Chivalry isn’t Dead

Dating was difficult in 2020 and prospects still don’t look much better at the start of 2021. The last person I dated also ended in catastrophe- so much so, I’m not sure when I’ll be emotionally capable to write about it here. Instead, I want to share about one of the nicest dates I’ve ever been on. It was back in May 2019.

Let’s start with the most important information first though- Sam. 26. Australian. Hot as fuck!

Having had just sold a business in Melbourne- because that’s what you do when you’re a 26 year old entrepreneur- Sam had decided to do some traveling. This also coincided with it being his 27th birthday.

We matched on Tinder, and had two dates during the two days he was in Siem Reap.

Picture it— This hot, 26 year old Aussie sends the first message and shortly after asks for recommenations on good local places to eat. You reply with two options- one very reasonably priced, the other on the higher end. A few minutes later he replies, thanking you, as having looked at the menus, he thinks both look amazing. He then asks if you would like to join him for dinner at the nicer one, as it was the least he could do for you suggesting such a great place.

Wait! What just happened?

A guy on Tinder just asked me on a date! It took me a moment to reply, as it was such an extraordinary situation, that I was actually speechless! Sure, I have had invitations to meet for a coffee or drinks, and sometimes the guy has insisted on paying, but this was the first time a Tinder match had actually asked me to go on a proper date which even included a nice restaurant.

For those of you not familiar with Tinder, it’s a “dating” app- or at least that’s what it was launched to be- but quickly turned into a “hook-up” app. Admittedly, I‘m even guilty of abusing it that way sometimes. As I also go on dates with mainly tourists, it’s surprising if they don’t try to get me to go home with them. When the standard is also that a guy asks for my WhatsApp number- just so he can send me an unsolicited dick pic or request nude selfies, you can imagine my shock when a guy asks me out for dinner.

Back to Sam and being asked out on a date! Obviously I said yes! I also suggested we start the evening with cocktails at my favorite bar- a speak-easy called Menaka. We will meet there later that night.

On arrival, the lights are low, we have the place to ourselves. We talk and lose track of time, it’s tempting to forego dinner. — But, we’re both admittedly hungry, so we head to The Sugar Palm for their last seating of the night. Cocktails, beautiful food, a bottle of wine, great conversation- it was a perfect date!

During our evening, Sam had asked for suggestions for what he should do the next day. Knowing he was already seeing the temples in the daytime, I mentioned the local circus in the evening was a must see. He asked if I would join him. Of course I said yes- as I already knew I wanted to see him again. I made it conditional though- he had to let me buy the tickets, as he had insisted on paying for everything for us this evening.

As the circus didn’t start until 8pm, Sam messaged in the afternoon to invite me to his hotel for a twilight swim. This time of year, close to summer solstice and during sunset, the light in the sky is magical. It can be equally romantic and seductive. Add in wine, then Sam kissing me- well we almost didn’t make it to the circus —

Phare Circus is always amazing to see, whether it’s your third time, like mine, or a first- such as for Sam. Great entertainment with the added bonus of knowing proceeds go back into education and training for disadvantaged children creates a pretty memorable experience. After, we went for dinner and then to the bar next door for a couple of cocktails.

During cocktails we talked about how Sam was headed in the morning to the capital city of Phnom Penh, where he would celebrate his birthday. I suggested he should stay in Siem Reap instead. He asked me to join him. In the end, neither worked out, as his flight home in two days time was from Phnom Penh, and I had to work. So this is where we said our goodbyes- but not necessarily where our story ends…

Although I feel I don’t really care about going on proper dates, and I certainly never think a guy should buy my drinks when I meet him, it was really lovely when Sam made an effort to go somewhere nice and insist on paying. It was chivalrous, it was romantic. He also didn’t make a play for sex. For two nights I had a guy actually want to enjoy my company and get to know me- and with my clothes on. It made me feel special and valued- it tugged a bit at my heart strings. Thank you Sam for being such a gentleman and treating me so well.

It’s hard to believe as I write this that it’s almost two years since we first met. We still keep in touch. We’ve reminisced about our dates, and how we wish we could go on one again. Maybe it’s wistful- in light of all going on in the world. Maybe it’s memories of kissing in that pool. I definitely wish I had called in sick, and had had two more days of a holiday romance- more of kissing Sam in a pool, in a hotel room bed… Or maybe it has to do with feeling respected and valued. It’s these poignant memories that remind me that good guys are still out there- it might just take me moving to Melbourne to get one—

If you enjoyed this post, check out some of my previous posts, such as Love, actually and The First Time I Fell in Love. You can follow me here, or on Facebook

Published by jossmcd

I’ve been traveling, living, working, and dating my way around the world since 2003. Having been to over 40 countries and lived in 8 of them, Siem Reap, Cambodia is currently home. When I’m not going on dates looking for Mr. Right and sharing those stories here, you can find me poolside with a cocktail and book, or planning my next travel adventure.

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