Expat dating: tips for dating while working abroad

March 26, 2019
Approximately one third of the world’s expat professionals are single. For many expats beginning an assignment as a single person is perfect. There is no trailing spouse to worry about or long distance relationship to maintain, allowing you to focus on your new role. However, a love of the single life may diminish once you begin to settle into your new home and job.

You may start to feel lonely, but the prospect of dating in an unfamiliar country can feel daunting. The good news is, if you are based in a popular expat location, , it’s likely there are a lot of people in the same boat. Hopefully you have started to meet new people as an expat so dating will feel like the natural next step.
Living in a new country full of new dating possibilities can be an exciting prospect but knowing where to start can be tricky. There are lots of options out there:
If you prefer to keep dating away from the office, joining a sports team or class is a good start. But be sure that the prospect of meeting someone is not your only motivation. If you don’t focus on the sport itself then the chances are you will quit running that third lap or stop trying to perfect your golf swing.
More and more people are looking for (and finding) love using dating apps. Consider using localised versions of popular apps in your destination country. Whether you are looking for a long-term relationship or a casual date there are plenty of apps available. Apps are so advanced now that they can analyse your personality, schedule or even pets and match you with someone similar.

There are several online dating sites that are designed especially for expats. Meeting someone through one of those sites may make them more understanding of the challenges and pressures you face.

If using a dating website feels like too much pressure, take an easier route to expat dating by joining meetup.com. Unlike social media, this website is all about getting you off the internet. It enables people who live near each other, with similar interests, to form groups and get together for an activity. No matter what your interest, from board games to ballet, you are bound to find something fun and someone to do it with.

The chances of meeting someone from a different country or culture are high when you are expat dating. This may be a welcome change but cross cultural dating can throw up a host of unexpected challenges. Before you start dating someone from a different background consider:

Language barriers: although you may share a common language, you may not be as fluent as you are in your home language. This can lead to misunderstandings or difficulty communicating feelings.

The rules of dating: the expected norms around dating vary widely from country to country. In Brazil dating turns to a relationship quickly, while in Japan, your first date might be as part of a group. Doing some research may prevent any unexpected surprises.

Laws that impact dating where you live: there are significant differences between what is acceptable behaviour around the world. In some countries public displays of affection are common, while in others display of affection could get you in trouble with the police.

Although expat dating may be fun, don’t forget to take the same precautions as you would when dating at home:

  • Verify your date: search their name and look for evidence that they are who they say they are. Social media accounts with few friends or photos may raise a red flag.
  • Meet in a public place: if you are online dating, meet a potential partner in a public place and be careful what you share until you get to know each other better.
  • Take your time: never feel pressured into moving a relationship along. Be very wary of fast declarations of love or controlling behaviour. A relationship should only move forward when both of you are happy.

Expat dating can improve your experience and it is a great way to relax and have fun while on assignment.

Make the most of your time away but don’t forget to look after your own health with international health insurance.