7 Invaluable Pieces of Advice for International Couples
Love that knows no borders
Marrying a foreigner seems like something straight out of a fairytale, at least at a glance. There is almost always a captivating and odds-defying story of how a couple met. Maybe it was in a passenger terminal after grounded flights. Or it could be one of those unicorn successful online dating stories.
In addition to the magical meeting, you get bragging rights on being a strong couple. I mean who else can say their love has survived cultural differences, language barriers and being continents apart?
While these success stories are heartwarming, it is important that you appreciate that there is so much more to them than happily ever after. It takes a lot more work than any other kind of relationship including LDRs in the same country.
If you are already in one or planning to find love abroad, here are a few bits of advice for international couples and how to make this challenge-ridden setup work.
Learn the language
Marrying someone from another country can mean that there will be a language barrier. These days, there are many apps and online services that allow immediate translation for easier communication. However, these will only serve your relationship well for a while. A time will come where you will have to learn to speak for yourself and the sooner you do it, the better.
Make their country your second home
If you have entered into a serious commitment, then you will have to invest more than just your time, emotions and effort. Start saving up and planning trips back and forth. That allows you to spend much needed time together to strengthen the bond further.
Prepare for cultural differences
According to most international marriage statistics, cultural differences are a major cause of issues in LDRs where international borders are crossed. A recent study shows cultural misunderstanding is the leading cause of international relationship failure. It does not necessarily mean that your relationship is doomed to fail and you should give up. What you need to do is to, first of all, appreciate that the differences are inevitable. After that, all you need to do is be willing to appreciate each other’s cultures, compromise and create new traditions of your own.
Let go of the stereotypes
Do not view your beau as a novelty prize or a twisted realization of your ethnic fetish. It is ok to appreciate that your partner comes from a country whose people you typically find attractive but do not reduce them to just that.
In the same way, make sure to avoid negative stereotypes that paint your partner into a box. Go in with an open mind and let them surprise you. They will.
Get family and friends involved
That is particularly important for serious international relationships where you feel you have completed your search for a prince or princess charming. Getting loved ones involved first of all makes you as a couple responsible and accountable. That greatly increases your chances of succeeding. The introduction might also help pick out red flags that you could not see through your heart-shaped goo-goo eyes.
Have an end goal in mind
If you marry someone from another country, do not think that your job is done. If anything the hard work is just beginning. Have a plan first and foremost of where you plan on living. It is also important to agree on things like which cultural traditions to maintain and also how to raise your kids. Having these things thought out in advance will save you a lot of time and trouble down the line.
Get your head out of the clouds
Finally, do not feel the need to stay in that long distance relationship out of duty or feeling that you worked too hard to keep it. As with any other relationship or marriage where the couple is nearby, these relationships fail. The international marriage divorce rate as of 2018 was at about 50%. The good news is that if you are determined to make it work, open and honest, then you might not have to worry about this.
International marriage might be hard, but this doesn’t mean that you give up. I mean, what are phones and computers and airplanes for if not to make your relationship easier? You need to approach it with a realistic, focused and a determined point of view. That, plus a little bit of hard work, and it shouldn’t matter what is working against your relationship. It will be you and your beau against the world – and with these tips, you stand a chance of winning.