Friday, January 26, 2018

A few

I love analogies....when it comes to dating, work, everything in between. :)

Yesterday when i was talking with a friend who was particularly stressed about a big inspection/apartment hunting day, i came up with this which i found really amusing.

Basically about 1 month ago i was in the exact same shoe. and i had to do that, MULTIPLE times in 2017 because, well, my situation in Australia just wasn't very stable due to various reasons. but that's beside the point.

So in Australia, you go on these scheduled inspections that are scheduled during a fixed time throughout the week/weekend. And it has been a 'landlord'(?)'s market in that as soon as something half decent is posted, it is snatched up right away.

Anyway, most people, depending on how urgent/desperate, usually have about a week, or sometimes a day (i've experienced both) to find something, apply for something, and land something, and sign something, and move something in 7 days later. ://///// beating competing desperate offers along the way.

So that gives you about one-two weekends to hunt. it's a full time job. So you can line up all your inspections in/around the areas you're looking for (and these inspections can be as short as 15 min to 30min). if you missed it - tough luck. And if you didn't have a car, you better get that uber or your strong leg muscles ready.

My friend has about 10 inspections today. and she was feeling quite nervous as she's had a roommate since she moved here, and many professionals (and i mean things like banking and decent corporate job), although in their mid/late 30s or even 40s, could still have roommates. I was quite amazed when i realised this when i previously lived in SG and now Sydney, because i definitely compromise on space, and live in a match box, than having roommates, which can be a hit or miss. but as adults, i kind of don't want to deal with drama/their hook ups/quirks/unwelcomed come-ons/crush on a roommate...i've been through all that. But anyway, for many people it is still a big leap to go from sharing --> having a place of their own.

So in our conversation i started talking about how i see these inspections EXACTLY like online/speed dating. Basically, you spend nights browsing through the housing app, found a few things you like based on the description and these amazing picture, line up all these potentials for inspections....get your hopes up....then..

you go on these 15 min flash inspections. like speed dating. most of the times you walk in and you're like WTF. were those pictures taken in the 80s?! the actual place looks super run down. Then the furniture (if it's furnished)...why was everything swapped to something distasteful ("oh because that couch was too expensive so you can only use this one"), then the hallway leading to the apartment or the other units look like the last mile in the prison, despite how much they decorate it like an airbnb on the inside, or the space looks 10x smaller than pictured, or it's actually located in the dungeon/basement so all that natural lighting in the picture were from..well unnatural lighting. so you got your hopes up, you have this one thing you thought would be 'the one'. and you walked out can blame it on the landlords of sydney, or the housing prices, or previous tenants...for the terrible condition of these places. but then you get to a point where you'er tired and cranky and you start to question yourself.


As a side note, when i went on these inspections, i do get very tired/frustrated/hungry and you only have a moment to sit in a park with lots of bird shit next to you and eat a sandwich before you have to go again. and also you go on these inspections where it's currently occupied by couples, and surrounded by couples, when you are looking a place on your own. it just wasn't the greatest feeling in the world. even though you probably really deserve a pat on the shoulder for being able to afford a place for two on your own. maybe i was being a bit weak those days but i felt a bit awkward for literally being this one girl in every inspection. (i also don't understand why in modern relationship people move in and out and around and internationally with partners like they are in a married relationship and buy appliances and do shit like married couples do). i just don't have the patience to test drive/be test driven for my commitment. i prefer to share those experiences with someone who wants to continue to do these things with me. that's beside the point again.

Then finally, you start to apply for shit all over the place, some you have liked and met 80% of your criteria, some you haven't even seen before because you are getting kicked out and have not a confirmation...then you get 'no response', and rejected by even places you were not sure about....

UNTIL  one day, the place you saw that you did feel like could be the one, actually accepted you. you remember sensing during the inspection the agent does like your profile and encouraged you to apply.  then on the phone actuallly said he could hold other inspections until you get your thing sorted out....and then YOU GOT IT. the place with a little terrace that you thought you could set up a outdoor sanctuary with pillows and furnitures, and the kitchen has a U-shaped counter that is conducive to the cooking you hope to do in your new place. nice and comfy and simple decor. not new and smells like old victoria houses, but it reminds you of home. the commute is a bit far, but the more you put your stuff in it, the more you see it as your own. and then you feel like all those disappointments...were probably leading you to this place, which you did see on the first/second day.

I guess what i am trying to say is that, as i now sit on my lovely IKEA lounger with spotted pillows behind my back, drinking a freshly brew coffee and typing this up, with books next to me i plan to read for hours after this, is that things will be OKAY. i say this to my friend but also myself.

you will get your hopes up with these speed dating/online dating and will be horrified along the way, but everything will be okay. it's not you. yes you missed this one apartment that is right in your building just a different unit with a reasonable rent, but there will be new ones posted tomorrow, in buildings/areas you've never considered before. and you might miss an apartment bc the agent was a total dick and out of the flurry of requests he didn't give a shit about your application, but there will be an agent who cares, and you want to get a property from someone like that because as a renter there's lots of maintenance/communication that ensues that you need a good agent for. Everything i wanted fixed after moving in - was done without a question.

Maybe i got lucky. but i think if we all try really hard and just be really resilient and true to what we are looking for, and never take shit, we may all get lucky one day, even if that person if with ourselves.

