Alright. So this entry will be more of a personal one than what I’ve been focusing on for the past few months: mostly articles about feminism and booze. I’ve been spending a great deal of my free time these days watching Hong Kong TV Dramas and drawing parallels to my dating life. Now, to be fair, as an American born Chinese who speaks Cantonese (albeit, not that fluently), I do understand and realize that TV is not exactly an accurate reflection of the dating scene in real life. I also understand, however, that TV shows are a reflection of what dating ought to be like. It’s like an ideal that people should shoot for. The dating style of a typical Chinese person is obviously very different from that of an American one. And yes, if you’re curious, there are some parallels that one can draw from both but by and large, what a Chinese person would seek for in a mate are very different from what an American would seek for in a mate.
Having said all of that, I often times find myself in situations where I am presented with a conundrum: stick with my Chinese values and date more conservatively or go full on American and date multiple folks at the same time. Admittedly, the former is pretty ingrained into me. Hard to kick the habit, I suppose one can say. I date pretty conservatively for the most part. As in, one person at a time. But even though I date conservatively, it doesn’t mean that I necessarily seek the conventionally feminine woman. I seek compatibility above all else. Things like: Can I get along with this person on most things? Am I okay with talking to her about things I find uncomfortable or boring? Can we talk frankly with each other with minimal white lies between each other? Do we have shared interests and values? Can we joke about racism, sexism, and other controversial topics and ideas without getting overly offended? Will she be able to hang with my male friends? Will she be able to put up with my abrasive older siblings? Will she humor me on things that she finds uncomfortable or unconventional? And so much more. So, so much more. Compatibility is just one of those things that one should be very discerning, in my humble opinion.
Anyway, in these Hong Kong TV Dramas that I’ve been watching: A Great Way to Care, Bottled Passions, and Sergeant Tabloid, you can see that all of these TV dramas do not involve a man trying to court multiple women. On top of that, these men usually meet these women at work or through mutual friends. None of the above TV dramas illustrate a single man attempting to find a mate at a bar or some other public social space where a bunch of single people congregate, which is quite unlike the American dating scene. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. Hong Kong, after all, is a very diverse city and much of its culture is uniquely Chinese but also uniquely western in their own way, not western like the American way. So far as how this relates to my dating life? When I go to bars or any public social space where lots of singles gather, I don’t go there with the expectation that I’ll “get lucky” with a lady. I go there to do what I want to do: drink beer, eat some grub, watch some sports (not that I particularly care about sports but it’s something to do), and just try to enjoy the moment. And when I go to bars, I usually go alone. Why? Because most of my close friends already have girlfriends and wives with kids so obviously, they have very little time for their single male buddies like me. And the single male friends that I do have? They just happen to be the types who are on the prowl all the time and want to get laid and that’s just not me. This leaves me with no one to really ask out lest I end up in a third wheel sort of situation or as a wing man, which just kills my mojo.
So when I’m at these bars, I often times enjoy picking that one seat that is the furthest away from people. Invariably, because it’s a bar, random people would just come up to me anyway and strike up a conversation. And since we’re all boozed up, it’s like “Why not?” If it’s an enjoyable conversation, then I just go with the flow, you know what I mean? Then when that conversation dies or they leave to go to the restroom and I’m still in that chatty mood, I’ll go introduce myself to random people sitting at the front of the bar. And that’s pretty much how I meet single women these days. Most of the time, they don’t lead anywhere but I see it more as practice, rather than as trying to get laid or trying to find a mate. That way, I don’t feel pressured to perform and I can just be relaxed and talk about whatever that fits the mood. Admittedly though, most of the women that congregate at bars aren’t that bright but somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m thinking to myself, “There’s got to be one smart one for every hundred dumb ones that I meet at a bar.” And I do meet them, every once in a blue moon. Unfortunately, they are usually taken or not looking for a relationship or had just gotten out of a bad one. But it is what it is so I don’t beat myself over it when I find these things out.
And during my most recent time at a bar by myself, I’m not sure where it came from but I imagine that it had been brewing in my subconscious for quite some time now, this thought came to mind: “I think I’d be okay with being single for the rest of my life.” I’m not even that old to be having such thoughts. By all counts of my older friends who are 40+ years old? I’m still in my prime. As for me personally? I felt like my prime was when I turned 18 up until I turned 25. After which point, my “prime” is over and all the years from that point onward is like that strange state of purgatory where I’m not “old, old” but I’m not “young, young” either, you know what I mean? If you’ve been wondering which bar I had hit up that particular Friday night, it was the Escondite in Little Tokyo. It’s a quaint, little bar with free live music everyday of the week from 9pm onward. I didn’t personally go there for that though. I just went to check out the spot and write a review on Yelp on my experience of it. Feel free to follow me on Yelp, if you want.
Who knows though. Maybe I’ve just been feeling a bit too disillusioned with the whole dating scene lately.
What do you think? Have you been feeling disillusioned with the whole dating scene as a full-time working professional? Or has dating just chugged along, “business as usual,” with some caveats?