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My name is Doug. I'm in the US Navy and I'm currently stationed in Japan serving my final year before retirement.
I stumbled onto this site when researching living overseas. I've done lots of research into teaching English overseas as well as cost of living in various countries. This site being focused on the lack of options in America for love really piqued my interest. I'm 37 and still single. I've dated, but hadn't had a committed girlfriend/boyfriend relationship since High School...until I got to Japan.
I joined lots of "cupid" sites. OKCupid when I was living in California, then JapanCupid when I got orders to Japan. OKCupid really got me nowhere, little interest in my profile and only one date out of it...a taller woman with kids who was a year older than myself. She was nice enough, but I want someone without baggage. I've never been married and I don't have kids, so why should I only have options of late 30's women who have "been there/done that"? Many people in America have to meet through friends, school, work, etc. Well the Navy doesn't really allow that due to the 8:1 male:female ratio, plus all the fraternization policies in place. Since I didn't attend college and joined the Navy right away, that took away the school aspect as well. I have met women through friends, but that never worked out either and some of them ended badly.
I took a couple classes of Japanese before arriving, then took an official college class in Japanese once I got here. But that is still not enough to really communicate with anyone. Thankfully, I have had limited success on JapanCupid. A 25 yo girl in Tokyo showed interest in me, which led to a few dates, and led to an eventual relationship. She told me how much she loved me and was happy with me in her life. Then my deployment happened. I left for two months underway on my ship, and just before I got back, she emailed me and said we became boyfriend/girlfriend too fast and that we should get to know each other better. It was heartbreaking to hear, but I accepted it and expected us to go back to dating when I returned. Instead, what I got was completely weird. I emailed her to say that I was back, she emails back to ask when I'm free. I lay it out what days I'm available and ask her when she will be off so that we can get together. No response.
She then tells me she's back on facebook (over email), so I send her another friend request and she accepts. She then floods her profile with pictures of the two of us with both of us tagged. In my mind, I'm thinking this could be a good sign. But then, still no response to emails or calls. In the end, I gave up. She didn't truly love me if she was capable of throwing me away so easily.
Since then, I've got another couple dates lined up this week. In the end, I'm having way more success in Japan, even with the language barrier, than I ever did in the US. And this isn't a third world country with women clamoring to get out. In many ways, Japan is more advanced than the US. I'm having an interesting experience so far, but learning more of the language is a must.
Since I'm coming up on my retirement, I thought about possible destinations, even if it's just to teach English later on. So for fun, I created accounts on Thailovelinks and Chineselovelinks but only the free versions. I've had a handful of "interests" on each site. Then after reading up more and more on The Philippines, I opened an account on their Cupid site. Within 2 weeks, I have 187 "interests" and 12 messages (that I cannot read because I haven't paid for membership. Simply amazing!
I don't know why I have put The Philippines out of my mind for so long. My first fling after High School was with a 28 year old Filipino woman in the Navy when I was 18. I work with a 29 year old Filipino woman now that I have a major crush on, but she's engaged so I've suppressed it.
My thoughts have shifted. I've done lots of research into The Philippines. The problems that I see is, I'm too young to completely retire. I need another income whether it's completing an IT degree and piggybacking my naval IT experience into a good job, or going full education route and teaching English around the world. The problem with The Philippines is that there doesn't seem to be any good jobs for me if I lived there. From what I've seen, I could get a full time job in the RP making less than $1000 per month. It's still enough to live, and I could still sock my entire retirement pension away in investments which is what I want, but it still seems like the pay doesn't even matchup to the cost of living there, when you consider the pay and benefits of even an English teacher in a place like South Korea, China, or Taiwan.
Another thing I have considered is attending college in The Philippines. Like Ateneo or The University of the Philippines, which are both ranked higher in world rankings than even Florida State University. The Military GI Bill would pay all tuition, $1000 a year in books, and the biggest benefit for The RP....$1333 per month in housing allowance. The amount is a flat rate for any study abroad, and with the cost of living being what it is, I could live in The RP on the $1333 while continuing to add to my retirement funds using my pension.
I can't think of anywhere else in the world that I can get a quality education and still be able to pocket my pension without dipping in. I can get $2000 a month in San Diego, but I can't live on that there. Rent plus mandatory car plus expensive food/entertainment means I have to dip into retirement pension to live.
Am I missing something? A couple of the Universities in The RP are highly ranked, even higher than some US Universities. Even so, would a degree from the University of the Philippines be legit in the eyes of other employers? Could I get a Masters in Education from that University and still get certified to teach in other countries? Can I even get into those Universities as an outsider?
Well I may break some of this out into a separate post as it's a lot to add to the introduction.
Anyway, happy to be here and learn from you experienced abroad dwellers.
Welcome BigDug, glad you found our forum. As you know, just like with cars, foreign women out perform American women every time!
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."