Making Your International Relationship Work
History says that the most intelligent and beautiful people are the results of an international relationship. When loves crosses borders, it creates the most fantastic miracles. Names such as Natalie Portman, or even Daniel Brühl – an actor with German and Spanish parents who speaks several languages – can come to mind, and it’s easy to find yourself dreaming of what your children would be if you met someone new, someone who could bring a fresh wind of renewal to the gene pool of your family.
However, maintain an international relationship is not as easy as it seems. Even though many say that love speaks all the languages, there are many obstacles to affront together before you can start a family. Being in love with someone who doesn’t share your background, your culture and your language – even if it’s fair to assume that they can speak your language, it isn’t their mother tongue – can be difficult for the both of you. If your partner chooses to leave their country to stay with you, you need to be aware that your love story will be paved with administrative, social and emotional difficulties. But there is nothing that can’t be done when you put your heart to it.
There are challenges when you’re apart
It’s not easy to love someone who lives far away. Long-term relationships are tricky to maintain, but it’s fair to say that you can’t expect your partner to leave their home until they are entirely sure that you’re the right person for them. In other words, it’s precisely the time you spend apart that matters the most at the beginning of your relationship because you need to be able to pull through it to give your future a chance. In the US especially, being in a situation when you can demonstrate a legally binding marriage between the two of you, can simplify your partner’s application for a visa. It remains, however, a long and painful process, even between spouses. So, it’s your ability to juggle visits and keep the relationship alive that matters. But keep a positive spirit. Soon, the time without your partner will only be a distant memory.
Let’s talk about legal issues when your partner joins you
Every country has different immigration rules. For instance, between EU partners, there is no immigration requirement. Partners from two different countries can choose to live wherever they want to within the EU zone, and they will not need to pass through an immigration process. However, it’s fair to say that the Brexit vote in the UK in 2016 might dramatically change the situation for international couples. Indeed, there have been indications that the UK might choose to deport EU citizens who are not contributing to the wealth of the nation, even though the negotiation process with the EU Council is not yet over for the UK. In fact, several international couples have even received deportation letters from the Home Office, addressed to the non-British EU partner. While these letters have since been recalled, it hasn’t stopped the British authorities from imprisoning innocent EU citizens for future deportation – these have since been released. A similar delicate situation might occur in the US, where you’ll need to proceed to an immigration bond with experts such as Amistad Bail Bonds to ensure your partner can be released from detention. As said, the immigration laws can be complicated. As they’re continually evolving, it’s easy to assume that a legal immigrant today could become illegal by no fault of their fault.
Your partner will always feel like a foreigner
If you were to leave your home behind to embrace a new culture and a new language, you would miss it. For your partner, the sentiment of loneliness when living abroad is a challenge of every day. Of course, things will get better with time, but it’s never easy to make friends when you change countries. Joining a club can help to meet same-minded people. Getting in touch with other expats can also take some of the bitter loneliness away. But ultimately, you need to understand that there will be hard days for your partner. Even if they speak the language fluently, when the cultural background differs, it can be difficult to connect with people.
Be supportive with your partner when others aren’t
Speaking a foreign language is what your partner does every day. Some individuals have a natural ear for sounds and can remove all trace of their foreign accent when they speak. But others, even though they speak the language perfectly, can’t quite get rid of the accent. And, ultimately, an accent can be a handicap. The brain instinctively chooses not to trust someone who speaks with a foreign accent. Accent discrimination, unfortunately, is still widely accepted in our society. In fact, a lot of foreign speakers do feel ashamed of their accents because of the way others react. A statement said in a foreign accent is rarely considered with respect.
Do you speak your partner’s language?
So your partner speaks your language, but do you speak theirs? While you may not need it for the sake of communication – especially as English is often the perfect proxy language – it could show your interest in their culture. You could practice in turn, letting your partner speak to your in English while you try to reply in their native tongue. Consider it a gesture of love to learn how to express yourself in your partner’s language. Indeed, feelings are deeply connected to the words we learn as children. It’s fair to say that for a French partner, hearing ‘je t’aime’ doesn’t compare to the typical ‘I love you’.
Help your partner to embrace their full potential
Your partner might have had a brilliant career abroad, but coming to a foreign country, it can be difficult for them to find the same professional opportunities. While the language may not be a barrier, the accent and the way others judge a foreign accent can make things difficult. But you could direct your partner towards companies that actively promote international talent. Indeed, global companies are keen to hire international professionals and boost their team’s profile.
An international relationship demands a lot of attention to work. Remember that your partner has moved country for you – or is staying away from their home country for you. While it’s a gesture they were happy to make out of love, your support during their darkest hours can mean the world to them.