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Finding Your True Love Men

When The Guy You like is a Foreigner | 6 Sober Insights

After months of trying online dating, “Rebecca” finally meets “Ricardo” whose love for Christ, theology, purpose and values align with hers.  To put icing on the cake, with ease, he makes her laugh and not to mention, he’s just her type when it comes to looks. However, the guy is a foreigner.

Marrying any man, whether from your country or from another, has its own set of adjustments related to the following:

  • Family and friend cultures
  • Age differences (if applicable)
  • Church culture
  • Habits
  • Hobbies
  • Communication
  • Views on sex
  • Handling of finances
  • And lots lots more….

Now, when you add another layer like cultural differences to the mix, it can lead to serious conflicts.  Therefore, before you move ahead in blinded bliss, take a sober look at what you may face if you intend to marry a foreigner.  

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Here a 6 sober insights when the guy you like is a foreigner:

1. Differences in core cultural values.

When you’re interested in someone who is a foreigner, there will undoubtedly be core cultural differences.  I’m from Trinidad and Tobago and my husband is from Jamaica.  One would think that since we are both from the Caribbean, there would be little cultural differences. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. Thankfully, I lived in Jamaica for some years, so that was very helpful in understanding his culture and subsequently him.

From “The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business” by Erin Meyer, she outlined the following eight scales in which countries differ:

  1. Communicating: low-context vs. high-context
  2. Evaluating: direct negative feedback vs. indirect negative feedback
  3. Persuading: principles-first vs. applications-first
  4. Leading: egalitarian vs. hierarchical
  5. Deciding: consensual vs. top-down
  6. Trusting: task-based vs. relationship-based
  7. Disagreeing: confrontational vs. avoids confrontation
  8. Scheduling: linear-time vs. flexible time

Although it’s a book to help businesses work well in a global context, it will be very useful to help you to understand the foreigner who has sparked your interest.

So before you say “yes” to him, please do your research about the core cultural values in his country.  Even if he were to move to your country, his country’s culture would be a part of him and subsequently, would impact your marriage.  When the honeymoon phase wears off, you’ll have to face his “strange” cultural norms.  

2. One of you has to relocate.

A relationship can start online, but a strong healthy marriage cannot survive online.  Eventually, the distance will place significant stress on the marriage as the years roll by.  

Ask any married person who has spent considerable time living away from his/her spouse.  Resentment and estrangement gradually sets in even though both initially agreed with the arrangement. 

Therefore, one person would need to leave his/her comfort zone if the marriage is to thrive.  Historically, women would be the ones to relocate.  However, wise couples will base their decisions on factors like God’s leading, cost of living (rent, mortgage, food, transport, utilities, etc.), educational opportunities, age of parents, job market, and the like.

Know that the adjustment in a new culture will be challenging at first.  But with the right mindset, it can happen and it can be an awesome blessing.  Living in a foreign country changes and matures you (if you allow it).

3. More time needed to know one other.

Becoming emotionally attached with a guy online through texts, emails, phone calls and video calls can give you a false sense of truly knowing him.  But the reality is that you cannot fully know someone until you begin experiencing real life together

You can share your deepest darkest secrets with each other and still not discover his true character.  As such, you will only know him more holistically when you spend considerable time together in real life involving others (family, friends, strangers and enemies).  

Behind a screen, he might be a totally different person in real life.  And the same could be said of you. For example, he might be emboldened to speak behind a screen and be extremely shy in real life.  

Or, he might just be going through an adjustment phase until he’s comfortable with your presence.  The real test of the relationship occurs when you begin to relate in the same physical space over time.  

4. Expect awkwardness.

Although you think that you’re close to him, don’t be surprised if you feel awkward in his presence for the first few meetings with him.  It’s to be expected. Give it some time until you get used to being around him.  If you never overcome the discomfort and awkwardness, then he may not be the one for you. 

5. Be patient.

There’s no need to rush into marriage especially when you meet a guy online.  You need to be patient with the process of getting to know each other.  During this “getting-to-really-know-you” phase, you will discover attitudes that are very annoying and qualities that you love.  

It is up to you to make a sober decision about what you can live with and what you cannot tolerate.  You’ll also give family and friends an opportunity to know him and help you to see if he’s a gem worth keeping or not.  

6. Foresee language restrictions.

Even if you both speak the same language, be aware that there can still be lots of miscommunication.  The same words and phrases can have different meanings in other countries.  

For instance, “hush” in Jamaica is used to soothe a person, whereas “hush” in Trinidad and Tobago means “shut up” which is generally insulting.

If his native language is different from your own, more misunderstandings are likely to occur.  For instance, on first hearing the Spanish word “embarazada”, an English-speaking person might think it means “embarrassed”.  But it actually means “pregnant”! You can just imagine the kind of misunderstandings and conflicts that are likely to happen.

True story

One day I was getting ready for work and I was rushing.  So I told my husband that I was ready to “buss-it.” A few minutes later, I was asking for the car keys and he was confused because he thought I was taking the bus!  I was like, “Huh? When did I say I was taking the bus?” Then I recalled saying “buss-it” (meaning to quickly leave). I explained and we both had a good laugh.

7. Other important considerations.

Food – Will he appreciate the food you cook and vice versa?

Time difference – Are you prepared to lose sleep to keep the relationship going?

Climate – Are you prepared to live in a tropical, temperate, dry, continental or polar climate?

Dress – Are you willing to change the way you dress if it’s very different from your own culture?

Related articles:

8 Essential Measures to Safeguard Yourself With Online Dating

7 Must-Have Discussions Before You Commit Your Heart

Summary

Ladies, if you (or the foreigner that you like) is not prepared to adapt to each other, it might be better to trust God for a man whose culture is closest to your own.

Marrying a foreigner can work, but it will take two committed persons who are willing to change and make the effort to understand each other till death do you part.  When I attended a cross-cultural training, I learnt a key lesson … “different doesn’t mean wrong.”  That mindset helped me to enjoy my time in my world travels.  

Have you ever been in a relationship with a foreigner?  What was your experience like? Did you discover new things about yourself?  What advice would you give to women contemplating marrying a foreigner?  Let’s share our wealth of experience and wisdom with one another. Please comment below.

Want to get more tips on relationships with God and others?  I’ve mentored over one hundred women through the years and I’ve loved helping them grow as followers of Jesus.  I consider this online platform as an extension of that where I can help more women.  

If you’d like this kind of support, I would like to invite you to subscribe.  You’ll also receive your free “Emotional Maturity versus Emotional Maturity” checklist.  There’s no better time than now to evaluate yourself and get healthy. Thanks for stopping by!

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With love,

Kimberly Garth

Recommended Book:

“The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business” by Erin Meyer

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BE THE RIGHT WOMAN FOR THE RIGHT MAN!


Ever feel like you don’t know what a godly man is looking for in a wife? Our Irresistible Godly Woman Checklist will give you clear insights so you can stop guessing and start preparing … while reaching your full potential as a single Christian woman.