Love in a Desert: Dating while expat by Inge Muller

Relationships are hard. Take two people, different opinions, different upbringing, different values -strung together by a shared interest in each other.

Under day to day circumstances this is challenging enough, however we see within the other person something so special to us that we choose to push through these challenges because we cannot envision spending our lives without the other. Now take these challenges, add in different cultures, getting lost in translation, short term work contracts, the lure of a swipe to the left of right and you will get a glimpse of what its like to be “dating while expat”.

If you aren’t completely reclusive its one of those things that is inevitable while living in another country as we try to throw done some form of roots. On your quest for someone to share your dinners with you will come across many interesting characters. There will be random marriage proposals because you made eye contact with someone for longer than 2 seconds (are you serious?) to dubious Facebook inboxes and awkward moments that could have been really awesome, if only you spoke the same language.

Those that find, and keep, love in a new country should consider themselves very fortunate, as there are people that may spend their whole lives living next to “the one” but may never know it because we aren’t willing to step over and say hi. It all boils down to being willing to take that risk, meeting a few frogs and clashing with a few cultures.

Sometimes love is not where we are, but where we have been, or where we are going. For many of us away from home, love has stayed behind. Oceans and time zones lie between us and love, broken connections and separate lives pull us away from love.                    

However, if we truly love, and truly want to keep that love, nothing will keep it apart. No ocean or strange food preference will pose a barrier big enough, even if you keep a dictionary by your side in order to communicate. Love is a language all its own, let it lead the way.


Inge Muller is a mom and salon manager, enthusiastic about health, fitness, and writing.