International Relationships: The Hardships
Traditional or international, relationships can be difficult for some people to start and once started, they can be even harder to maintain. One of the most common reasons why lots of relationships get in trouble is lack of communication. Too many men and women enter relationships with expectations that just aren’t realistic. Maybe she thinks he’ll spend all his free time with her and he thinks she’ll be happy to stay home and take care of the kids.
What leads to conflict is the fact that often people don’t take time to discuss their expectations. Relationships with foreign women can be even more challenging, but if you’re a single English or American man moving overseas you don’t have many options. You can either stay single, try to meet another English or American person who’s living abroad or you’ll have to get active in international dating. Because there can be many differences between the American and foreign dating scene, there are some things you should know.
To begin with, American culture is only a few hundred years old and generally, almost everyone in the United States identifies with being American. In contrast, the culture of other countries could be thousands of years old and if you don’t have any basic knowledge of it, you’ll have a hard time finding a suitable partner, or even worse, be taken advantage of.
As an example, many Russian people wouldn’t call themselves Russian, often because they are not. They can be from a state or republic in the Russian Federation, so they could be Chechen or Tatar, which is quite different from being Russian. As a matter of fact, there are nearly thirty different languages spoken in Russia. To a foreigner, all these may sound just like Russian, but failing to make distinction between the different languages may ruin your chances of creating a meaningful connection with someone.
The second challenge comes with communication. Many non-English speakers seem to be better at reading and understanding English than speaking it. This means misunderstandings can happen often and you’ll have to be patient to sort them out. Additionally, you’ll be spending a lot of time explaining things and your best jokes are probably going to be missed or even worse, offensive.
Specific basic concepts can be very different or can’t be translated at all. As an example, in Eastern culture, the word “most” usually means more than fifty percent. In the United States it tends to mean a lot more than fifty percent. Unfortunately, as basic as these little things are, misunderstandings like this could quickly escalate into arguments and fights, so it’s better to be aware of them in advance.
Naturally, the hardest part could end up being meeting that right person. If you don’t live in a big city, the dating scene will differ from the American one a lot. There are some cultural traditions which don’t consider online dating to be appropriate and it has a certain social stigma to it. In cultures like this, it might not be allowed to date someone you haven’t agreed to marry, but it’s perfectly okay to talk to them online.