*note guy in featured picture is not 1 i dated. soley one who flirted all night then told me his girlfriend was sitting across from us lmao..
I wasn’t going to write this piece, at least not at this point into being here, but why not.
disclaimer: this is my 9 months in standpoint, which is subject to change because .. well.. I’m a human
Dating is a natural part of every persons life. Whether you’re looking for a relationship or a hook up, it’s something that comes about. Most people when going abroad for school or temporarily for work usually view their time in the place as their green light to do what they want, live how they please then go back to the real world.
I have friends who have done semesters abroad and just hooked up their whole duration and others who have been overseas for years and have decided not to get into anything serious because they know their contract would be up before anything could even get that serious and then I know a few who have gotten into relationships and they’re left with the either “this was fun” or “i’ll stay”.
…Then you have me, someone who’s bound to this place for AT LEAST 2 years. 2 years is like perfect time to either 1. be single and free 2. start something of substance with someone and then leave at it’s height or 3. what?
Anyway, what you guys want to know... what HAVE I actually decided or done right?.. I’ve dated, whatever that means… a little bit at least, and I haven’t discriminated… German, Belgian, French, Dutch, British, Irish, Polish, Swedish, Latin American and American.
The Europeans: Well everyone and every nationality is different obviously, but I have found that the people I date from europe can be very confusing. Well for 1 I’m in Barcelona and I consider it a drifters city; people just end up living here, or decide to come here to get away from home. So I tend to meet a lot of people kinda figuring out their own lives and going with the flow of things. Also the communication tends to be a bit off. I can never seem to read them. Culture differences definietly plays a part in that, like certain gestures or things they do back home may mean one thing, and here it doesn’t mean that at all (like paying on the first date). I’ve also had the cases of them being very vocal about what they do or do not want then constantly contradict themselves. At time’s it gets to the point where you question if it’s a language barrier thing, like mayybbbbeeeee they meant THIS and not THAT. Which is probably the case 60% of the time… but no… 40% of the time, they meant THAT.
Now don’t get me wrong I haven’t sworn off all Europeans or had super horrible experiences.. at all..
For the most part whomever I’ve dealt with or had gone on a date with, we both just had other stuff going on and drifted. I’d say 50% was a mutual drift 30% was them just being weird and 20% a combo of both. It also doesn’t help that I don’t find the typical Spanish man attractive (they’re typically a bit too small stature wise). I find Italian men attractive but they’re typically more perverted and aggressive than I’m comfortable with. I tend to like people from the UK, (probably because they’re most similar to back home mentality wise). Everyone else, from everywhere else is fair game. What sucks is the people I do tend to like more, are those from other countries in europe whom are only visiting here. In my experience the men who I’ve encountered have been very passive, and the women a lot more aggressive. This may add to my lack of luck as well, seeing as though I’m a very passive person till I’m comfortable.
The Americans: I know, you’re probably like why would you date Americans when you’re abroad, but honestly what I’ve come to realize is as much shit as I talk about the Americans back home, in reality I do like them best. That could 1000% be attributed to a comfort thing, I’m use to them. Something about their swag, their ambition, their drive, their arrogance, the way they court.. it’s what I prefer. We also share a culture and being here I’m realizing more everyday how very important that actually is for me. But with that said any American I’ve met or dated here.. didn’t last long.
And don’t get me wrong, the Americans I’ve dated here aren’t any great epiphany either. They too can have the “I’m just here for a short while so lets have fun” mentality. A weekend here and there when they’re in Europe is great or living here for the time being is nice, but who comes that often to actually sustain something or the other way around you’re just counting down till one of you leave. They tend to be more down to earth to kick it with (in my opinion), but they still have their aint shit tendencies lol. Those did not get lost across the Atlantic, I promise.
I had some examples of what I was saying but umm.. just take my word for it or dont.
