HOT MESS – “So, basically, your three main options are an ex-gogo dancer who doesn’t own a phone, a guy who lives with his long term girlfriend and another guy who keeps trying to spring surprise threesomes on you? I think you need more options.”
Sometimes you have moments of clarity, and it was this conversation with my best friend, Boy, which made me start to think my love life in Bangkok was a bit dysfunctional.
Dating can be hard but, as you will hear many women lament, it’s almost impossible in Bangkok.
Apart from one vaguely decent long term relationship before I moved here, I’ve never had much success with men, but this city seems to bring about even more terrible relationships than usual. I think the reason is that Bangkok is bursting with far more women than men, making it a playground for the indecisive gent. I also think it’s because this city is SO much fun, and who has time for thinking about marriage and babies when you could be singing karaoke on the bar at Wong’s Place until 10am?
Right? Am I right? Oh.
When I first arrived here two and a half years ago, I found it hugely depressing but, as I began to realize that looking for a meaningful relationship was all but impossible (I’ve actually only been on about five proper dates in Bangkok), I’ve made a conscious decision to just try and have fun. If you’re living in Bangkok in your twenties and thirties and not having fun, then you’re not doing it right.
On paper, casual dating is great. I had flings with a few lovely beach bums in Samet, a gorgeous chef and a kickboxing instructor who every time I meet him brought along a hopeful friend (who I would have to usher off home).
But the bleak side is that it’s less reliable than having a boyfriend. I send a lot of Line messages that never get replies and I have to ignore the smirks of my doorman when I have to come downstairs to let a boy into my condo because it doesn’t have a bloody buzzer. Another depressing aspect is that, of all the men I know, the ex-gogo dancer who doesn’t own a phone is the one my friends like the most. He’s the most eligible of the lot. His reason for not having a phone, by the way, is that ‘if I had a phone, people would call me’.
One can’t argue with that.
It’s easy to believe that I am un-date-able. Especially when well-intentioned people give me advice on all the things I’m doing wrong (not giving men a chance, meeting too many of my dates in Wong’s, not adhering to the ‘three day rule’ are some of my dating crimes) but, actually, when I look around at my friends of around the same age as me, they tend fall into two categories; those who are settling down and those who have similar dating success to me i.e. no dating success at all.
Big surprise – those who are tying the knot live almost exclusively outside of Bangkok.
And that’s why, every year, my single girl friends (Thai and otherwise) seem to leave the city and then immediately hook up with some hunk that they end up living happily ever after with.
But I have no plans to leave the country. Where’s the challenge in that?