Here’s a list of differences between dating locally and internationally.
Whether you’re dating someone near you or far away, a few things remain the same, but some things will inevitably be different and it’s important to know the key differences.
When dating internationally: Your motives might be to see the world, to get a taste of something outside your comfort zone of familiarity.
But it might also be because you work internationally, travel a lot, or because you’ve met someone during travels and are seeking to stay connected.
This can often bring a lot of richness to the relationship, but can also create complexity. Make sure you re-assess your motives regularly and make sure they still make sense.
When dating locally: Dating locally, people generally don’t ask themselves as many questions about motives.
Because there is a higher availability, people can generally be more casual, but it means there might be more work involved in keeping things interesting over the long term.
When dating internationally: Dating internationally often means there is a mix of cultures involved.
Even if you and your prospective mate are from similar cultural backgrounds, you would be experiencing different cultures depending on where you are.
It’s important that you factor this in.
When dating locally: Local dating is more homogeneous.
If you’re looking for familiarity, you’ll find it here, but it may not be as diverse and exciting.
Decide if you’re looking for the contrast that keeps the spark alive, or the overlap in cultural backgrounds that feels cozy and familiar.
When dating internationally: Obviously, distance is relative, but when it comes to dating internationally you will find that distance is suddenly on a greater scale.
Though communication tools on the modern dating scene can allow you to keep in touch virtually in so many ways, sometimes distance can seem like the biggest enemy when you’re far away and cannot spend a lot of good quality time with your prospective love interest.
When dating locally: When dating someone local, the distance factor can sometimes seem like an issue as well, but it’s on another scale.
If you’re in a city and the other person is in the suburbs, or even if you’re dating someone in another postal code, it can seem like they’re at the other end of the world when you just want to spend a bit of time together.
When dating internationally: The activities that are based on international dating would be very different than when you’re dating someone locally.
Difficult to get out to a movie together regularly, or just have a casual night together.
In fact, these casual moments may suddenly seem like they are special occasions because they don’t happen as often!
However, as they are few and far between, the space apart can take its toll and other aspects of the relationship might take up most space, like conversation and compatibility in terms of life goals.
This can be a very good way to assess long term fit with a potential partner, though in the short term it can seem like it will be a big hurdle.
When dating locally: When you’re dating someone locally, the activities might become taken for granted and boring.
Sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder and when you’re able to be with your lover whenever you want, or almost, activities start to seem like they are there to break the boredom.
Nights out may not seems special anymore and it can become a task to work at finding exciting things together to break the monotony, but that’s also a nice indication that you’ve reached a comfort zone with your partner.
When dating internationally: Intimacy can be a challenge when dating internationally.
Not only are you dealing with different time zones and different cultural circumstances, but intimacy may take on a whole new meaning.
You might want to take an interest in psychological foreplay to keep the romance alive for when you meet again after a long wait, or you might want to focus on building up the intimacy on an emotional level.
Whatever you choose, sometimes it can mean being part of a waiting game.
When dating locally: Dating someone locally often means that physical intimacy is readily available, and depending on your local dating culture and your partner’s values, that can come quickly and at the expense of other substantive elements of the relationship.
Make sure you leave room for emotional connection despite the availability of your partner physically.
When dating internationally: Communication becomes a matter of survival when you’re dating internationally.
Being able to be in touch can make you feel like the relationship is still alive, whereas when you can’t connect with your partner suddenly it can seem like everything is doomed.
Make sure you have a plan to stay in touch, and that communication is your first priority.
When dating locally: While it still applies that communication is important when dating locally, it takes on a different meaning.
When dating locally, you want to make sure that your communication is substantive and always honors your intention towards your partner.
Being able to be physically present makes it all the more important to have loving body language at all times.
by Maria-Helena Pacelli