For those of you reading my blog last year, you will remember my post about being single in Thailand. I thought I had left that piece a little unfinished so here is the follow up. Why do I chose to remain single.
A hot topic of conversation when I chat to friends at home is whether or not I have met anyone special out here. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t. There have been the odd guy that has come and gone that I have clicked with, or had chemistry with. Even coming back this year I had allowed myself to be led down the garden path and fooled myself into believing that I had met someone special.
So what’s the biggest challenges they ask? The problem is that they all eventually go home, they are inappropriate to date, or they are “working on themselves”. A combination of some or all of the above is not uncommon.
When you live in a holiday destination, unless it’s another expat, the people you meet are only here for a short while. It’s difficult enough saying goodbye to the good friends you make that leave, but I couldn’t imagine really falling for someone who had a return ticket home. Expiration dating – it’s not really for me.
Expats out here are also a different breed of people. Phuket seems to attract fighters, health nuts, retirees and a few crazies. Once you live here for a while, your reality and perceptions skew a little too, so even dating an expat can have extreme difficulties. I deliberately go home once a year to remind myself of what the world is like outside the little village of Rawai. I sometimes go to my friends at home for their opinions on certain situations because I question my own judgement sometimes. Am I being a rational human being here or is my own perception skewed?
So what is the alternative situation? Someone who comes out here and stays for 3 months; 6 months; a year even. Why not date someone like that? I believe the words once said to me about a 3 monther was “he could be really good for you!” It’s undeniable that there might have been some truth in that, but again, to me, it’s still expiration dating.
If we remove all of these factors, the biggest thing that comes into play is my career. Finding someone who understands the demands of the work I have to put in. Someone who will understand that when I am cutting weight LOOK OUT! Someone who understands that I don’t want to party every weekend. That I watch what I eat. That I want to just go home most nights and crawl into bed early. These are usually pretty off putting – and I don’t blame anyone for that. I can’t imagine dating a fighter and not fully understanding some, or all of these things.
So the obvious go to is – why not date a fighter?
Most of the fighters I meet I train with – this can be tricky for a number of reasons – but what a lot of people don’t realise is that when you start training with guys, you become one of the guys. You’re no longer a girl, but a training partner. Someone you kick and punch and choke and it’s totally acceptable. You move into the “dude” zone quickly, eliminating the possibilities of a dating situation.
Given that the gym becomes your dating pool, it leaves you in an awkward situation where, you’re one of the guys, who has no real free time for legitimate dating, so if you’re like me, you give up and submit to the daily grind that you love so much instead.
On the flip side of this, being the female in the situation, makes it even more difficult. No matter where you are in the world, unless you have a fully established a committed relationship, dating within your gym looks dodgy for females. I never wanted to be that girl. Dating a trainer can make things even worse. They can abuse their position should things go wrong and no matter which way you swing it, I will always be the the one that comes out with mud on my face. (This is not to say that it NEVER works, I know many successful couples – this is just my personal opinion).
Living in Thailand has significant periods of loneliness when you are single. Fortunately, I have enough wonderful friends to fill the void, along with a grueling training schedule. I don’t really think about dating too much.
When I wrote the first draft of this, I thought that I wasn’t opposed to the thought of dating – and should the right person come along then that’s a bridge I will cross. Unfortunately, after breaking most of my rules recently, I have realised, I still feel the same way about dating in Thailand. It’s just impossible.
I love my life – and my feminist side screams that I don’t need a man to fulfill myself – and I don’t. But to all of those wondering why I have actively chosen to remain single – this is why 🙂