Yet there remained the fact that most of the women on American dating sites were well, American. an American expat once told me when explaining his choice to move south to Mexico.American women these days dress like men, talk like men and call you a chauvinist if you ask them to make you a cup of coffee.
I was in an internet caf in Thailand last year, trying to work out which continent I should fly to next, when my attention was entirely absorbed by an attractive Thai girl who sat down next to me and logged in.
She gave me one of those Thai smiles that could mean anything at all and then concentrated on her correspondence.
I was beginning to wonder if Thailand had its merits after all and couldnt help stealing repeated glances at her.
She was totally absorbed in her online conversations with four messenger windows going at once, however, and in each of them I could see the photo of a Western guy. I looked at her again and realized she was wearing too much makeup and revealing clothes for the average Thai girl.
She almost certainly worked in a bar as a hostess for Western guys looking for Eastern romance and now that their holidays were over, her "boyfriends" were back home at work, dreaming of the month or two theyd spent in Thai heaven.
Theyd be coming back as soon as they could afford it — if their "girlfriend" didnt drain their bank accounts dry in the meantime.
Thailand, like Brazil or the Philippines, is full of Western guys trying their luck with women half their age.
With terrible dress sense that betrays the serious lack of a womans touch, it can be pitiful to watch them trying to mend their hearts under flashing neon signs, sharing a common vocabulary of maybe 500 words with the women they meet. Along with worrying about balding, beer guts and prostate cancer, many American men suffer the flip side of the national individualistic character — they end up feeling quite alone.
As school friends move away and get married, opportunities to make new social contacts tend to diminish with age.
And our modern lifestyles often dictate that we work alone in front of a computer, shop alone in a supermarket and go home alone to apartments where neighbors dont talk to one another.
Until the Internet came along, the natural desire to meet the opposite sex did much to boost the attendance at bars and evening classes in the hope of meeting that special someone.