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Finding Love as an Expat: The Global Guide to USA and UK Dating

January 10, 2022
Finding Love as an Expat: The Global Guide to USA and UK Dating

Choosing the best online dating app to join is far easier if you're a local and already understand how dating culture works in your local area!

For expats and foreign nationals studying abroad, the activity on dating sites Houston might feel like they're in another world compared to the best online dating app in the UK.

Here the Best10Dating team explains some of the best ways to find love in another country.

Meeting People as an Expat Living in the UK

British dating is very laid back, so you won't often be asked for a formal dinner date, dressing in your fanciest outfit and being escorted home.

However, people are also more reserved if you don't know each other, so it can be tricky to start a conversation or meet singles outside of dating sites.

This scenario is why so many expats opt for the top 10 best dating sites and apps, as it's a more common way for single people to introduce themselves, kick-start a conversation, and propose a meeting for a date.

Don't worry about having an unusual accent or not always understanding what phrases mean - it's all part of the charm and means you'll be a little unique and interesting!

If you find it stressful to get to grips with the dating culture, an expat group or online forum can be an excellent way to share your frustrations, get tips from people who have been there before, and perhaps meet with other expats from your state or area.

Aside from meeting people at work, there are plenty of ways to put yourself out there as an expat.

Let's look at some of the alternative ways that you'll be likely to meet like-minded people.

UK Online Dating

Online dating is massively popular in the UK and across Europe, particularly in larger cities and towns where it's sometimes tricky to form authentic connections.

If you use a local app, you can filter by your postcode (zip code!) or area or set parameters to suggest singles within a certain distance of your home.

There is a caveat that lots of these apps are used for hookups and casual dates, so your best bet if you want to find a serious relationship is to opt for a long-term partnership site, often with a paid subscription.

Joining these sites takes longer, as you'll need to fill in information about your personality and preferences to receive tailored matches.

The outcomes, though, have a better chance of being successful, and you can review profiles before sending a message to get a better idea about whether someone would make a good relationship partner.

Recommended Read: City Slickers vs Country Singles - How is UK Dating Different Across the Regions?

British Meet-Up Singles Groups

Any event or group offers an opportunity to meet people, and if you don't have a natural friendship group through your work, existing friends or family, this might be a perfect way to get to know people.

Meet up groups are normally informal and might be aimed atN, but can equally be about companionship and meeting friends in a safe and fun environment.

Most of these groups have specifications about the age ranges and sexuality of the attendees to make it easier for people to connect. For example, a gay women's group would be perfect for gay expats wanting to meet female partners or friends.

Volunteering to Meet People

In any country, volunteering can be an excellent way to meet people. Every city and town in the US or UK will have things like:

  • Beach clearance volunteers
  • Local churches and charities
  • Animal sanctuaries

If you're passionate about a charitable cause, then finding something you care about to focus on in your spare time can be a happily convenient way to meet singles that feel the same.

The added bonus is that you'll get to meet friends who are generous with their time, understand more about the area and community, and have a sense of well-being that is inherent with giving your time to support worthwhile causes.

Tips for Finding Romance Abroad

Needless to say, being single and wanting to meet someone special to spend your time with is doubly difficult if you feel like a fish out of water.

The best advice is to be yourself, enjoy the experience of being in another country, and not to put any pressure on your timescales to meet a date.

Pushing too hard, rushing to settle down and panicking about being single for too long will likely mean you make do with someone who isn't right for you. 

You could even potentially attract the wrong dates you wouldn't have chosen under other circumstances.

Most singles meet their dates online or through friends, so it's wise to take a step back and see what opportunities come your way - love, after all, often appears when you least expect it!

Creating a Social Circle as an Expat 

The most important way to feel at home overseas is to focus on making friends and finding your social circle.

There are lots of reasons that friendship might be the deciding factor in your romantic future:

  • Friends can help deal with homesickness and help you grasp how things work in your new home.
  • Communities are support systems and can point out clubs, activities or hobbies that might help you meet new people.
  • Often, expats crave companionship but mistake that for a need for romance. Finding friends might be everything you need.

Relocating is a big life event, and emotions can be a lot to handle. Seasoned travellers and expats will tell you that the emotional backlash often drives you to make crazy decisions in a need to find comfort.

Connecting with people ensures you have a grounding, in a secure place, with relationships that aren't hinged on anything.

Once you've got a strong social circle, plenty of friends, and people you can chat to, you'll start to ease the burden of being an expat in a strange country, and be better positioned to make proactive decisions about your love life.

Lauren Edwards-Fowle
Lauren Edwards-Fowle
Lauren is a freelance writer passionate about how we develop rewarding experiences, and overcoming the barriers we face to living our best lives. Lauren writes regularly about the modern world of dating, relationships, parenthood, and social dynamics.