(and really, a lot of people hate their rented partments/stuck in a neighbourhood they bought their property in and now so they can get on the housing prices boom). We just don't know the back story.

Monday, November 27, 2017

what am i running away from / the hilariously sad stories about my wasted energy on men who turned out to be shockers

i suppose i am disappointment in myself a little bit.

the dick sand (metaphorically)

the flip side is i learned that i am more resilient than i thought.

tracing back a little - on my birthday this year i was thinking, hm i've made no progress to try to meet men since March because A)i started having a ton of visitors in town and B)work picked up at rocket speed and C)my ego was a little bruised by the last guy i met online which ended this whole "online dating is pretty fun because i dont have hard feelings for these almost-strangers". I didn't feel like a loser, i just recognized it as a fact that i've made no attempt from March - June. I also hated the fact that i used to have my birthday in summer and since i've relocated to the southern hemisphere, days surrounding my birthday/week/month were particularly gloomy, and rainy, and stormy. But i still didn't know what lies ahead in terms of dating.

Then, the fateful dinner in July, began this probably regretful encounter i had with the guy i last blogged about. This dude who i had these wonderful, fun dates with, who loved to behave as if we were actually dating, who never attempted any physical intimacy (which didn't bother me much since i'm an old soul, but was a bit odd according my friends and the rest of the world). We just continued to hang out, went to these nice places, he insisted on paying, giving me his jacket, coming to my dragon boat training, offering me his jacket,  peeled my shrimps (i didn't ask for it he just did it because i made a side comment), helping me move twice, walking me home....but he never said anything. WHY? i have NO IDEA. i became miserable from july - Oct cycling between emotions like: excited to see him, waiting for his text, disappointed that he was awful with texts to the point it felt like breadcrumbing, excited again, angry at myself, confused as to why he never said anything, doubting if i was too conservative and maybe i should go against my nature and throw myself at him by saying something suggestive (fortunately didn't bc i still believe if a guy can't work up his courage, he's not that into you or he's always had it easy which i hope he continues - with other girls), then finally giving up on this altogether by sticking to the principle of: not initiating any text, responding with statements only, being short and courteous with my response since if we are not making plans to meet, there's no point in having a pen pal in the same city. So ultimately we stopped talking. which was a real joy to me because i can finally stopped to obsessively check my chatting app like a teenage girl. i came so close to going back to a flip phone. i decided that i missed going on those dates with him that HE initiated, but if he doesn't invest continuously, for the sake of my mental health i better move the F on.

Funnily enough, my friend who was very enthusiastic about setting me up with her friend, organized a weekend trip to the wine region. her friend came along, who is a 45 year old widower who lost his wife to cancer. i know, awww was my first response. But i was pretty pissed still on the trip because that was the end of my thing with the previous guy and i was plenty mad at myself for being a fool. So although the trip was fun and i checked off a few more bucket list items, i could feel myself sulking around the wonderful Airbnb. often reading on the patio or away from the loud drinking games just looking at the lights in the distance. I should also add that at the time i also wasn't sure if i should continue to seek opportunities in Australia, because with the changed visa policy there would be no pathway to staying permanently, so all the friendship i've built, could also very well be left behind in a few years. and i'm not one for fake marriages and trick some poor australian soul into marrying me. so i was uber sad generally (will talk about that in a separate post, and no, i'm not leaving anymore).

Maybe it was my oddness or something i said or the fact that i finally had a chance to cook for lots of people twice (because it makes me happy), i caught the attention of the 45 year old. After the trip he then would spend a lot of time hanging with us girls whenever there's a gathering. He held two parties at his place (more like a legitimate house which he owns), was a kick ass cook (menu included matcha fondant cake and home made LAKSA), and i felt that he'd remember every comment i made for some reason. then he started talking to me in private, asked to hang out 1:1, and then organized a trip for me and two of the girls so he could drive us to the mountains for a day trip. So of course being a reasonable individual i did start to get curious about this guy and finally liked him a little. i felt that he was mature, quite funny, and i truly enjoyed our banter at the end of a workday/biz trip (we both travel a lot).

As one might think, maybe things happen for a reason, and maybe i would actually meet someone decent this time, THIS happened:

We were planning for the said day trip he proposed. My first query was if he wanted to take me, why did he ask me to nominate two good friends in our group? okay, maybe he's shy or doesn't want to take things too seriously too fast. That i didn't mind. But of course when he reached out to those people, not everyone likes HIKING, so the other ladies proposed that we go for a day drive, in the complete opposite direction, and eat along the way. the other idea someone proposed is for him to drive some 3 hours away (each way) to a cave. I had to jump into the group chat in the end to map out a route that wouldn't kill him, knowing his male ego might suck it up and do it anyway. was a bit annoyed, but i got over it.

then here's the killer. Throughout the day i had this incredible urge of jumping out of the car and rolling onto the freeway so i could escape the conversation. While chatting he's shared everything from a intraoffice dating exp (he dated one of his direct reports), to getting a facial from an ex (TMI) to having dated lots of Chinese girls (when i joked that he could date chinese speaking ladies to improve Chinese and that was his response), to finally sharing an anecdote about feeling up someone's fake boobs (because he's never touched fake boobs) before a one night stand when all we asked for was a pick up line he's tried. I mean, WHAT THE FUCK?! if someone could take a picture of my face in the back seat, i must have this o___o expression. is he fucking bipolar? was he a slut before or after his dead wife? okay, maybe i'm going a little far because there's lots of promiscuity in this world now, but WTF? what happened to that sweet mature sensitive widower who texts me witty jokes and speaks in a well mannered posh accent that i often give him a hard time about? did that person just die and go to heaven? did i just imagine every conversation i ever had with this guy? did i make the mistake of liking someone too fast again? I thought i'm already taking my time to see if investment = how much someone might like you.

