By The Hunger
Dating foreigners, I love it. The best way to know a nation is to date a citizen of that nation. Whilst living abroad, learning the language and befriending the locals are other good ways to discover the veiled faces of a country. But you would learn more in one month dating a local than spending a year with a platonic local friend. People reveal more about themselves in private, nations too.
I have always been a flagger, but as I got older I appreciated how much better it is to date someone from another country. Quality over quantity, not everybody gets it or even wants it. To begin to really know a country you have to date someone from that country, you have to live life through their eyes to see if you like their brand of normal.
I’ve had many conversations with guys and girls who love foreigners but aren’t too concerned with flag numbers. They are still flaggers, just a different breed of flagger. Flagging has a broad definition. If you marry someone from another country, then you too are a flagger. It’s more difficult to date someone from a faraway land, but the positives make it all worth it.
Top 5 Tips for Dating Foreigners
1. Miscomunnications are unavoidable
Miscommunication is the biggest problem in relationships, period. Regardless of how good her English is or how much ____ you now speak, this problem is exacerbated with poor language skills and greater cultural differences. It can be fun, it can also be dangerous. I remember a time when my French-ex and I nearly went to war based on what I didn’t say and what she thought I said. We both joked about it later after we had both took the time to listen.
As a native English-speaker, you hold the linguistic upper-hand in most cases. As mentioned in One-Way Conversation, it’s easy to think that foreigners who speak English fluently understand you 100% of the time. Not true. Fluency and native English speaking ability are not the same.
2. People are different in their home countries
Similar to summer romance theory. It may work perfectly on holiday, but let’s face it, sometimes things don’t work so well when people catch up at a non-holiday location. Someone may be more Swiss in Switzerland, or more Peruvian when in Peru, and you might not like that version. It’s also entirely possible that you may find you even prefer your adopted country.
When I was in the Greek islands years ago, I met a Polish girl. When I went to see her in Warsaw, something had changed and it wasn’t me. I took the fastest train to Krakow to escape. That’s life. It’s important to change the environment to see if it’s the person, or the person in the holiday environment you love.
3. Make an effort to learn some of the language
Unless she comes from a different country and speaks the same language as you, try and learn her language, even a bit. It: a) shows that you care enough about her to learn her language and are interested in her culture, and b) will help you to understand how she thinks. Language is more than text; it reveals how people/countries think. My Spanish-ex and I used to practice Spanish fairly often; adds another dimension to the relationship, trust me, it can be good fun.
4. Learn Learn Learn
If you want to be with someone from abroad, then you should be prepared to learn about their nation. Food, customs, anything, and the same should apply for your girl about you. It doesn’t mean you have to like everything, just be open to it. I mean no one should have to show an interest in curling just because they’re dating a Canadian. My Brazilian-ex definitely re-inspired me to make another South American voyage.
5. Respect the differences in the culture
If there is one thing that I’ve learnt from all my travels is that people everywhere all do the same things, it’s just that they do them differently. From chopsticks to cutlery, burkini to bikini, mule to Maserati; in a word, different. But I do think there are better ways of doing things. My Greek-ex was convinced that everything was better in Greece than in Australia, even the kangaroos too apparently. Why not find the best way of doing everything?
Dating foreigners guarantees a unique perspective that a travel company can’t deliver. It’s a VIP ticket into the day-to-day mind of another country. Would you prefer to go up the Eiffel Tower, or to go on a date with a cute French girl? Just depends what part of a nation you want to see. Anyone can go up the Eiffel Tower; far fewer get the French flag and fewer still will ever get to date a Frenchwoman