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We’ve all had our fair share of dating disasters. It’s normal. It’s awkward. It’s the part of my life I regularly think there are voodoo doll replicas being handled by toddlers in an alternate universe. I’ve accepted that as the only logical answer to accurately sum up this area of my existence.
After experiencing both cultures local and abroad, dating in America can be pretty mundane. Depending on what state you’re in, you’ll pretty much encounter the same kind of guys; they’ll speak English, they’ll all love sports and beer, and many who will have never traveled outside of the country, let alone their home state.
You’ll have a solid mix of jocks, a good combo of tools, and just a sprinkle of a**holes to round out this solid bunch. Anyone else I missed? Don’t worry, you get to miss them too because they’re probably gay or already taken.
The dating culture in Europe is so much different (read: better) than America’s, because you’re in the mix with people from hundreds of cultures around the world who all bring a uniqueness to the table. You’re in a continent that’s so diverse and scattered with people from all around the world, with ear-warming accents that cause your WhatsApp number to jump from your phone to his within minutes.
But alas, gorgeous accents and mixed breed ethnicities are not immune to the awkwardness that is the 21st century dating culture for an expat. And can we all agree that dating in your 20’s is about as awkward as life gets?
I’m at a point where I know that every serious relationship will either lead to a marriage or a really nasty break-up, and both are too emotionally draining to think about or deal with, which is why I usually fall back on my beloved nutella.
Despite the thousands of eligible bachelors across this continent, you’ll find it frustrating when you keep running into the same 5 types of
losers guys, and if you can spot the signs early on, waste no time in politely booking their first class, VIP, all-inclusive tickets to the Friend Zone. For good.
You’re welcome in advance. Here they are. Steer clear.
On the outside, this guy has it going on. Great job, nice car (which having one to begin with, carries more weight in Europe since most people use public transport), dresses well, and just seems like a catch early on.
If you’re lucky, he might even “casually” mention that he speaks 5 languages. I was sold. Swoon. But later you learn that he’s pretty much just all talk. Looks good on paper but doesn’t actually amount to the words he speaks of.
This person also enjoys bringing up their ex-girlfriends and things they did to land them in “ex-land” as if it’s a warning for me of what not do to get there, because dating him to begin with is some kind of privilege? Boy, bye.
Remember those 5 languages he speaks, well turns out, none of them he actually speaks well. He moved around a lot as a kid and came from trilingual parents who often spoke one language to him and a different one to his brother, so while building a solid
but could easily be mistaken as liquid foundation on one, he’s hardly fluent in the other 4 like he claims. In fact, Spanish was his 5th language, and the most recent one he learned, so while you both are at intermediate levels, he will find the need to correct sentences in a language he doesn’t even know fully himself. And every time he corrects you, he’s always wrong.
Rich Ramone is good for
two one thing. Free dinners. But even then, you’ll lose your appetite for that because his larger-than-life ego that represents the dollar amount he thinks makes up for his lack of a genuine personality, won’t make time spent together worth it. Goodbye Paella dinners and fancy restaurants. You were fun while you lasted.
BAD DANCING BRYAN
Oh, bless his heart. He couldn’t find a beat with 20/20 vision. As someone who comes from a musical background both instrumentally as a kid and it generally being such a big part of my life, our relationship WILL involve dancing. I LOVE TO DANCE! So you must keep up.
Spain, where I lived for a year, was also the perfect country for gettin’ your jig on with a variety of discotecas featuring bachata, salsa, flamenco and urban mainstream music. So if you’ve already got the attention of the entire club because you’re with the only black person there, people will assume you can dance since your partner can, but you awkwardly jerk your body in motions favoring that of convulsions, electrocution, and movements seconds before you die from an explosion.
Now I know what you’re all thinking,
how’d you get so lucky, Glo how could you be so shallow! And this is not something that’s a make or break situation. But if you already weren’t feeling the chemistry, then this is just kinda icing on the cake. The cake that wasn’t really your favorite flavor to begin with, but you tried a slice anyway, now you’re being civil and giving the cake away to someone else… like a homeless person. NEXT.
