Tips for Dating Abroad
A Tinder swipe gone right!
I matched with my boyfriend on Tinder and we met at a cafe in Bali, Indonesia two days into our time on the island. Then we fell madly in love and drove off into the rice fields for one year. I’m only partially kidding, instead of only driving off into the rice fields we explored most of Indonesia together for 8 months before I moved in with him in his flat in Kyiv, Ukraine for 3 months, then traveled together to Turkey for a few weeks, before we had a break. Then I went back to the United States and met back up with him in Indonesia where we live happily ever after! Talk about a dating abroad love story!
But before being matching with him on Tinder I’ve had my fair share of dating around the world.
There was the German I dated in Miami before flying to Germany to spend a few weeks with him in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.
There was a Spanish guy I met in Madrid, Spain and I spent the afternoon until the morning riding around on the back of his motorbike.
There was the Sri Lankan bartender that was absolutely gorgeous and after his shift we met to walk along the beach and talk.
There was a French kid I’d met in Greece. I call him a kid because he was just 20 as I was late into 26. And while we never actually “dated”. We spent 2 days riding around Greece together from morning until night exploring beaches, restaurants, and clubs.
There was the German I met on my last day of a solo travel trip to Mexico who I kept in contact with for one year before traveling to Ibiza, Spain for 3 weeks to visit him and see if there was still a spark.
I’ve always asked myself, “Is my partner actually in the country where I’m from or can they be somewhere living abroad?” and while I don’t necessarily travel to date I have found myself dating while traveling. Some causal hangouts, quick flings, or long term relationships.
If I’ve learned anything from dating abroad, this is it ...
Leave Your Expectations At Home
Maybe you’ll meet your husband or … just a friend. Leave the playing field clear when dating abroad. Don’t meet people with the idea that the person’s role in your life is solely for dating purposes. I met a guy in Crete, Greece who made the perfect friend. We had lovely lunches, strolls, and even hour long adventures across the island together. We were both solo travelers and it was nice to have a partner in crime for two days with no strings attached and no expectations geared towards dating. We had each others backs and we had a damn good time!
People Are Fluid
As a traveler people are always coming and going, self included. Nothing is permanent. When dating abroad, don’t picture forever just yet. You may meet someone who is just on a vacation or has to return back home. I had one of my best connections on the last day of my trip! We choose to keep in contact and eventually made plans to meet up again, but that’s not always the case. Understanding to just enjoy the moment and the time that you are having with that person instead of stressing over time constraints is important. Sometimes people are there for a good time and not a long time.
Be Open To Meeting Different People
I once met a guy at a cafe who invited me to have dinner with him. Once at dinner during a deep conversation he said “I’m actually not from planet Earth”, with a serious look on his face. I squinted my eyes, a bit confused, and asked him, “Well, where are you from?” He replied, “Not sure, but I am lost and I know that this is not my planet.” We spoke about life beyond Earth for two hours after that. Some people would have probably left him sitting at the restaurant alone, but I found him interesting and the conversation with him unlike any other one I’d ever had. Dating abroad means different people from all over the world with different perspectives, cultures, religions, races, and ethnicities. It’s one of the unique things about dating abroad. Being open minded makes all of the difference. While you may not be keen to talking about life beyond Earth, there may be other things you find interesting about the person.
Here are a few tips to stay safe while dating abroad:
Meet in a public place for your first few dates
Drive yourself or use local transportation to get yourself there and back
Do not visit someone’s home as a first meeting point
I don’t recommend a bar or club, but if that’s your thing, keep an eye on your drink if you’re having cocktails and don’t over do it
Share some photos and information of your date with your friends
If you’re uncomfortable, leave. There is nothing more to think about.
Dating abroad is a travel experience within itself. Just like any travel experience, enjoy it and have fun.
You'd be surprised at the connections you can make all over the world.