5 Countries that could Exacerbate your Love Life
Iceland: Accidental Incest
Iceland is a country of very few inhabitants because of all its scenic beauty. In addition, a "Volcanic Island, Middle of Nowhere, Atlantic Ocean" address does not really promote a lot of mixing with other populations.
This results in a situation where your cousin clearly has a very real fear of mistakenly dating you. Just imagine going out to a bar, seeing someone beautiful looking your way, and discovering that psycho racist aunt you both described is in fact, one and the same after 30 minutes of talk and some vaguely intimate touching.
"Or as one Icelander, Einar Magnusson, puts it, "Everyone's heard the tale of going to a family function and running into a girl you've been tied up with for a while". Yes you know, when someone has funny tales of kind-of-maybe-incest, it's a perfect dating scene.
But not to worry, there's an app for just that situation right now! The Islendiga-App allows the person you've met to bump phones and let you know if you're closely connected. The fact that such an app is required for the rest of us makes non-Icelanders want to take a long, cleansing shower.
Bhutan: Get Caught, Get Married
In the United States, if you break into the house of your high school girlfriend at night and get caught, you might have your hands on a really angry parent and a house arrest for a while. In Bhutan, congratulations, this girl is married to you now! Or you've got to work the field for her father and do other back-breaking work.
It's a consequence of the "night hunting" serial-killer sounding tradition, where boys break into the rooms of girls they are interested in spending the night with while their parents sleep downstairs. As far-reaching as this practice is, once a man has been caught in a girl's bed in the traditional culture of Bhutan, the marriage must occur almost instantaneously in order to avoid some kind of dishonor from falling on the family of either lover.
Singapore: Singapore's government would like to kindly beg you to have some sex
What's the best way to bring romance to death? Saying an incorrect name? Burping accidentally? Are you being pushed by the federal government to bang in a car?
Yeah, it's surely the last one.
There is a very low birth rate for Singaporeans, far lower than what they need in the next few decades to keep their population levels stable. So the government created a "Social Development Unit" that sounds distinctly Orwellian, which puts on activities such as moonlight cruises and tea dances to inspire young couples to meet and hook up.
Now if you think it would completely ruin the mood to make your local 70-year-old bureaucrats distribute pamphlets on the Best Places to Have Sex in Your Car, you are right! The efforts of the government have been totally inadequate, and the sex drive of Singaporeans seems to have sunk lower than ever before.
Apparently, tea dances are a bad form of foreplay. And who knew?
China: Lonely Forever Until Grandma Hooks You Up
The country has been given a big dilemma by China's one-child policy and troubling preference for male children; there are so many more men than women in China, that it is estimated that around 40 to 50 million men literally can not find women to marry.
As if that were not enough, another development has led to a combination of the country's matchmaking tradition, the pattern of advertising in newspapers for love, and the notoriously work-fueled lives of the youth of the nation: a lot of young people let their grandparents choose their next date from newspaper advertisements.
Now, concentrate and really try to build a mental picture of the kind of individuals that your grandmother wants you to date. Growing anxious? For men, the utter lack of options in an ever-decreasing population of women adds to that. Do you ever feel like crying? Ok, because the third part of the equation is here.
If against all odds, you find a suitable woman to marry, it is traditional in many parts of the world before the wedding for that woman to spend an hour a day continuously weeping for a month. All the female members of her family follow her as the days go by before you can't walk down the street without hearing the wailing of your bride-to-be and half of her parents a mile away.
All the crying at the thought of YOU being married to her.
That should directly pick up your spirits.
Iran: No Dating Permitted
There's a very easy issue with dating in Iran: you can't. Girls and boys meeting one-on-one will get you thrown in prison, so either an arranged marriage or a "trial marriage" are your options.
Trial marriages mean that a couple in public is permitted to go on three supervised dates. You must determine if this guy you've seen three times, always in the presence of both your parents, is someone you want to spend the rest of your life with or never see again when the third date rolls around. And yes, the only two choices are these.
No strain, then.
Any great/terrible/romantic/travel-related tales to share? Comment here below!