What We Learn From Our Dating Experiences

What we learn from dating in Hong Kong

By Jamie Elizabeth Ho

As much as we’ve all been there and resented the feeling of being hung high and dry, the
beauty of dating is learning Life’s lessons from the Heart, because yes, the Heart does drop
knowledge too:

(a) How to deal with rejection
It may sound sappy as tree sap to you all, (and no doubt it really is) but there is someone
special for everyone. If the person is not into you and doesn’t want to be in a serious
relationship, that is their choice. Perhaps, they feel that someone else would be a better fit for
you, just as someone else would be a better fit for them. As personal as it is to go on dates
with someone and get to know them, whether they choose to continue wanting to get to know
you via talking, texting, meeting up for dinner dates, movie dates etc., or not, that shouldn’t be
taken personally.

But Why?
Easier said than done. Believe me, I know. Let’s take out the emotional drama and simplify this
to a more functional practical approach, take a step back and look at it like a job application.
Sometimes, we go for an interview and find out perhaps this is not the right fit for us. At the
end of it all, our potential employers wouldn’t take it personally, and neither would we. Bottom
line, it’s just simply because you were being True to yourself, what felt right for you and the
others involved.

If someone doesn’t feel the same way, have no fear, that just means there is room for a better
match to come along and fill that gap. If their heart is not in it, why would we want to invest
our time in an empty relationship?

(b) How to deal with the fact that we can’t control anyone but ourselves
We can control the way we act, what we think, how we feel, as well as how we respond and react to
some extent, but when it comes to other people that is beyond our control. Yes, it’s scary, but such is
the risk of love which is to love without any expectation. Every time, I find myself in a frustrated love
rut, I ask myself , ” Would I still give my time, love and effort to this person, EVEN IF this person
doesn’t love me back?”

If the answer is yes, then great.This means you operate from giving love without any
expectation. You don’t expect the person to fall deeply madly in love with you, because you
just want to honor the person by showing your admiration through feelings of love.

( c ) How to open our hearts up with courage at the risk of getting our hearts broken
This lesson is extremely difficult to learn, because us humans HATE being vulnerable. Despite
this, a good reminder is to bring us back to our center, our core truth which is that we can always choose.
Is it better to have loved then not to have loved at all? Love takes big risks, sometimes you fall sometimes
you don’t, but what’s important is that you know that the right person will show up
when the time comes. We learn what having faith means.

(d) How to love ourselves
Probably, the hardest lesson for most, when we experience situations such as these where the
person we are in love with, disappears or stops talking to us, we learn that it is in these
moments, we have no choice but to bring it back to loving ourselves.

So for those of you, who are beating up yourself for wasting time with the people you have
dated in the past, it’s not all that bad. At least, what you’ve extracted is valuable experience
for your personal growth, so when the time comes for The One to show up, you will be The One
for them.

Is Romance Waiting Just Around the Corner?

Editor’s Note: All month All That Junk has explored, analyzed and discussed dating in the chaotic romantic climate of Hong Kong but we don’t want to leave you down beat. In this bubbling metropolis, there is still hope and our great writer Fabienne Lang points out the happiness still to be found.

By Fabienne Lang

As a single girl in Hong Kong, the question is not whether or not a man will or will not buy me a certain type of flower on this particularly consumerist day. No, I’m not at all the bitter type <cough>. The question is, will I every find love living in Hong Kong?

This vibrant and magnetic city certainly allows for budding romances to occur. Us singletons could easily meet our next Romeo or Juliet dancing away on the next big night out, screaming support at the Rugby Sevens, struggling up one of the Twin hills, or God forbid, at one of the abundant networking events Hong Kong seems to spout out of everywhere.

However, Shakespeare is sadly long gone, and if none of these social scenes is your cup of tea, don’t despair! All you need do is swipe right, or it’s equivalent, on the next innovative online dating app. After all, we have to keep up with the modern world over here in the Orient.

Now what?

Once you have found your match, how do you keep the romance alive in between all the exhaustive, yet fun, socialising? Just one more drink with your mates at Staunton’s? I don’t see why not! And what happens when you come home day after day from work well past dinner time, shattered?

Coupled up Hong Kongers learn how to handle work, life and love faster than a minibus screeches to a halt. It’s quite an art juggling romance and all that HK has to offer, and I salute those that master it. If they can do it, so can we!

Discover more articles on life in Hong Kong in the All That Blog newsletter! Signing-up this month for the newsletter might mean a free t-shirt for you…

Sandeep’s Story of Dating

Sandeep’s Story of Dating in Hong Kong

 

By Sandeep Sharma

I came to Hong Kong with someone on my mind. Back home in India, I had the chance to meet an extremely sexy blue collared Indian pilot who worked in Hong Kong. He messaged me up on Grindr and even though there was a significant age gap we managed to hit it off. We spoke daily and met before he left for Hong Kong and I continued studying in India. There was chemistry and I thought I had found the guy I wanted.

