Some advice on International Relationships

Originally Published: on Relationship Matters by Susan Rex

(https://relationtippmatters.wordpress.com/2021/06/18/some-advice-on-international-relationship/)

a mixed-raced couple hugging and smiling, relating to the topic of advice on international relationships, a guest post

Guest post by; Trystn Waller on what you need to know about international relationship


With so much connectivity today, many people will explore a variety of relationships. One side of this that’s been made easier by way of the internet is international couples. Some of you may have thought about, once tried, or even are now in an international relationship. And well, that makes two of us. With all the concern about how different they are, how might these kinds of relationships be like any other? What makes them more difficult, and what good comes from them? Here is a bit about these kinds of relationships, along with some advice from someone who’s in one.

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Like any other relationship;

The first thing I can tell you about an international relationship is kind of obvious, but it’s important to remember. Just like with any other relationship, it requires two people (or sometimes more) who decide to be together regardless of whatever else is happening in their lives.

With that said, you can bet it’s going to require sacrifice, selflessness, some forgive-and-forget, and some good old give-and-take. Like in “national” relationships (?), involvement with the partner’s family is likely going to be a part of the deal. Another trope that’s common in most relationships is having to accept the partner’s past and “baggage,” whether that is perceived as good or bad. Understanding and comprehension go a long way.

Difficulties: The hard part;

When talking about international relationships, the most difficult thing that comes to mind has to be the distance. An overlying question, at least during the beginning stages, will be how to make time to be together. Depending on where the partner lives or on your situation, this could be a heavy financial weight on the couple.

Many countries require visas for citizens to get to their country or vice versa. Even if they don’t, passports cost money too. Some countries don’t require a passport for entry depending on where you’re coming from, but then the plane/bus/train/boat/border coyote will cost you. No matter how you look at it, just getting to your international partner will be a struggle.

Because of this, much of the communication will likely be on the internet at first. Couples might go months, if not years, just talking on the phone or by video until they can finally meet. This could mean the slightest delay in response causing you or your partner to suspect the worse.

“Why aren’t they answering? They should be at home by now. Are they cheating on me? Did they die?!”

That’s not to mention the cultural differences. Often different people groups within a country have clashing cultural traditions, so you can imagine what that looks like for international couples. And if the foreign partner happens to speak a different language then that adds another barrier and a tremendous challenge to be overcome. That is, assuming neither of the partners is bilingual.

Benefit: The good part;


That’s a pretty long list of challenges, but there is a lot to look forward to with international love. Since these kinds of couples tend to have to communicate so much more, this builds stronger communication skills. It also has the potential to create a stronger bond between the partners. Imagine if the only way you could spend time with your partner was by talking. You won’t be sitting and watching Netflix all day, that’s for sure.

That’s the kind of thing that builds trust and unity in any relationship, though it’s exploited a little more with the online nature of international couples. This kind of commitment also opens the partners up to another culture, a foreign language (or accent), and different ways of life. This can be highly enriching for the partners in that they can gain an entirely new perspective, later allowing them to consider things they never would have thought of before.

One can also feel the triumph of making it work after all the ostensible barriers get knocked down and you finally make it together. Approximating with another culture and a different lifestyle, you have the potential to gain some true sympathy for what others (especially immigrants) have to go through.

Of course, if you’re the one that will be going off to see the partner, one benefit is travel. Go and see the world, explore the country the partner lives in. It’s a chance to see another part of this wonderful planet!

Some advice: Listen if you want;


From personal experience in an international relationship, I’d say communication is number one. The key is finding, no, making time to talk with your partner. That has to be a priority because it’s the only time you have with them. Even when the couple is together, the language/cultural barrier may make things tougher than usual on one of the partners, so communication is doubly essential here.

With that said, partners should prioritize together time all the time, but especially while far apart. Whether on the phone or laptop, I and my wife always celebrated Valentine’s Day, birthdays, holidays, and whatever else together. That’s how you make it feel like you’re together.

