I am a Girl Gone International because I’m free as a bird yet one day let my jailor be love. Sharon E. Hayles Mallorca, Spain Reflections on Dating Gone International Last year 2014, being single and fabulous, I decided to spend my birthday weekend in New York City. GGI that I am, I have no problem entertaining myself all day in a new city but what about at night, it’s the weekend, it’s my birthday I want to be taken out and wined and dined?! So, I set up a profile on a dating website a few weeks before I left, explaining exactly that. I figured this would give me enough time to meet someone, have a good idea whether or not we’d get on and maybe, just maybe there might be a whiff of the romantic sparkle dust. I had a few responses, some mad, some just bad. But it turned out the very first guy to get in touch was on my wavelength and after a bunch of messages and a few Skype chats, we made a date. I arrived in Manhattan on Thursday evening with an empty suitcase for all my shopping and a head full of dating dreams. Friday was spent soaking up the sights and sounds of this weirdly familiar city (you’ve seen it so often on TV, it feels like home). That night I was picked up from my hotel by my native New Yorker, ‘where are we going?’ I asked, ‘The Village’ he replied. The bar was busy but cosy, conversation flowed easily just like the gin and tonics. ‘You want to go dancing, right?’ ‘Hell yes!’ We moved on to the next bar where to my delight a live R&B band were performing and at midnight when I declared ‘It’s officially my birthday!!’ a glass of champagne magically appeared! We got on really well, we spent the next day together having lunch in Soho, taking the Staten Island ferry and dinner in Harlem. Thoroughly exhausted and wanting an early night before a big day outlet shopping he dropped me off at my hotel. There was no sparkle dust but I made a new friend.