With more and more students and young people travelling around the world, whether it be for leisure or study abroad, there are also an increasing amount of people dating cross-nationally and international love affairs as a result. I mean, we all love an accent, right? If the world’s obsession with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Ameri-English love affair is any indication, we’re all happy to be entering a less-traditional era of love.
As a California girl living in London for the last three years, I’ve had my heart broken by more than one British boy, but I’m grateful for all of my experiences dating while I’ve been here. I’ve learned so much about myself and the world through my dating experiences and still believe wholeheartedly that there is more to gain by opening yourself up to the world!
Here are a few of my and my friends’ favourite things about falling in love with people when you’re dating cross-nationally…
1. Don’t believe the hype, or the stereotype
Most countries are amazingly diverse melting pots, especially countries like the USA or the UK, so overarching titles such as ‘Brit’ or ‘American’ might not always be the stereotype you imagine. Most Americans know that New Yorkers and Californians are nearly two distinct species, so you wouldn’t put Londoners and Mancunians in the same boat either. Personally, I am American but identify more as a Californian, and a half-Chinese, half-Mexican one at that. People don’t always consider their nationality to be the most important part of their identity, so I would advise you to never put a label on someone before you get to know them fully!
2. You might need to learn a new language *and practice* of love
Whether you start dating in your home country or a foreign one, people around the world have diverse ways of doing the whole ‘going out’ thing. For example, in Britain, going out for casual drinks is much more of the norm, whereas in America, people tend to usually go out for dinner or to the movies first. It might be a slight shock at first, but either way, it’s fun to do something different. You can take the initiative to get a little creative and plan something out of the box!
3. Learn to love leaving your comfort zone!
It can be daunting dating cross-nationally and getting to know someone in a foreign city or country and get used to their customs, but take it as an opportunity to grow and learn instead of shying away from the unknown. Of course, it can definitely be easier said than done. Take it from me – as an American who’s previously dated British men, I know first-hand how incredibly embarrassing it is when you make a social gaffe in front of a super polite British mum, but don’t sweat it too much! Exposing yourself to new and different things will always be beneficial for your own personal growth and development as you’ll learn to adapt to unusual circumstances.
4. Although we’re dating cross-nationally, remember wherever we come from, we’re not that different
Though it’s always important to respect someone’s cultural or ethnic background, don’t get too bogged down by examining all your differences. Look at all your similarities first. No matter where people come from, at the end of the day we’re all looking for love and acceptance, which is the only thing you really need to focus on when it’s all said and done. Whether you’re from somewhere completely across the world or just across the country, you can find you have things in common and similar values, ideas and passions with someone wherever you’re from.