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Field Report: “I Look Into Your Eyes and I See Pain”

“I look into your eyes and I see so much pain,” the girl sitting across from me said.

I had just finished telling her the condensed version of why I left America behind.

“Why is there so much pain in your eyes? I can tell it’s real but I do not understand why.” 

She pressed on.

Looking for more answers as to why I left my homeland behind. The homeland, land of opportunity. Opportunity a 20-year-old girl like her can only dream of.

She was wearing a flowing skirt with a flower print shirt that showed off her stomach. Her heels were at least 4 inches, she told me she wore them so she would not be as tiny (157 cm and 42kg – or 5’2″ and 92 pounds). Her hair was done in an elaborate style and her makeup impeccable.

• Listen to my podcast about Ukrainian dating culture

I loved how she looked.


She told me she loves it when men bring her flowers on the first date. I had to explain that if we were in America, it would probably weird a girl out if I brought flowers.

I loved the way she presented herself with her style and elegance.

“Please, tell me more. Why so much pain?”

The questions weren’t going away at this point.

• I met her using this Ukrainian dating website

I explained my pain in a slow and methodical way. Both so that nothing would be lost in translation (though her English was excellent), and to stress my point.

And for one other reason.

Because it is painful.

“I left America behind because I was tired of everything about it. I was tired of the way the dating scene works. Why can’t I bring a girl flowers on a date? It doesn’t make sense that she is turned off by that.”

“I grew tired of having a boss and always having to do things like everyone said I should.”

She chimed back and told me that she likes a man who can think for himself, and that it really turns her on. She wants to be feminine and support a man, but not many men can meet that expectation.

“You see the pain in my eyes because there is a lot of it. It sucks. I’m here in a foreign country, in a city that isn’t the capital. Nobody speaks my language. I left my girls, family, friends, apartment, and everything comfortable about my life behind.”

“So yes, there is a lot of pain in my eyes because…well, it really hurts.”

She sat back and processed it.

She asked if I was happy with my decision. I told her yes, absolutely–I am. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt a bit. It doesn’t mean I don’t have some tough days here and there. It doesn’t mean that I don’t wish I could import parts of America to Ukraine whilst keeping the good of their culture.

But the world doesn’t work like that.

About ten minutes later, she said she had to go. I paid the bill and we walked outside of the cafe we’d been sitting inside. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and we went our separate ways. It had gone well and I looked forward to seeing her again.

I never saw her again.

Perhaps she was afraid.

Or maybe, my pain was just too much to take.

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  • Omar

    I don’t think she was afraid or your pain was too much to take. Logically she empathized with your pain, but subconsciously she was turned off by your perceived weakness. You also opened up too easily and she felt like she had you all figured out already.

    • “Sadly”, this is also my intuitive interpretation. Although I think that weakness is a rather negative and generalized interpretation. If she was mature, maybe she simply sensed that he had not yet fully let go of his past and felt there was no truly open place for her in his heart and wanted to give him space so that he can figure it out for himself. Talking about pain is not necessarily weak, because we all go through that kind of thing, but it sets a certain tone for the interaction and that is not sexual.

      This vaguely reminds me of a blog post by Xsplat who talked about feeling guilty for the women who wanted to be his only one and were disappointed. He wrote that this feeling of guilt was something he needed to let go of, because it sets a negative tone and keeps him from being fully in the moment with a girl. Ballast that causes a friction with the natural flow of it all.

      I don’t like sayings like “real men are expected to swallow their pain”, because it is also negative. But I think it is true that in the end, we (and I mean individuals of both sexes) have to cope with our pain ourselves. Others can empathize and show understanding, but they can not truly take it on for us and make it go away. That is our responsibility.

      On the other hand, maybe it simply meant nothing at all. It’s all just assumptions. 🙂

      • See comment above. Definitely agree to disagree 😉

      • How is what I wrote different to what hoodlum81 wrote?

      • Oh, I took the “sadly I agree” as your overall opinion despite the rest of your post.

        Unless you were replying to Hoodlum originally? You replied to Omar and said “I agree” so that’s how I took it.

      • Ah, yes, I see what you mean. I meant simply to state that it was my intuitive response to think that. I pretty much agree with hoodlum, but I think that from a certain perspective, you could interpret it as ‘weakness’. I guess that would be the evolutionary science thing, which for my tastes is too abstract/pointlessly judhmental and devoid of any deeper understanding of how we humans work.

        Even in a case where it may apply more, the ‘weakness’ thing may just be an ego justification for more complex reasons.

      • It absolutely could be seen as weakness.

        Dating out here is just so different (and better). Gotta see it to believe it!

      • 🙂

    • hoodlum81

      Whilst I would agree with you if this was a date that had gone down in the West, I don’t agree with it here.

    • There was no weakness showed. Just matter of fact. It’s possible to do without being a pussy.

      • Omar

        I’m not saying you were being weak. I’m saying that somewhere in her lizard brain she interpreted as weakness, maybe by the way you framed it. Just the fact the you brought it up, even if it doesn’t affect you in your present life, might have triggered an iffy response in her brain. It probably left her with a weird taste in her mouth. It is a negative conversation anyways, which might bring up weird feelings in her which she then somehow relates to you, and now everytime she thinks of you she is reminded of them.

      • Ah got it. thanks for clarifying. Makes more sense.

        Subconscious triggers can be big.

  • hoodlum81

    As a result of where she grew up, she may well have had her mental shit together better than she thought you did, and was ready for a serious grown-up relationship – and perhaps thought you weren’t there yet, because of what you were carrying.

    • It’s very possible.

      It also goes with the culture here being quite okay with dating 10+ years their senior.

  • ten zły

    Well, you gotta let go of the pain. It one of those things that are simple to understand and hard to do.

    And to be honest you probably went too much personal there. We all have our pains and burdens that we have to carry. Almost nobody outside of your close circle is interested in your personal burdens. Would you like to date girl with similarly painful story?

    As for the girl, shit happens. It is probably not worth over analyzing it. There was probably no sound logic to it.

    Recently I had few failed dating experiences. And it got me thinking. Maybe I have been over analyzing things. Maybe this whole theory behind game, red/blue pill and so on is just an bullshit. I now believe it is all bullshit. There are some truths to it, like you gotta improve yourself and stop being pussy, have a backbone to do things like approach girls and so on. But other than that is all bullshit, not worth a peny. It is men trying to find logic where there is none. Women are not logical, women are emotional, so there is no logic there and is not worth analyzing it.

    • I think I needed to clarify that she REALLY wanted me to tell this story, and overall it wasn’t more than a 3 minute or so detour in a conversation.

      But you’re right, it’s very easy to get sucked into the red pill blue pill and lose sight of other things.

  • JDr704

    She gave you no choice whether to tell the story or not. If you denied there was pain, she would know you were lying. If a woman does not appreciate a man who exposes his pain to her, she is not worthy of you.

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