Similarly, your outfit choice can mean little in one culture but carry very clear suggestions in another.
Dating in another culture requires you to learn a whole new style of communication cues, if not a whole new language.
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I prepared by researching the country’s beautiful landscapes, local cuisine, famous art, and incredible wildlife.
I was excited to engage with locals of course, but dating was the last thing on my mind, with so many other activities to pursue.
This means figuring out the implications attached to certain actions or words and interpreting the true meaning of your date’s demeanor.
I learned most of these nuances through observation, advice from friends, and trial and error. In Botswana, men are used to initiating most flirting and some take a very forward approach.
When I was interested in someone, we usually exchanged numbers and–much to my surprise–men I just met would call and text me multiple times a day just to see how I was doing. My friends assured me that this was a good sign that he was serious about me.
As a single mom dating was not easy, after a few coffee dates I made good friends, but had not someone I could see a future with, and I found that a lot of people were only there for dating and not really looking for a partner. we will celebrate our 10 year date anniversary on the 18th September 2018!
and our 10th wedding anniversary next year :-) It is not the conventional way to meet and it raises eyebrows, but when you are doing it for the right reason then you will find the right partner.
These are some of my experiences dating in a non-Western culture, but I believe they can apply to many types of relationships, especially cross-cultural. It involves many subtle cues and nuances in communication.
Even if your partner speaks your language, they still may not understand your style of communication, your expectations, or the dating “games” unspoken in your culture.