- Learn the Language
May seem obvious and not that big of a plague, but it is. Granted, (in my case) I can get by dating someone who speaks broken english, and me not being fluent in Spanish, but that leaves such a gap in communication. I had been messaging with someone who doesn’t speak english (pretty much at all), so our conversations are in Spanish. Although we do fine with texting, there’s so much I’m unable to convey to him or don’t even try to because I don’t know how to translate it properly, and I’m sure the same goes for him if not worse. Our conversations end up being very bland, and I’m a talker. I’m sure if we shared the native language or my fluency was more proficient it’d be much better.
- Be Realistic About What it is
Be upfront with what you want and what you’re looking for.
Not much of an explanation needed right? You should be upfront regardless of where you are. But dating norms are different everywhere (as I continue to learn), and to lessen the confusion just be upfront from the beginning of what you want and are looking for so you both can act accordingly. Barcelona is a great city for hooking up, if thats what you’re looking for.
- Be Honest about your Time there, and Future plans
I’ll be here AT LEAST for 2 years. I honestly think that fact works in my benefit when meeting new people. They’re more receptive to even starting something with me because they know it’ll possibly have some longevity (whether it be a friendship, a conversation, or a date). Same for me. Barcelona is a revolving door, and I honestly have no interest in meeting people here who are leaving in under 6months. I will literally not even continue real conversation with them. I just don’t see the point *most times, especially when I’m not just looking for hook-ups.
- Don’t Let Loneliness Make you Fall Into Old Habits.
A bad habit I’ve seemed to pick up, with the help of lovers-past is rekindling feelings for old flames. Dating abroad (for me), has been difficult. And it seems as though me being abroad has enticed many people from my past to make themselves relevant again or to all of a sudden disclose their romantic feelings for me. WHERE WAS THIS WHEN I WAS IN AMERICA?!
I’m not much better though. I end up engaging with these people, and then next thing you know I’m fantasizing about possible relationships that could come to fruition. (then realize a sentence with words like fantasize, possible, and could in it couldn’t sound more like disaster.) Don’t go that route. Besides, what benefit do you really get from talking relationship and feelings with someone 4,000 miles away who hasn’t booked a flight to see you? (silent shots fired)
- Dating an American or someone from your native country isn’t a bad thing
I do like Europeans, I do. But something in me is an American magnet. Not that most of the people I date or meet are American, like not at all, but for the most part I find myself being attracted to someone and then finding out they’re American. I’ve always hated that, like going abroad or on vacation and then end up meeting someone American, its like how am I expanding my wings. But honestly there’s something different about dating an American who decided to go abroad as well. Their spirit and outlook tends to be of a different variety that I enjoy. It’s also a bit more appealing because at the end of your stay you both may be going back to the states or if they live there maybe it’ll entice you to stay and you have the help of someone who’s done it.
- You could easily be fetisized or exoctized.
This happens to me often, as I mentioned in 6 months in.. . I’m not the typical skinny fair skinned straight hair Spanish girl, nor am I the typical African girl trolling down las ramblas. I’m a coolie looking black American. In other words, some people want me solely for my differences and see me as an accomplishment or as an addition to their list of people have slept with. Therefore I’m very picky with whom I even dedicate my energy towards. .. But don’t let this stop you from trying new things with new people, stay open. But if I hear one more reference of my chocolate with someone’s marshmallow I’m shooting them.
- Also be aware of you fetisizing others
Yes, you too can be the culprit. Just as you’re different from them, they’re different to you. And as easy as it may be for them to want to add you to their trophy case for that exact reason you may be doing the same. I’d be lying if I hadn’t had a slick thing or 2 to say about my attraction to another person and it being solely due to culturally different features.
All in all, it’s all subjective and depends on what you want. You will find great people and horrible people anywhere you go in the world. Also things are going to go the way you’re projecting them to. You could be blocking your blessings, you could be prejudice against certain styles of dating or people and that be whats in your real way. Also as long as you’re honest with yourself you’ll get what you want. You want that one night stand go and get it, same if you want that relationship.. but don’t say you want one, then go looking for the other then getting upset because it’s not working the way you want.. you dont even know what you want.
I’ve met so many people here, and feel like I’ve experience a bit of the dating scene.. it’s cool.. I’m still open to continuing to try it out, meet even more people, and maybe adjust my views.