MY DATING EXPERIENCE IN THE U.S.
Back in High School, I firmly believed that once I turn 24 I would be married with two kids and living a worry-free life. I was convinced that by the time I graduated school and found a job, I would never have to worry about money or finding a husband who I would be married to “ ‘Til death do us part. ”
Now at 35, I want to shake my 15-year-old self hard. I am thanking the Lord every day that I have not met my goal of being a wife and mother at the age of 24, because I would have never been able to make the grand move across the Atlantic Ocean to spend a year in California.
While I have decided for myself many years ago that I do not want kids (but definitely, DEFINITELY dogs), I have yet to meet a guy who could be considered marrying material. While dating was already tough in Germany due to my poor choice of men, I was not prepared for the dating scene out here in Southern California at all.
When I moved to Huntington Beach in 2011, I was heartbroken from yet another poor male choice, who I, unfortunately, rekindled with a year later just to figure out that we were really not compatible with each other. It took another two years for me to fully move on from this shipwreck of a nonfunctional relationship.
In 2015, I met my most recent ex-boyfriend in college. We sat next to each other in class and I made the first move by starting a conversation with him. We started dating and had a great time together. Sadly, we didn’t end up becoming college sweethearts who would end up being together forever, but we separated on good terms and stayed friends for a while afterward.
When I felt ready to hit the dating pool again, I debated of giving the dating app world a try. I had met all my past involvements offline, and I was pretty iffy about online dating. I do have a couple friends who met their significant others on platforms like Match and Tinder, and some of them are married and have kids now.
I figured that it couldn’t hurt just to see and I knew that I could always just delete my account, which I ended up doing three days after giving Tinder a try. I was aware that Tinder was considered a hook up app, but I did end up going on a date with someone I found on there.
I do have to disclaim though that it was a roommate of a friend of a friend, and we had all hung out together before, so I kind of knew what I was getting into. I wasn’t prepared though that this date was going to be the worst experience I had in my entire life and, needless to say, there was no chance of even considering going on a second date with him.
A year later, I tried to give Tinder another try, only to delete the app yet again, and I did the same with Bumble. The online dating world is just not my thing (Why, but why do men think it is attractive for women to send them explicit photos when you haven’t even met in person?).
While I know that I am extremely picky with guys and usually stay single for a while after a breakup, I think what makes it more difficult to date in Southern California is that some guys have a fear of missing out – The fear of missing out on someone more fun, someone better looking, someone who doesn’t want a relationship.
I am by far not a relationship expert (I mean, I am single and had some pretty bad picks), but in a young town like Huntington Beach, many guys just look for a casual thing rather than a serious relationship. But again, I don’t want to stereotype.
I also never got into the thing of dating multiple people at the same time. I didn’t engage in that in Germany, and I also stay away from it out here. At the moment, I am in no rush to find Mr. Right.
I enjoy life to the fullest and like to put my energy on spending time with friends. Eventually, I know that I will be able to pat my 15-year-old High School persona on the back and show her that good things sometimes take time.
Anne-Kathrin Schulte is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes about her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany, she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.
If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.