Navigating the Waters of International Dating

In the last ten years the internet access has exploded to all points on the globe. From the jungles of Indonesia to the most remote parts of Siberia anyone can have access to it. This of course has opened up business and trade in ways never before possible. What has this done for the online dating scene? Put simply, its booming.

Just like the dot-coms of the 90′s or the Home loans of the 00′s exploding markets have their pitfalls. So here are some thoughts to consider before deciding to swim to the other shore.

Language, everyone speaks the Language of love right? Yes that’s true in the physical sense, but how exactly do you do that online. Well you can’t and this is where most international dating fails. So you find her attractive and you want to know more but your Mandarin is worse than her English. Finding away to overcome this, is the first and largest one to work through. Finding a translator often helps get through the first rocky online chats but sometimes that often comes with a cost, online interpreting services are not cheap. Finding a friend, or someone local to help is great for this. Funny as it sounds running an ad on Craigslist you might be amazed at the help you can find for a fair price. Many international students may jump at an opportunity like this. There also are some online communities that can help with this as well. Moving beyond the first few chats though you will need to make a serious effort to learn to communicate with each other. This means learning a language for you or them is the next step.

This is simple seems simple, time zones. When will you chat? Her time 4:30am, your time 2:15 am. As simple as this sounds finding the right time to chat can be difficult. Many times it means waking up early or staying up late to find that perfect time. Most people have a job and a life outside of dating so matching chat schedules to a normal life makes for some difficult narrows to cross. Both parties will need to commit to this consistently. As getting up at 4:30 am to chat and finding out that your “sweetie” has forgotten about you leads to some hurt feelings and difficult conversations. Also you don’t want your personal life to suffer from the 3 am chats. Your boss may not appreciate you sleeping on the job. When you drive for a living falling asleep at the wheel is a dangerous reality if you spent 3-4 am chatting when you should be sleeping.

The last major consideration is traveling? You should ask yourself do you like to travel? Do you feel comfortable meeting new people, eating new foods, and spending the money it costs to do all that. Money is a big consideration. At first it may seem cheap as your “dates” are just video chats or emails. Sooner or later you will need to meet and that will involve travel. Plane fare and hotels are not cheap, having the funds to do this is critical in taking the next step with the relationship. No webcam that I know of can give you the perspective that the first “real” in person chat ever will. Second do you like to travel, a fear of flying makes this stage extremely difficult as having to travel 20+hrs on a plane is easily possible. Do you like to try new foods? If the answer is no and hamburgers and pasta are your mainstay this again will form a huge road block. You must be willing to adapt to what this new culture will throw at you and food, most commonly food is at the forefront of this. Warning some cultures view this as disrespectful if you don’t eat the food served to you. So give this some serious consideration.

All in all international dating has its pitfalls but it can also be a wonderful and fun learning experience for both of you. Just take it slow, work through the first few hurdles and you might find yourself on the road to a great loving and passionate relationship.

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