A Guide to Online Dating for Expats
Living abroad is an incredible opportunity to rediscover and reinvent yourself, including the romantic side of your life. Transcending cultural differences and customs is just a small step to achieve that.
If you are an English man in New York, as the famous song line says, an American in London or single in Spain, you might have truly felt like an alien upon arrival. Surely, you've got a new job, a new house and are possibly making new friends, but all is so foreign and different that you're almost afraid that you may never find yourself in a big familiar circle again. Dating someone new, whether a local or another single expat, will make you feel more at home in this environment.
The Perks of a New Life
When looking for love abroad, you may meet potential partners through work, colleagues, or friends, but you are usually limited to a small group given that you haven't had the time to establish yourself socially yet. Online dating sites for expats, such as Expatica Dating Spain, are the perfect opportunity to connect with people with similar interests that you may otherwise never have met if you are a single expat.
According to recent studies, one in five relationships start online. Moreover, a quarter of online daters claim to have met their life partner through a dating site. The good news doesn't stop here. Studies also show that you're twice as likely to get married if you meet your partner online than in the traditional way.
Even if these statistics look a bit too promising to be true, truth is that expanding your search for a partner on the internet is a valuable and viable tool to find love abroad.
Online Dating for Expats Step 1: One Step Closer
First of all, you need to find a dating site that fits your needs. You can opt for a big standard online dating site like match.com, that connects you directly to singles in your area, or access a site that caters to a specific interest – such as sports or food. This still will not ensure you will meet people who understand your very unique situation: being a single expat. A smart move would therefore also be to join a local online dating sites for expats, such as Expatica Dating Spain, since it's the perfect online platform to see who's close and looking for the same things and experiences you are.
Once you look at each site and at who is using it for which purpose and decide which one you prefer, the next step is to register and create your personal profile.
Online Dating for Expats Step 2: Set up a Profile
Nowadays, the online culture can be tough. Some online dating sites are two decades old, but new, cutting-edge apps have changed online dating for expats and locals alike dramatically. What counts now more than ever is the need to make a good first impression, especially if you're a single expat and new to the scene. The good news is that there are a few tricks you can use to optimise your chances and make your profile stand out, from knowing what you want to choosing a decent, catchy screen name and updating regularly. Expatica Dating Spain's experts have made a clear list with 10 Tips for Creating the Perfect Online Dating Profile for Expats.
Online Dating for Expats Step 3: Don't Forget Looks versus Personality
Reality bites sometimes, especially if you're a single expat in search of love on the internet. Depending on what you're looking for in a partner – from sex to romance to social status – you should be aware that looks and online profiles can be deceiving. And while it's true you're going to care about beauty and aesthetics when you browse through tens or even hundreds of pictures, it's best not to get carried away and forget you're there to interact with someone, not just admire her/him from a distance. So when looking for a date, make sure that your virtual fantasy can materialise and you can verify the person you met online is as real and interested in you as you hope.
When you're an expat just getting to know people, it's easy to be swept away by the beauty that you'll find exotic and new. It is true that attractive people have it easier than the rest of us. But, at the end of the day, people are more interested in your personality rather than your good looks.
In an interesting survey done at a big speed dating event, it was found that there was almost no connection between what people claimed they are looking in a partner and what they liked about the dates they met across the table.
Online Dating for Expats Step 4: Mind the Gender Division
No matter where on Earth you are right now, whether you are single in Spain, Toronto or Tokyo, when it comes to dating online, men still seem to come from Mars and women from Venus. Psychologists have been making the point that each sex uses different factors to take mating decisions.
Especially when dating online, men usually behave like voters. For instance, if they don't find a potential partner attractive, they disqualify her. Women, on the other hand, put more thought into picking a date. They pay more attention to the overall profile. In other words, they might accept a less attractive men if he stands out in any other way, be it through kindness, seriousness or humour.
So if you're a single male expat looking for love abroad, it's best to act as wisely as you would do at home, and not restrict your potential mates based on failed visual tests.
Online Dating for Expats Step 5: Investigate Local Customs
When you are a single expat looking for a local partner, things like language, culture, and even fashion style can either connect two people or get in their way. There are different customs and traditions that you might never have heard of before, that can get you lost in translation. No matter whether you are looking for love in Spain, mingling with the locals in Cape Town or just hanging out in Mexico City, it's a essential to learn a thing or two about the place and its people. Not only does that show respect, but it also makes it easier to succeed as a single expat looking for love.
Being an American single expat in Europe, for example, you will discover that people dress more casually when they go out, that people like to gather in someone's home for drinks, before actually going into town, or that dates can be set to take place in a park or a gym and not necessarily in a proper restaurant.
Online Dating for Expats Step 6: Go Offline
No matter how many good-looking and attractive potential partners you might find on the local dating sites, it's paramount that you meet in real life before you can start a relationship. There are many factors that can tell if there's any chemistry between two people, but this will never fully come to light online, so take it off once you hit it off.
Experts say it only takes two people ten minutes to discover whether they are compatible. When you find somebody who seems too good to be true online, try to meet this person offline as soon as possible to tell whether there is actual compatibility in real life.
But making this move should not be left to chance. While the two of you might or might not hit if off at your first date, the way you present yourself and how you behave will say a lot about you. Make sure your message is accurate and clear.
Prepare yourself for a meeting in real life by adopting and adapting to local traditions. Dress smart casually just in case your date takes you to a cocktail bar or a movie theater. Learn the basic local words that will make the person in front of you at ease, and don't be too surprised or shocked if your date does, says or eats things you never knew existed! Carry yourself with style and confidence, since you'll likely be as exotic to your date as he/she is to you.
Dating can feel intimidating to single expats. Thankfully, there are many ways you can meet others looking for love abroad with whom you can share your amazing stories. Joining an online dating site is a good start.
If you are ready to join the dating game join a local online dating sites for expats, such as Expatica Dating Spain, and we'll help you find a match. After the quick and easy registration process, you'll have the opportunity to check various criteria that will allow our high-tech system to find the perfect expat singles for you.
Join Expatica Dating Spain today; help is just a click away!