Dating in another country, 3 mistakes to avoid.

Dating doesn’t have to be hard, but what about dating in another country? By avoiding these three mistakes you can consider yourself the master of dating even when you are in a different country.

There are only two types of people, one side likes dating and the other side finds it stressful. Yes, dating can often be stressful, but overall, it’s important to enjoy your date. If you’re really stressed, you’re probably not dating someone who is a good fit. You may also find that you need to discover on your own,  what things will lead you to the root cause of why dating is so stressful like dig deep and ask yourself what are you looking for?

When you are going out on a date in a different country, there is a whole lot of dynamic change that hits you hard.  So let’s talk about the three mistakes to avoid when dating in another country.

1. When dating in another country, don’t be naïve about your date’s culture

You can’t just go out on a date with someone in a new country and pretend as if they know that a high-five is something really casual – maybe it’s not and perhaps, you lose your chances of seeing them again.  There are so many things that I thought was understood, like Star Trek.

 Dating someone in a new country is like walking somewhere in the dark – you only the path if you’ve walked it before.  Understanding one’s culture and traditions are an integral part of a deeper knowledge of one’s existence as a person. This can be done by attending cultural events, doing quick internet research, or just asking simple questions, like “I’m not familiar with that, could you tell me more?”

Just don’t sit in front of someone and talk only about the stuff you like and are interested in – get to know the person and the value their culture holds.  That sounds simple, but in the beginning I really had to remember to do that, because when I was in America, there was already a cultural understanding that I shared with dates.  We were familiar with certain commercials, TV shows, movies, celebrities, historical events, cities/states, memes, we weren’t really starting from ground zero.

2. When dating in another country, don’t bombard your date with your questions – don’t interrogate

So a moment ago I mentioned to ask simple questions, yes, definitely, but don’t hit people with a lot of questions though.  It can kind of feel scary, maybe like your being judged, especially when you are dating people in a different country.  Your date knows that you are not from their country; hence going all out with questions without giving them thought could also come across as just too nosey, when you’re first getting to know someone.

You want to show interest by asking what they like and don’t like, but don’t force anyone to provide information just because you are eager to know more about them. Maybe after a few dates you can even ask to meet the parents , just kidding. I totally get how this is considered normal for some, but sometimes it is better to work with patience and restraint, even if you find their culture, their country, them, super-fascinating.  Give them the time to understand you, because, for them, you are from a different country, and you’re probably super-fascinating as well.

3. When dating in another country, have an idea of what you are looking for

Many dating apps have the option to select “friends”, “long-term relationship”, and other options.  Some dating apps are well-known for just being a site where you can meet someone to “hook-up”.  Then there are sites which locals use and you will need to use a translation app or international dating sites which give you the opportunity to find a match in a country far away from where you currently live. 

It’s okay to not be completely sure if you want a relationship or to have certain preferences about the type of person whom you would like to date, but just be honest about that.  There’s nothing worse than liking someone or them liking you and the attraction/interest is not mutual and later on confusion, maybe even the feeling of betrayal coming up because things were not made clear from the beginning. 

So, full disclosure, before I came to China, I had not gone on a date with a Chinese man.  Although America is a very diverse place, I honestly didn’t encounter any Chinese men in the social circles which I traveled in.  To be honest, the Chinese men who asked me on a date in China were westernized, they had studied abroad, and going out with, being seen with, being interested in a black woman was not a big deal to them.

Being open to going on dates with Chinese men helped me know a little more about China, the culture, the history, the language, the food, the people, the place where I am living.  And although nothing serious ever came of the dates, it was a valuable experience for me, and I’m glad for it. Just as I’m sure that the conversations we engaged in regarding my experience as a black woman in America, in China, and of course things not related to my race, like my love of science fiction, my desire to travel the world, my Latin roots and missing my family in Panama, and helped to expand their outlook on life as well.

I have friends and I’ve interviewed many guests who moved abroad and have spoken about falling in love with someone from another country (tune in for that topic in Season 2), and of course like any relationship, no matter where you are in the world, there are challenges and joys. But I have noticed from all the conversations that the one constant issue in dating in another country is the issue of language.

Dating in general , if there is the purpose of getting to know someone, involves communication, and dating in another country certainly involves much more communication than in a situation where you’re both from the same place. Even when you are both from a western culture, communication can be tricky.

I highly recommend dating in another country. Even though it hasn’t worked out for me, I’ve seen and heard about the beauty of an intercultural match. It’s a wonderful thing for people from different cultures to say hey, I like you, especially because you’re different from what I know, have known. It can only make the future a better place.

Dating In Another Country

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