50 First Dates – 2017 Edition

Okay, maybe it wasn’t 50, more of something between 20 to 30… I’ve lost count.

It was a big leap for me when I decided to go out and date again in 2017. And when I decided, I really went all out. The dating scene here in Oz was completely new to me and I haven’t really actively put myself out there in the past years. There was so much for me to learn and discover.

I don’t include speed dates in the count. Five minute dates do not really count. Nor does chatting. I’m talking about the good old “lets meet up for coffee or dinner and get to know each other” dates.

Maybe you’re asking where I find all these guys? Online. But not Tinder though. I have two online dating accounts, and I’ve found them as a good way to start.

Like someone. Say hello. Do a little small talk. If they seem decent, agree to meet up for coffee or brunch or something. Some plans push through, but some don’t. Some first dates turn into second dates, or maybe more.

The first guy I met for the year turned out to be one of the biggest learning experience for me. He was an amazing man, and at the start he also seemed keen. I thought we were a good match. Apparently he didn’t think so. Eventually things had to end and left me reeling from the rejection. I felt horrible. I absolutely dreaded rejection. I mourned a little bit (or maybe a lot). Then moved on.

I think the moving on is the most important part. I value the realisation that rejections will not kill you. So, every time something does not work out, I just get back out there and meet new people again.

Five. That’s the count of who I spent a little bit more time on. And a few more that went past the first date. Sometimes I wonder why I wasted my time on some of them.

Three. I can confidently say that three of them really made a big difference in my life. I wouldn’t trade the experience with them for anything, even if each of them left a little bit (or a lot) of heartache in the end.

Many times I’ve told myself, “this will be the last one for the year”, but I always eat my words. I wanted to stop way back in August and take a break from dating for the rest of the year and just let my heart rest, but I always ended up meeting someone new.

I am so thankful to good friends who have put up with me through the countless calls and messages, especially during times I was nursing a broken heart. I absolutely owe you a lot for calming me down during my anxious calls and crying fits. The words of advice are very valuable too. I really hope you don’t get tired of me.

The year 2017 is over. It’s year 2018 now. I’m shifting priorities this year. I’m still leaving myself open to possibilities, to meeting new people with the hope that I’ll eventually find the one I’m looking for (and who is looking for me). Perhaps I just don’t want to give it as much effort as I did in 2017. I’ll just let things happen.

I still wish though that maybe I’ll meet someone in real life, someone who does not come from an online app. Maybe this year?

Numbers Game

Finding love is sometimes a numbers game, especially if you’re still playing quite late in the game. When you’re younger, it’s still a game of chance, of luck. Sometimes you get lucky and find your one true love in high school or university and you eventually end up together and live happily ever after. However if you’ve lost your chance when you were still in school, dating and finding a good match when you’re already out in the real world is a tough one.

I’ve honestly been searching for love for more than a decade. My last boyfriend was almost 10 years ago, and I met him at work. We didn’t really last long. But honestly, I’ve met a lot of guys at work. I’ve also met a lot of guys outside of work. I’ve been set up on many blind dates, gone to a number of speed dates, and even back-dated (i.e. dated people from my past). It’s tiring. And I was still unlucky at finding someone. It’s always either the attraction is one-way (i.e. I like him, he doesn’t like me back, or he likes me and I don’t like him back), or the attraction is mutual, but there’s something completely and absolutely complicated about it (and oh, I don’t even want to talk about it).

When I moved to Oz, the search continued. Somehow it was both harder and easier for different reasons. It was more difficult because I had a limited existing social circle, I came unfamiliar with the dating rituals and culture, and it was challenging for me to spark physical attraction because I can’t effing compete with those sexy blonde girls (not sure if this is true, but this is how it feels). I found it a bit more easy for other reasons because of so many ways to meet more people, such as numerous social events, speed dating events, dating apps, and online dating websites.

But alas, the search continues.

I do think that somehow it’s a numbers game. The more people I meet, the better the chances that I’ll find someone. As they say, the more entries you send, the more chances of winning. Of course, I also take quality into consideration. Meet more quality guys. That’s the strategy.

The end to an illusion

It started fifteen years ago. Yes, it’s been going on for more than half of my quarter life. I’ve been living half of my life believing in an illusion.

The story is about a boy. My first love, to be exact. No, he wasn’t my first boyfriend. In fact, he was never my boyfriend. He had always been an almost, but never ever the real thing.

For one and a half decade, I’ve always regarded him with a certain fondness. A simple call or message from him makes my heart skip. His smile melts me. Perhaps I’m not alone, I’m only one of the countless girls enamored by his charms. He can easily woo any girl he desires. It is indeed flattering to be one of his favorites, the one he seems to come back to every now and then for the past 15 years. But somehow, nothing real ever transpired.

