Finding love: lessons learned by a Brit dating in a foreign land
It can be tough trying to find love in the place where you were born and raised, let alone trying to find it in a foreign country while operating under different dating codes and communicating in a whole new language.
While living in Venezuela, I didn’t find anyone I was serious about. I realised I actually missed dating British guys. I was also able to reflect on the things I want from a relationship, like compatibility and mutual respect. The most important thing I have come to realise is that I want to find someone to love and settle down with.
However, I have definitely taken away a few things from my experiences of dating in South America, which makes me feel much more confident about finding a partner back in the UK.
Dating with a difference
At first I was quite shocked by the different dating codes in Venezuela. The way guys and girls interact is completely different to how we do it here in the UK. There, guys come on strong and girls flirt with confidence, while here in the UK, guys often play it cool and girls tend to act coy. But there is something wrong with this equation… namely, that neither one is showing they’re interested in the other!
So, from a Brit who has seen how it’s done in warmer climes, here are some dating tips for UK singles looking for love:
Make eye contact
We Brits can be rather reserved, but when it comes to flirting and dating, this means we can sometimes come across as aloof and uninterested. In South America, if you’re interested in someone, it’s clear just from maintaining eye contact with them. Eye contact is so important – it shows attraction and attentiveness – so don’t be afraid to hold it.
If you’re interested in someone and you think they might be into you, go for it and talk to them! I was quite taken aback by how confident girls were in Venezuela, but I admired them for it.
Think about it, how many times have you seen someone you like and just let them slip away because you were hoping they might make the first move? Guys are often unaware of the signals we girls give off, no matter how obvious you think you’re being. Just introduce yourself – what have you got to lose?
Romantic passion is hugely important in Latin American culture – it makes things exciting and shows that you feel deeply about one another. When you’re with someone you like, don’t be afraid to show it – the person on the receiving end will surely reciprocate.
I think that Brits could do with taking on a bit of the South American vigour when it comes to flirting, dating and relationships. Thanks to my experience of dating abroad, I now feel that when I do meet the right person, I’ll have the confidence to go for it.
Tracey writes her way around the globe focusing on travel, culture and love, whether it’s advice for couples who’ve met on eHarmony or accounts of her extensive travels. She loves strong colours, doesn’t have the guts to jump out of a plane and cannot live without internet connection.