Then he had the frigging guts to continue to tell me the story about when he was grilled by the friend who introduced us if he liked anyone in particular, that he said he was just enjoying getting to know everyone. he would do this with a guy friend of ours too. and throughout the trip he would always find chance to talk to me alone to refer to our inside jokes online and he thought i'd be overjoyed to hear this? So why didn't you share an ice cream with that guy after the dinner date? why did i waste those three hours hanging with you when i could be home taking a nap? I even sarcastically told him that i 'preserved' his reputation when he called me the other night when i was with the ladies that it was nothing, so they wouldn't suspect that we've been hanging out and he could continue to be popular within the group.

anyway....since that incident i've walked the harbour next to my house everytime i recalled it and got very angry with my naivity. either i got it all wrong, or there's a lot of men in this world who are just confused little shits regardless of their age. but i was mostly mad at myself, for deciding to 'like' someone. when the 45 year old texted me a few days later, my responses were rather cold and sarcastic. he pressed to get anecdotes from me, saying i'm like a box, full of mystery. i mean PUH-LEASEEEEE, i'm an open book to most people i know. i just dont have any story that can top the fake boob grabbing one night stand story (and i said that too). and i shared the bitchiest two stories and said sharing is caring until someone overshares. I think he gets the point now (whipping sound).

i'm beginning to think i better commence my autobiography soon otherwise that chapter on dating will explode and take over 90% of the book. mostly about weirdos. Just when i thought i could get over the 11 year age difference....:////////

so going back to my first point. i am really hoping to get away to the mountains for a few days during the holidays. i can't hide my disappointment because apparently my mom doesn't think i know how to date and most people i know either think i am a workaholic or have high standards. the finger pointing never stops. When the romantic in me jumps in, without trying to bring my baggage to new people i meet, and act funny and charming with clever comebacks, it still can't beat floozies w a pair of fake boobs who gets a kiss (and then some) on the first night. OK, OK, i do know that i'm so much better than the guy and those silicon implants. but the fact that i nearly fell for someone who confused me with bimbos who he beds easily still makes me angry (at myself). i should have known better and have ZERO expectations....but for how long?

i know i'm resilient and it's not fair for the next person who i hope exists somewhere to get the worst version of me, so i will bounce back like JLo. i say this every year, but in 2018 i will be good/strong/happy again. :)

Friday, October 6, 2017

So i kind of lied about not speaking to A anymore.

Of course i would...knowing me and my indecisiveness and thinking i can actually 'be friends' even if it doesn't work out.

I thought i could just accept the fact that we aren't attracted to each other enough or its not meant to be and just be friends who hang out...or whatever the hell you feed yourself when you think you're tougher than you think.

so i was organizing a dinner/drinks with friends and asked him to come join us, and he did, and this is the first time we've seen each other in a month.

and i dont think i am going to do it again.

My sister is really good about coaching me about relationships, and i often feel frustrated when i dont follow her advice or try to follow but because how i am inherently it is hard for me to modify my behavior or change the way i think, and i get all stressed out about it. this would be one of those times when she would say 'i already told you not to hang out with people who make you feel bad/lose sleep', or treat him like a person with no importance, or hang out with him just don't invest in any emotion.

We had a group of 5 people initially, then ran into more, so by the end of the night he probably met 10 of them, some are my best friends here who just happen to be in the area.

to be fair not all of them know each other, but all of them LOVE him. and i think proceeded to add him on facebook.

this is the time when i would face palm. and kind of have PTSD.

we do repeat our mistakes, sometimes there's a very small improvement in the way we handle it, but we do repeat our mistakes. I had a ton of fun last night and was happy to see him (and F, i could tell i was still attracted to him). And i was observing how he interacts with my friends. He is funny, charming, spoke 3 languages (depending on who he was speaking to)...what does this remind me of, who does this remind me of? Yes the Japanese guy who i dated in 2015 who i REALLY, REALLY liked, but who didn't like me enough to be with me and made me cry, by myself, all the time. I liked his charm, i liked that he was great to my friends (and i thought it was a sign of him liking me and wanting to impress them)...but then i realized that he was just narcissistic. He liked himself. He was charming, but not because of me. He didn't want to be with me. he only texts me/calls me if he needs me, he likes me, but not enough to be with him, he likes himself the most. so i gave up potential opportunities to go to Japan, and came to australia. and closed that chapter for ever.

So last night was a reenactment of those days with the N (Jap guy), with slight improvement. A was hanging around me most of the time, he was paying attention to me (N would even hit on my friends), taking care of me, walking me home...but he didn't say anything. my friends could tell that he and i probably like each other, but it has been THREE months. we were not meeting for the 3rd time and there's some chemistry, THREE MONTHS have elapsed.

