Several years ago when I was living in New York, I promised that during my stay there I would give every guy who had the courage to ask me out, a chance. This meant brunches and lunches, happy hours and hole in the walls, street food and fancy dinners and impromptu walks exploring the wonderful city and seeing it through the eyes of the men I dated. I met some very interesting guys along the way and to this day I will always have a story to tell about my days in New York.
Organic dating just doesn’t happen in Asia though and most of the time you will see the eyes of a friend or colleague lighting up as they declare that they have the perfect match for you. Blind dates are orchestrated affairs, with carefully coordinated questions and perfectly polished answers that put you in the best light, much like a job interview. A guy’s “spec” or his resume of birthright, family connections and future prospects are laid on the table juxtaposed with the girl’s level of beauty and charm.
A few months ago, after some back and forth, I went on a sogaeting (blind date) with a friend of a colleague who chose a fancy Italian restaurant in the posh Cheongdam district in Seoul. It went as expected but I was surprised at how many other first time couples sat at the tables, sipping on a glass of wine and picking at the cube steak and pasta. It wasn’t my intention of eavesdrop but I couldn’t help but internally roll my eyes at the text book Q&A session going on at the tables left and right of me.
After dinner, we went for a quick coffee before my date dropped me off and politely asked if he could call me again sometime (100% call back rate baby! lol). But as I walked back to my apartment, I couldn’t help but feel exhausted by the whole ordeal. Sometimes you click, other times you don’t and at the end of the day there are things that can’t be forced. At the very least you have some delicious food and learn a little more about yourself, even if it means waiting a little longer for the right one to come along.
That being said, I recommend the seafood rose calzone (W26,400) at Aligote. I know I enjoyed it immensely.
37-12 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu
T: +82 2 514 9973