When I came to Hong Kong, after talking to him everyday for four months, there was something strange. I met him randomly in LKF once after an intense night out with his friend and was invited for a post-party kebab. He acted strangely and continuously boasted of his sexual conquests of Asian and white women to his friend while being, for lack of better words, an asshole to me. I ended going home with him where he told me that he had decided to “turn” bisexual at the age of 30 because of family pressure. We slept on separate couches and I left the next morning before he woke up. He later told me that he had decided to make his life easier by turning bisexual (after being gay for 30 years) and that it would not work out as I was young and new to Hong Kong (it’s only when I look back now that I realize I was too immature to date anyone. I still had a lot to learn about myself).

It was then that I realized a trend in Hong Kong – Homosexuality was still a taboo and the people here were very conservative in that regard. Societal pressures and taboo were hindering the society. Over time, through numerous dates and random encounters I learnt about the societal hierarchy in the homosexual community in Hong Kong. This dense congested city played host to a small, dynamic and rather structured society where Grindr and Tinder were the norm and bars had become a play to socialize, not meet someone. The numerous active societies like “Out in Hong Kong’ shows that Hong Kong is trying to move towards being liberal though still being somewhat repressed.

As a gay expat “outsider” in the city it fascinates me to watch how the culture works. The psychology of the people – their love for rules, for hierarchy, their compliance, their fears and their joys – is something I love to delve into. The dates I’ve been on, the friends I made and the nights I found myself waking up at 8 am in someone’s house have had a significant impact on my life. If only I didn’t feel like a sampling platter – being the first Indian that most people have “been with.

The “Gay Scene” in Hong Kong is vibrant enough that you would know it existed after Googling “Gay Men Hong Kong”, but it neither has the courage or even the passion to match the standards set by London or New York. Maybe it’s just my narrow-sight but one can’t help but feel that the gay community in Hong Kong is a small, hierarchy filled society where the white males dominated the twinky Asian boys. I never really had a lot of gay friends, or any for that matter back home and that resulted in me being the only openly gay student amongst all my straight friends. Perhaps, it’s for that reason that I am not really able to mingle with the gay society in Hong Kong which results in my being alienated by the gay community of Hong Kong and I had came with the belief that Hong Kong boasted many more attractive blue collared gay single men who wanted nothing more than to date and/or hookup with a tall pretty Indian boy.

Discover more articles on life in Hong Kong in the All That Blog newsletter! Signing-up this month for the newsletter might mean a free t-shirt for you…

Also listen to gay Hong Kong enthusiast and dj extraordinaire DJ Majiho on All That Junk’s YouTube channel. 

In Hong Kong, where can we find love offline?

In Hong Kong, where can we find love offline?

Hong Kong Love Offline

By Alicia A. Beale

For over 200, 000 years humanity has existed and has found multiple ways to procreate itself across the planet (very unfortunately for the planet) well before the invention of the smartphone and even before the birth of Al Gore. Actually here is a good question! How was Al Gore born if his parents weren’t able to meet on Coffee Meets Bagels? So my question to you and the Gore family is how do you find love offline?

Sports

Join a team. Yes, we all hated gym class. It was universal and an experience you can share sitting on the shimmering shores of Stanley with your dragon boat team while awaiting the next practice volley of strokes. Gym class usually sucked because you couldn’t be athletic on your own time or in your own way. Throughout Hong Kong, various sports clubs are offering you the choice to choose if you want a social experience such as a field hockey team that regularly can be spotted in Le Jardin or a hiking meet up where you’re sitting on a stony cliff of Lion’s Rock at sunrise. Besides relief from the stress and isolation of Hong Kong, you can also find companionship from teammates and widen your circle of potential long-term romantic prospects.

Networking Events

Perhaps sweat and sun are an anathema to your good health and looks, so let’s stay inside. Inside the cozy wood paneled open co-working spaces of Cocoon, The Hive, Garage Society and Paperclip where they hold start-up and general business talks and workshops. Even if you simply just like the idea of rugged individuals risking it all for their dreams but kinda don’t want that for yourself, you can listen to great discussions of life lessons learned as well as entrepreneurship struggles for success which might make you happy to sip your Nepresso in your corporate cubicle the next morning. Also at the end of the talks, there’s almost always wine and networking with dreamy-eyed potentials who will easily give you their business card which mind you comes with their phone number. Reminder: please wait at least for the next day to WhatsApp.

Meet Your Neighbors

Living in a trendy neighborhood like Sheung Wan will lose its luster if you don’t take advantage of its best benefits. Some of those benefits are the delicious takeaway places such the French La Rotisserie and the Italian il Bel Paese where while you stand around waiting for your meals to go you can chat up the hot potential next to you by asking if he or she has tried the new specials or actually ask them any random friendly question to kick start a conversation. Another key place for meeting neighbors is in the grocery line. These check-out lines can be dramatically long so if you drop a can of organic Mexican tortilla soup and bump heads with a sexy neighbor then take this time to hop off your phone and chitchat offline. Lastly take walks, long walks, around your neighborhood and sit in the cafes especially if there’s any outdoor seating. Sometimes being part of the neighborhood scene naturally lends itself to meeting someone special. Truly the best way to find a partner is through friends so go out make some!

Discover more articles on life in Hong Kong in the All That Blog newsletter! Signing-up this month for the newsletter might mean a free t-shirt for you…

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)