Reasons (Never) to Date a Foreigner

  1. Visa
    Visa issues. Being together gets a lot more complicated. Unless, of course, you’re both members of the EU. If so, whoop dee doo for you. (I hate you.) Someone either has to get a work visa (difficult), a student visa (not so difficult, but expensive), or a marriage visa (big time commitment; hope you don’t have problems with that). Last year, I worked as a Conversation & Language Assistant, which allowed me to be there legally, but this year I’m back in the good old US of A, and trying to find some way to get him over here without resorting to packing him in my suitcase with plenty of food and beverages so they’ll just never know.
  2. Stupid questions. Perhaps I’m impatient, but we’re normal people too, and just because my boyfriend is from another country doesn’t make us any more interesting. However, people don’t tend to agree with me and love to ask the same questions over and over, “When is he coming over?” “Why isn’t he here?” “What language do you two speak when you’re together?” “Does he like America?” “Does he speak English?” “Does he like spicy food? He must love burritos, right?” Uuuuuuuugh.

  3. Airplanes[Source]
    Planes and airports. Back in the day (okay, like four years ago), plane travel was exciting because, well, I rarely had to do it. Nowadays, I feel like I’m on a plane or waiting in an airport every other month. I hate airports and planes. I would not hate it so much if I had lots of money and rode in first class, but alas, that is not the case. If you’ve ever ridden coach, you know what I’m talking about: 8 hours on a plane with your elbows brushing your overly talkative neighbor is just not my cup of tea. I’ve taken the same Madrid-Chicago flight so many times I start repeating this phrase in my sleep: “Tea? ¿Té? Coffee? ¿Café?” and can tell you the breakfast menu by heart (croissant sandwich, cup of fruit, Kit Kat bar, orange juice).
Now that I’ve told you the bad things, here are the good ones.
  1. Sexy/cute accents. Totally superficial, but totally true. I love the Spanish accent and Mario, although fluent and with a rather impressive accent, still slips into his (what we call) Espainish accent from time to time and I love it. I find his English to be adorable, especially when he slips up. I hope he doesn’t find it patronizing, but when he uses double negatives it’s cute. (However, native speakers + double negatives = ew.) And when he speaks Spanish, oh my. Sexy as hell…
  2. Culture
    Introducing them to your culture. It’s really fun to show off all the fun things about American culture: barbecues, baseball, fireworks, nature, family, and friends. I love introducing Mario to what it’s really like to live in the States. Some of it is like the movies (yellow school buses), but some of it isn’t (cheerleaders always being stuck up snobs).
  3. Learning a new language. As I’ve written before, learning a new language is difficult, so why not try it with a real live personal dictionary?
  4. People think your life is exciting. Not that my life is boring, but it’s really a very normal(ish) life. But people tend to think it’s very intriguing. Can’t say I mind that.
  5. Two
    Two cultures. You will always have two different cultures, two different languages in which to express yourself. I sometimes struggle to find the right English word, something I never foresaw happening. If you choose to have children, you can raise them bicultural and bilingual, a prospect I find very exciting and potentially jealousy-inducing (what I wouldn’t give to be truly bilingual!).
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18 comments

  1. I love reading about you and Cat’s bi-national relationships. If I can’t have one of my own, I can at least know people who do it! Good luck with trying to get Mario over to the States! You guys deserve it :)

  2. I love reading your blog because you remind me so much of myself 10 years ago, including this. Transatlantic relationships do suck, but it sounds like you’re a romantic like me and “damn the obstacles!” you’re going to be together!

    I wish I had more advice. We tried to get my Spanish girlfriend into the States, but the paperwork was expensive and tedious, and much of her educational credentials (she’s a vet) were not recognized as valid in the US. We ended up meeting “halfway” in England, where I could find a job (my Spanish wasn’t what yours is) and she, being an EU-citizen, could work there without a visa.

    I wish you luck and feel your pain. Aguanta, aguanta…

  3. I could only imagine how difficult it would be if my bf weren’t technically a US citizen :( Best of luck, chica. I get alllll those stupid questions as well too; I feel your pain!

  4. Best of luck to Mario getting to the states! My fingers are crossed for both of you. Also, for what it’s worth, I get tired of people asking questions about my mono-national (er, that sounds wrong) relationship. “What does HE think about you going to Spain????” “Are you guys going to stay together????” “Is he going to visit you???!” People should just stop asking so many questions, right?

  5. HAAAAAA Bilingual relationships. See my latest facebook wall photo. Kike and I have now spent four birthdays apart – four a piece, that is!

    And, for real, pareja de hecho that shit. Easiest thing I ever did in Spain – I swear!

  6. I hear you on the funny accents. The other day my boyfriend said, “Stop, I have tickles!”, which of course sounds like, “stop! I have teekels!”. Which is all the more adorable when he’s laughing uncontrollably. Also, “aligator…you know, those animals that are like huge lizards that live in the water with sharp teeth.” “Oh, a crocodeelay?” Which is of course how it’s pronounced in Spanish, but funny nonetheless. Good luck with your quest and thanks for your insight into my passport situation a few months back. You’ll be glad to know that things have worked themselves out, I’m back in Cadiz, and I’ll be getting residency in a month! fingers crossed!

  7. Aw sweetie I feel your pain. I just got married to my Spaniard and still have to jump through 1,000,000 hoops before all of our paperwork is done and I have permission to reside and work in Spain (not to mention all the trouble to get the same for him in the US) Good luck with everything!

  8. Fun post! We’re still dealing with the stupid questions, which I suppose aren’t really that stupid coming from people who have no idea what life is like outside their own state, much less country. My mom and grandmother think Morocco is some sub-saharan lost civilization with rules like Iraq. Every holiday it’s like, “Do they have air conditioning in Morocco?” YES. “Does he know what a picnic is?” YES, LOL. Even when he says yes, they explain it anyway. Heck, they go camping and have cookouts with tents and everything down there, which is more than my family would ever undertake. Oh well, guess it’s just as you say, it comes with the territory of dating (or marrying!) internationally :)

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