If i can say one thing about guys i've met in my adult life, that is, yes, while there are some suiters who would come on VERY STRONG to the point i'm pretty scared, most guys like to just 'keep in touch'. i didn't understand it the first time when N told me we should keep in touch, but now i know exactly what that means. And i know i dont want to keep in touch with someone i really like. I can keep in touch with friends, but not when i like someone and that someone just wants to keep his options open. i dont waste time like that, i dont take people or time for granted.

So of the things we talked about last night, some additional things that made me realize he isn't ready/serious/at least not with me:
- he and his friends created this spreadsheet with weighted composite scores, if a woman rates about 7, she's a keeper/marriage material. what kind of fucking logic is this? and apparently you need a big enough sample to even feed into this template dont you? we are not on the bachelor here.
- had basically some crazy drunken nights/ not so druken nights with friends. and proceeded to update me about his social activities. like i said before, if i'm not part of your weekend plan, i dont care to know about it via text. it'snot my concern how much fun you've had without me if we aren't dating and you aren't proposing the next date. i dont need a penpal. and they just get together and drink a lot.
- talks about wanting to travel and do his bucket list, but never actually does anything about it - if you dont' act on it, it will never happen. he never takes vacation and hence accumulated 70 days. it would always be me who talks about my travels from the weekend or from the last month...and we both hold very demanding jobs (probably more so for me because Australia is new and marketing is new for me and requires lots of travels)...
- still likes hot/sexy/tatooed women

this is probably not the sweet person who i thought he was when we first met. who was nervous around me and wants to show me everything, and texts attentively. He is 2/3 of N. which means i've made 1/3 of improvement only.

He offered to move me to my next apartment tomorrow, so i accepted. maybe he's doing this as an act of friendship, or keeping his options open so if he changed his mind i would still be hanging around. maybe he was charming and funny with all my friends because he wants to impress me, or maybe because he just wants to be charming all the time with people. maybe he thinks of me as a friend only, maybe he will become good friends with my friends later. it kind of all doesn't matter anymore. because i'm leaving. unless someone magically makes me fall in love and decides to F my other life choices, i will be out of here in 4 months.

that's why i never take time or people for granted. you never know where they will be next. you never know what decision they are making. I like to make them know they are important to me when we are together.

after this weekend, i'm going to create distance now to limit communications. i can't control the way i feel when i see him, despite some red flags i've noticed, i will make no efforts to meet up. if he doesn't act/try, i would be okay to move on like this.

Recent stressors

I thought i would do a quick post about the changes in my life lately:

- coming out of the rotational program - host manager just left the company, effective immediately (this is someone who i trusted a whole lot with my development and personal issues as i moved here by myself and now in the middle of the job hunt, didn't get to say goodbye)
- Home office manager is also leaving. this is the same guy who fired my boss one year ago, who for some reason doesn't like me. So basically i have no role to go back to.
- Host country (Australia) doesn't have the headcount to keep me
- Australia in general has just changed its working visa policy, pushing skilled people out (you can renew your visa onshore once, with no pathway to permanent residency). So basically if i want to stay, i would have to leave in approximately 6 years.
- I have to work in the nominated profession on my visa (so even though i've done other medical jobs before, i am restricted to marketing which has zero opening due to the economy)
- if i changed employer, i close off the last possibility forever which will allow me to try permanent residency via a different pathway
- the guy i liked/dated for 3 months, isn't that invested
- i am pretty sure that i won't go back to Singapore or New Jersey or China

So in my dad's words - the answer is pretty clear.

I have 3 months left, then i will go somewhere to put my roots down. And that somewhere is going to be the US.

I suppose sometimes you just kind of accept things as they are, when all signs point to one direction, that is it is time.

Mentally i definitely feel quite exhausted having moved around so much on my own. a new country and a new role every 18 months. I suppose when i first joined the industry bye moving from california to new jersey i never thought my life/career would go down such dramatic path. Then one thing after another, i became a nomad. It was absolutely kick-ass hard, every single year, and i was SO scared, when i had to assume roles i had no experience in, because of organizational restructure, but i stuck with it, and made a difference, then moved on when i was about to go insane. I had to travel alone in countries, sometimes developed sometimes in development. I had to influence people who were much more senior/cynical/skeptical/hostile than me to show my value in the organization. I had to influence down so that the local people trust me and will work with me (and sometimes become great friends with them). I have done it all. At the end of the day, i dont regret any part of it. I really pushed myself, from hospitals in china/south east asia to the offices in Singapore, Tokyo, New Jersey...i gave it my all. I know my work led to better study outcomes/medical practices/disease awareness/integration of digital technology/successful business performance....and i met some great people/customers along the way. I tried all kinds of delicacies in Asia and traveled far and wide. I know i cared, i wasn't just here for a temporary stunt before i go back to my cushion-y seat in the western country, i pushed myself to use my bilingual ability to HELP and often got stuck between the expats who had an agenda, and what really matters to the local people.

I have no regrets.

I just feel a little bit sad to leave this behind.

If you asked me if i am ready to go back to the US, the answer is probably no. I enjoy being immersed in different cultures, and using my US exposure to excel, to influence, and vice versa using my Asian background to connect with people, to help them say what they want to say. I feel a sense of purpose when i represent Asia in the most corporate-y meetings.

