Dating someone from a different country can be an exciting, eye-opening experience. For many, dating someone from a foreign country can be very different from what we are used to! We are talking about a different country, a different look, a different language and fresh perspective on life! To navigate this new experience here is our guide on how to have an international relationship.
How to Have an International Relationship
This all sounds great to start, but these differences can be a little difficult to navigate especially if it is your first time dating across borders. To help make your life easier, these are some tips to help make your relationship with that international guy a bit simpler.
As with any relationship, communication is the single most important key to success. Even for someone from your own country, who speaks your own language, good communication can be challenging.
This is why expressing your thoughts and feeling with someone whose first language is different from your own is a whole different level of difficult! So what exactly is the secret to good communication?
Communication is just as much about speaking as it is about listening. When you are with someone from a different country, something which may seem simple to you like a conversation can be a bit more challenging.
Try putting yourself in their shoes – could you have a conversation in their native language?
Using another language is tiring, and can limit the way you speak and the way you express your thoughts and emotions. That is why being patient and truly listening to what the other person has to say is so important!
Communication also goes beyond language and speaking.
The important thing is to remember that everyone has a different speed and style of life. Respecting these nuances is the key to any relationship! If by chance something is really bothering you, or their way of doing something is truly an issue for you, then the best thing to do is… you guessed it! Communicate.
Learn their Language
If you are going to date someone from a different country then learning each other’s language will only further strengthen your relationship. Maintaining an active interest in learning about each other’s language shows that you have that extra drive and motivation get truly get to know one another.
This will also get you miles ahead when getting to know his friends and even his family. If you want to take your relationship to a deeper level then language is a must.
Experience Each Other’s Culture
The most exciting part of dating someone forms a different culture is learning about their way of life and culture. Chances are you will experience many things you have never tried before – eating foods you have never eaten, or listening to music you have never heard before. It may seem strange, foreign, or downright weird but the most important thing is to at least give it a try!
Even if it is not something you are used to, making an effort will show you care, whereas closing up can create disappointment. Remember how we talked about international relationships being full of differences? This is the time to embrace them, or at least approach them with an open mind. More times than not you will walk away with a wider perspective on life, and maybe a new favorite food.
Confront Your Differences
The idea or a “typical” relationship varies greatly from person to person, and culture to culture. Chances are you are going to encounter disagreements on what your relationship “should be” on a physical and emotional level, and this may cause some problems. Here are the things you should keep in mind.
PDA in an International Relationship
To start, PDA, or “public displays of affection” vary greatly depending on the country. For some places, something small like holding hands may be forbidden, and for some countries, kissing in public (or even making out) can be normal!
No matter what end of the spectrum you may fall, the important thing is to respect each other’s boundaries and realize that maybe something as “normal” to you may not be so normal for them.
Just like PDA, sex is also maybe not what you are used to. To start you have to consider – what is sex? Well, that really depends on the person.
Is it kissing and touching, licking and sucking, or downright fucking?
Again, this loops back to the main these of communicating well and letting your comfort levels and expectations be heard. Your limits of comfort are just that – your limits.
Sexual boundaries even extend beyond actually “having sex”. Have you ever considered something like talking about sex to be a cultural difference?
Whether in public, with friends, or even in private, what you find acceptable is probably a result of the country you were raised in. The important thing is to be aware of the differences and learn from one another.
This is another biggy that you may not think about before an international relationship. Many countries in heavily emphasize sexual education, whereas some countries don’t put much emphasis on it at all.
The important thing is to make sure that you are both comfortable and feel safe. Using a condom is a personal choice, but never feel pressured to have sex you do not feel 100% comfortable with.
Coming Out of the Closet
One of the hardest parts of being in a relationship, especially if you are gay, is being in the closet. Depending on where you are from, being out to your friends, and even your family can be extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible.
Coming out is a personal choice and is not something you should ever rush.
This is something to consider when you are dating abroad. Not everyone is going to be in the same situation as you and there is a big chance they may not be out of the closet, or ever have any intentions of ever coming out.
Always remember – never force someone to tell someone, or commit when they don’t feel comfortable. Likely their culture and family situation put them in a position that doesn’t give them much choice and is probably much different from what you are used to back home.
Discuss Your Long-Term Expectations
This leads into the last point. Getting into a relationship means different things to different people, and your partner’s ultimate goal may not be the same as what you expect. For you, a relationship may means staying together for a long time, living together one day, and eventually getting married.
It sounds great on paper but depending on what country you are from this may not be an option. Some guys despite dating other men and being extremely loving and invested have no long-term expectations.
Or, if you do stay together, your relationship with friends and family may be small or different than what you are used to.
What it ultimately comes down to is being upfront and honest with one another.
Things to Remember in an International Relationship
Dating across borders can be challenging, but it also allows you to learn and grow together in ways that you may not have had the opportunity to otherwise. Differences can be challenging, but when worked through together can be extremely rewarding and help you and your partner grow together into a deeper level.
As with any relationship the key is to communicate, respect, and work with each other. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to have fun along the way.
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This wraps up our guide on how to have an international relationship. Have you dated someone from a different country? What were the challenges you faced? Let us know in the comments below!