How to Avoid Making Poor Dating Choices When You Live Abroad

Living in a foreign country can be an exhilarating experience, full of new discoveries and opportunities. However, when it comes to dating, cultural differences and language barriers can create a challenging environment filled with misunderstandings and emotional turmoil.

Moreover, when you’re in a new place, you might feel disconnected from your usual support systems. This can make you more likely to seek validation from others and compromise your own needs and values to please someone else. It can also impact your confidence and make you second-guess yourself.

Here are five practical steps you can take to avoid making poor dating choices while living abroad.

1. Strengthen Your Sense of Self

Being clear about your values is crucial to making decisions that align with your beliefs. Take the time to get to know yourself, engage in activities that bring you joy, and identify your core values. When you’re confident in who you are, you’re less likely to compromise your values to please someone else.

  • Keep a journal where you can reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and experiences.

  • Try new things, like taking a dance class or learning a new language.

  • Make time for hobbies and relationships with people who share the same values and beliefs

2. Practice Self-Compassion and Objectivity

It’s easy to seek validation from others when you’re in a new place, but it’s important to trust your intuition and make decisions that prioritize your well-being. Imagine yourself as your best friend and ask yourself what advice you would give them if they were in your situation. By viewing your situation objectively, you can be kinder to yourself and make better decisions that align with your needs and values.

  • Ask yourself questions about what you really want and what you’re willing to compromise on.

  • Seek advice from trusted friends or family members who know you well.

  • Create a list of non-negotiables and use them to guide your decision-making.

3. Stay Connected with Your Community

Living abroad can be isolating, but staying connected with your community can help you feel a sense of belonging. Attend events, join clubs or organizations, and volunteer. When you’re connected with others, you’re less likely to compromise your values for someone else’s approval.

  • Join local groups or organizations related to your interests or hobbies.

  • Attend social events, meetups, or cultural festivals to meet new people.

  • Volunteer at local charities or non-profit organizations.

  • Spend time with your friends if they’re around or call your family!

4. Learn to Trust Yourself

Trusting yourself is essential to making good decisions. Pay attention to your feelings and emotions, and reflect on your decisions. This will help you develop your intuition and make better choices.

  • Practice listening to your intuition and making decisions based on your gut feelings.

  • Take small risks, like trying a new restaurant or visiting a new neighborhood.

  • Celebrate small victories, like making new friends or successfully navigating a new public transportation system.

5. Be Intentional

When you’re dating in a foreign country, it’s important to be intentional about your choices. Take the time to get to know someone before jumping into a relationship. Be clear about your needs and boundaries and communicate them clearly to your partner. By being intentional, you can make better dating choices that prioritize your well-being.

  • Take your time getting to know someone before making any big decisions.

  • Set boundaries and stick to them, even if it means saying no or walking away from a potential relationship.

  • Be honest and direct about your intentions and expectations, and make sure your partner does the same.


5-Step Intentional Dating Approach by Ellen Nguyen

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5-Step Intentional Dating Approach by Ellen Nguyen


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Parting words

Dating in a foreign country can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. By strengthening your sense of self, staying connected with your community, trusting yourself, and being intentional, you can make better dating choices that align with your values and needs. Remember that dating is about finding someone who complements your life, not completing it.

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