But i need to put my roots down somewhere. Mentally i feel very tired, having to do this by myself. every international move, saying goodbyes, finding a place to live, signing contracts, setting up utilities,  learning a new job, finding my way around the city, finding friends who i click with (not just for cocktails), finding someone who likes me enough to be with me, traveling for work, traveling home to see my parents/friends, finding a permanent role to transition into, applying for external jobs, speaking with immigration agent....i'm burnt out.

I need to take care of myself for a while.

I need to maybe first take care of myself and my mental health.

Like my sister said, what feels too hard is probably not meant to be.

If i went back to the US, i will be able to live like a normal person again. I can rent, or even think about buying, i can invest in nice stuff in the house (and stop bumming from temporary housing to temporary housing using the landlords crap or buy really cheap things or having to donate things away), i can have a pug (which i love), I can buy herbs/plants for my balcony that won't die, i can use all my vacation days to visit NEW places i haven't been instead of making my annual trips back home and still feel guilty/sad as hell when i leave, i can build my career in one country because that's what most people will challenge you with (most organizations still don't care about your international/cross functional profile because the hiring manager/team has not done it so they need someone NOW for one very specific job), i can meet men who are also stable and part of the society (not expats with questionable moral issues), i can meet men who may or may not want to be serious but at least i won't feel the time pressure that i might leave and if they want to take their time - fine, get back in line - but for the serious ones, we can have a future, i can build long term friendship without having to say goodbye....

So yes, that would a good decision, at the end of the day. I never thought this day would come so fast, but neither did i think i would move back to asia in a whim 7 years ago.

It probably will be hard initially, starting over in a new city, but i have my best friends there. and i love san fran. it will be okay. I might miss the people i've met here and have grown close to. but i wont have to do this again, for a while.

It will be okay in the end.

Monday, September 25, 2017

the last thing i said to you/saw you/the last time we touched

I have extremely good photographic memories...or any kind of memory visual or non-visual.

And then over the years i realized it's a really bad thing in dating. I remember what i wear to meet a guy for the first time, every conversation we've ever had, the sweetness in the beginning, and every red flags i begin to notice, and then the hurtful words/actions in the end. And then the last time we see each other, because in my mind i know i need to dis-engage before i completely lose my confidence in myself. So they never know when that might be, but i know, and i get ready for it.

and then i go through this phase of wishing i have the machine from The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind. I force myself to forget certain things. Life gets busy, life always gets busy. I usually at some point will get a chance to re-locate for work/school and because at that time i always happen to be single because i just met the most selfish guy in the world who i peeled myself away from, i would take the opportunity and leave the bad memories behind.

So i develop a system to help me get over heartbreaks, like blogging, like forcing myself to throw away memorabilia, like re-visiting places we've been together with a new friend/family/guy so i won't feel that emotional about that spot anymore, like shutting down memories from a certain period of my life (what i call collateral memories, and i almost forget everything from that period, until start to feel better again then i will start recalling things for the first time)....

it is never easy.

And then i remember, from time to time, the last time we saw each other.

With NO, it was in Tokyo in my hotel room, when i told him, out of the blue after a very good day trip, that this is it. you have led me on for too long without any sign of commitment, i hope you are well, but i dont want to like you anymore. that was the last time we saw each other. And then i felt this cold shiever when he left, i can still remember that room in Keio Hotel. I knew i would never see him again. But I slept well for the first time in a really long time. and then that was the last time i was in Japan.

With A, it was at his place after dinner. I thought we could stay friends, so we hung out for the first time after i told him that we would be friends. And what he said at dinner completely validated my assumption that he is and will forever be a immoral, selfish, male skank. So i asked him why we should even be friends at all? there's nothing i could ever want from him, and he's already done so much damage to my ego. So when i got off the taxi, i knew it was the last time i'd see him. But i was better off because of it. I cried the whole night. for myself, feeling angry and sad for myself at the same time.

Then AR from my MBA. when he came over to my place and found out i accepted a job offer from my dream job, immediately he said he doesn't see a future. he didn't want to work in Asia anymore. So that was it. when i was leaving France for good, he almost never came to say goodbye. and he never contacted me again. and i still held one ounce of hope that he'd come to grad trip and said he was sorry. He never showed.

Then R...

Then D...

Then what's his face...

Then AC. the last time we saw each other. the last word i sad to him.

The funny thing is, i also still remember how we first met. all of them. It was always so endearing. Sometimes there's initial attraction sometimes there isn't, but i grow to like them because of their uniqueness. And i never acted needy, always kept my fun and cool...

I would remember walking up and down the Huanpu river at night feeling like magic with someone who i was intensely attracted to. oh he moved all over the world and spoke multiple languages and felt like a nomad and a fun and caring free spirit...just like me.

I would remember the first time A and i had a date and we ran into a colleague and i literally was hiding behind him.

I remember when i couldn't find my family, AR would ride me up and down the streets of the little french town to find them.

I remember on my first date with AC, he was a blabbering idiot, but was so anxious to show me everything and anything about Sydney...

then there comes the turning point when everything is different.

Luckily, i've learned that if someone starts to make me lose a lot of sleep/weight, and cry when i am by myself, he's not the right person. so now i move on. And my heart stays open for the next person, then the next one..

