It’s becoming increasingly more popular to ‘date without boarders’. As technology grows and social media becomes a greater influence in our lives, finding someone that doesn’t speak your language isn’t hard.
While dating someone that speaks your language can be a challenge, there are even more difficulties that come along when a language barrier is thrown into the mix.
There is no way to know if the other person completely understands what you are trying to say.
This may be one of the most frustrating aspects of dating someone that doesn’t speak your language.
Regardless of the topic, there will always be little things that you initially won’t be able to communicate. There isn’t a great way around this and you have to accept that there is not way to really know if your partner understands exactly what you are saying.
Understand that miscommunication will happen and be able to laugh with your partner.
You get more frustrated
The language barrier can be an incredibly frustrating thing to handle at times. Patience can wear thin and it isn’t uncommon to get frustrated when you feel your partner just can’t keep up with you sometimes.
This is completely normal. It’s an emotionally exhausting thing to either constantly simplify your language or to struggle along in a foreign language that you are trying to learn.
Getting frustrated at points is ok as long there is a balance in the relationship. While you or your partner may not be able to verbally tell each other everything that you want, there are other ways to show how your care.
It’s okay not to understand everything. However, getting frustrated over every little miscommunication is a sign that the relationship may not be a good fit.
Laugh it off and enjoy the experience of learning how to communicate and grow with a person you care about.
You pick up bits of a new language and a better understanding of a new culture
Whether you plan on learning your partner’s native language or not, you find yourself picking up bits and pieces of it just being around them.
You might even find yourself starting to use some slang that they use. Who knows, it might even inspire you to take a few language classes.
You also gain a deeper understanding of their culture. There are so many things that, at least in the United States, we view as the norm in terms of our culture and society. This may not be the case in other parts of the world.
Sometimes it is difficult to understand different parts of your partner’s culture and accept them as their normal. It forces you to expand your perspectives and open your mind up to different ways of life.
It is easy to get in disagreements over culturally different views and ways of growing up between you and your partner. But if you core values are similar, you can learn to understand and accept the unique experiences that each of you had before your lives brought you together.
It forces you not to open up too fast
I’ve seen (and been in) relationships where over-communication too fast has led to the downfall of what could have been a lasting and healthy relationship.
Sharing (almost) everything about yourself is a sign of a great relationship…when you have been dating for a while. Opening up too fast within the first few months of dating could lead to a breakdown of the relationship.
The language barrier slows that process down considerably. It’s difficult to have in depth debates about stem cell research, abortion, or politics when one person’s language skills is elementary.
This is great because it enables you to slowly work as a team to figure out what the other one is like as a human being first. It isn’t hard to tell how someone is through their actions, how they treat you, and the attempts they make to connect with you.
Sarcasm and Humor are Off the Table for Now
Don’t be surprised if your jokes don’t land – sarcasm and jokes don’t usually translate very well when there is a language barrier. It’s frustrating, but over time this gets better with a lot patience.
The more you get to know each other, learn about their culture, their personality, as well as more of the language, the more you can incorporate jokes and your unique sense of humor into your relationship.
Your Relationship will Be Strong
There is something special about cross-cultural relationships. It is a team effort that requires a tremendous amount of work on both ends. Couples need to work much harder to be understood and have more patience with communication than their same language speaking couple counterparts.
But at the end of the day, it forms a trusting and loving bond of teamwork and caring that couples that speak the same language don’t necessarily get or understand.
There will be times that it seems impossible to be with the person and times when you think that it would just be easier to date someone that spoke your language.
It’s normal for these feelings to pop up, but remind yourself of the wonderful person that you connected with on a deeper level than just through verbal communication.
Ups and downs are inevitable, but through teamwork, mutual respect, patience, and love, your relationship can blossom.