“So . . . did you have a fling when you were in Turkey?” The question came from three different friends – two male, one female, all who should know me better than to even ask that question.
No, I didn’t have a fling. No I didn’t meet anyone. Yes, I got propositioned. More than once. I had to flash the old wedding ring a few times to deter the advances of Turkish men who have the subtlety of a mac truck.
“You’re not going to meet anyone if you’re wearing your old ring,” a girlfriend said. She’s right. That’s the point of wearing it when I travel. Minimal harassment.
Their hearts are in the right place even if their thinking is slightly skewed. I’ve been out of the game a while. I haven’t dated since my separation. They just want to see me happy.
Except I am happy. I’m enjoying my time on my own. I have a new direction and a lot of hard work ahead if I want to be successful in this endeavour. I’ll be travelling extensively for months at a time. The option to just go indefinitely is also on the table. Dating isn’t at the top of the “to do” list and I haven’t met anyone who interests me enough to change that.
“All the more reason to have a fling,” they say. Just to “get back out there” and “have some fun”.
Search “holiday flings” and you’ll find pages of information on how to have one, where the best place is to have one (Spain, apparently), how to be safe when having one, how to determine if it’s a fling or the real thing, and how not to get your heart broken. Entire industries have been built around helping travellers meet and hook up.
Not all women who travel solo are looking for companionship, though. Not all women who are single are lonely and needing an ego boost either. Neither of these are conditions that require a cure in the form of bumping uglies with a virtual stranger.
It’s not that I have any moral aversion to flings. It’s just a matter of personal choice.
Flings are not my thing, either at home or abroad. My heart doesn’t do casual. My standards are too high and my patience for empty promises and bullshit too low. I prefer quality over quantity.
Meeting men is easy. They’re everywhere. I met a real nice guy from Baton Rouge while hiking in Palm Springs. And another from Campbell River while surfing in Tofino. They’re on planes and busses, in cafes and galleries, in hostels and hotels, on beaches and in bars. They’re not hard to find and they’re not hard to meet. All you have to do is smile.
Meeting someone who interests me enough to want to take a chance with my heart (and my bits) is a little harder to come by.
It has happened. I did meet a man, once, on vacation. I wasn’t looking but I liked his face. He was a very interesting person and getting to know him was worth the risk, despite the inevitable parting of ways. Quality, not quantity. The exception; not the rule.
It will happen again. There will come a day when I turn a corner and I see a face that catches my eye; one that makes me want to put the ring away, take the time to learn a little more and see what happens. Whether that’s in Vancouver, Bali or Budapest remains to be seen.
Until then, I’m good. No flings necessary. Thanks for your concern.