We've all been hurt, i think you can be proactive about it and get smarter. But some of these men, they just change. they change to be selfish, hurtful, inconsistent, flakey, cold. I know they will end up with someone who schemes to attract them. if you played games, then expect to be played. i have zero regret about not ending up with them. i actually feel a lot of pity for the women who became 'the one' for them. and for these men too. i'm sorry but you are in for a wild ride. People don't change. I dont think any social pressure about marriage or kids will tempt me enough to want to go back to these men.

I do still get sad about how it went down. sometimes i get really depressed. and i wish they were still that genuine and nice person who i have chemistry with.

so the last thing i said to AC was, 'Wow your friend is super talented! :) i'm glad it was so fun!"

this is after 3 months of breadcrumbing me. i think i deserve better. it is just hard to believe that this is the same person who was spastically nervous when we met for brunch. the weekend i decided to move on, 3 guys approached me within a period of 24 hours. So i know i am not complete shit. i really need to move pass this. and maybe, leave again. maybe it's time to go home now. Thank you for making it easy for me AC, like all other men.

maybe it's a blessing in disguise from God. when i settle down, the right person will be there. after my 7 years of adventure all over the world. I'm not jaded.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

It's never too late to learn

To deal with disappointments in dating.

I am 34, not 44, or 54, and even at that point in my life i never want my age to be a reason why i settle for bad behaviors from selfish people.

Given the recent disappointment with this guy who i dated for 2 months (shall debrief in a separate post...since it has been two years and there are lots i can blog about my not-so-dreamy dates...i have fallen many times and picked myself back up...until i fall again... so no, i used to think i could start writing that first chapter of my "this is how we met", online, at a mutual friend's dinner, at a company overseas meeting....i no longer feel that way until i'm sure something is gonna last. Otherwise, I would keep tearing out those pages. It kind of doesn't matter how you 'meet cute' or how much coincident there is between us or how interesting that person's profile is, if he's not sticking around, there is zero point to create those thought bubbles.

(I should preface that with - i am NOT a clingy girl, i send fun texts probably 2-3 times a day at most if we are not in a relationship (result of a hard lesson), love my career and have lots of interests, don't get competitive, care about the way i look and dress in my own style not overtly no, i'm not blogging as someone who is trying to trap a guy by deligently scheming.)

I'm going out for dinner at this eclectic restaurant in Sydney followed by a night out with live music, so i will keep this one short. :)

I thought to get back to blogging because it is therapeutic. And this year i kind of need it.

I will elaborate more about why i am claiming that i want to start learning about the art of dating/attraction now. but in a nutshell, it was inspired by the fact that i realized all these painful lessons weren't categorized smartly, or i lack a 'system'. As my sister said, i have a system for everything, how to interview, how to perform at work, at school, socially...these are situations where i am super logic and have worked out a way to excel. But with dating i go very black and white. you can blame it on those years of NOT dating because no guys were interested in me and i was perfectly happy in my nerdy imaginitive nerd as a science student, and had depression/anxiety disorder from my first ever relationship. so when i started to look better and become interesting and attractive in my late 20s and early 30s after i've finished ALL of my degrees and entered working life -- a string of broken heart -- from me. :(

So i was going on and on about this guy who again, chased me and appeared to be sincere, only to now treat me with mixed messages that i will not tolerate and felt insulting (because he probably is simultaneously doing to other women and he's realized that now i am receptive to his tactic), i had strong desire to and send messages or talk to him face to face to tell him to stop or spill how i feel. Wouldn't he know that i have been super fun and not clingy and the same person since date #1? the only difference is that now i think we could be good friends anyway, i do propose things/plans (not frequently) and i do appear friendlier without my guard on, and he actually pulls away, which leads me to believe, he like the other men i've met , actually like it better when i turned back into a bitch out of disinterest/anger...these men are hopeless. and i just move on.

What i probably should adopt as a mindset, is how do i treat this as other aspects of my life? the perfect example is that i am interviewing like crazy right now, trying to be 20% better than i actually am as a candidate, so at least you can secure offers and have options. and then you turn down the options that are not so good for you. Isn't this the same with dating? Not saying you pretend to be someone who you're not, but could i appear to be more attractive to more men? instead of always thinking i just need to attract that unicorn, who may or may not exist. then with the men who seem to be into games or superficial attributes, they won't be the offer i take in the end. and at some point i will do it so naturally that i won't even bother with them, only maybe give them a taste of their own medicine ;)

So is it too late to start? how do i start?

1. Identify the lessons i've learned from each dating experience. what i could have done differently (not in a self-harming way but just analyze the situation). it may very well be that they have poor taste (and they usually do, as i would find out one guy had dated a married woman and had the guts to justify it, or the other, like girls who are bad/sexy/have tattoos). so erm, what is it about me that they think would match those poor taste of theirs? gross. but okay, for the sake of argument, even though now i know they are pure shit who have shitty tastes, how would i keep the attraction of these men? I wouldn't say sex, because i didn't even consider it, but they did keep coming back to me (which the naive me thought they must really like me and want to be 'good'. oh mistakes you make when you're young....). so yeah, how do you keep their level of attraction as practice?
p.s. i was actually quite proud of the fact that we dated exclusively as long as we dated without me throwing myself and lowering my standards, so even though they proceeded to date other skanks/knocked up girls, i never had to lower myself to that extent just to be with someone. ;) one point for this ex-nerd.