Oh, the American Charmer. This person frequents all the study abroad hot spots and knows exactly where to pick up American chicks. They’ve got their lines rehearsed and memorized to the T, because it’s worked every semester when that new batch of nineteen year olds flood the streets ready to undress themselves at the slightest sound of an accent in someone’s voice.
Because of the “ease of entrance” with his past experiences, he thinks this game will fly on you, because you’re American, hence “easy”. He will coyly remind you how sexy he thinks the American accent is to him, over and over, as if this validates or yields permission to talk to you like he’s sealed the deal.
And because your friend has ditched you and the only way to
dodge survive the night is to let him buy you your favorite drinks, when he thinks he’s secured the bases for the evening (no punT intended, hehehe), this is when you head for the hills, or the bathroom — whichever is closer. Remain in safe quarters until you see a mad dash to the door in sight. Charming Charles probably has herpes the worst intentions anyways. Mission Ditch the Douchebag Accomplished. Thanks, Roger. Over and out.
Now these guys are pretty hard to point out early on. They show all the right signs of a good guy, and weeks of fun rendezvous, dance clubs, and dinners will have passed before you know it.
But then you start noticing that when you’re out together, there’s no downtime. You’re practically attached at the hip, and the guy is more interested in flaunting you around town and at the hottest clubs like the latest accessory than actually developing a stronger bond than the superficial one built from the nods of approval he gets from other men.
If you ever want to excuse yourself to the restroom, dance with other girls,
or do so much as to breathe without him over your shoulder making sure everyone knows that you two are an “item”, consider it impossible. This is a group activity to him and if you dare step more than 5-feet outside of his direct radius, you can be sure he’ll come panting down your neck asking if you need anything, to which you want to respond with a restraining order another drink to make this night semi-bearable. Mission Always Impossible.
This will lead to unwarranted advances of PDA, invitations to meet the parents after a month, and the worst part, forgetting what personal space was like and wondering if this figment of Utopia existed prior. *shudders*
WHATSAPP WARRIOR WILLIS
So anywhere outside of America, WhatsApp is the number one form of instant communication. Under a wifi connection, you can easily text anybody from anywhere in the world without worrying about outrageous roaming or international fees, which is great for people like me who have a Spanish number that’s connected to my British SIM card. Because, expat probs.
Anyway, Whatsapp Warrior Willis does everything in his power to make you become a slave to the double blue check marks. For those unfamiliar, there’s a check for when a message is sent, another check when it’s received, and then they both turn blue to confirm
the lack of regard for your existence that you are being blatantly ignored.
The Whatsapp Warrior more than likely has a slew of chicks he texts, probably all at once, and you know this because he’s usually always on his phone and has this abundance of false confidence that he probably gets from other women. He’ll also call you every pet name in the world, probably because of a hidden irrational fear of calling you the name of another woman he’s talking to on accident.
But oh! Whatsapp Warrior Willis is not to be confused with Dating App Douchebag David who you usually have to text first because of the copious amounts of other women that dominate the top of his Whatsapp conversation list that probably make him forget about your existence until you remind him.
Never mind the fact that this man has an active account on every dating site in the world (which, it’s 2015 — it’s no longer taboo to admit to online dating), but when you glance and see two rows of his home screen lined with apps looking for chicks, you have to gouge the amount of desperation and shamelessness it takes to have this on your home screen.
I once heard of a Tinder date so bad, that the guy, while on a date with a Tinder match, began swiping in her face when he got bored of their conversation. Oh man, the
convenience sad reality of what dating has become today.
In all seriousness, you meet some really cool and interesting guys in Europe. And while everyone’s looking for love in all the wrong
places cases (looking at you, nutella), you still can end up with a really great friend! One of the most exciting parts about being an expat is the chance to meet different people from all over the world, and whether they become a love interest or not, they still add a page to the story of the awesome experience life abroad entails.
A lot of people travel to look for love instead of letting love find them. You can do it guys. People were finding love before Tinder, *cue cavemen making love to unicorns* wait — huh?
Whatever ancient sorcery was used in the past — it worked! Stop being shy, go say hello, and see where the conversation leads!
Any dating disasters you’ve experienced abroad? Share below!