Having a partner from another country is enriching, magical and I highly recommend it from my own experience. But, like everything else in life, there are some small problems or obstacles in the way that might be quite challenging for “first timers” but that also make everything more exciting. On this post, I’ll tell you about some obstacles you may face when dating someone from another country.
The communication issue
The first common challenge is the language. In most cases, English is the middle ground for intercultural couples. In my case, I’m lucky to be bilingual and it made things easier for me when meeting people from all around the world. But for some of you, English might be your second language and it might be hard to express yourself properly in a language you don’t completely master. Sometimes, this can lead to confusion when trying to find the right word or the best adjective to use. The key here is being patient and understanding (sometimes your partner is the one who doesn’t speak English so well). It’s helpful to practice the language you and partner chose. Do some research and, if that’s the case, take some online classes. It will guarantee you some extra points!
The cultural differences
Then there’s the cultural issue. We’ve all been there. Some cultures tend to be more open and tender while others are more reserved and discreet. And they usually fall in love for each other. I’m half Brazilian and my ex-girlfriend was German. Sometimes it was hard for her to understand my public displays of affection while I had some trouble dealing with her need for privacy. It took us a while to work things out in a way that nobody was feeling bad. My advice on this matter is: talk to each other and be clear about your limits.
The passport issue
Another challenge that intercultural couples might face - and most people don’t even consider it - is what I like to call “the passport issue”. Intercultural couples from EU don’t have this problem, but let’s say you are Russian and your partner is Brazilian; you will need a visa to visit Brazil and the same goes for her. If you decide to live together, things might be more complicated with tons of paperwork to be done by both of you. Do your homework on the visa policy for your country and ask your partner to do the same. It’ll save you some headache in the future.
Leaving the family
The toughest part comes when you decide you want to live together. It takes courage and a lot of planning to leave your country, your family and friends, to live in a new and unknown place. It will take a lot of effort from both sides to make it work but it’s not impossible. If you overcome this last stage, you will both grow as individuals and as couple.
Have some intercultural dating stories to share? Leave your comments below!