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?
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.
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?