October 16th, 2013 by Jessica Dante
What it’s Like to Date a Foreigner
I like to consider myself an expert on international dating. Now don’t take this the wrong way– I’ve actually only dated one non-American (who I ended up marrying), but since I lived abroad for a year and have done a decent amount of traveling, I have many close friends who date internationally as well. So I’m passing along my knowledge of what it’s like to date a foreigner.
There’s lots of translating involved (even if you speak the same language)
My husband is English and I’m American, so we both are native English speakers but sometimes it feels like we are “divided by a common language”. We’ve been married for 5 months now and I’ve been in the UK for three, and we still need to translate some words and phrases. Just last night, we had a few friends over for dinner and I made stuffed zucchini. When I told our guests that that’s what they would be eating, the reaction was three completely blank stares– they’re called courgettes here.
You rack up airline miles like crazy
Even if you and your mate are living in the same city, chances are your families aren’t. So dating a foreign means lots of jet lag, leg cramps, and stamps in your passport. But the plus side is you’ll start to accrue lots of miles that you can put towards a free flight!
You may not meet your in-laws until the day before your wedding
True story. Seriously. I had met mine on Skype, but my first in-the-flesh meeting with my in-laws was the day before my husband and I got married. When you date and plan to marry someone whose family lives an ocean away, these things happen.
Many of your new relationships will be virtual
Just like I did with my in-laws, I “met” many of Tom’ friends through Skype and Facebook chat before I came and settled in the UK. And depending on where some of your partner’s family members and friends live, you may never actually meet them in person. Circumstances like this make you thankful for modern technology.
Your eating habits may change
Every country does food differently. My poor husband gains a few pounds whenever we’re in New York because of the ridiculous portion sizes in the US that he’s not used to. And I’m still having trouble adjusting to the fact that there isn’t a Red Mango that’s open till 10 on every corner here. So an international relationship can mean an adjusted philosophy on food for both parties.
You’ll have a better perspective on life and your relationship
With the visa headaches and other bureaucratic nonsense that often comes with being in a relationship with someone not from your own country, couples who are from different parts of the world often put small problems and hurdles into perspective. For us, we figure that we’ve been through so much that the little things just aren’t worth worrying about.