Wednesday, January 9, 2013

how to date overseas

I've already mused about the highs and lows of dating, but at the time, I had no idea how much more interesting the experience would get when living in a foreign city. And boy, is it. I've got stories upon stories! Recently, I've also become comfortable with the idea of publicly share them. Please note that I'm by no means suggesting my personal experience is any indication of anything besides entertainment. Enjoy ;).
Date #1: French guy. On my third day in Iceland, I stopped at the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport outside of Reykjavík. I also took myself out to eat at the fine dining restaurant there. At one point during my delicious meal, I went to the restroom, and on my way back to the table, passed a man who felt the need to introduce himself to me. He said he'd noticed me in the lagoon but I left too quickly for him to have said hello. "Where are you from?" he asked. "New York," I told him, "but I'm on my way to Paris where I'll be attending graduate school this year." And wouldn't you know, not only was he French, but Parisian. He asked for my information so he could possibly show me around the city when he got back. I had had two big glasses of wine at this point so totally agreed it was a good idea. Somehow, I forgot until, "settled" into my chambre de bonne, I noticed he'd found me on Facebook and had sent me a message. We met up a few weeks later for sushi and a walk by the Opera, through the Louvre, and over the Seine. Sound romantic? It could've been but (1) he pointed it out far too many times and (2) when he wasn't doing so, only spoke about himself.
Date #2: Irish guy. In late October, I joined a class in London for two days of professional networking and another two days of city exploring. In between the two, my friends and I decided to go out. We began at The Experimental Cocktail Club with pricy and perfect cocktails. After talking amongst ourselves for a few hours though, we decided we were in the mood to mingle. We tried to go into pub after pub for a more casual environment. I use the word "tried" because most pubs close their doors after midnight. Nearly defeated, we walked back to our hotel, and only then stumbled upon the most random corner bar. It was a good time. I ended up chatting with a junior doctor from Belfast who was curious as to how I'd be spending my tomorrow in London. He took me out for dinner and drinks that next night. It was nearly as random as my date in Sausalito but an even better (times infinity) date. So much so that we've still kept in touch as friends.
Date #3: French guy. Out for a late night drink with a girlfriend of mine in early November, we bumped into one of her French friends in the company of his friends and cousin. They soon joined us at our table. Fast forward about six hours and I realized I'd been chatting with my friend's friend's cousin for about four of them. He was cute and the conversation had obviously been good, so I agreed to a bet I knew I'd win which resulted in him having to buy me a drink a few weeks later. We ended up bar-hopping in the 9th. It wasn't not a nice evening, but the long nature of the date provided enough time for me to hear all about his girlfriend who he'd previously been in an open relationship with for six years and only three weeks before had taken a break from. Note: this does not mean they were broken up. We, um, didn't hang out again.
Date #4: German guy. Honestly, it wasn't even meant to be a date. A week or two before my Mom and sister came to visit, I heard from an American girl I'd met in Rekyjavík. She's a few years older than me and has had the most amazing travel adventures, one of which was a stint living in Berlin just because. At finding out one of her Berliner contacts (who'd been working in Ireland) was moving to Paris for a new job, she forwarded me his contact information. "I know you're super busy and you're by no means obligated to show him around at all, but if you wanted to, I know he'd appreciate it." We've been seeing each other regularly ever since. He's even picking me up from the airport Saturday! I'm (insert girly squeal here) very excited about it.

Although dating in a foreign city makes for better stories, successful outcomes still depend on chance, compatibility, and, of course, the ability to communicate :). Safer bets are surely dinner dates with friends; especially when that friend is Edna and she's introducing you to the deliciousness of Sichuan cuisine.

8 comments:

  1. Oh! This is so exciting Danielle!! I can't wait to see what else your travels with dating hold for you!

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  2. My mouth is starting to tingle just looking at the photos from that meal! Goodness was it spicy! Can't wait to hear more over lunch and dinner dates soon :)

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    1. It was, it was. I loved every bite :) looking forward to catching up, too!

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  3. OH MY GOD!!!!!!! i am all kinds of exclamation points right now over this post! esp the german guy, who i hope to hear lots about in the coming months ;) yay for germans!

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    1. Ha, you totally knew something I didn't know... until now ;)

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  4. Dating foreign boys gets you into trouuuuuble. And by trouuuuble I mean married and living in Europe. ;)

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    1. Dare I say I'm willing to take the chance? ;)

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