What It's Like Dating Someone From a Foreign Country

Of all people, I never would have guessed I would be the one writing this article. But boy, how excited I am to be doing so.

You know, dating is complicated enough with all the games, reading signals, guessing what they are thinking, waiting just the right amount of time to text back, etc. But add dating someone who grew up in a complete different culture than you, and things can get interesting. I’m going to tell you about my story about dating a boy who grew up in Brazil for 22 years, and now lives in America.

Meeting Willian wasn’t the most exotic story. I was at a group dinner at my church leaders house just for fun, and I didn’t know many people there, so I really wanted to branch out.  When I saw Willian talking to some of his friends, the first thing I noticed was that he had braces, just like me. And I thought to myself, “How cool that a guy my age can wear his braces proudly just like I can?” The night drew on, and I got to talking to a few different people but Willian was straight across the room from me. And would you believe it? When we made eye contact, we both smiled, and it was love at first sight… okay maybe it wasn’t that easy.

We saw each other a few more times within those church groups, and became friends very quickly. Within a few weeks, he slid into my DM’s and asked me on a date. And let me just say that the first cultural difference I noticed: his texting. Not because of anything in particular, his texts were just very short and were quick to the point. Like maybe only a handful of words per message. Now this isn’t a huge deal but when I text… I TEXT. I can write a novel with my texts, if I really wanted to. And with his texts being so choppy, it was different to say the least.

Our first date was a typical first date. We walked around an outdoor mall, and got to know each other. He told me all about his life in Brazil and we found a lot similarities between the both of us. Now quick thing to know about Willian, if you met him you wouldn’t think for a second he lived in Brazil his whole life, and only had been in America for a year. He speaks English perfectly, and sometimes even corrects me on my English! But sometimes he’ll forget words and have to explain to me what he's saying. On our first date he asked me, “What’s that green stuff that is on the ground? You know, the stuff you can lay on?” Then I said, “Grass?” And then he’ll go, “Oh yeah!” And then went on with his story like nothing happened.

Well a few months later, Willian and I became official and have been official ever since. But don’t get me wrong when I say this, we have had plenty of miscommunications, which is expected when you were raised in different cultures. I’m more sensitive than Willian is, and he’s a lot blunter than I am. We argue about little things here and there that maybe two American’s wouldn’t normally argue about. It challenges us both tremendously and I know if you ask either of us, the number one thing we would say we’ve learned in this relationship is patience.

But let me tell you guys, dating a Brazilian freaking rocks! The first thing I noticed is that he’s touchier than most Americans. Not in the sense of sexuality, but in the sense of when we’re walking down the street, he has a hand on my back. When we’re sitting down, he has a hand on my leg. He always kisses my cheek and rubs my back. Which is not normal for me let me tell you. Even past boyfriends I’ve had have never shown affection for me like this, and I’m so glad he has. Plus, he cooks amazing food for me and he dresses like a million bucks. (Girls, I’ve hit the jackpot with his style.)

The worst thing about dating someone foreign is the comments people make. They assume it’s because of a green card. A FREAKING GREEN CARD. Not even a month into dating Willian he sat me down, and we had an honest conversation about why we’re dating. It’s because he likes me and I like him. Would you have ever guessed that was the reason?? He told me his concerns about people thinking we would be dating just for his green card, and I told him that I wouldn’t be dating him if I felt like that was a reason at all. My piece of advice to everyone who knows someone who’s dating someone foreign: first of all, it’s none of your business. Just be happy for their relationship and support them. And second, have a little more faith in them. They ultimately know what their relationship is about, and I know for a fact Willian is dating me because he wants to date me.

Alright, let’s wrap this up. As different as Willian and I are, we learn new things about each other every day, and we teach each other things that make us better people. We love one another and that’s all that matters. As of a week ago… Willian and I got engaged! And we couldn’t be more happier! I can’t wait to start my life with him, and go through all the crazy challenges of life together. We have a lot of learning to go through, and more obstacles ahead, but I want him by my side when we go through them. I highly recommend dating someone foreign, it will be the best experience of your life!