From bragging rights to not understanding our love for baingan ka bharta, these special people come with their own special moments. And having dated my fair share of Arabs, Brits, and the occasional Hungarian, it’s safe to say that I have much experience of dating a foreigner. In fact, as Ali Wong aka Baby Cobra would say, I have even managed to “trap one” into marrying me. So, if you have dreams of dating a non-native, heed my warning and my experience. You’re going to need it!
As fun as it is to keep navigating this troublesome yet beautiful experience of being from different cultures, it’s always helpful to know what it entails. From cultural differences that start at food and go all the way to social skills and even hand gestures, there is a lot of learning and unlearning that comes with dating a foreigner. It’s going to be tough, I won’t lie to you. But if you do it right, it can truly be the experience of a lifetime.
What To Expect When Dating A Foreigner
Whether you find your strange suitor at a bar or want to consider online dating with foreigners, the first difference you are bound to notice is that of our English Vinglish. My Indian habit of adding na and only to every sentence becomes an endearing laughing point for my fiancé. And his sexy British accent becomes a talking point amongst my friends. But that’s only the beginning of language barriers when dating someone from another country.
Once, I asked a Korean lover if he’d like me in a thong, to which he LOL’d very hard and reminded me that ‘thong’ meant shit in his part of the world. So yeah, get ready to power through awkward conversations. Oh, the challenges of dating a foreigner!
The Challenges Of Dating Someone From Another Country
Clearly, dating a foreigner is nothing short of interesting. Sure, it’ll be fun to make jokes about their accent and the way they talk, but prepare to be made fun of about the same. That being said, there are a few awkward moments that you two might keep running into as well. And there are a LOT of things that you will disagree on. Let’s not forget, there’s a good chance you two might be in a long-distance relationship for a while. That’s a whole different territory on its own with its own set of problems.
So if you are falling in love with a foreigner real hard, keep the following pointers in mind.
1. Expectations from physical intimacy
Once you get over the obvious and unavoidable differences in accent, the next hurdle you need to climb is the one in bed. Yup, your exotic boyfriend’s ideas of good sex and romance can be completely different from the ones you grew up learning. You thought Indians were freaky with our Kamasutra? Well, we can be. But don’t you dare underestimate the Americans.
There’s more to dating a foreigner though. Indian women, especially, are wary of PDA – flashbacks of the vigilante Romeo Squads and the cops barking at couples outdoors haunt many of us. The West can be a little different when it comes to public displays of affection. It might just appear like a different universe to you altogether. From too much PDA in France to casual ass-grabbing at Nandos, sex and intimacy are quite different abroad, and to be honest, I am okay with that. In fact, I love it!
2. Will they like the food you eat?
I have come to find that I am okay with a lot of things in a relationship. Can’t speak English? No worries. Want to have sex in public? Pondering it very deeply. Want to categorize Nandos as a date night? Maybe, they do have some really good stuff. But what I am not okay with is someone not loving butter chicken as much as I do. It’s food from the heavens. I don’t want to be with anyone who does not understand or appreciate the importance of it.
Okay, I mean Punjabi (my pind) food in general. It’s a pet peeve of mine that chickpeas and kidney beans are not regarded as highly among other nations. Guys, you’re missing out. As Indians, we have really lucked out with our cultural eating habits. When I started falling in love with a foreigner, I made it a point to make him try everything from pulao to gulab jamun. He didn’t always love it but he tried. Often, dating a foreigner means that they will not understand why certain cultural things are so important to you. Food is a big one for me personally.
3. They’re going to want a small wedding
“Why do we have to invite 200 people to a wedding?” asked my baffled fiancé. I screamed internally, “Because that’s just what Punjabis from Delhi do!”
God knows how he’s going to react when he learns how much my outfit costs. It’s no Sabyasachi but it reflects the standards of a Delhi girl’s shopping habits pretty well, as it should. I’ve already picked my lehenga AND his sherwani. He better deal with it and also, learn to love it!
