You’re somewhere foreign and you’ve just met the most beautiful person on the planet. You immediately begin planning your life with them — when will we get married? Where will we live? What will we name our four kids? Maybe that’s just something I do, on my trip to the Dominican Republic, I fell absolutely head over heels.
For the first time in my life I experienced love at first sight. I was ready to make a permanent move to the DR, marry this man and have all of his kids. When I arrived back in the states and finally woke up from this euphoric dream, I started thinking about how difficult a relationship with this person would’ve actually been. Here are a few difficulties that I’ve noticed about long distance “love at first sight” relationships:
1. Language/Cultural Barrier
No matter how fluent you may be in a particular language, you’re still not a native of that country and a lot of emotions can get lost in translation. The struggle to communicate can prevent you from having a real connection because it can be difficult to adequately relay feelings of frustration, hurt or sadness. On the flip side, this barrier can be motivation for you to learn another language.
2. Your relationship has an expiration date
There’s always a return flight back home or an expiring visa and you’ll have a choice to make — you can write this ‘relationship’ off as nothing more than a fling and savor your last moments together or you can commit.
3. Long Distance Relationship
You’d be committing to a long distance relationship. I’ve heard that these can be extremely difficult, and although not all are unsuccessful, it requires an even greater deal of commitment and patience. This can turn out to be an amazing love story or one of your worst nightmares. Either way, lessons will be learned and experiences gained. No regrets, right?
4. Your favorite love story is a sham
So of course I felt like Stella in “How Stella got her Groove Back.” All in love with this gorgeous dark skinned man in a foreign country. Reality sure did hit hard when I came down from my 24-hour love high and realized that I’ll probably never get to marry my real life Taye Diggs (how ironic is it that I’d actually meet Taye Diggs a month later?). Fairytale stories like that can happen but lets be realistic, it’s a sham!
This list isn’t to shatter anyones hopes and dreams of finding love while abroad, but rather, to shine light on some of the aspects of traveling that a lot of people don’t talk about. I encourage you to meet new people, fall in love and take a stab at a relationship you would have never dreamed of having. Whether your relationship succeeds or fails you’ll be able to look back and say that you had no regrets.
Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life. -L. Buscaglia
What are some of the difficulties you’ve experienced with international relationships?
This story was curated by Miriam Ejide.