There are a lot of things I love about living in Europe but dating isn’t one of them. Dating in Canada was also one of my least favorite things, but I have to say, it’s worse here. And that’s saying a lot! Now dating in your 30’s is awkward to start with. Dating in your late 30’s is either downright torture or comedy gold depending on your perspective (my vote is on the latter) My interest in dating isn’t necessarily about finding a guy who will bring me flowers and recite poetry to me every day (though flowers are nice, I could never take poetry seriously!) but it “would” be nice to have a friend, companion and partner in adventure.
Meeting single people in this age range is the first challenge. My first choice is to meet people organically (i.e. the old fashioned way of meeting thru friends etc.…) but there are zero single men in my social circle. Approaching someone out of the blue, is not something I’m a fan of on a good day and couple that with my inability to speak Italian, know who’s single and straight is not something I’d ever take on!
So, my next step is to approach the world of online dating. Something I’m not afraid of and have tried before. You know it’s gone mainstream when even your mother suggests you try it and in North America it’s an openly accepted way to meet someone. From what I gather and the specimens I’ve met, it’s not nearly as open and accepted in Europe.
I’ve only went on a few dates since I’ve lived in Europe, but to say they’ve been horribly bad would be a safe description. There was the Australian living in Zurich who was not only socially awkward, controlling and racist (I was able to determine all of this on our first and only date) Then there was the Scottish guy I went for dinner with in Barcelona who made me pay the bill and then asked for the receipt so he could get reimbursed by his employer. And recently, there was the Italian osteopath I went out with last month who said he could never be in a relationship where he was forced to be faithful and where his partner wasn’t open to partner swapping (swear on my grandmother’s grave- you can’t make this stuff up!)
I was starting to think the whole thing was a hopeless game and then on my last business trip to Hong Kong, I went to see a street side fortuneteller. For no other reason than the fact that I’d been to Hong Kong almost a dozen times, and there’s only so much shopping and eating you could do.
All she asked me for was my birthday, time and location of where I was born and looked into my eyes. The first thing she said to me was that my 30’s were no time for love. No matter what I did, love wouldn’t work in my 30’s. If I got married in my 30’s, it would be a “great disaster” (at this I smirked as I spent a short time married to a narcissistic physopath when I was 35!) She told me some other fun stuff about being careful around water, that my second marriage would be long lasting and full of love and that in my 50’s I would have it all.
I’m not really one to put too much faith into something a street side fortune teller was telling me, but it did get me thinking… maybe no matter what I would have done and where I would have done it would have left me with a laughable love life for the past 10 years!
Yes, dating in your 30’s is peculiar, because it’s a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. Of course I still believe that there are attractive, active, funny and single men out there that aren’t too emotionally scarred from previous relationships, but I can tell you based on my experience of dating this decade, it’s a bit like believing in unicorns: I’ve heard about them and seen pictures of them, but I haven’t met one!
After a plethora of losers and a short lived marriage to a narcissist psychopath later, my street side Hong Kong fortune teller has given me something to look forward to as I turn 40 in a few weeks. It can’t really be any worse, can it???