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8 Interesting Reasons to Date Someone from Another Country

8 Interesting Reasons to Date Someone from Another Country

When you date someone from another country, it can be exciting, confusing, educational and adventurous. I consider it a relationship with many added bonuses. Whether your partner speaks the same language or grew up on the same continent as you doesn’t change some of the significant patterns you’ll experience. There are some really wonderful things about dating someone from another country along with obstacles. The horizon goes further in a cross cultural relationship.

1. Romantic Experience

You know that your feelings are true when you date someone from another country. You are both taking risks one way or another to be with each other. Maybe there’s people that don’t understand, family members that miss you while you’re away or issues with visas. When you fall in love with someone from another country, there are lengths you have to take to stay together. You take on different views of a relationship as you not only work on your feelings together but also legalities of being together.

Bringing someone home to your country is a big responsibility with an even larger romantic gesture attached to it. You have to either dedicate yourself to the person or say goodbye and potentially never see them again. In most relationship, love is tested by the normal day-to-day problems. A relationship with someone from a different country can mean separation beyond your control at times. Later on, there may be big choices to make in order to be together. Spousal sponsorship or marriage show each other that you’re dedicated.

2. You Learn A Lot About Yourself

As a native English speaker, I didn’t think my language would pose a problem anywhere in the world. Actually, if I’m honest, I didn’t think too much about the world outside of the town I grew up in. Although I traveled abroad, until I dated someone from another country, I wasn’t truly tested until I fell in love with someone who’s native tongue was not the same as mine. Going to his country helped me develop a lot as a person as I became involved in his community.

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Going to another country to stay or live for a long period of time will change you in positive ways. You become educated about the world and how you fit it in as you immerse yourself in a brand new culture. You become more courageous as you head to the grocery store and attempt navigating through aisles of foreign foods.

3. Teaching of Cultures and Language

You will likely have too much to talk about to ever get bored with one another. When you date someone from another country, you and your partner have plenty to discuss about your language or culture. Customs you experienced as a child are likely much different than their own. You can impress even the biggest food connoisseur by barbecuing gourmet burgers on an open fire. Carving a pumpkin with your partner who comes from a country that doesn’t celebrate Halloween brings a funner element to an old pass time.

Someone from Europe will likely get educated for one career and stick to it while a North American will have many jobs and careers over their life. This can make your European partner consider what other career goals they might like to pursue in life or they can teach you to be more settled. As you talk to one another about the views you have based on your culture, you both learn a lot.

4. Learning of Cultures and Language

When your partner teaches you about their culture, you learn a lot about them. It’s been a mystery in the past on how to get inside the mind of your significant other. They will unknowingly unlock the secrets to who they are and why when they explain their upbringing and childhood.

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You learn how not to insult them or their cultural beliefs as they open up to religious and political views. You also learn what your partner’s values are. They may come from a culture where eating horse meat, lung and heart is really normal. It may never be something you’ll indulge in but you will learn why they eat it and respect their reasons.

5. Acceptance of Your Differences

Relationships are hard enough with misunderstandings and difference of opinions. Imagine dating someone from another country who was brought up by parents that had to go through a war. My experience is that in Germany, I have had to find a strength in me I didn’t know I had. The German culture is tough and they work hard.

Where I come from, people are really nice but it’s often not legitimate. We ask strangers how they’re doing, but we don’t really care. Here in Germany, when you ask someone how they’re doing, they’ll tell you straight up for most of the morning. You don’t ask what you don’t want to know. There’s a certain honesty here. If someone is nice to you, they really like you.

6. Exotic Experience

Falling in love is an adventure on it’s own but falling when you date someone from another country and fall in love, it increases the love buzz exponentially. Being told “I love you” in another language will give you the shivers. The way your partner expresses love and shows it is likely different than anything you’ve experienced. It can be like falling in love for the first time as everything is new.

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Love is about discovering each other and it’s much more interesting to discover someone that is different from you on many levels.

7. Even Fights are a Learning Experience

When you’re arguing with your partner, you have to consider what you’re saying before you say it in the event their language is different than yours. Often, even if you have a heated argument, it gets interrupted because someone has said a word or phrase that the other doesn’t understand.

You tend to be more conscious about what you say when you have a disagreement. It can take some time to reach deep understanding, but you’ll constantly learn lessons.

8. Tourist in Both Countries

If you’re visiting your partner’s home country, they’ll show you interesting attractions. You get an insider tour of real living in their country that you probably wouldn’t get as a general tourist. You’ll be introduced to festivals, traditions and a totally new cuisine.

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In return, when your partner comes to your country you can play tour guide. You’ll probably take them to places you’ve never been yourself. This is a great way to share experiences and take adventures as you show each other your back yards.

Featured photo credit: Love Lock ~ Paris, France/ Dustin Gaffke via flickr.com

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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

Reference

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