“We should spend longer with each other the next time we meet up,” said the slightly too friendly forensic accountant.
“I love your voice…” said the well meaning, but much too simple, wide-smiled sunshine boy.
“Your dimples are so freaking cute. They’re your selling point,” said the easy-going flight attendant.
“You really should speak Cantonese more. You sound so sexy when you speak Cantonese,” said the Asian clinical psychologist with his… wait for it… exotic New Zealand accent.
Hong Kong is full of eligible men. So is any other major city, but the truth that I’ve noticed is that like does tend to attract like. Racial preferences are reinforced over and over again. Meeting so many attractive people during this trip has honestly been a bit overwhelming, but I’d like to share something that my friend and I were talking about recently.
I was relating an incident to him where timing precluded a serious relationship forming between someone else and myself. There had been obvious and expressed mutual interest, but for the sake of rationality, neither of us had started anything. My friend proceeded to ask me how often a mutual liking happened in my life, thinking it’d be something exceedingly rare. But after some thought, I realized that in the past year, there have been at least four individual cases where there has been more than just a mutual spark. Everyone likes differently and everyone chases differently. I do not know whether this number is high, but I believe my pickiness is only rivaled by those of my potential-partners. Is that a quality I actively look for? Someone who holds their worth at as high a standard as I do? Do I define worth in a way that propagates microaggressions and slut-shaming? Is it possible to be sex-positive, yet not be attracted to people who enjoy plentiful amounts of casual sex? Am I a hypocrite? Woah, getting sidetracked with this stream of consciousness. Forgive me, I’m getting distracted by the white spectators dressed up in their ridiculous costumes for the Rugby Sevens in Hong Kong.
Anyway, back to these men who have lauded niceties and compliments on my head. You, dear reader, may think that these kind words mean something to me or that I bask in some glow from their receipt. In all honesty, I do not. My state of mind coming to Hong Kong and meeting men has not been the most healthy. I felt quite emotionally dead for a long while and Tinder was used as cheap relief for boredom. Perhaps I am a bad person, but the men I met on there were purely distractions for me this time around. I placed no value on their existence other than their capacity to entertain me. I know retribution will fall upon my head, even though I treated them all with outward respect and consideration. Maybe this is why I felt nothing when I was lauded for my external characteristics or when the conversations fizzled out from eventual disinterest. This, combined with the fact that I don’t take a compliment well but take criticism to heart, has led me to feel resoundingly apathetic (with two exceptions, but I shall talk about them some other time).
But then all it took was one, “Miss you too. A lot actually… Come back [home] soon,” from someone I cared about to undo me. Someone who never made me feel like their interest in my life was cheap or temporary. Someone who would never be my first boyfriend in name, but principle. This short string of words did more for my self confidence than all the fleeting compliments from the past few weeks combined. I was not given one chance, but four this past year. All it takes is that one person, so today, I will count my blessings.