Because the partners are so far apart, jealousy and insecurity about what’s happening on the other end could be a problem. I’d say be understanding of this and know that it’s a part of the journey. As the couple continues to grow together, they’ll trust each other more and more. It takes a constant reassurance of your presence and your commitment. “I’m here. I love you. I’m with you. I’m yours.” I know it’s a little old-fashioned, but get romantic, y’all. You just have to prove you can be trusted. Can you?

Lastly, if one of the partners speaks another language, I’d say learn that language. It doesn’t have to be too fluency, but at least well enough to communicate. This sounds like a given, but I’ve been watching 90 Day Fiancé. I’ve seen those people that just rely on Google Translate to talk to their partner. Shame on you.

But really, it goes back to respect and communicating, and you kind of need to know how to speak to do that. I mean, non-verbal signs only go so far. Beyond speaking or hearing, the ability to respect another’s culture is key too. One doesn’t have to adopt the culture of their partner completely, but having a sense of understanding and respect, being willing to hear what their culture is all about is super important. After all, showing respect earns respect, am I right?

Conclusions;


I hope this little list of pros and cons helped those of you in or considering international relationships. Or maybe you’re just curious. Either way, this is in no way to discourage or encourage anyone to love someone from another country. There are obvious and more discreet challenges, but all in all, it’s a relationship that requires the same building blocks as any other. What do you think? Would you be willing to try this kind of relationship? Or did I steer you away? Happy reading, and love one another!


**Thanks again Susan for the opportunity to host this article originally on your website! I look forward to more colabs in the future. Keep on teaching them about healthy relationships! -CultSurf

Dating Internationally – Interview from Relationship Matters

By Susan Rex, posted originally on Relationship Matters

Talk time with Susan, animated image of 2 figures giving each other an interview or meeting, relating to the interview about international relationships, from Relationship Matters

Welcome to an extra feature on Relationship Matters. it’s a chance for readers ( those who are married, in a relationship or single) to get to know and learn from other couples experience.

It’s a pleasure to introduce Mr Trystn Waller to you. most of us could probably benefit from a lesson or two from him. I hope you take some time to check out his website http://culsurf.com


Can you please introduce yourself ;

Hello! So my name is Trystn, from Los Angeles, California. I have lived there most of my life although I’ve been to many places in my state and the U.S. I am currently married and work online as an English tutor and create content for my website. Otherwise, I do multiple other freelance jobs when I get the chance.

How did you meet your partner? what attracted you to her.

I met my wife online actually! Sandra is from Brazil, and we met on a website for language exchange. I was learning Portuguese and she was learning English. We spent several months communicating by messages and video before I decided to go visit her. After that, you could say we solidified our relationship and made it official. Besides being beautiful and funny, I was attracted to her willingness to listen to me. Being long-distance, we had to depend on our communication, and this made us feel super close. Sandra is also very family-oriented and cares a lot about others, and this made me feel great respect for her.

How long did you date? what was your typical dating like.

Since much of the beginning of our relationship was online, we didn’t have the usual dating period. We would spend time chatting online for hours a day for about 10 months until I made it to Brazil. When we were together, Sandra would take me to touristic places in her city, Sao Paulo, or we would visit different family members. We also had more alone time during those days so we got close really quickly. We “dated” for about a year before deciding to get engaged, but we didn’t get married for about 2 years after that. We’ve spent a lot more time together since then.

Can you recall the most romantic/best moment with your partner? How was the feeling like(are you smiling recalling that moment).

The most romantic moments we had I think were just laying together, talking or not saying a word, and stroking each other. Just that physical connection and appreciation for the presence of someone you love was special to me. I think also when we would kiss in public like in the park, it was an exhilarating feeling and very romantic. We’ve had lots of cool moments like that, so I can’t pinpoint a single one, but I do smile when I think of those moments.

When was the last time you said “I love you” to your partner?

