and climbed a freaking mountain. He mentioned me to his parents and mine got the Skype update 2 weeks in. I know you’re still wondering how to get him to commit, but I’m sure you’re also wondering if good ol’ Cartier’s going to get boring with a boyfriend.
No More Drama
It wouldn’t be the Seoul expat dating community without a little bit of drama (I know this is what you came for :P). This wouldn’t be the Expat Dating Diaries without unnecessary drama, right? Well, shocker! My new beau went out on dates before he met me! There are a few women with whom he’s been out who are friends of friends of mine. One in particular was pretty pissed when he let her down easy (via text – party foul, I know). After she screamed at me, I told him straight out that if we were going to do this we wouldn’t be with anyone else. If either of us change our minds down the line that’s fine. That said, acertain conversation needs to happen if either of us want to start seeing other people. This leads me to the most important tool you can have in your arsenal if you want to know how to get him to commit. Time and time again girls lose their minds over men who choose someone else. How do you get him on the same page? This one’s simple…
The One Amazing Tool
What’s this one elusive tool to use when wanting to know how to get him to commit to you? COMMUNICATION. There’s no big secret. He’s not a f*cking mind-reader.TALK with your Seoulmate! Communication is a tool we all have within our big ol’ bag o’ tricks, but when it comes down to it we rarely feel confident enough to share our feelings effectively. The biggest flaw in my last relationship is that I felt powerless what it came to expressing my wants and needs. When I tried to initiate a conversation about things which bothered me, he “was bored” and didn’t want to hear it. In my mind, my last relationship was just a silly little travel romance in the beginning. Never in a million years did I think he’d skip out on an epic SEA adventure to come live with me in South Korea. I didn’t tell him what I needed and wanted right from the start. When he started weaving dreams of a real future beyond Asia, somewhere we might settle down, I scoffed and moved on. When I started to believe the fantasy, he pulled away. We weren’t on the same page at all.
For someone who “hated social media” as much as he did, he sure checked his instagram likes regularly. It blew my mind that he thought I was demanding he give up the “opportunity of a lifetime” to come live with me. It drove me mental that he wrote his younger female travel companion a love letter on Facebook when he took off from Cambodia to come to Korea. When he left Korea to head home, he shared: “too many people to name. It’s been emotional.” I was proud to be with him, yet he tried to hide me. He was always pleased to be tagged in cool hipster photos at the palace or beachy pics with the lads. Unfortunately, he refused to acknowledge our life together publicly. Looking back that should have been a HUGE red flag. I wanted to shout from the top of every mountain in Korea that I was happy with him, but he couldn’t bring himself to tell his own network he had a girlfriend. It’s such a night and day difference to have an intelligent, accomplished, handsome gent tell me he’s happy to be with me at the top of a mountain we climbed together.
Maybe this relationship will crash and burn tomorrow. Maybe it’ll withstand the tests of all the small town (ahem HBC) murmurings. If you don’t have the exclusivity conversation with your desired partner, then you can’t be angry with him (or her) for continuing to date. If this person meets someone else with whom they have more in common, you can’t fault them for wanting to pursue a relationship. You didn’t communicate your desires. If you’re not getting the answer for which you’ve been searching, then move along. He’s not going to fall in love with you just because you’ve been hanging around. It doesn’t matter if you have beer-flavoured nipples. No matter how much you pretend to love Star Wars, if he doesn’t love what you’re actually into then what kind of foundation are you building?
It has come to my attention that I’ve become known around Seoul as “the girl who goes on dates and then writes about them”. Cool. Let’s go ahead and clarify that, shall we? ThatGirlCartier has been around since 2009 (on Twitter). If you want the roots of the name itself, go check out one of my first posts on this site. On instagram? You can creep me back to 2012 there. You’ll see pictures of food, fashion, fitness, culture, travels, a variety of weights and hairstyles, and oh yes – a couple of ex boyfriends. That’s life, ladies and gentlemen. Expat dating is tough! Seoul dating is a minefield. Just like Juicy Couture sweats and UGG boots, some things don’t last. If Juicy is any indication, some things might just return (you know who you are and yes, you’re welcome back – just say the word).
xoxo Gossip Girl
The idea that I’m some sort of “Land of Morning Chaos – xoxo Gossip Girl of Seoul Dating” is ludicrous. That said, if any of the show’s designers want to dress me I would not put up a fight. Also, wasn’t Gossip Girl a dude in the end? Writing bits and bobs about my silly Seoul dating life seems to be a bigger deal to men than it is to women. Men seem to either really appreciate my writing from an outside perspective, or take what’s written too personally. To those who understand this to be entertainment and defend me and my right to write, thank you! To those guys who “would never go on a date with a dating blogger”, well this one’s for you.
If an expat dating experience ends up on That Girl Cartier it’s because express permission has been granted to share whatever has occurred on the date. Tinder often initiates Seoul dating. I’ve mostly got stories in the vault which aren’t all that interesting. A lot of people ask to be featured on The Toronto Seoulcialite. One guy even snatched my phone for a couple’s selfie just in case he “made the article” I was thinking about writing on Olympic Park. This is not new. Expats constantly ASK to be featured on the site. The marketing men, military men, locals, teachers, or anyone else from the listwant to be here. It is astoundingly easy to get material, because people love having our experiences shared anonymously online. Sometimes they’re exaggerated. Most of the time they’re not.
