There's a beach but no-one to walk it with!
July 27, 2011 2:54 AM   Subscribe

I moved/relocated four months ago to a small island in SE Asia. I never really thought much about dating before this - I always seemed to have a partner if I wanted one - but there are so few single guys here looking for Western women that it might become a bit of an issue. But if I try online dating, my matches are likely to be from hundreds of miles away which could end up with me not meeting anyone that way either. Should I give it a go?

I realise this question sounds a bit pessimistic but that's not me, I'm just trying to figure out if this is worth doing.

Basically if I go onto sites like plentyoffish or whatever, all the guys are looking for Asian women. That's cool, it's up to them, no probs. And I know some guys are looking for Western women. But I live in a tiny expat community and think if I leave it to chance to meet someone like this I never will. I'm also looking for someone to maybe travel with in a couple of years (I have a good job here right now and want to stay for a bit, but otherwise I don't care where I live; I like trying out new places). But if I start using a dating site, it's very very likely that a match will not be from this island, so I'm wondering if it's worth while to even bother.

There was a recent AskMe about people who wink at others on, even if they're hundreds of miles away, and some people pointed out that plenty of people have a wide geographical base for meeting someone. I'm fine with that, but it's not as easy as getting on my bike and driving 50 or 100 miles to meet someone - we're talking flights and overnight bus trips, and at the minute I'm freelancing loads as well as working full time, so don't have holidays to take for quite a while.

So I guess my question is should I be expecting to look further afield for a partner, and is it worth putting a profile up with that stated? I don't want to be flying to Singapore or wherever for dates! But I also don't want to be emailing someone for six months before we meet up and find we don't click. Any comments or advice would be good; also on maybe wording this type of ad.

I won't be threadsitting but I realise this question is kind of vague so I'll be about for a while to answer questions or clear anything up.

I'm 36, Irish, female if it matters.

Thank you!
posted by mudkicker to Human Relations (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
To clarify, I meant the guys on plentyoffish etc *based here* are looking for Asian women, not generally. And now I'm off back to work for a bit...
posted by mudkicker at 2:58 AM on July 27, 2011

I live in Korea which is definitely not a small place, but the dynamics are similar (i.e., Western guys tend to want to date Korean girls, but not always).

As much as I can't stand it personally, this might be a job for Facebook. If you're trying to connect romantically your odds increase according to how large your network of friends is. Of course, there's also Google+ which I greatly prefer, but people are still sussing it out.

Also, the nicest and most interesting ex-pats I've met have come through taking a local language class. It immediately weeds out the yahoos who aren't interested in exploring another culture.
posted by bardic at 3:35 AM on July 27, 2011

I just read something about how Western women who live and work in Asia (not just tiny islands but large cities as well) often move for a few years to a Western country for the express purpose of meeting a husband (or long term partner, father of their kids, whatever), because where they are it's nearly impossible. Which makes me think that it's worth trying pretty much anything you can think of. (Though since you've found it so easy up to this point, it occurs to me that maybe if you travel in a few years as planned, but by yourself, that could serve the same purpose as moving does for those other women.)
posted by DestinationUnknown at 4:22 AM on July 27, 2011

The second write-in from Korea in three hours :)

May I suggest keeping it simple? Start at the local scene (whatever that might be), and enjoy the time however you're able to spend it. There are Western guys out there that aren't afflicted with yellow fever. Unless you're in a hurry or something, in which case I'd suggest being willing to travel to the bigger areas.
posted by chrisinseoul at 4:30 AM on July 27, 2011

Nope, not in a rush at all, just thinking there's not much hope of meeting a guy I'm compatible with just by chance, as there are so few single compatible guys here (my female English friend here has been here for 4 years and thinks it's virtually impossible). I'm not really wondering 'How can I meet guys as a Western woman in Asia?', more 'Is it worth my time trying online dating given that I'll 99.9% have to fly anywhere even for a first date?'

If nothing else it'll be something interesting to research/write about :)

(Oh, and am in Thailand, not Korea, although the situation seems to be the same in both places - just with a lot lot less people here :) )
posted by mudkicker at 4:38 AM on July 27, 2011

Is there any reason you'd not want to date someone local? Or an Asian expat from another country?
posted by elizardbits at 6:13 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just language barrier at the moment - I'm learning Thai but won't start formal classes until I have a bit more time at the end of August. Otherwise, yes, I could see myself settling in SE Asia long term so a local guy is definitely included in my 'guys I could date' options.
posted by mudkicker at 6:17 AM on July 27, 2011

I'm going to go w/ elizardbits in suggesting you shouldn't rule out the local guys by default. A lot of young well-educated people in Thailand (and other Asian countries) do speak decent English and many of them have gone to university in Western countries - so the language/cultural barrier isn't necessarily as big as you might think.
posted by pravit at 11:18 AM on July 27, 2011

Should I give it a go?

Maybe you can give it a rest for a while.

I always seemed to have a partner if I wanted one

That's more than many people can say. I don't know what I'd be willing to do to be like that, but it would be significant. You had a good run, and maybe it will happen again in the future, but moving to a different city/country/whatever might be the "price of admission", as Dan Savage likes to say.

You don't say if you're open to hook-up-y relationships or are only open to a more traditional boy-friend-y/girl-friend-y relationship. If it's the former I'd suggest going the online dating rout. When you do want to go on a short vacation to Singapore you'll have some one to hang out with if you "don't click" and someone to fuck if you do. And, maybe they'll be a good travel partner "in a couple of years".
posted by cupcake1337 at 4:54 PM on July 27, 2011

Am in no rush, as I mentioned above. I don't care if I don't find anyone for a couple of years, I do like being on my own, but conversations here have made me start to wonder if I could/should be a bit more pro-active and whether that would be worth it given the travelling involved. I'll mull it over...
posted by mudkicker at 5:20 AM on July 28, 2011

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