Being single isn't a bad thing, if we're being honest, but sometimes you just get that unshakeable urge to share all that love building up inside you with someone. And sometimes, that urge starts to hurt, and that's when you start to hate your singlehood.
While the usual advice (There's someone for everyone! Love yourself first! Be patient!) is great, it doesn't account for one important thing: how well you fit with your town's dating culture.
Some of us can feel so out of place with our current dating scenes that we'd rather not bother. Sometimes, however, all we need to get into the dating groove is a change of scenery. For many people, moving to a different country altogether ends up being the cure to being single. It makes them more active in finding their perfect matches simply because they feel more at home with the dating scene.
Asia, for instance, is so full of different dating cultures that there's bound to be something for everyone. Here are five examples of how dating in different Asian countries might be a better fit for you:
If you're into really serious relationships…
…Try dating in China. Dating – especially in the mainland – is less casual compared to other countries, with more people looking at dates as marriage prospects. That usually leads to a lower tendency to "play it cool," and a higher chance that you'll be spending hours each day just chatting online. It also means that dates tend to have a higher romance factor behind them. If you're the type who prefers settling down over playing the field, this could be your scene.
If you live for cute couple-y things…
…You'll love dating in Korea. There are couple's shirts, couple's stores, and couple's menus in what feels like every restaurant around the block. More often than not, you'll find yourself taking selfies with your partner in matching outfits, and it's going to be absolutely adorable. It's basically the highest form of PDA you can get to without actually touching each other, and for some, that's the best thing ever.
If you still want to stay friends…
…Try dating around in Singapore. If you've had your fair share of dates, you'll know that there are some connections that you just don't want to close – not because you think there's a spark of romance in there, but because you've met a genuinely interesting person you'd like to keep as a friend. It's extremely easy to pull that off in Singapore, where the city is small and the nightlife is even smaller. The chances you'll run into an ex are pretty high, so people try to make sure that doesn't get in the way of having a good time by keeping friendship lines open.
If you prefer that girls make the first move (low-key)…
…You might find your luck dating in Japan. Japanese culture tends to favor guys who play it cool, calm, and collected, leaving women to be the more expressive ones. That's led to a dating scene where girls have a higher chance of making the first move – but usually in subtle ways. The most common technique is getting guys to hang out with a bunch of their friends, and having one of her girlfriends "let slip" that she's into him. This works great for girls who prefer to take an assertive role in dating, or for guys who are a little too inhibited to take that shot.
If you like unpredictability…
…dating in the Philippines will probably surprise you. Cultural diversity is one of the things Filipinos take pride in, and that translates to the dating scene as well. While some people like to take on more traditional gender roles in dating, others prefer to take a sledgehammer to those customs. You'll often find influences from other cultures in the Philippines' dating practices, and attitudes towards dating differ wildly between cities, social circles, and even economic clusters. If you like having a sense of variety when it comes to your dating life, this scene will definitely keep you on your toes.
And that's just 5 out of 48 wonderfully diverse countries in Asia. Places like Malaysia, India, and Thailand all have their own little quirks and customs; it's just a matter of finding which dating scene is most compatible with your personality. If dating in Asia isn't your thing, there's a whole world out there to discover.
Remember: there's always someone for everyone, and there's always a place for everyone, too. Do your heart a favor and start exploring.