So you’ve moved to a new country, found your apartment, got a job and bought a car.
You’ve played tourist by visiting its top sites, lounged at the beach and dined out in those must-do restaurants … all by yourself.
For most people, moving country is an exciting time, but it does have its challenges, particularly when it comes to finding that someone special to share all of those moments.
Dating isn’t easy at the best of times, so how do you go about it in a new country where you may not even understand the language?
The truth is it doesn’t have to be difficult. Check out the below tips for inspiration – who knows, the love of your life might just be around the corner!
Learn the lingo
If you can’t communicate with the locals, how can you date them? If you’ve moved somewhere where you don’t know the language, learn a few key phrases. Fancy the guy or girl who makes your cappuccino every morning? A simple ‘Hello, how has your day been so far?’ in their language can be the ember that lights the spark.
Join a group
Looking for like-minded people? Join groups based on your interests, whether that’s wine, hiking, art or music. A good place to start is www.meetup.com. The world’s largest network of local groups, the site allows you to join groups for free. Also Google expat groups, become a member and follow on Facebook. These groups regularly host fun events.
Go where the locals go
Do a bit of online research and find out which bars, clubs, cafes, restaurants and music events are most popular in your area. Check out local events too. A cultural festival, a concert or the launch of a new art exhibition are great ways to meet people.
If you’re too shy to approach someone in real life, online dating sites like eHarmony and OkCupid are legitimate ways to meet people in your area. It takes the pressure out of not knowing if someone will be receptive to your advances at that bar or cafe.
If you are meeting someone for a date, play it safe. Meet at a café or public place, never at their house. Tell someone where you are going, with whom and when you expect to return, and bring a mobile phone just in case.
Keep in mind that customs regarding dating, public displays of affection and intimacy can differ depending on where you are. For example, eye contact is a common way of flirting in Europe, but in Japan or China it is considered rude, so make sure you know what is acceptable in your new country.