The other day, I stumbled upon a post on the blog by Young Adventuress called “5 Things No One Tells You about Falling in Love Abroad“. The blog seems to have a large amount of readers and seems like a great resource. However, I just couldn’t agree with the content in the article mentioned.

To me, the writer’s opinion seems too shallow and doesn’t match with my personal experience at all. Therefore, I was inspired to write about the most common preconceptions about dating outside of your country. 

1.”This isn’t his first time at the rodeo.”

photo by Sean and Lauren
photo by Sean and Lauren

Each year, thousands of Americans and international students move to these hotspot cities looking for an adventure, and men absolutely take advantage of this. –

Contrary to what the article proposes, not all local men are preying on foreign girls. Of course there are those sketchy guys but there are just as many honest guys out there who could turn out to be your prince charming. I believe especially in our community of AMWFs, we need to get away from “stereotypes” and jump into relationships with an open mind. Not all guys are trying to sleep with you “for the experience” or to “get a green card”. It’s also worth noting that you attract certain guys according to your behavior…

I can say from my own experience in China, that even though there are many of those guys who want to just “try it out” with a foreign woman, there also are nice guys who want to have a serious relationship – no matter if you’re white, black, yellow or purple.

2. “You may not be in love with him”

photo by Matthias Ripp
photo by Matthias Ripp

Is this seriously an argument specifically for dating abroad? I think this happens all the time to everyone and everywhere. Whose first boyfriend turned out to be the love of your life you want to spend the rest of your life with?

Looking back on previous relationships back home, I have found that it wasn’t real love that was involved. However, I am thankful that I have found my true love and that even abroad! Sharing this special experience of living abroad, we both connected on a much deeper level. We were both much more open for trying new things and step out of our comfort zone. 

3. “You’ll never 100% understand each other”


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photo by Jonathan Kos-Read
photo by Jonathan Kos-Read

Things like dry humor, sarcasm, and goofy jokes are extremely difficult to accurately translate. Combine that with the difficulty of conveying exactly why you’re mad/hurt/upset in a new language, and a lot of important things get lost in translation. This makes for a lot of frustration and, more than likely, many unnecessary fights.  –

This is one of the lamest statements you can make about intercultural relationships. Sure, there might be a language barrier but does “understanding” only happen verbally? You can understand people simply by having this warm, weird connection of belonging together or wanting to be together. Even friends from different countries can understand each other. It might not be 100% but does a couple from the same country understand each other 100%?

I have the best-functioning relationship I ever had with my Korean fiance. His English isn’t perfect and I can only babble basic Korean. But that’s not what’s important. True understanding doesn’t have a lot to do with language.

4. “You’ll miss out on experiences”

photo by Transformer18
photo by Transformer18

If you’re only living abroad for a limited amount of time, having a man in your home base can and will distract you in some way.  This means turning down weekend jaunts to Ibiza to stay with him and nixing girls’ nights out of shameless bar-top dancing with your friends for quiet nights with your man. –

Dating a local in a foreign country as an expat doesn’t make you miss out on anything. It much rather opens you up to a whole new world apart from the plain “expat life”.

It gets you behind the culture and you experience the country first hand – just like a local. What could be better than that? Also, who says spending time with “your man” has to be quiet and boring? You can also go on trips with him or even have fun partying!

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When I was dating a Chinese local back in Guangzhou, I was able to see beyond the “expat borders” and I enjoyed it. Now that I am going to marry a Korean man, I am more than fascinated by exploring South Korea just like a local and getting all the inside tips first hand.

5. “There’s an expiration date on your relationship”

photo by David Goehring
photo by David Goehring

Please…. Don’t most relationships have “expiration dates”? High school love, university fling and expat relationship… They all have “potential” expiration dates. The thing is what you make out of it.

Do you want to take the relationship to the next level? Is it serious? Are you sure you want to be with this person?
If so, then there’s no obvious expiration date. There are almost always ways to stay together and make it work – even long distance. I have been in a long-distance relationship with my fiance Jeongsu for over 1 year and our relationship has grown so much that we got engaged and are planning a future together now.

Don’t make the mistake and not give it a go! Always try your best at making a relationship work and don’t miss out on the opportunity!

No relationship abroad is doomed to fail


My point is that in order to protect yourself from heartbreak and disappointment, there is a lot to consider before entering into a love affair abroad. –

Sure, because you can’t get your heart broken back home… With love comes hurt. That’s the way it is. All around the globe.

I feel sorry for the experience the author of this article had to make that lead her to these harsh conclusions. I dearly hope my article helped people to see beyond “stereotypes” and other people’s one-sided experience. Dating someone from another country or actually in another country isn’t a terrible idea. It can be the most wonderful and fulfilling thing you will ever experience!

Do you think Young Adventuress is right or do you agree with my counter arguments? What do you think?

  • Yes! I agree with everything you wrote here. While the original list can be true, it can just as easily be not true. And like you said, some of these issues can be construed to apply to any relationship.

    I will say this though, the understanding each other issue can be hard. My husband and I managed pretty well while fumbling through dating, but now that we have a baby, it’s all become a lot more difficult and frustrating. But again, this can be an issue with people who speak the same language and are from similar backgrounds/cultures.

    Anyways, interesting post that leaves a lot up for debate!

    • thanks R! I agree, raising kids can result in a set of other new understanding problems! 加油!

  • I guess it always depends on the situation. Some people are just heading blindly into the worst case scenarios while others are using their brains a tiny bit more and avoid these stereotype situations.
    As I studied in Finland we also had many many foreign students but I never heard about any cases where these kind of situations happened. Actually all interracial relationships I witnessed (many many as I was a tutor for few years…) all ended up in marriage and last to this day!

    • yay that;’s great! 🙂

  • Definitely agree with you on these! It sounds like the author has maybe been burned a few times, and is feeling a bit jaded :/ Like sure, these things can happen but also as you said most of them aren’t specific to dating abroad. I think 3 & 4 bother me the most though, as they are just outright incorrect.

    • thanks Alice! Glad to see you here 🙂 glad you have the same opinion as me 🙂