International Online Dating
Grass is always Greener on the Other side of the World
After one week of riding the "carousel" on Zoosk my head was spinning. I needed to get off and get my feet back on the ground. Maybe this online dating just isn't for me or maybe this isn't the site for me. It's easy to become discouraged but as they say, nothing worthwhile comes easy. If one watches television or listens to the radio, one is bombarded with commercials for online dating. Free trial for Match.com. Is it really free? Only one way to find out. The dreaded profile.....here we go again. Not sure I like the look of this site. Where's the "carousel"? Having deja vu while viewing the profiles. Feeling just as dissatisfied with Match as Zoosk. Am I being too picky? Thinking about a conversation with a young coworker named Julie. She mentioned she had used Plenty O Fish dating site when she was in between boyfriends. Julie said she chatted and skyped with a few men, and one man was from Canada. This made me think of my travels around the world. I've traveled to several countries in Europe. So, I googled "international dating sites". Why limit my search to just my own country? Think about the feasibility later. So many choices......again. What to choose. So many international online dating sites are blatantly geared towards men. These sites advertised “younger women” who were not “westernized”. Basically, American men seemed to be looking for younger, submissive women who would be dependent on them. There were many articles written about these men being duped by foreign women who were looking for a ticket into the USA. Some women were married and divorced their spouse to gain entry to the USA, then stayed married to their American husband long enough to obtain a green card. These foreign women would then divorce their American husband, remarry their foreign spouse and bring him into the USA. No reason to be judgemental towards these American men, the same thing could happen to an American woman. I’ve read international dating sites are hoping American woman utilize their sites to bring legitimacy to their business. So, I seemed to be in the minority. It should be obvious to any American that they should be wise to the motives of a foreigner. Keeping that in mind, I scanned the choices for international dating sites. Two words caught my eye. Love and Free. I googled the dating site (as I did for other sites I've used) for reviews, consumer ratings and reports of abuse. It received a 100% rating. I've been using the site for a little over a year and it has lived up to its rating. Clicked on the site and once again found myself creating a profile. Select all countries or specific countries, and there is the capability to block certain countries. Unlimited email and chatroom are free. Let the search begin.
Overcoming Obstacles in International Dating: it's 5:00 o'clock somewhere
After spending a few days scrolling through pages and pages of profiles......there he was! Interesting profile pic.......he's not looking at the camera. It looks like someone pointed a camera at him and he turned his head.....nice profile with a slight smile. Cute. Viewed his profile and he had two other pics.......in one he is laughing.......the other he is looking up but it is a good closeup of him. He is well educated, not that I care, and most importantly fluent in English. Choosing an international dating site creates some challenges. Language barrier for one. My choice happened to be European and many Europeans do speak English. They usually speak multiple languages unlike Americans (including myself). Even if a foreigner speaks English one must be careful about using slang or humor. Foreigners learn proper English and are not as familiar with slang terms. I have avoided using slang so as not to be misinterpreted. Humor can be a sensitive area too, and I take much care in how I use it. It’s difficult enough trying to find someone that is compatible, let’s not drive them away by careless thoughtlessness. Time difference is another challenge. It was around 2:00 pm by me and 9:00 pm by him. If he is off work on Saturday and Sunday like myself it will not be a problem if we want to have contact. Monday through Friday if I'm online at 5:00 pm it will be midnight by him. So, I sent an email and waited for a response. While scanning profiles there was a little "bloop" noise. Wondered what that was. Scanned the screen to see if there was any change or notice of an email. At the top of the screen it showed "message: 1". My first international instant message. It was from a man from Italy. He wrote, "ciaoooo from Italy". I'm not sure why but it felt exciting to have contact with someone from Europe. Of course, the cynic in me had to cast doubt in my mind, "is he really from Italy". It was the first of many chats I had with men from Europe. Language and time were not a barrier in most instances. One should also be aware and sensitive to cultural differences. If one becomes interested in someone from another country, then begin researching their country and learn about their culture. Do not fail to observe the differences in your cultures and to be accepting of those differences. Something different is what I was looking for anyway. Have realistic expectations and don’t expect the relationship to be one-sided. One must be aware, patient and tactful when corresponding with a foreigner because there may be occasions when there is a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of what is said or written. Some men were completely fluent in English and others were a little broken but very charming in my eyes. There is so much written about the failure of marriages and relationships being associated with a “breakdown in communication”. Developing a relationship with someone in which English is a second language, forces once to focus on communication. International dating presents challenges but can be worth the effort if one is seeking to establish a meaningful relationship. Sometimes it's nice to take a trip to the other side of the world without leaving your home.