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It seems that in any culture, it’s considered “exotic” or “romantic” to have a partner that is from a different country. International relationships are romanticized in movies and books, and they often seem like the perfect, carefree fairy tale. I’m an American woman living in Spain, where I’ve been in a relationship with a French man for almost ten months. From the very beginning, we had to be clear about our feelings for each other due to the nature of the situation: I was in Spain on a temporary visa. While international love isn’t always as glamorous as it seems in the movies, it’s certainly worth it. I wouldn’t trade mine for anything! Although I do wish the paperwork was easier.

international relationship

Language Barriers: The Language of Love

  • English is my native language, and he is nearly fluent. When he doesn’t know a word in English, he uses me as if I’m Google Translate. I love helping him out, but sometimes I’m intimidated because even I don’t know the meaning of the word!
  • I’m in the process of learning French. Although I have the feeling I’ll never be as good in French as he is in English (Hey, he had a 15-year head start!), it’s the thought and effort that counts. Plus we both think the other’s accent in our native language is super cute—a big bonus!
  • Meeting the parents was a little more nerve-wracking than usual because they have a limited understanding of English, and my French is awful! But they welcomed me into their home anyway. And they shared their great French cuisine!

I Got 99 Problems And A Visa is Every Single One

  • Together we worry about immigration issues facing us in the future. We have also become experts in immigration in both our respective countries and in Spain. For now, we are okay. But if we decide to relocate in the future, we must consider the citizenship of the other and do even more legal research. This limits our moves to the E.U. and the U.S., which we can’t really complain about.

Travel, Home, And Location

  • No matter where we live in the future, Spain will always hold a special place in our hearts because this is the place that brought us together.
  • We are built-in travel partners, and travel is vital to our relationship. We met because we both chose to stray from our own countries. Naturally, we love exploring together. Plus travel is necessary since our families and friends are scattered all over.
  • Transitioning from one location to the next is easy for us since we already live with an open mind and minimal belongings.

We Share Our Cultures With Each Other

  • I shared the bounty of Thanksgiving with him; He is taking me home to Paris with him for Christmas. Our relationship is built on giving and acceptance of the other’s culture.
  • We share movies, books, television, food, drinks, languages, and expressions.
  • We can express our love for each other in multiple languages.

Our relationship is stronger because of the unique circumstances we face being from different countries. I’ve never questioned the authenticity of our love.