Some thoughts on expat dating


Instead of “single” as a marital status, they should have “independently owned and operated” 

Being single has its ups and downs. I like being my own woman but after a very long spell of cheerful singlehood I’ve decided to go and find myself a special someone now that summer is quickly approaching the southern hemisphere. You know, see how the other half lives.

Unfortunately that’s easier said than done. I am aware that I’m rather picky and after being single for so long I’m not willing to settle for someone. I guess perhaps I could settle with someone for a while, just not for. I don’t believe in changing people and I wouldn’t want to have a partner who tries to change who I am, my annoying personality quirks or my unhealthy habit for science-fiction. “If only he’d stop doing XYZ he’d be purrrfect,” said no successful, drama-free couple ever. Perhaps this is why I’m so picky.

I have tried dating some locals in the past with mixed success. At work I am immersed in the local culture and, while I enjoy it for the most part, in my personal life I need a break. Cultural differences can be fun but I need to step away from the local idiosyncrasy when I get home and close my front door. There’s also the small matter where a lot of guys in their thirties are married with children, and a lot of guys in their forties are divorced with children.

Since I am a busy working girl (shush, not that type of working girl, you dirty minded you) I have tried a few dating apps. Tinder, Happn, you name it. With a short profile purposely written in English. There are a few things I’m not keen on and clearly specify: cats, Latin music and unibrows. What do you know, I get lots of messages in Spanish from cat owners who believe that having two individually defined eyebrows is so passé.

Generally I’m pretty efficient at weeding people out and I am more interested in other fellow foreigners. I’m not totally excluding the local talent and there are certainly exceptions, but I’m not holding my breath. This very much reduces my potential dating pool but I figure that it’ll save some time in the long run. I thought wrong. In the last few weeks I’ve matched with a god-fearing, gun-obsessed American, a Norwegian who is deeply in love with his own gym selfies and a Canadian who boldly refuses to use question marks and everything reads as a statement.

I have asked a few expat friends to set me up with their single mates,  allow me to paraphrase an actual conversation I had with a friend:

Me: So yeah, have you got any single friends? I’m single and looking!

Friend: Hmm maybe, nothing happening on Happn? Hey, have you met Ted? I think he might be single at the moment.

Me: You know, if he doesn’t make a habit of wielding a handgun and truncheon combo while shirtless then he’s already ahead of the competition.

Friend: Oh boy, where the fuck do you find those people?

I’ve been telling myself “this Christmas I’ll take the plunge and be with someone” for a few years now and unsurprisingly I always end up living the single life every damn Christmas. And so, my quest continues. But I will not settle. And if that means that I’ll be single for a few more years then that’s ok. Auditioning for new friends with benefits is a lot of fun.

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