From bragging rights to not understanding our love for baingan ka bharta, these special people come with their own special needs.
And having dated my fair share of Arabs, British Citizens and the occasional Hungarian, it’s safe to say that I am the closest to an expert that you are going to find on 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.
Whether you find your strange suitor at a bar or in an online chat room, the first difference you are bound to notice is that of our English Vinglish. My Indian habits of adding na and only to every sentence becomes an endearing laughing point for my current fiancé and his sexy British accent becomes a talking point amongst my friends. But that’s only the beginning of language barriers in a global relationship. 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 like Sridevi and me.
Once you get over the obvious and unavoidable differences in accent, the next hurdle you need to climb over is the one when you are mounting each other. Yup, the foreigner and our idea of sex and romance can be completely different. You thought Indians were freaky with our Kamasutra? Well, we kind of are. But we have nothing on the scandalous Europeans. From too much PDA in France to casual ass-grabbing at Nandos, they will never understand our flashbacks from the Romeo Squad and police mamu mobs at joggers park, and tbh, I am kinda okay with that.
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? Considering it. Want to categorise Nandos as date night? Maybe. But what I am not okay with is someone not loving butter chicken as much as I do.
Okay, I mean Punjabi (my pind) food in general. It’s a pet peeve that chickpeas and kidney beans are not regarded highly amongst other nations but often times, dating a foreigner means them frankly not understanding why certain cultural things are so important to you.
“Why do we have to invite 200 people to a wedding?” asks my baffled fiancé. I scream internally, “Because that’s just what Punjabis from Delhi do!”
Now, before you put on your judgy pants and question, “Why do you have to date a foreigner if you have to sacrifice so much of yourself,” I ask you to keep an open mind, because the pros truly outweigh the cons.
When you sacrifice some old parts of you, you also gain a new and improved perspective. Basically, by dating someone unlike you, you become a modified car with a better stereo system (broader sense of self and the world) and also LED lights (flashy things like better sex moves, a green card and maybe an accent?).
The bottom line is, I am happy to sacrifice my geo-comforts for a chance to meet someone awesome who can, to quote Aladdin, “Show me the world – shining, shimmering splendid”.
And 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.