Let’s face it: accents are hot. Every Jennifer Aniston, Katherine Heigel romantic comedy since 1996 features some debonair British guy that whisks them away with flowers, a nicely pressed suit and charming foreign slang. But what these movies don’t show, are the external factors that go into making dating someone from a different country just a little more complicated than dating the sweet American boy next door.
1. They have a whole other life across the globe that you aren’t a part of.
Part of what makes dating fun is being part of someone else’s world; going to their favorite bars, showing each other new spots to get dinner, meeting their friends and possibly even joining forces to create one awesome friend group! If you’re dating someone who is fairly new to the states, none of those things exist for them. You may feel like it’s completely up to you to help create a life for them. There will always be a mysterious world across the globe. Friends, family, memories that may even be difficult to conceptualize due to the distance.
2. Could I live in their country?
There may come a day when he or she will want to go back and they might want to take you with them. While it’s not healthy to dwell on “what ifs”, asking yourself whether or not you would be willing to re locate is something important to think about if you are in a serious relationship. Having an open and healthy discussion about what life would be like in their country is essential. In a lifechanging decision like moving to a different country, it is important to put yourself, your needs and your dreams first
3. Visa’s suck!
This is the big one. Visas are the absolute worst. They are confusing, aggravating and sometimes unfair. I’m lucky enough to be dating someone who works in an office and is on a two year renewable visa. Even in his case, if he gets fired he has only two weeks to find a new job or leave the country. Being in a relationship with someone struggling to get a visa means being extremely supportive emotionally of the hurdle your “bae” is trying to jump. Be ready to buy them their favorite dessert and Netflix to distress them when they have visa woes.
4. They’re going to miss home.
Sometimes they may want to go home. And it’s going to hurt. I feel like a selfish asshole. I’ll admit it: often when my boyfriend talks about missing home, it sends a jolt of fear through me. Sometimes I can’t help but take it personally even when it has nothing to do with me. The worst part of being in a relationship with someone from a different country is unequivocally, the fear that the will leave. They may even talk about going home. The thing to remember here is: it isn’t about you. Everyone misses their friends and family when they are far away. Part of being in a healthy relationship involves (sometimes) taking yourself and your feelings out of the equation and trying to be there for the other person.
5. Tickets to their country are expensive.
Unless you’re lucky enough to be the heir apparent to toaster strudel, jet setting is expensive! On the plus side, if you save up, getting to visit another country can be one of the most rewarding experiences of ones life. This last one can be a major plus.If you can overcome the stress and sometimes frustrating realities of dating someone from a different country, it can be an exciting, healthy and interesting relationship just like any other.