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2 Jun

How to navigate dating abroad

Written by Nancy Lova

Image by @Mariama

Not sure why but I and many I know, haven’t really thought about dating abroad, it just never came to mind. For some reason, the idea of meeting someone has naturally been reserved for when back at home. And when you do start thinking of dating abroad, the thought of long-distance relationships becomes unsettling and puts a babe off. However, for the girls like me who are tired of dating the locals, it’s time to venture out of our postcodes and consider going further afield.

I’ve changed my views and strict expectations and become more open to receiving someone in different ways as long as their core values align with mine. Whilst it’s certainly easier to meet your partner in settings familiar to you, how we will meet our loves, is ultimately out of our control. I, however, think it’s exciting to stop being a creature of comfort and give yourself greater chances by opening up to dating abroad. After all, traveling is an adventure.

Now let’s talk about why and how to date abroad whilst hopefully getting you in the mood for love in someplace new.

First of all, why…
For me, it was a solo holiday in Valencia where I had not one but two dates that made me flip the script of love. I met two great guys, one after the other in the same restaurant, all whilst minding my business and enjoying paella. They were both the loveliest men and the interesting thing was that neither of them was even Spanish. One was Swedish, the other Brazilian and there I was, a girl from England unexpectedly being wined and dined in Spain. It felt so easy and natural. There was dinner and drinks along with dancing and late-night walks with ice cream and whilst I had no expectations from them, the entire experience made me realize why dating abroad is actually worthwhile.

Meeting someone of a different culture, religion, or nationality to you is a very beautiful encounter. One thing that draws me to a person is learning new things through and about them. Simple conversations hold a wealth of knowledge and are enough to open your mind and broaden your horizons.

Somewhere along the way, I think society has pressured us to rush our paths often resulting in making lifetime commitments all in the same place without experiencing anything new. For those that prefer to keep their goals, future, or love close to home, that’s wonderful. But for those who have that burning desire for something different, those who crave significant change then it’s worth acknowledging that there’s a whole world out there and that some of the greatest relationships and milestones could come from a simple change in setting.

Many places have traditions, lifestyles, and priorities which are different from what you’re familiar with. Some cities are known for slow living whilst others are known for professional opportunities so dating abroad gives you a chance to meet people with the kind of values and expectations that could resonate with you rather than the kind you’re usually exposed to back home.

A holiday romance, I think, is the perfect way to let love flow. This is because you leave your problems or as much of them as you can, at home. Dating at this time is blissful because you have no attachment to the date and how it’ll unfold. You forget your pressures and checklist of expectations and simply enjoy the moment and see people as souls rather than a criteria match. As a result, there are no blockages just enough room for something unexpected to blossom.

Now, the how…
Dating abroad is super easy. Whilst we live in a time where a lot of us are embedded in our phones, there are places that feel as if you’ve stepped back in time where people still come up to you for a chat. So however you approach the dating scene somewhere new, it really won’t be difficult.

If you like the idea of dating on your travels, then put yourself out there! Now I don’t mean you need to start winking and smiling like a Cheshire Cat at everyone that walks by but subtle actions make it easier to allow someone to approach you. Don’t crawl into the dark corner of a restaurant, this is uninviting, sit somewhere visible. Be present in the moment and admire the sites, if someone comes over for a chat whilst doing so, regardless of any language barriers, try and engage anyway – you’ll be surprised how far into the conversation you’ll get to.
And if you’re a hun on her solo trip then it may be comforting to sit on socials or FaceTime a friend back home but try to keep that to a minimum as you don’t want to look like you have a massive ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your head.

If you want to be a little more strategic then there are a few other things you can try.

We all probably have some interesting tales to tell when it comes to dating apps but they may well be a good friend to us when abroad. I’ve heard some success stories of people literally going on holiday with one goal, to find love and a few of those have started off with ‘I downloaded Hinge” or “I spent the summer in… where I met my wife on Tinder.”
Dinner, drinks, or coffee dates happen quicker due to time constraints rather than messaging back and forth for weeks first so it’s definitely worth giving an app a chance even if you don’t use them back home. (Babe, this is exciting but I don’t want you landing yourself a reptile so be careful. Do what you need to feel comfortable when meeting a person from an app, tell your girls, share your location, meet in busy areas, etc.)

Visit specific settings where you’re likely to meet people. Galleries, Museums, Street Food Halls, Beach clubs, and Rooftop Bars should be on your radar. They’re all relaxed making initial interactions feel easier.

What would you wear on a date? You might have a go-to look or certain pair of shoes or accessories you like to wear in particular, bring them! When you put your mind to something, chances are you’re going to receive it so packing with intentions certainly helps.

Join group tours and activities! Depending on what you’re into, like water sports, wine tasting, site-seeing, hiking, painting, or whatever, by joining a group tour or activity that is of interest, you’ll be putting yourself amongst others who are on similar wavelengths. This makes getting to know someone really fun and natural as you’ll already have some kind of common ground leading to potentially seeing them again outside of the activity.

Understandably, dating whilst traveling won’t be for everyone as our journeys are all unique to us but for the Huns that want to approach love from a different angle then I hope this has got you excited for the possibilities waiting to be discovered across the pond.