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Understanding Indonesia’s Modern Dating Pool

modern dating
Understanding Indonesia's Modern Dating Pool

It always starts with a “Hey” – Turns into “How was your day?”

Turns into “Meet at my place” – Turns into you and me drinking rosé

Turns into “How did you sleep?”  – Turns into “It’s been a week”

Turns into gave you a key – Turns into conversations talking about what are we?

If “How Deep” by Tai Verdes hits home, grab a life jacket because the modern dating pool is nothing near smooth.

Modern dating has a different landscape compared to the past. Gone are the days when a relationship has been deemed a certainty. Lots of phrases depict what a relationship is, from hook-ups, situation-ships, and the talking stage, to friends with benefits. It’s rather rough for singles to find “the one” as many deprioritise connections, confuse intimacy with lust, can’t be alone, dismiss vulnerability… the list goes on. Ultimately, because commitment isn’t officially expressed, relationships are carried out on the principle of going with the flow. It’s soothing, yet dangerous at the same time. Uncertainty causes torment to most – whether they like to admit it or not.

Love Coach Jose Aditya points out that monetary matters play a major role in modern dating. More women are career-driven, thus creating a strong sense of independence. Men are poised as the providers and protectors but many are part of the sandwich generation. “Naturally, a woman with her own income will look for a man who has more than her. The problem is, men with a higher income are the minority in Indonesia, and if there are any, they are usually married,” said the man whose stage name, Jose, stands for Jodoh Sejati or true mate.

love coach
Love Coach Jose Aditya

Fear of commitment isn’t the underlying issue. It’s making peace with short-term circumstances that are detrimental. Access for men to claim needs from a relationship without actually being in one is easier. Fulfilled sexual desires sit high on the top of needs. Women tend to settle for less, leaving them with no other choice but to accept their circumstances; wishful thinking that one day their love is reciprocated. The trend of marriage rates continues to decline in Indonesia, while the divorce rate increases, according to BPS data.

Coach Jose has been helping primarily women to embrace their femininity and work on their mental health to find their true matches since 2014. Previously a marketer familiarised with hypnotherapy, he has found his calling.

“I wanted to get married but my older sister wasn’t yet wed. Actually, she didn’t have a problem if I proceeded, but our Indonesian parents were worried that if she was overlooked, she’d be single forever. I decided to hold back on my marriage plans and help her psychologically, technically, and so on. After approximately six months of informal coaching, my sister finally got married,” he shares.

Throughout his coaching days, he’s noticed that today’s society sets criteria and standards based on what they want other people to perceive, not what they truly desire and spark joy. Everyone’s bare minimum is unique.

modern dating coaching
Love Coaching

“What is your purpose in building a relationship?” he asks. Happiness stems from within oneself. “You need to know who you are first. Not your personification. Then, set your criteria, values, and purpose.” The need for sexuality, sharing, and having special partners undoubtedly stand out, all the while monetary and familial challenges, however, overpower in Indonesia.

Coach Jose’s observation reaches towards interracial couples. He perceives that most Indonesians view expats as a way to climb the social ladder; gain prestige or even improve genetics. “Actually, Asian people view their race as inferior compared to primarily Caucasians,” he adds.

Stigma cannot exist unless it has happened, over and over again. An Indonesian man with an expat woman is viewed as a champion, while the roles reserved deems the expat woman as an acceptance of the quality of life. To tackle cultural shock, Coach Jose said communication is key.

“Culture is in the location where one lives. Expats who come to Indonesia automatically adapt to the Indonesian culture. What’s different is that here, for example, the element of respect for parents is deeper. In fact, I dare to consider this a plus for expats,” he explains.

Those dear to us obviously have our best interests at heart. They would genuinely voice out “you deserve better”, which is somewhat ambiguous to Coach Jose. One of the reasons why women don’t find the right man is that they can’t find the best. “It’s better to search for the most compatible one,” he counsels. To do so, shift the focus of criteria to deep traits such as values, emotional maturity, mental maturity, etc. “These are far more important and can make you happier than what any salary per year can contribute.”

love coaching
Coach Jose Helping People Find Their Loves

The gist every single person out there should remember is to not start a relationship based on needing one, but acknowledge why it’s important. Being oblivious will only create hassle and lots of drama. It’s also imperative to have polar energy where women embrace their femininity and men embrace their masculinity to create balance in a dynamic.

Private coaching focussing on setting goals is available from Coach Jose. “Many people think we are helping them find a mate but when they become clients, we will first check their self-esteem, inner child wound, and self-worth,” he explains.

The how-to can be from a platform for women to upgrade themselves called in the form of online courses so that women can be empowered in relationships and mental health based on a subscription via Coach Jose’s Instagram or

Is the modern dating pool still terrifying for you?

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