4. Will your family accept him?
When your father, during a family get-together, can’t discuss cricket or politics with his son-in-law, he will be disappointed to say the least. That’s not a good reason to not marry him though. All I’m saying is that it might take a while for the family to see him as a member of their own. The onboarding process is not going to be simple at all and you might have to keep at it for a while. But remember, in the end, love must win as it should. And in your case, it will too.
Related Reading: 18 Tips To Ace Dating In College
The Pros Of Falling In Love With A Foreigner
Now, before you put on your judgy pants and ask, “Why do you have to be dating a foreigner if you have to sacrifice so much of yourself?” or “What are the benefits of dating a foreigner anyway?” Well, first of all, I’m gonna say: love! Why do you even need another reason? But for the sake of discussion, I ask you to keep an open mind, because the pros truly outweigh the cons. Here, I shall list out just a few of them for you.
1. A broader sense of the world
When you sacrifice some old parts of yourself, you also gain a new and improved perspective. Basically, by dating someone unlike you, you become a modified car with a better stereo system and LED lights. You gain a broader world, and a better understanding of it. You might even acquire a sexy accent and learn some novel sex moves. Are these not enough reasons to immediately hop onto those foreigner dating apps?
The bottom line is that I am happy to sacrifice my geographical comforts for a chance to meet someone awesome who can, to quote Aladdin, “Show me the world – shining, shimmering, splendid”. Dating someone who lives in another country can bring issues like long-distance relationship problems, cultural misunderstandings, etc. But all that is at the cost of gaining an immensely varied and new worldview – and it is indeed a pretty good deal to me.
Related Reading: 12 Ways To Build Intellectual Intimacy In A Relationship
2. The connection will always remain unique
Even though you two might constantly be fighting about how much spice to use in your pasta, these are things that will keep your relationship alive. You will have arguments and disagreements all the time. Understanding their perspective is truly going to feel like a Herculean task when you are so embedded in your own. But to keep things fresh, you will always be learning, gauging, understanding, and being. If you are falling in love with a foreigner, know that boredom is an issue that you will hardly have to deal with.
3. Learning a new language
No need to hop onto those online Spanish lessons or download Duolingo without ever actually using it. Save yourself the time and storage space on your phone, and go out and start dating a foreigner. While that is not the only or even a good reason to date someone overseas, it is an incredible perk! I guess all those dreams of getting intimate and having steamy sex with your foreign language teacher (your partner) are finally going to come true.
4. It will teach you tolerance like nothing else
When you think Parmesan cheese smells like feet but you have to put up with it every single night at the dinner table because your husband cannot stop eating it, you will know what tolerance in a relationship truly feels like. And he will do the same for you.
Your foreign husband is going to have to deal with your nagging and loud parents, a horde of siblings with zero understanding of personal space, and all the spicy chutneys that you cannot live without. If you two can make it through all these differences, you might just make it through anything.
My boyfriend is a foreigner and while we have our fair share of tussles, I am beyond happy to be on this journey with him. If you are thinking of dating a foreigner and don’t know how to go about it, remember that kindness is universal and that’s all you need to break the ice and start a conversation. Kindness and Tinder, yup.
Dating someone from another country will bring its challenges but as long as you’re in love and willing to make things work, nothing can stop you. Dating a foreigner is all about making the right sacrifices, understanding their cultural background, showing them that you love their culture, explaining your own culture to them, and having impeccable communication. The difference in backgrounds can hamper communication sometimes but with the right conflict resolution strategies and techniques, you will be just fine.
How to date a foreign guy is something most people seem to be really puzzled about even though the answer to it is incredibly simple. Having an open mind and being yourself are the most important things that I can tell you to do. No matter where you find him, be inquisitive, show an interest in his culture, and always be open to trying new things.
Yes! There are many perks to it. If you two love each other enough to make it through the differences, you will definitely reap the rewards of dating a foreigner.
If you love them and you believe in the idea of marriage, it does not matter if they are a foreigner or not. As an Indian, it might be tough to have your parents come around to it. But if they see what you see in him, they will be just fine with it.
For certain, it has to be eharmony. Give it a try, you will just love it.