Ok, Cupid, a Word please! Or: Online Dating in Tokyo

Dear Cupid,

You came into my life about 6 months ago and it started out pretty exciting. Having moved to the ’most populous metropolitan area in the world’, aka Greater Tokyo, where everyone’s lives seem to be centered around work, work, and nothing but work, finally wore down my (apparently) old-fashioned, romantic ideas of meeting a potential partner in ’real life’ and I signed up for online dating.

Though I can’t say it hasn’t been entertaining for the most part, there are some messages, incidents and people I could have done without. You needn’t have sent them my way, or anyone’s way, to be honest. In case you have a blacklist of people who shouldn’t be the target of your arrows anytime soon, here are a few suggestions. If you don’t have such a blacklist, oh boy, you should have. But don’t fear, I’ll start one for you right now.

Ok, Cupid, listen up – these are the guys in online dating that I could have done without:

All the guys who were about 20 years older than me, who blatantly ignored my age limit settings, and proceeded to comment on my looks. (By the way, the experiences I’m talking about here are about guys with all kinds of different nationalities.)

All the guys who called me cutesy names or terms of endearment without ever having met me. I’m not their cutie, their sweetheart, and certainly not their princess. Eww.

The guy who straight out suggested to meet up in a hotel just to have sex. (Much to our entertainment, a day later he sent the exact same message to a friend of mine, who was using the same online dating platform.)

The married father who was looking for affairs (yes, plural!) and told me he’d never been with a woman of my nationality before. (What response did he expect? That I’d feel honored?)

The creepiest guy ever (EVER!!) who scared the living daylight out of me by calling my phone from countless computer generated fake Chinese numbers for over an hour, in the middle of the night, after (nicely!) being rejected and taking it awfully personal. (Or just being a good old psychopath. I’m lucky like that.)

And worst of all, the guy who made me feel happy and safe for months and caused me to believe in the possibility of love again, then dumped me in the most cruel way, telling me in detail about the much hotter person he had just met.

Even though I may sound it, I’m not bitter about these 6 months of online dating experience. Because that’s what it was – an experience I embarked on with an open mind, not knowing what to expect. With peace in my heart I can now say “Been there done that“ and slowly back away from it. (I say slowly because the funny/ridiculous messages still entertain me once in a while, so I haven’t deleted my account just yet.)

I’m also not saying online dating doesn’t work, because there are success stories. I also think it could work for me if I kept going long enough. A friend recently told me a great metaphor for online dating: “It’s like shopping at a cheap global clothes store that shan’t be named here: You have to dig through a lot of crappy stuff before you find something nice.“

The thing is, at this point in my life, I don’t have time for digging, because I have so many other things to do that make me much happier, or as one of my favourite writers of all time says: “There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored! There are games to be won!“

Encouraged by Dr.Seuss and the optimist inside me (who may or may not be the same person), I think that by doing exactly that – having fun doing the things I enjoy and working hard at the things I believe in – I might meet ‘the person’ along the way, the person who eventually is going to want to stick around.

Ok, Cupid, that’s it for now. Thanks for listening and fly safe.




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