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These 18 Women Prefer to Date Expats – Here’s Why

13 October 2020

Do women prefer to date expats? Do the local women like foreign men?

You might be asking yourself these questions every time you meet women, or when you use the dating apps.

As an expat, you might think you stand no chance against the locals. You might feel like what worked in your home country is not working out in your new home. Do you need a different approach? Is it because you don’t speak the language well?

The truth is, in every country, there are women looking for a guy like you. These women prefer to date expats. Someone who is different from the men with whom they grew up. They want to meet someone from a different background, and with a different mindset.

Even if you’re introverted, or maybe even shy in social situations, you are exciting and interesting precisely because you are different from the locals.

Women all over the world relish and seek out these cultural differences, and dream of finding someone just like you. They love difference. And they prefer to find a partner of a different nationality or cultural background.

“It adds to the excitement,” many of them say. Having different nationalities is often a good thing for a long-term relationship.

In fat, shared nationality is not a strong predictor of the long-term success of a relationship. Scientific studies on this topic are limited. Studies find that other variables – such as family approval, views on parenting – can function as stressors. Nationality or cultural background, by itself, is not a significant factor in the success of long-term relationships.

Dating Different - Alexandra Madhavan - Advanced Relationship Skills

Sarah Donovan, who conducted a study on on intercultural marriages, found this to be true. Her research was conducted for a Master’s Thesis for a Master of Science degree in Human Development. She interviewed six intercultural couples who had been married for at least ten years. The women preferred to date expats. They also preferred to marry them!

“They talked about being attracted to their spouse for typical reasons anyone is attracted to someone – physical attraction, the other person having the traits they wanted in a mate, and being ready to start a relationship,” she writes. “They believed that the love they had for each other was key to their success.”

And you can experience this commitment to love with anyone, no matter their background.

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We spoke with 18 women who prefer to date expats. Below, women from 18 different countries share why they prefer to date and marry someone of a different nationality:

They craved a different mindset: 

“Growing up, I could never imagine dating a German guy. I kept thinking, how can you even speak the same native language all day? I was always wondering where my future partner would be from. I saw a lot of handsome men across the world end. In the end, I married a Pakistani! I never thought I’d end up with a Pakistani. His intelligence, personality, and handsome looks captured my heart within seconds. I also never thought I’d travel extensively across Pakistan. Now, I’m so glad I do, and grateful for the opportunity to learn about a completely different culture.” – Arabela from Germany.

“I’m from Brazil, which often felt like a misogynistic country where most of the men were misogynistic. I longed for the day when I would meet someone respectful who would treat me like an equal. I found him in Canada, after a year living here. The differences with my partner make things more exciting!” – Lana from Brazil.

Dating Different - Magy and Sam - Advanced Relationship Skills

They didn’t identify with people from the same country: 

“I’m a white Jew who grew up in an African-American neighborhood. As I grew up, I identified with that culture more than my own. When I was around other white Jews, I didn’t feel like I fit in. When I went to college with people who looked like me, I felt like a fish out of water. Dating different felt more comfortable. Now I just enjoy being around people who are different from me. I can learn and see the world a little differently. I ended up marrying a Mexican!” – Mara from the USA.

“I am Hungarian, moved abroad, dated foreign guys, I definitely did not want a Hungarian but finally ended up with Mr. Right from my own nation. He can be very very charming. He has been living abroad for many years, and had a more open mindset.” – Réka from Hungary.

“It felt so much harder to find men at home who get deep into feelings and spirituality and growth. I also wanted someone ready to have an equitable partnership with me. They exist in Australia, and I have dated them, but I just never found the right one for me. Over time, I increasingly felt I don’t fit well with the Australian culture in general. After 50 years, I left, and here I am in Portugal. Portuguese men have their “stuff” too, and are certainly not all perfect. They have a strong sense of community and family, which I missed in Australia. There is a mix of good and bad, it was just that I happened to find the perfect man to suit me, here. He is warm, spiritual, a caring family man. He’s a free spirit and communicates incredibly well. He is gentle and very loving. At the end of the day, I really don’t generalise based on nationality. It just happened that I found the man in whom I was most interested in Portugal. Some of the cultural differences are quite challenging, but we are happy to work through them.” – Mel from Australia.

“I definitely went through a phase like this, where I only wanted to date guys from other countries. It turned out I was hiding from a lot of other things, and I thought that dating foreign guys would be the solution to all my problems. I ended up getting married to an Austrian, but luckily, for “the right” reasons.” – Gabriela from Chile.

