Relationship experts will not hesitate to point out that crossed signals produce certain influences and misunderstandings. However, you can have a happy and successful collegiate relationship if you fully understand them. It’s also vital to mention that dating customs and expectations for your friendships are shaped by where you come from. International students in the U.S. know they must have an open mind and patience when forming friendships and relationships with people from other countries.
These two qualities are the key to bridging the gap between people with different outlooks on life. When I began dating my husband, he was an ambitious international student from Columbia. He was pursuing a Master’s degree in physics. In his country, men take a methodical approach while pursuing a suitable mate. Unlike other guys from my past, he did not ask me to be his girlfriend. He told me that he enjoyed spending time with me. After several months passed, he finally admitted that he had a crush on me.
I must be honest with you. I was worried. I was under the impression that he was interested in having a platonic friendship. Luckily for me, I was wrong. Since I’ve been here in the United States, I’ve had several girlfriends who experienced the same thing. I’ve learned that students from the United States have their own feelings and beliefs about forming a solid bond with someone special. This article will take a close look at four lessons international students should keep in mind when they become interested in forming a college relationship with someone new. These lessons can help you avoid some of the complications that typically come from intercultural relationships.
1. Dating Has Many Names
There was some confusion in the girl’s dormitory one night when a gentleman from Central America walked through the front door. He said, “I’m here to court my beloved sweetheart.” We knew what he meant, but the young lady thought she was going to the movie theatre with the young man. Ideas can be lost in translation. When this happens, a surprising outcome can take place. For example, I made the mistake of asking someone if they would like to hook up with me this evening. I did not know that I was inviting the guy over for sex. You must make sure that you and your significant other are on the same page. You should also be clear about your expectations.
2. Dating Can Take Place at Group Outings
Group outings are fun and exciting. Fortunately, you can use them as an intimate venue for you and your date. While we were dating, my husband and I enjoyed hanging out with our friends. We went to concerts, plays, and football games. I must mention that we did not light candles and exchange fresh flowers for these group events. I was accustomed to putting on a nice dress for a romantic night at a restaurant. The one-on-one dating concept is promoted heavily in my country. However, my husband showed me a different side of dating. We were able to develop a strong bond while hanging out with our friends. This led to a beautiful marriage. There’s nothing wrong with having dates during group events. They will give you and your date a golden opportunity to get closer.
3. One Date Will Not Set You Up for True Love
Unfortunately, many students make the mistake of falling in love after the first date. You need to take measures to learn more about that individual’s values, goals, and intentions. Let’s say that the first date goes well. That’s great, but that does not mean that you have found the right one. It will take several dates for you to find out if that person is suitable for you. Please remember that one date will not set the state for true love. In the end, a steady courtship will help nurture that special bond.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
This is probably the most critical lesson on this list. If things are not going well, you should walk away. There’s an old saying in America, “There’s more than one fish in the sea.” It would help if you always kept that in mind. You deserve the best in life. This includes having someone special by your side. If you stay committed to someone who does not meet your criteria, you are setting yourself up for misery.
Things like trying to find part-time work, getting a car as an international student, or dating in the United States, all present certain challenges. Luckily for you, the four lessons listed above can help you overcome these obstacles. They have worked well for many international students over the years. There’s no reason why they cannot work well for you.