2. Learn from people. I learn from my sister a lot because areas that i'm weak in (only in dating), she is very logical and is the angel/devil on my shoulder that tells me to do the right thing without selling myself short or wasting my energy, but still snap out of the bad shit.

3. What else can i learn from? Fortunately, on YouTube, there are so many dating coaches with very sound advice. So yes, that's helped me learned lessons like, how to move on from liking someone, signs you should/should not be with a guy...etc. I am also now reading a program by this particular dating coach, Matthew Hussey. Again his tips are always how the point, never petty, never scheming, about raising your self worth and being smart about identifying signs (good or bad), appear more attractive via text (i am 80% but can get better), deal with dissapointments and move on...basically healthy mindset i can have while navigating the world of modern dating. So i will commit to reading at least one chapter a day before going to bed.

4. Practice. Practice the theories and lessons learned on the future guys i meet, or on this one who i am ready to never see again.

It's never too late to start. :) Be sweet with your words, but ruthless in your action. :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lessons i've learned over the last 3-4 years

1. Being pretty (and nice) doesn't actually come with more benefits: For as long as i can remember i was the nerdy one with no sense of style whatsoever growing up with two pretty sisters...and i'm not exaggerating. I really didn't give a rats ass about looking nice until i was about to graduate from Rx school, ie. 26-27. In college i had more lab classes than i can remember. I couldn't really do a lot of fun stuff (even with the Taiwanese students association on dumpling nights) because if i had even one lab class, i am spending 10+ hours in the lab, not counting the time i worked on the lab report, or actually worked in a lab on the side. and some semesters i would have 2 of those lab classes... so i really couldn't dress up because i would have to wear lab goggles anyway. And i had horrible skin conditions (i still do) for a hormonal imbalance problem. So i really just looked like major crap. But things got better when my acnes started dying down when i got put on a magical medication, then around that time i decided that it would be fun to try out different clothes. I started eating better, excercising, wear make up, get nice hair cut..and the next thing i know, i started getting guys' attention. In some way you can say i am a 'late boomer'. But that's precisely why i've run into a lot of trouble these years. I have trouble telling the 'bad' ones from the 'good' ones, mainly because they didn't come with tatoos and a dirty mouth. So yes i am being approached by many many times now, but in some way i almost long for the simpler times, when i can be sure everyone was genuine, if they liked ME back then. As my sister said, that was true love. 

2. If someone truly wants to cheat you, there is no way you can tell: A lot of women think that when you get hurt by men it's because you liked the bad boys to begin with, or you must not have paid attention to the signs...etc. All i can say is, it was easier said than done. I didn't believe my sisters when they would advise me on these behaviors but now i know. Basically, through the past years, the couple guys who i fell hard for and got hurt by, really came to me under the cover of being a 'nice' guy. And maybe to some degree, they are already nice enough in this world of beastiality where women throw themselves at men in fear of dying alone, or just having low self confidence, i dont know. But basically, on one occasion, a-hold A approached me through a women's leadership event i held internally, by being the only male participant who showed up over time. he sent me articles after the meeting to be shared with others, he sent me recommendations for places in other parts of Taiwan that i could visit. We went on normal, sweet dates, bicyling, or looking at the view of taipei from the mountain, or dinner dates after work...until i found out he had strong morality issues, including having switched gf's constantly in the past, including a married woman. I FLIPPED OUT. And after forgiving him, i found out at a later point that he was dating different people, one of them actually living on my street. then i pulled the plug. so no, they dont come with tatoos..and once you fall for them, you fall for them pretty hard. you almost feel bad to walk away from something sweet and genuine to begin with. I had such a horrible time in 2013. 

3. Even the 'good' guys can hurt you: Yes, case number 2, came from a good friend who i knew for almost 10 months in the MBA program, who has been a sweet friend, but passive. When he finally professed his love, that's when our relationship changed and i started looking at him differently because he was such a 'good' guy. Then i decided that i would job offer came from SG from the company i want to work for. Then it was that speech -- i dont want to do long distance (more on this later)...and i need my gf to live in the same city as me. blah blah blah. not even pretending that we would TRY. even when i decided that I would be nice and left a copy of a book that i had introduced him in his mailbox, NO WORDS. And on the last day before i left france, i asked if he wanted to stop by the school cafeteria where i bidded everyone goodbye, he said he was really busy that day. When he did stop by, it was barely a hug. then he was off. I then left France with a broken heart. but a good friend. a 'good' guy. and i couldn't even tell a lot of people because he's been such a well-behaved, nerdy guy that no one would believe would kill an ant. 

4. I wish i was selfish: So through the past years i have heard the 'i dont want to do long distance' from at least 3 guys. all of them i had gone on cute dates with, and all of them delivered this same speech to me, when i at least was willing to TRY. heck i am even willing to MOVE if given the right guy, or given up a good offer. But NO ONE so far has shown the same decency. So in my defense, if you didn't show that you're worth it, i'm also not gonna even try to put my career or family life on hold. I want to be in Singapore, where i got a great oportunity and i would be close to my family. Why is it that everyone else gets to say this to me before i get to reject them? which brings me to the next point. 

5. I refuse to let my past dictate my future, and i really want to be with someone like that: Yes we've all gotten hurt or gotten rejected. My last major relationship happened in high school/college, and i was dumped because it became long distance. Yes it sucked really bad. It sucked so bad that it put me into depression. and i never dated for the next 10+ years. But will i never say never? probably not. But should i? probably. But i choose to see everyone as a new individual. I can/should never ask the next person to prove himself to me just because the last a-hole had broken my heart. Who doesn't come with baggage? But still, i've had to hear the 'i've been in LDR before, and it didn't work out, so i am never doing it WITH YOU'. that type of thing. which hurt, a lot. 

6. I am a lot braver than i think: I've moved and lived in at least 5 countries in the past 5 years, and i constant travel bc of my job. and i am immersed by men who judge me for my life choices, refuse to date me, say horrible things to me that break my heart, but i dont want to give up. Just because something's never been done before, doesn't mean that it can't be done. I always think i should just run back to the US, or any western country, before i am too old. Over there women are relatively more free, and age isn't as big an issue, and i will forever look young/exotic. But that would be the easy way out. I like that i get to travel to different places and experience different cultures, sometimes in emerging economy where everything is dirty, or dangerous, or the customers are rude, or the workload is heavy, but i dont want to give up. yet. I want to learn new languages as i go to these places. I want to try to live/work in Japan/Korea even if it means it's a dating desert for me with a western demeaner, and women locally dress better and are more cute and submissive. But i dont want to give up. Will it hurt me in the end? i dont know. 

7. I am too kind, too much a giver: this probably relates to the point of not being selfish, but i can't change who i am essentially. I wish i can play these games of love. given that i'm usually one being strung along for different people's selfish purposes, for them to 'choose' if i get to be their gf's or not (screw that). I never did it to a guy and i never want to do it. I feel like no one should have to impress me like that. if i didn't like someone enough i would let them down easy, but i never do 'pulse checks' or flirt with them online or ask favors of them, because i dont want to. it makes me sleep better at night. And also because i have been severely depressed, i dont want to cause pain to another person. Also when i am in a semi-relationship (if that even exists), i think about the other person and what he said, and i would even bring in coffee or little favors because i remember. But i dont feel like that the same has been done to me. I wish i can be more cold hearted. 

8. The world has gone slutty and i'm being eliminated by Darwinism: I realized this soon after i dated the TW a-hole. To give the proper background, i didn't sleep with any of these a-holes who broke my heart in the past years. precisely because i refuse to sleep with someone before we are even in a relationship, and before we had the talk, or while we had the talk, it became acutely clear to me that they 'weren't sure' if we should be exclusive. So if we weren't, what reason do i have to trust you with my body? Am i suppose to interview with my skills in bed? the scary thing is, whenever i did talk about guys with people these days, they asked me why i didn't? people advised me that i needed to try them out, or that i need to just live in the moment. i WISH i can live in the moment. i really do. but i can't. I know the consequences of heartbreak. And i can't stand lies, and i already feel like few people these days are genuine. good guy or not. So why is it a GIVEN these days that i need to put out? Then it became the chicken or the egg question, perhaps because i didn't want to sleep with them, that they 'weren't sure' if they wanted to date me?! i ask myself the same question. but as i get older, i reall just dont want to sleep with any random ass hole who could give me the same speech. :( 

9. it's really hard being an expat: because you move around so much, you meet interesting people, you create interesting memories, and you leave a piece of your heart everywhere you go. But you're also not right next to your family, so you feel guilty all the time. You also grow apart from the many friends you meet everywhere because you aren't there during their major life events, then you feel guilty somewhere. Then you spend your vacation days visiting people and catch up, and feel like you weren't present during those major events. Because you move you always have to make new friends, learn about a new market, as exciting and rewarding as that might be, you see your freidns posting their baby pictures and new house photos, and you wonder if you need to stop one day. But you just happen to combine your interst for new adventures, with your career. 

10. It's even harder being a female expat: because the world is the western/western-educated men's playground, especially in emerging countries. So all of them have fun with local women, dont want to deal with someone who's sharp and smart and make as much as they do. and then you are open to dating local men, but most of them are too scared to approach you. Or that theres inherent cultural differences that you're not used to. or you make more than them. or they are intimidated by your lifestyle/experience. you can't do anything right. then you feel guilty about your career which you worked so hard on, or your education because you dont want men to think you're intimidating. You are told to not talk back to these men or debate with them because it turns them off. Then you feel like you're not yourself anymore. 

11. I dont like being grey. I am black and white because i've always been like this, and i'm a scientist. so everything is black and white to me. you need to show me the evidence. please dont tell me that people make mistakes and i need to be tolerant. yes i do understand that, and i pray to god that i wont be like that one day. but i can't stand immorality, or cheating. why do i have to understand people's moral problems when they dont understand my desire to do the right thing all the time and i am being judged as being too serious? all that i want is to not cheat someone. you can break up with people, but dont sleep around, not even once. is that so hard to ask? Do i need to develop patience every time someone is 'unsure' about dating me? then how much time do i have? how much longer do i have to wait? 

I dont know anymore. i dont want to let my age define me and what i do, but i'm scared as hell. what if i never meet that person who i think exists? what if every guy essentially is confused? what if i finally meet someone nice and i'm not attracted to him? can i force myself to date someone who i dont love? what if i do meet the right guy and i'm already old and he doesn't see me at my prime? 

some days i feel very tired. and sad. i'm 32 and i dont have the answers. :(