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Dating can be hard enough as it is.   But when you’re stuck in a rut, frustrated by the options you have in your social circle, your town, or even your country, a foreign fling may be just the thing to jumpstart your romantic life. You have the ability to hop on a plane and travel anywhere in the world. Combine that with the loosening of customs and cultural attitudes in many foreign countries over the last several decades, in many instances thanks to the influence of the Western world, and it makes dating abroad a potentially incredible adventure that is well within reach.

Anyone who has dated someone while visiting a foreign country knows the added attraction; it can feel exotic, fresh, exhilarating and most of all, just different than what you would experience with someone from your homeland. Differences between you and your new partner can make all the difference in terms of the fun you’ll have. Small things like sexy accents and funny translations can keep things interesting. Pairing up with a foreigner gives you and inside track on getting to know a new country, its language and its people. There are all kinds of reasons why people end up preferring being with foreigners to those from their native land. One 30-year old woman from New York says, “I like being with guys from Brazil because they are more attentive. And way more passionate.” A 40-something man from Vancouver says, “I only date Eastern European women. They allow me the freedom I need and they’re much more tolerant when I don’t want an exclusive relationship.

It can be said of pretty much every country in the world that they each have their unique and specific ways of doing things when it comes to dating. Doing a little research before you go certainly won’t hurt and many instances can help you greatly.

Inside Scoop

There are stereotypes, which most people do not care for, and then there are views from the inside that can only be gained with firsthand experience. Of course perspective and opinions differ from one person to the next, but enough people have weighed in on their foreign dating experiences to at least make them worth a listen.

On a casual and social level, it has been said of Australians that they are some of the coolest and friendliest people in the world. Their sense of humor is dry and blunt, they are refreshingly open about sex and they tend to keep themselves in good physical shape. The French have an accent that is hard to resist, especially for Americans, but Europeans from other countries have expressed the same sentiment as well. French men are known for their gentlemanly nature, which include holding chairs, doors and lingering gazes. It has been said of the French that in between dates, they are not all that communicative, unlike Americans.

Chileans are said to be sensual and passionate. They carry themselves with a confidence that is rather striking, yet they are generally undemanding. It has been said of Chilean women that they possess a rather notorious jealous streak than can sometimes be frightening to a foreigner who has never experienced it before. Perhaps it is Japan where foreigners have the most difficult time finding short-term companionship with a local. Young Japanese often seem to be very uninterested in pursuing relationships. In addition, for Japanese men, the process of dating including coffee, drinks and/or dinner really takes a backseat to “the confession,” which involves a guy going up to a girl he might not have spent any romantic time with and then suddenly expressing his love. In such a scenario, the dating part can be entirely skipped over and they can get on with a relationship from that point.

A casual romance abroad can be loads of fun and often pressure-free thanks to the fact that you eventually have to go back home and leave playtime behind. But it can also offer more.

Romance Language

Need more than the idea of a casual fling to get you excited about dating abroad? Then consider the learning opportunity. Dating a foreigner is perhaps the most effective way to learn the ropes of new language and if things go well, even stick around long enough to become fluent.

When the happiness of you and your foreign partner communicating with each other depends on it, learning a new language takes on an urgency that can help you learn exponentially faster. You will learn words and phrases that natives use which you would never learn in a classroom. This makes your linguistic skills much more authentic and natural to your partner and the other locals you will encounter. You’ll gain more independence by not having to rely on your partner to order your food, help you shop, or always be the communication point-person on things you do together. This will put less strain on the relationship and make you look good for trying so hard.

Best of all, when you’re not trying to decipher each other all the time and you know what the other person is trying to say, it makes it much easier to know when it is the right time to move in for a smooch.

More Than a Fling

Sometimes, foreign flings can blossom into something much more, like long-term relationships and marriage. While there are challenges like immigration and the culture shock of moving to another country, they have definitely proven to work for millions who were brave enough to venture out and see what happens.

Sometimes you might go to a foreign land simply to meet a fellow traveler who is from your own neck of the woods and that can be wonderful as well. Just ask Tusker’s own Eddie Frank, who met his wife while she was a client on a Tusker Kilimanjaro Trek back in 2004. At 18,000 feet, he asked her to join him on a 3-week “date” touring around South Africa.  She said, ‘no’. Two hours later, after her tent-mate convinced her she shouldn’t pass up the opportunity, she came back and asked him if the offer was still good.  They spent the next three weeks touring wine country in the Cape, then driving his 4×4 vehicles up to Zambia.  A year and a half later they were married.  They’ve since climbed Kilimanjaro 13 times together, and led treks in Mongolia, up Aconcagua and to Everest base camp. Eddie says it must have been the lack of oxygen.

What could be more romantic than that?