It’s always been a wonder to me why we could never be. It is easier to move on from something that happened and ended, than from something that never really happened. Maybe we keep coming back to try to figure out things and try to find answers.

I think I have finally found the answer. It took one last meetup with him to discover the truth that has been evading me for the longest time. It’s clear to me now that he and I will never ever be able to work it out, for reasons I choose not to disclose.

I’ve been living in an illusion for the last 15 years, but at least the illusion is a warm and happy one. I will still want to retain even just the memory of whatever was between him and me. But now I’ve reached a maturity that has already taught me that there is no point in waiting for “us” to happen. It’s a desperate and impossible case.

I’m moving forward with one less gigantic baggage off me. I’ve finally found closure.

Sometimes you fall in love

Sometimes you fall in love. Sometimes you almost fall in love. You find yourself overwhelmed by that certain emotion that you thought you knew about, but indeed it’s something that you will never ever understand.

Sometimes you fall in love, and he falls in love with you. It’s an amazing feeling after all those unrequited love you’ve felt, and after all those who have loved you but you have no love for.

Sometimes you fall in love and wish you could scream to the world that you are, but you can’t. You’re not supposed to have that love. You’re not supposed to want that love. You know it’s not what you asked for, not what you need. You have to walk away from it sooner or later, but at that very moment you could only wish that it was yours. The feelings are real. You almost fall in love, but you hold back and keep your heart hidden.

It’s hard to say no, to walk away, but you know you have to. If you don’t, you will never find what you are really looking for. Sometime in the future you will fall in love, and he will fall in love with you, and at the right time, right place, and in the right situation, for the right reason, with the right person, you’ll finally find your prayers answered.

Boys will be boys – For fun or for keeps?

Before anything else, I would like to apologize to all the guys that would be reading this, as this is bound to be a very biased article written by a young woman about a particular type of guys. I don’t intend to generalize, but I do hope you know and understand that these guys are not uncommon.

At a party I went to a few days ago, I met this gorgeous young doctor (GYD). I was just dragged into the party by a close friend, and did not know anyone else in the group. So it was a welcome event that this GYD, who just like me was just a friend of someone in the group, started to chat with me. Being the single-and-ready-to-mingle girl that I was, I checked out his hand for any rings. It’s something that a former colleague have trained me to do. GYD had no rings on. Guiltless flirting time.

And yes, he did flirt a lot with me, I did not need to push him to. We had a great time together at the party. Unfortunately, he had to do a Cinderella and left the party early, because he was on duty at the hospital that night and got an emergency call. Bye bye GYD. I didn’t even get to know his full name, only his first name.

I had so much fun with him that night, I had to find out more about him. Two days went by without anything. Fortunately on the third day, I was able to chat with the close friend who brought me to the party, and I was able to get some clues. Being the online sleuth that I am, and thanks to my dear friends Google, Facebook, and Friendster, I was able to find him. The catch: He is married, with two young kids.

Why am I not surprised? This seems like a very familiar scenario. I remember another time from last year when I met a guy while I was on a trip abroad, and he was flirting with me big time. Again thanks to Google and Facebook, I found out he was married right before he changed the setting on his Facebook to hide his status. I never told him what I knew, and he continued flirting. Of course, I did not take him seriously.

Lesson #1: Rings or the absence of them are not a good indication of the availability of a guy.

Friendly flirting from some of my married guy friends are not unwelcome though. But of course, I have to emphasize on the friendly part of it. It’s just usually a playful banter, without intentions. And I do know they are married, they do not hide that fact from me, and they know I would never consider them beyond friendship.

Action plan from GYD : move on.

Then there is another behavior of guys I’ve encountered so many times before, perfectly described in one phrase – “Attention without intention”. Yes, I’ve encountered a lot of them from back in college way up to now. Some of them would ask me out. Some would flirt a lot. And yet there was one thing common with all of them – they were not in it for a relationship but only for the excitement. I used to fall for these types before, but then I learned by experience how they are, and how they need to be dealt with.

Lesson #2: Sometimes boys just wanna have fun

So, if they want to have fun, why not just have fun alongside? No emotions, no commitments, that is probably the best setup with them. Just make sure no one is around to slap you mad because of the attention you give or get from the guys. Remember that even the married guys from Lesson #1 also wanna have fun sometimes, and it may be best to keep away from trouble.

Lesson #3: Just go with the flow

The dating scene is a very tough one, and I haven’t been so lucky with it these past few years. Ergo, I have resolved to just enjoy what I have right now, be entertained with the guys I come across with. I’m taking it one day at a time. I just hope against all odds that I’ll eventually find a SINGLE (UNATTACHED) MAN who just wants to be with me, fun or not, for better or for worse.