An active lifestyle, a penchant for pets and quite the catch!
We Sassy girls are always on the lookout for a worthy guy, which is why we’ve chosen Sean Whipkey to be our very first That Bachelor. His sharp sense of humour, love for the outdoors (and dogs!), and admiration of sunsets (we’re yours!) made us think he’s a great catch. So, if you single ladies are thinking you and Sean just might be a match, take our survey below before Wednesday, 26 April, for your chance to go on a date with our very first That Bachelor. Until then, here’s what Sassy’s Meg Widmer found out about Sean…
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m 28 years old from McLean, Virginia. I went to school at Villanova (go Cats!) where I was an NCAA Swimmer. I actually continued my swimming with HK Football Club when I moved out here.
What brought you to HK?
I interned in Singapore the summer before my last year of college. It was my first time in Asia, and I assumed it would just be a summer fling. After work sent me to HK for a few days, though, I fell in love with it, and moved back out here shortly after finishing school to start my full-time job.
What would you consider to be your greatest accomplishment to date?
I completed a full Ironman in under 12 hours in Louisville, Kentucky.
That’s incredible! What was training for it like?
I was interning in New York City during the real crunch time of training, so it was difficult, but I trained for about six to eight months total. I would swim every morning, run after work, and bike long distances on the weekends. I averaged about 20 training hours per week. It was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, that’s for sure, but also one of the most rewarding.
So, what do you like to do for fun?
I love being outdoors and active. HK gets me like that. I love wakeboarding, swimming, boating, running, traveling as much as possible, camping (during the cooler months) and, of course, sunset drinks! It’s one of my favourite things no matter where I am.
What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?
Last November, I went to the Pushkar Camel Festival in Rajasthan, India. It’s one of the world’s largest camel fairs. The original plan was to fly to Delhi with some friends, and go see the Taj, but once someone tipped us off about the camel fair, we knew we couldn’t miss it. We booked some last minute changes and spent an incredible 36 hours in Pushkar. It’s pretty out there in the middle of the desert. We stayed in tents, rode camels, took a sunrise hot air balloon ride, participated in a water blessing at Pushkar Lake, and watched the sunset over the desert from the top of a mountain. Every part of it was amazing. Best part is, we did it all in one weekend without having to take any time off work.
Okay, so let’s get to the good stuff. You seem like quite a catch, why are you single?
I’ve had a few things going on over the years in Hong Kong, but I just haven’t found the right person. I think at this point I know what I’m looking for in someone. I wouldn’t say I’m picky, just taking my time looking for the right match.
What are the top three things you look for in a girl?
She definitely has to be adventurous and outdoorsy/active. Most of what I’m doing in my free time falls into those categories. And obviously a good sense of humour is a huge win.
Thoughts on dating apps?
UGH. They’re so much work! Yes, I’m on them, but I’m not really active. They definitely open you up to people you wouldn’t otherwise meet, but my experience using them in HK is so-so, thus far.
Pssh, okay, so you use them. How do you analyse a girl’s Tinder profile before swiping right?
She must have some funny pictures, and can’t all be serious. They definitely can’t be all selfies; one selfie max. Love seeing outdoor pictures, and a major plus if she has pictures with dogs (even if the dog isn’t hers). Basically, I love when, “I don’t take myself (or this app) too seriously,” comes through.
Do you feel like there’s a difference in the dating scene between here and when you were in the states?
The last time I was in the States I was still in college. In that way it’s actually very similar as HK can often feel like a very, very small town. It’s very easy to run into people, and it’s best not to ruffle any feathers in a small town, that’s for sure.
Would you say you’ve ruffled any feathers here in HK?
No, I like to consider myself a gentleman. And, I’m also not dumb.
Okay, then what’s the worst thing you think you’ve done on a date?
Ugh, unfortunately this has happened a few times. Think white pants and red wine. I’ll get excited about something, start talking with my hands, the red wine goes flying, I feel like a jerk. It’s a total disaster.
Do you offer to pick up the dry cleaning?
I actually have once before!
Does that mean…
Ahhh, I know where you’re going with this, but like I said, not ruffling feathers.
Touché. Okay, what would you consider to be a great first date?
I mean I’d definitely take the girl into consideration when planning, but my idea of a great date would be grabbing a drink somewhere like Stockton, then if all is going well, dinner at an Italian restaurant or something like Yardbird (a personal favourite), and if things are still going well I’m always happy to get another drink after or meet up with friends, just see where the night goes.
So are you saying you grab drinks first before committing to dinner?
Ummm… sometimes? I guess it depends how I actually met the person. Buffer drinks never hurt though.
What is your go-to first date outfit?
This is easy. Gingham button-down shirt, navy chinos, sweater (unless it’s the 11 months of the year that I can’t wear one in HK), boat shoes.
Okay, you’re on this first date… what’s a deal breaker?
I’ll probably get some flak for this one, but I just can’t get behind the vegan thing.
What would you say automatically “friend-zones” a girl?
If they’re married.
Fair enough! All right, so say now you’re actually dating someone, what’s something that raises a huge red flag?
I really like girls who are independent. I find it quite unattractive when a girl expects everything to be done for her or to be treated to everything. Also if she doesn’t like dogs. She must love dogs.
That’s the second time you’ve mentioned dogs. Is Must Love Dogs your favourite movie?
Haha, haven’t seen it! But it’s fitting isn’t it? My favourite movie is Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It mixes tons of favourite things – beach, Hawaii, surfing, a love story and Mila Kunis. And there may or may not be a sunset or two in there.
Is Mila Kunis your celeb crush?
Yes, 100 percent!
Okay, how about some other favourites; what’s your favourite musical artist?
Jake Owen… I love country music. You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy. Something like that, right?
One hundred percent – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But don’t write that down!
What about a favourite quote?
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
Who said that?
Okay, let’s change gears a bit. Tell us about your family.
We’re an Irish-American family of four. My parents have been married for 33 years, and I’m the eldest of two boys.
Thirty-three years is a long time! What do you admire most about your parents relationship?
They still have so much fun together no matter where they are or what they’re doing.
What qualities of an eldest child do you think you most possess?
They say that first-borns have their parents to learn from instead of a sibling, so they see their parents doing everything the right way and want to do everything just the same instead of messing up. I guess I hold myself to a fairly high standard. I wouldn’t say I’m a perfectionist by any means, but I like to put my best foot forward.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, happy with someone, and happy in life. Open to living anywhere warm and sunny.
What’s your biggest fear?
To still be swiping left five years from now.
Know an eligible guy who could be our next That Bachelor? Email us at email@example.com and tell us about him!
All the beautiful images were taken by the extremely talented Hong Kong wedding photographer Ali Ghorbani of Ali G Studios. Follow him on Instagram @aligphoto and Facebook at www.facebook.com/AliGStudio