Living abroad is rewarding, but getting into the dating scene is challenging if you don’t speak the local language. If you follow a few online dating tips for women, finding love as an expat can be a breeze.
Give it a proper go
First, find an online international dating site in your location. Once you’ve joined, commit to giving it a real try: aim to message at least three men a week and keep your profile up-to-date.
While living overseas, one of the best online dating tips for women is to remain open-minded and let the spirit of adventure cross over into your online dating experience. Don’t stick to your usual type, and try not to make a snap decision about men solely based on superficial criteria like appearances. It’s important to have realistic expectations; not everyone is the expat version of Ryan Gosling or Brad Pitt. Considering you’re in a different country, you can’t expect everyone to fit the old mould. Be open-minded and leave your cultural stereotypes behind.
Make the first move
No risk, no reward, they say – and this applies to online dating for women, too. If someone looks interesting, don’t wait for them to message you. Passively hoping a person that interests you sees your profile is a surefire strategy for missing out on a great opportunity. Instead, take the initiative to make the first contact. You’re a modern expat woman with the courage it takes to live abroad.
If they don’t respond within a week, send another brief message to follow up. It could be that, like a lot of expats, they work long hours or could be traveling for business. Also, people who are new to an expat online dating site are often inundated with responses; they could still be working through responses. If they don’t reply to the second message, don’t waste your time worrying about it. It’s poor manners not to respond, so you may be better off without; more importantly, you don’t know the reason. They may have already met someone else in the meantime, for example; don’t take a non-response as a personal slight against yourself. There are plenty more expats out there, so just keep looking.
Be wary of revealing too many personal details about yourself until you feel sure about the person. Bear in mind this important piece of online dating advice for expat women: you’ll probably encounter expats from a variety of foreign countries with differing cultural backgrounds. Some might have different expectations for dating than you’re accustomed to. If a man uses words like ‘intimacy’ and ‘massage’, talks about his – or your – physical attributes, or makes sexual references early on, beware: he’s probably a creep. These kinds of messages are not uncommon, especially late at night. There’s no need to respond: just delete (and block, if you feel the need to), and move on.
When it comes to your photos, consider what message they convey. What impression of you would you like the men scanning your pictures to get?
Take your time. If you’re an expat yearning for someone to keep you company and explore with, it’s natural that you might want to move quickly to the next level. One of the best online dating tips for women is never to rush things if you feel unsure. It’s okay to step out of your comfort zone, but not when it means sacrificing your safety. Follow your instincts.
Keep your options open
Just as it can take some extra time and effort for expat women to find a worthwhile partner in real life, the fireworks won’t always go off on the first (or second, or third) try in online dating.
There’s no problem with increasing your chances by messaging more than one person at the same time. At this stage, no one has made any commitments: you’re just two expats getting to know each other. You want to find someone you connect with; your chances will grow if you keep an open mind and explore all possibilities. It’s not cheating, so don’t feel guilty – go ahead and mix it up.
Take it offline
After a few messages, arrange to speak on the phone (on a mobile rather than a landline, which can be tracked). If you feel some chemistry between you, arrange to meet up and don’t be afraid to flirt if the chemistry progresses. Take advantage of one of the greatest perks of expat dating: you have incredible options for interesting date locations and activities.
Keep in mind one of the most important online dating tips for women: make sure that the first date is in a public place, always tell a friend where you’re going, and don’t forget to take your fully-charged mobile phone. And if the date doesn’t work out, don’t let it get you down – get back online!
For more tips on online dating see Expatica’s expat dating series: