?I recently came across this article on TINDER AND THE DAWN OF THE 'DATING APOCALYPSE' in the 2015 September issue of Vanity Fair Magazine, and I was lost for words... this is the saddest thing I've come across in a while, in unison with the state to Japan's lack of sex drive and/or desire for relationships. Here is the article here: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/tinder-hook-up-culture-end-of-dating
Reading the article got me to thinking of recent concerns of female and male friends, as well as the realities I've had to face, dating on one side of the planet to the other; international date lines are in effect up in here~ I'm no dating/relationship expert and I can't say what is right or wrong, but only what I know is true to me and my own opinions. I will try to be as gender neutral as possible and offer varying perspectives (although no matter what it will end up being biased as I'm female and can't speak for being a man). This is my lengthy, probably the first and last shpeal on the subject.
Dating in one side of the globe and the other has some differences due to cultural and surrounding environments but the premise is the same. Everyone is looking for human connection; in the realm of dating, a romantic/intimate partnership or hook up (if you're like these guys going after girls/women like they appear on the NASDAQ).
If I must, I can go into further detail; for example in Tokyo, being in a Japanese environment and a culture that is a bit misguided (勘違いしてる）focusing on the more superficial, puts those with 'gaijin' or foreign/western/anglo saxon features on a pedestal, giving them false sense of pride/power/superiority. I have encountered on numerous occasions whilst dating where the other individual would casually say: 'don't worry the cab drivers will stop as I'm white' or 'they will stop for a foreigner', as I instinctually try to stop them from jaywalking across the street as cars were approaching, and didn't want them to get hit. My comment was, (mainly at the start of my time in Tokyo as you get desensitised to these quips after a while); 'you've been here way too long, and you're more "Japanese" than I am'... my facial expression; did I really hear you correctly?! But this is a reality, that just is, and although I think it to be sad, it is one that both foreign and Japanese are responsible.
I need to state the fact that I am Japanese, although in Japan probably more foreign than some of the foreigners, and I have experienced both sides of the double edged sword as well as the rainbow-and-unicorn-on-a-bed-of-pink-clouds treatment of being 'different' (and confidently so in my own unique way). So I believe I have a good inside out/outside in perspective. I have also experienced the reverse, of being in a completely American environment where I was the only asian in the whole school. Culture shock on varying degrees throughout my life existed. I've also been in two major long term relationships (of 7 years and 5 with my ex boyfriends), been single for the last two years, and at 33 I do date.
In Toronto it is more; we're all human, anything goes, and a mishmash of multiculturalism, amidst the other aspects like socio-economic status, age, and other factors that go into one finding a mate. But still complicated none the less as one has to be vigilant or sensitive to the cultural backgrounds, customs, language differences of the other you are meeting, etc. I've only been here since May this year, and when I lived here before, I was in a committed long term relationship, so I can't provide as much insight into the realities of dating here, although I do get asked out on coffee and dinner dates often. Wether it goes anywhere beyond that, well, when you know yourself, needs, and wants... I'm very discerning and selective to whom I give my time, energy, and self. I am also currently going through a lot medically that requires my attention, but I'm trying my best not to let that get in the way of leading the greatest possible life (under the circumstances).
This is going to be quite a generalised post on this topic, but a few things I've learned along the way and some words of advice that may or may not help or apply.
As you mature, perspectives, priorities, non-negotiable's, standards, and values also evolve. Constantly learning as you go, tweaking what it is that you want and need in yourself, your future, your significant other. Only you know yourself best, and you trust that the other individual does themselves, and will respectfully act accordingly without taking advantage or being a douchebagasswipe dick/batshitcrazy bitch.
I have had the fortunate experience of meeting those whom were extremely respectful (intentional or not), and genuine individuals who had my best interests at heart who have had the courage, despite their 'liking' 'desiring' me, let me go, breaking my heart. If you've invested your time and energy, had reasonable expectations and believed in the other persons actions and advances accordingly, you feel shattered, disappointed, sometimes feeling mislead, mind-fucked, and the hurricane of emotions and thoughts, depending on the situation. But thinking of it now I realise that they probably knew themselves best and if they believed they could not be a/the man in my life, then it wasn't meant to be. I also have to add, breaking another persons heart can be the hardest thing one can do, and one that takes a lot of courage. It just sucks, and there is a shitload of hurt on both sides (dating and more so in relationships).
Dating, exposing your heart, allowing someone else into your world, risking rejection, all requires vulnerability; something we don't do well in the modern age. Especially if you end up dating someone like me who goes straight to the heart of reality or truth, of pure depth and are challenged to face one self, and to be the best they can be, yes, it must be extremely scary (especially as guys/men don't do emotions and 'psychological' stuff very well). Those you date or attract usually in some part reflect your current state of being and where you are in your life. The universe has a funny way of presenting what you put out. You never really know if the individual you meet and date, in the present, are meant to be or not, only time will tell. And dating in the 21st century where everyone is mobile and where distance can happen; you become creative and push comfort zones, wether through Skype, FaceTime, phone calls, emails, FB, plane ride~ you work it out.
You learn from your past, face shortcomings, create new strategies, evolve and grow from mistakes. Change is possible no matter how old you are, its just a question of being brave enough to face your own demons, being flexible and adapting to new circumstances. I mean I'm head strong and stubborn as heck, but bring on a challenge and you bet I'll be roughin' it head on, determined to overcome any obstacle and ready to step up completely.
And standards; as long as they are realistic and reflects who you are and the life you've lead, and you personally would be able to uphold them yourself, do not ever lower. For example; I've had men older than I am, take flights to come see me (although I've only known them shortly and have met them a few times), flash their matte black, millionaire, high flying Master Card, and after dinner invite me over to their place expecting to get jiggy with me, at which point I tell them 'no, while you're high flying around the world, you haven't shown me concrete proof of who you are and what it is that you do, you don't know where you are going to end up, and are in the process of looking for the next investment/project/venture, a bit iffy on the commitment front, not much stability, expecting me to trust you completely?' Nope, no can do. I've no qualms, regardless of CEO status, earning power, profession, savant level mind, drop dead gorgeous looks, or anything other than value, respect, honesty, integrity, rationale, I WILL speak my mind, and/or stand up and leave, go catch the next bus/train/drive/take a flight/walk away, being polite and respectful, all the smooth while with concern for the other individuals feelings and ego, while I firmly stand up for myself, values, and standards.
Women and men alike;
Its just a self sabotaging cycle where if neither stands up for their standards or operates on values, without respect for one another; it becomes a fuck fest re: Tinder, where individuals are objectified, hot or not?! That is very animalistic and a low radar to be operating, not to mention risk of STDs and safety... although I am sure there are a minority who are on Tinder innocently enough who do end up in relationships.
Know yourself well enough to trust you'll make the right choices when they come about.
In the case of confrontation and conflict where rationale and actions don't match words, you speak your mind. I rarely get mad, but if you anger me, I fight like a drunk psychiatrist in a bar brawl; conflict resolution like bullet points, put it all out on the table, and work everything out. See, some are outliers in programming or sport, but I am an outlier in the realm of psycho analysis and kicking with the punches. Grow with me, explore and adventure with me. Please step up and be down for an amazing life!
So this thing we chase after called love, is sensitive, messy, riddled with hurt, rejection, tears, anxiety and uncertainty, but something worth fighting for and finding, as there is no other sensation greater than being in love and being loved by another, knowing that no matter what, someone else will have your back, as you traverse through this crazy adventure that is life. So to find this significant other, you date.
What do successful women (not girls) want and what are they attracted to?
An alpha male, who takes charge of his life, takes care of himself, and what he wants, with drive and ambition for his purpose, and future vision. A man (not a boy or guy, but a man) that takes full responsibility for his actions and aspects in life, who has the ability to be fierce when in need. Reliable, responsible, trustworthy, and dependable, a leader, who will protect and make one feel safe to be a feminine woman, and potential to be the provider and protector and the head of the household. That is a HUGE! responsibility, and it must be daunting to even consider for many, but in return a woman will bring with her a whole set of skills and gifts that makes a man's life that much better and easier (regardless of all the complaining and things you often hear about). Hey we need one another! For the commitment phobic guys out there, research seems to show benefits to improved health and higher earning for those who are in successful long term relationships.
(a few examples: http://web.stanford.edu/group/scspi/_media/pdf/Reference%20Media/Antonovics_2004_Lifecourse.pdf
Some go into dating with the end goal and neon sign of ring, marriage, wedding, happily ever after (don't you love the garish colours I used there;), or god forbid to fill a void in their lives... then you miss the mark completely, the true meaning of a partnership and loving another for who they are and for the life that you respect and care for, as the beautiful whole individual you chose to allow into your life, and fallen in love. I personally think weddings are taken out of proportion and ridiculous in their materialism and cost, but its a nice staged performance to attend and see~ Who knows, I may think differently if I ever get to that place. I believe commitment is extremely important, and how you show or express that is up to you, but a 'contract' I'm still on the fence; when in doubt get a prenup, I guess...? This is one that needs to be discussed with whomever you are seriously considering being with. But what I'm saying is marriage/commitment is not the end game in dating; its only the very beginning of a new adventure, with another individual by your side. Enjoy the process of getting to know them and totally suss them out as they will you!
In the mean time enjoy your life!, your single life, embrace and learn about who you are, at your core. Be the best individual you can be, assess the dating situations you find yourself, and those you encounter in your life (dating or otherwise!). Destiny, fate, meant to be's; believe it. Being in love will bring out aspects of yourself you never thought imaginable, challenging your deepest darkest hidden fears, but empowering you to step up, be present for another, and to be your best possible self.
Don't you love being human!? I love it, I think life is fascinating in all its facets, regardless of the darkest deepest crevices you may have to endure.