Sex(pat) in the City

There are a few reasons why dating in Geneva is a bit different from some other places (keep in mind this is the so-called “expat” variation on the theme. Expat. Not expert. Far from. But I digress):

Language. The fact that most online dating profiles in Geneva include a list of languages spoken has little to do with a claim to be exceptionally linguistically talented. It’s actually just logistically useful. Sure, the city’s French-speaking, but the expat community rather dominates this little cosmopolitan village and the languages of choice are variable. En|Fr|Es = your new qualifiers

Rotating door. Someone once asked me what my expiration date was and I actually knew what they were talking about (and no, it wasn’t an attempt to get me to freeze my eggs- though I was wildly offended for a second). My contract end date- the point at which I turn into a pumpkin and scurry back to “real” life. People float in and out of Geneva constantly, and while I enjoy the general non-commital environment that flux can create, it gets old if you’re trying to have a solid social network or a real partner.

Career generally comes first. A lot of people are here for a job. Or a step they see as critical towards a dream job. So that’s going to come first. Everything else is in a bit of limbo. Some delightful people I know actually just end up having business meetings every time they go on a Tinder date. Arguably more useful than actual first dates.

Good luck scheduling. Duty travel is a thing. And scheduling around it to meet up with people who are not yet real priorities in your life can get problematic. Redefines the whole concept of a layover really…

Tiny pool of humans. The risk of accidentally going on the same first date twice, with a couple years in between, is high. I’m just saying… The risk of dating the same person as your roommate and your roommate’s friend and your roommate’s friend’s sister… also high.

Tiny pool, but varied crowd. You’re unlikely to date someone actually from Geneva (if you do, congratulations, you’ve met a unicorn). But most people will have a wonderfully convoluted story of how they got to where they are, and it will be mostly fascinating, often eye-opening, and always entertaining.

Overall, it’s an interesting place to let down your guard a little and get to know a few people. Best case, you end up in a happily ever after (this actually happens – stay tuned for the story), or you collect a few awesome or crazy stories (also coming soon to a blog near you). Worst case, you end up in an unnecessarily awkward situation, but fear not, one of you is coming up on your expiration date anyway. Cheers.

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