This week is definitely more light hearted than the last 2 blogs and is all about my ‘dating experience’ in Europe.
Perth singles are always telling me that Perth is the hardest place to be single so I decided to conduct a bit of a research while in Europe. I put Happn on my phone, it is a dating app that shows you the people that you have crossed paths with during your day. If you like the look of them you say yes and if they also say yes you can chat online. It was a fun app to use while away, although at times a bit freaky as people could work out where I was! I tried Happn as a girlfriend had used it and liked it. Unfortunately there aren’t many people are on Happn in Perth at the moment – it is way more popular in the Eastern States.
In a month I literally passed a thousand single, age appropriate people who I had the chance to connect with. This was exciting and it goes to show that there really are plenty of singles that we pass on a daily basis! Most of the time we are too caught up in our phones or distracted to even notice! My dating advice to singles is to be present, to smile at people, make eye contact and have a chat in places like coffee shops as you just never know what can happen.
Anyway back to the story about my European dating experience! While I was away I managed to go on five dates and also talk to a number of other singles. It was a fun experience and I made sure that I dated safely! Some dates made me laugh, some felt like a counselling session and others I wished I lived in Europe and I could have explored where things could have gone.
It was quite easy to suss people out to see if a date was worthwhile or not. I had a number of married guys contact me but I learnt quickly how to read the signs. I had one guy who tracked down my hotel after a string of offensive messages, but I was able to block him and fortunately this happened at the time I was moving hotels.
Other than the app I did have a couple of chance meetings with singles while being a tourist – it was a fun experience being open to possibilities. As I have mentioned before this was one of my favourite trips and I was rarely alone! It was also fun to experience the countries through the eyes of a local, it was a totally different experience for me.
Date 1 – Met an Italian man for a drink near the Trevi fountain – how delightful does that sound! He was a ‘nice’ guy but he spent most of our date talking about his wife who cheated on him, who he then took back and who cheated on him again. He told me how hard dating was for him and the trouble he had meeting someone. Basically the same story I hear from Perth singles. I did spend our date doing a bit of dating coaching with him, as I could see why he wasn’t getting the results that he wanted. No woman wants to spend the first date talking about what went wrong in a marriage – it doesn’t create attraction in fact it has the opposite effect. It was a nice night that ended with him attempting to ‘maul’ me with no luck. It is true what they say about the Italians.
Date 2 – Was also with an Italian guy, who I had talked and joked with on the app quite a bit. We had joked about him being a serial killer and he said maybe I was. Anyway the banter was good and he was an Italian cop who also played in a band. We arranged to meet and go out to dinner for ‘authentic’ Italian food. He took me to a very unpretentious restaurant with the longest queues, however it was seriously the best Italian food I had ever tasted. The food was utterly heavenly – I had never enjoyed food so much. It was divine. When I met him he actually spoke very little English and it turned out to be the funniest date I have ever been on – trying to communicate! Although I could listen to him speak in Italian forever as it sounded magical! He did manage to tell me that due to terrorism they are instructed to take their guns everywhere but he had decided he wouldn’t as I might have freaked out and just believed he was a serial killer. He also showed me You Tube videos of his band. Regardless of the language barrier I was attracted to him and had a great night.
Date 3 – The third Italian I met near the Vatican for a coffee. It was a relief that he spoke perfect English! His name was Gabriel (yes he looked like an angel or a Greek God!) and I enjoyed the coffee and a great conversation, he was very intelligent. We also talked about what it was like to be single in Italy – he had the same complaints that Australian men had about how women are these days and how much things have changed. He worried a lot about losing all he had worked for to some woman. I enjoyed the time I spent with him and didn’t expect to see him again, maybe cos he resembled a Greek god! Anyway it turned out we ended up having 3 very enjoyable dates.
Date 4 – My fourth and final Italian! I crossed paths with him at Roma Airport and he was anxious to catch up before I caught my plane, however it wasn’t a good hair day so I avoided meeting him, after all first impressions count! He continued to message me while I was in Amsterdam and arranged to meet me when I got back to Rome (I had one final night before flying home). I had a very entertaining date on my last night in Rome. He had joked about giving me a foot massage and while we were having a drink grabbed my feet, started massaging them and then proceeded to kiss and lick my feet. WTF!!!! Ha I am so not a foot person and after a 12 hr day on my part I would question how anyone would even want to do that – gross. It still makes me laugh now!
Overall, I loved my Italian dates and I could listen to them speak in Italian or even English until the cows came home – it just sounds so musical. Now it was time to move onto Amsterdam where I only managed to have one date as I was busy doing my course for most of the time.
Date 5 – I met Ron from Amsterdam and that was a delightful surprise. He would definitely be the type of guy I would have enjoyed exploring where things could go. I meet him in the middle of my course and it was a bit of a trek getting from where I was staying to the middle of Amsterdam to meet. But it was well worth it, I felt instantly comfortable and there was a lovely connection. The Dutch are very different to the Italians – more multicultural and open minded. It was a relief that they like to speak English with you. Ron did try to catch up with me a 2nd time but I was on a dinner for my course and it just didn’t happen which was slightly disappointing. It was a fun, light hearted date on a rainy night in Amsterdam. Ron’s dating experiences were much the same as Australian men.
My whole dating experience/experiment was pure fun, I didn’t have any expectations as I wasn’t looking for a long distance relationship. So I would say that I showed up differently – no expectations is a powerful place to come from and there is different energy in that space. I always say bring back the fun to dating and it does make such a difference.
The conclusion of my dating experiment was that dating in Europe was pretty much the same as here – the same issues, same challenges and complaints. The only difference is there is a bigger population which offered more possibilities than there is in Perth but other than that it was pretty much the same.
Til next blog…..