You’ve got that long awaited job abroad and you’re living the high life in the sun… but whom do you share it with? Life as a single expat can be lonely sometimes and it’s natural that you will want someone to explore a new city or country with.
But exactly how does an expat get a date and how should you behave when you do? Here are our top five tips for expat dating.
1) Work on your language skills. If you’re living in a country that has a different first language than your own then it is important that you make some effort to learn and practice the local language. Even if you aren’t looking to date a local and would prefer a fellow expat, there’s no two ways about it, demonstrating the ability to converse in the local lingo will win you a few brownie points and make you more attractive to the opposite sex.
2) Be strategic. If you’re serious about meeting a potential partner you should think carefully about the type of person you see yourself with over the long term and then think of 5 places where you may meet this person. For example, if you are into sport and fitness then you may wish to join some sports teams and groups. Alternatively, if reading gets your goat, then you should sign up for a book club or similar network.
3) Consider using an online dating site. Online dating sites no longer have the stigma attached to them that they once had and there’s absolutely no need to be embarrassed about using these sites to connect with potential partners. Many expat destinations have sites that are aimed specifically at the expatriate market and these will act as a great vehicle for meeting potential love interests.
4) If you are interested in dating locals or meeting fellow expatriates from other countries, make sure you take the time and effort to understand cultural differences that exist between the two worlds from which you both originate. Learn as much as you can about your date’s cultural background before any meeting and ensure you are aware of any actions that could potentially offend. Also be prepared to share your own background so that your date can understand where you come from and what your own approach to a relationship may be. Remember that “expat” is not a homogeneous term and that expatriates come from a variety of different backgrounds; just because they may have the same skin color as you, does not guarantee that you will automatically have a lot in common. For insights into cultural issues you should be aware of when dating abroad see the great article that we was published in The Stir http://thestir.cafemom.com/love_sex/115850/dating_tips_from_around_the
5) Always put your own safety at the top of your list of priorities. If you have met a potential date, either in a bar or online you should try to arrange to meet them in a busy place where there will be plenty of people around. If you do feel uncomfortable at any point during the date then you should make your polite excuses and leave; trust your instincts.
Do you have any useful tips for expat dating? Leave a comment below and tell us all about them.