Summer Love: Why Dating Across Cultures Can Transform Your Life

Summer is a fantastic time to date. With the summer solstice just around the corner, it’s the perfect moment to rethink what we’re looking for in a partner.

Many singles will undoubtedly gather with friends, bask in the sunshine, and perhaps even find love at familiar spots like the beach or a BBQ. However, what if love isn’t right under our nose but rather half a world away?

Numerous matchmakers have found their personal happiness in pursuing love that, at first glance, might have seemed laden with obstacles such as distance, language barriers, and cultural misunderstandings. By navigating these challenges, they’ve discovered the truth in another cliché: all good things require effort.

If you’ve decided to skip town this summer and find yourself enamored with an accent at an Italian café, here are a few reasons you might want to make that international romance last:

1. It Expands Your Self-Awareness

Intercultural dating benefits your self-awareness by holding a mirror up to our own learned habits, thoughts, and assumptions. From learning new ways to greet friends and family to interpreting subtle emotional cues, you gain a deeper understanding of yourself. Take Lauren Collins, the author of When in French, who recounts her experience of loving in her husband’s native French. In the process, she develops a new awareness of her own cultural quirks, from her use of possessive pronouns to her insatiable love of cold pizza.

2. It Sharpens Your Linguistic Skills

There’s no better way to learn a language than through immersion, and no better excuse to immerse yourself than love. If you’ve never learned your partner’s language before, you might stumble over basic words and phrases at first. But beyond these initial hurdles lies a whole new world of humor, sayings, gendered fruits, puns, and expressions of affection. Time to trade “Merry Christmas” for “Feliz Navidad.” This is one of the many benefits of dating someone from another country.

3. You’re Surrounded by Double the Love

Dating someone from another culture exposes you to a second set of experiences. Think double the holidays, music, dance moves, and recipes. It also creates the perfect opportunity for you and your partner to forge your own path by deciding which traditions to maintain or create as a couple. Who says sugar cookies can’t pair with champagne and foie gras? Embracing double the traditions is a key advantage of international relationships.

4. It Develops a Deeper Understanding of Your Partner

One beautiful aspect of cultural differences in relationships is that they push you to articulate and discuss your core values, helping you better understand your partner. Maybe you’ve never thought about why that big tree matters to you, but expressing and understanding the “why” behind popular traditions will bring you closer. This deeper understanding is a hallmark of successful intercultural relationships.

5. You’ll Rediscover Dating, Sex, and Romance

The nuances of dating, sex, and romance are highly contextual. Learning how other cultures approach courting, desire, and the big “I love you” is enriching. For instance, Colombia celebrates love throughout September instead of just on Valentine’s Day, giving Colombian-American couples twice the romance to look forward to each year. Additionally, Spanish offers various ways to express “I love you,” each with its own nuance, unlike the single expression used in English. Rediscovering romance in this way is one of the key benefits of summer love across borders.

Approximately 4 million Americans are currently married to a foreigner—a number that won’t surprise anyone who has navigated these challenges and reaped the rewards. Embrace the adventure, and you might just find that love is truly a universal language. From learning new cultural traditions to enhancing relationships with cultural diversity, summer romance can truly transform your life.



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