Dating Different - Lauren Mokasdar - Advanced Relationship Skills

They enjoy being with people from other cultures: 

“Most definitely I prefer to date other nationalities, as in my country EVERYONE is related. It’s an island 7 by 21 miles, heck. I might end up marrying my 1st cousin and not even know it. I have been traumatized for years by the story of my friend’who s cousin brought home his new girlfriend to meet his father, only to have the dad faint during the meeting because the new girlfriend was his daughter he had been hiding from his wife for over 20 years!” – Phoenix from the Bahamas.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been a intuitive choice to date other nationalities, More like: it’s always been the case. The same goes for friends: I tend to get along best with people who aren’t completely British, or at least have spent a fair amount of time in other countries.” – Laila from the U.K.

Dating Different - Gloria and Mat - Advanced Relationship Skills

It didn’t work out with people from the same country: 

“I think once we date another nationality, we can’t date our countrymen anymore. The reason: because both label the other’s differences as a “culture difference”. This helps a lot of things not to matter, which would have mattered otherwise. I was married to an American. He was my angel. Our differences were never an issue for us. After him, I can’t stand dating my countrymen anymore.” – Mehrnaz from Iran.

“I was brought up in a conservative household where marrying your ‘own’ people was highly expected. I spent eight years of my childhood overseas with my family,  so you would think the parents would be more open minded about dating non-Koreans… definitely was not my case. Even though I really tried to date Korean men, I was never actively pursued by them. When I encountered foreigners, they showed way more interest in me and my international experience. I ended up marrying one who I adore. I’m still ‘traumatised’ by being rejected by my own countrymen.” – Jisoo from South Korea.

“I never fit as a typical Mexican. I had troubles since I was a child with not being straightforward, with women who couldn’t wear what they wanted because of catwalking, with the very closed family life where you go with your family everywhere, etc. Mexican men seemed to find me too independent, too crazy, too cold or something else. I’ve always been a curious person and had contact with people from different nationalities since I was a teenager. For me, it was more interesting and felt better dating people from other nationalities.” – Veronica from Mexico.

Dating Different - Rab and Eve 2 - Advanced Relationship Skills

They wanted to be intellectually challenged: 

“The typical mentality of men from my country didn’t match with what I was looking for. I had several relationships with Irish guys growing up. I realised I was looking for something else. And I found it all in my Spanish partner.” – Joanna from Ireland.

“I’ve never dated any men from my country. There was no romance with them. I can talk with them as friends, colleagues or business partners. When it comes to dating, I don’t know how to talk with them, how to make jokes… I still open my heart to men from my country, but it seems I can only be myself when dating foreign men. Maybe due to speaking different languages, or the attraction from a different culture?” – Quyen from Vietnam.

“I left my country with the intention to not have relationships with Russian men anymore. It doesn’t mean I am angry with them. The issue is not with them, but with myself. I would like to extend my own mind through a relationship with someone from another culture. And I do not want to fall into my own cultural patterns I have become aware of.” – Margarita from Russia.

Dating Different - Josette Leblanc - Advanced Relationship Skills

It feels more exciting: 

“I have always dated men from a different country than me. I just feel it’s more interesting and exciting when there are different backgrounds. It gives us more to talk about, and get to know the partner’s perspective on how he grew up differently.” – Simone from Switzerland

“I’ve never dated any guy from either of my two nationalities. This is a real blockage. Maybe I am addicted to being excited about discovering somebody with a whole different cultural background and view on life.” – Sara from the USA.

“It’s hard to imagine myself with someone from the same country as I am. Even my friends agree with this. They say I’d be a better fit with someone foreign. I always feel that life wouldn’t be as exciting with a person from the same background and culture as your own. Diversity is beautiful! I live for it!” – Sambridhi from Nepal.

“I’ve always imagined myself dating someone from another country! It was something exciting and mysterious to think about. I am now living in England and have been dating the most amazing man. He loves the fact that I’m not British.” – Inês from Portugal

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From First Message to First Date:

Is there someone you have your eye on? Use this detailed guide to get her to say yes to a date with you.

What is your preference when it comes to nationality?


Top photo via Rab and Eve, first Indian wedding ceremony by Alexandra Madhavan, Hiking photo by Magy and Sam, second Indian wedding ceremony via Lauren Mokasdar, Couple holding each other via Gloria and Mat, Korean wedding photo via Josette Leblanc.

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