I recently shared a tidbit on my personal Facebook page from a comically bad first date. My personal profile is just that: personal. Venting and sharing anecdotes on my personal page should not be grounds for an attack. I feel that everyone’s entitled to share personal opinions on Facebook. November 8th and 9th, January 20th, and the past month have been great indicators of just how many personal opinions people share on Facebook. I’m a writer. Your antics won’t get published to my site without permission. Please continue to be ridiculous and make me push my own boundaries, too.
Remember friends, readers, and trolls, this right here? This is what you came for.
I wouldn’t have 3 times more views on this silly little website than its informative sister site if it wasn’t.
In this edition of the Expat Dating Diaries, we take a look at Frederick*, the “Green Monster”. You may recognize this little gem from The 7 Worst Guys An Expat Can Date. Frederick came to Korea in an attempt to escape a difficult political climate, to put it lightly. Good ol’ Freddy had a Bachelor’s Degree from a prestigious University, and a post-grad in business to boot. He loved his job in finance, however was made redundant in a suspicious turn of events (for which he wasn’t to blame, of course). He told me straight off the bat that he wanted to immigrate to the United States or any other country which would take him…but, you know, America…#1.
A photo posted by Christina Prescott (@christinaprescottdesign) on
Frederick and I met through Tinder, a wonderful little dating app for delusional women and men with questionable values. We had been talking for weeks. Because we were both new to Seoul and because he lived nearly two hours from my side of the river, it took quite a while to actually link up. When we finally met, it was on a whim after I had a Sunday Funday with the girls in Itaewon. He was a little sloppy from the baseball game and had run two subway stops to come meet me. I hid a Taco Bell Salad (yes -the kind where you can eat the bowl) in my purse for the entire date.
We had a couple of beers and played some darts. Conversation was flowing well. He was laughing at all my poorly timed, uncomfortable jokes, and I actually felt like he was really listening to what I was saying. It didn’t hurt that he had sparkling eyes and a smile that made me go a little gaga. By the way – I really hope you’re imagining me on a Tinder first date with The Donald. You must be scratching your head right now wondering wtf I was thinking. I assure you, he looked nothing like Trump, and it’d be a few months before I found out how much they really did have in common.
Call me crazy, but I think it’s pretty important when working as an ESL teacher to have a basic appreciation of children. Every day I’m surprised by the progress my little gremlins (er – munchkins) make. The childhood whimsy in my daily life is a bonus of my job, not a detraction. Because of how far away Frederick lived, I didn’t really see him interact with many others in a social setting. The one and only time I actually ventured out his way, there wasn’t all that much to do. It was a beautiful day and the park provided a nice atmosphere for a walk, a talk, and some appreciation of jacket-less weather.
A little boy trailed off from his mum and stood looking from Frederick to me and back practically beaming to have seen such alien entities in his little corner of a suburb of Seoul. In true teacher form, I said “hello”, and asked him in Korean what his name was. Frederick simply barked that he hated kids. Good talk, bro.
When Daddy-o came to town I really should have gotten the hint, but we had been on so many awesome dinner dates, museum trips, and discussions about current events and opera, I had a tough time pulling myself away. Frederick, you see, was a great fan of classical music. He was a particular fan of Wagner. I thought he just dug the intensity of The Ring Cycle. Then, I spent the day with Frederick and his father. Turns out it was his fondness of the Führer which drove his musical education.
I couldn’t figure out why he kept commenting on my blonde hair and blue eyes. What I know of my background is that I’m mostly of English and Irish descent. My blonde locks are a product of an overly enthusiastic Korean hair-stylist. It’s no secret these locks have seen their fair share of bleach. I think we’d all be surprised at our genealogical backgrounds. My grandfather was adopted and I grew up in a multicultural society, so culture was always an exciting means of expression rather than a tool of judgement. Frederick’s father mused about how lovely it would be to have a cute little boy running around the house. Wait – Frederick only wanted to hitch his wagon to an American. Pops knew that I was a “Snow Mexican”, right?
That talk turned into a discussion about home decor. Dad took out his phone and started swiping. Pictures started popping up on Dad’s phone of his young Filipina girlfriend (she and I are the same age and his son is older than me). Eventually, we got to the home bar. Sitting on a rooftop patio in Itaewon drinking Pina Coladas, I discovered that Frederick was not just an opera enthusiast, but a history buff and a bit of a dick. Frederick was the wurst. The basement bunker bar was designed in red, black, and white. Propaganda and paraphernalia covered the accent wall to the left of the bar. Had I been dating a modern day Nazi sympathizer?
I wish I could say the story ended there, but expat dating is tough! Sadly, Frederick got the better of me for one more date. I needed arm candy for an event, and Freddy definitely fit the bill. That night he asked me to be his girlfriend. We went out partying at what was then the newest and hottest spot for Koreans and expats alike in Seoul. Bumping into many of my friends, he didn’t hesitate to hold my hand or kiss me in front of anyone. Then, we ran into a naturally red-haired, adorkably beautiful friend from my neighbourhood. They seemed to recognize one-another, but I wasn’t sure how. It wasn’t until Monday when I received the screenshots of their 4 AM time-stamped Tinder conversation that I knew it was over.
I was wrapped up in his arms and he was telling another woman how much he wanted the D….C.
Here lies Episode I of the Expat Dating Diaries and the 7 Worst Guys An Expat Can Date.
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*Names and other incriminating details have been changed to protect the not so innocent.