I got into the habit of saying “I love you” to her a lot when we were dating. After getting married I haven’t felt the need to say it as much, and there’s a reason behind this. Sandra is not a very verbally expressive person when it comes to love, but she shows it a lot in her actions. I realized this and have been trying to show her more love with my actions as opposed to words. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to say it and I should tell her more often. I say “I love you” every few days or so, sometimes randomly and sometimes intently. As of now, it’s been about two days.

Have you ever change anything about your partner?

She is also very resistant to change, so I haven’t been able to! Jokes aside, I think at the beginning I wanted her to be more assertive and take more control with her plans. After those beginning months, I did start to notice more and more things I wanted to change in her, but over time I realized it’s not worth it. I have to love her for who she is, and I think I was creating this false image of who I wanted her to be. Once I realized accepted who she truly was, I stopped wanting her to change.

Have you tried to stop your partner not to do a particular thing just because you feel jealous or angry?

There was one significant time when I did this. One year I was in Sao Paulo for Carnaval and we decided to go Downtown to sell beers and Coke. So we bought a ton of cans and got a Styrofoam cooler and went out to sell. When we got there we saw lots of people dancing and having fun, and so we decided to join in. I noticed we hadn’t sold anything after a while, and I started getting irritated. Besides being butt-hurt that nobody wanted our drinks, I also was insecure about my dancing at the time. So I said something that wasn’t so nice and got irritated with Sandra. This day was particularly hard for me and it caused me to work hard on changing my mindset. Luckily I can say I’m much more relaxed these days than I was at the start.

Will you say “I’m sorry” to your partner even though it’s not your fault?

Well… I have a hard time owning up to when I’m wrong. I hate being wrong, haha. But I say sorry when I am. If I’m not wrong, I have an even harder time! But there are times that I can recognize, “You know what? You need to just let bygones be bygones and brush this under the rug.” I did have to do this quite a bit when we were dating on the phone because Sandra would get upset for stuff that I thought was normal, but because we hadn’t established trust and a connection yet, I had to just say sorry so we could move past it. Now on a rare occasion, I do say sorry even if I know I’m not wrong. But the best remedy I found for this is not doing things that I’ll have to say sorry for.

Is it really necessary to know everything from your partner’s previous Relationship?

At first, I did want to know a lot about her previous relationships. It was a painful curiosity, especially knowing and that I was highly insecure at the time. Now I don’t care and she can talk about it as much or as little as she wants. I think with trust you don’t need to know all of that information. Give me the highlights, as long as there’s not a dark past there, I’m cool on your exes.

If you could choose your partner again, would you choose same person?

This is an interesting question. I think everything we do in life is for a purpose and I know being with my wife now is the right decision. She’s made my life better since the day we met and I’d be different, like 100% different if we hadn’t have met, trust me. I think my mistake was that I jumped into the relationship very fast because I was insecure at the time. If I could do it again, I would wait to have more self-confidence, be more mature, and have more realistic expectations. Sandra is more than what I ever asked for or imagined, but I created this false sense of who I wanted her to be and who I was. Now I’m much more realistic, and much happier because of it. It took some time though, and I’m continuing to grow.

What your advice for those who are still searching for their other perfect half?

If you’re still looking for your perfect match, I would say … stop it! Haha, really. I feel like these things work better when we’re not looking. When we look for love, I feel like we start to get desperate or we get super demanding. Don’t worry if the person checks out all your requirements or if they seem like the opposite of what you wanted. Follow the feeling you get when you’re with them. Be realistic. Know who you are and what you like.

You’ve got to know that no one is perfect and any person you get with no matter the appearance will have flaws and will piss you off sometimes, and that’s okay. Know that this is normal. Look for someone who challenges you and respects you, someone you can be your complete self with without hiding anything. And please, be open and honest. There’s nothing worse than lying about who you are only for it to blow up in your partner’s face years down the line, and vice versa. Enjoy life and enjoy being with people, and at one point you will bump into your other half.


Email me at; relationtipps@gmail.com or relationships_rm@yahoo.com ( Collab post, guest post, interview welcome)

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