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The Dating Game - Across Borders

By: Jonathan Hedley - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Dating Game International Language

If you're planning on travelling alone, embarking on that trip of a lifetime, getting away from it all and all that the above entails, it's probably a fair guess you don't have any significant other. Unless of course, it's precisely that significant other that you're vying to get away from. In any case, now's the time to celebrate your singledom as a form of liberation, your liberation as an opportunity and your opportunities, well, just celebrate them!

A little touch of romance (or whatever you want to call it) never goes amiss on an adventure - after all, how better to learn about a foreign culture than to get up close and personal with it? Do Italians really 'do it better' as the t-shirt suggests? Is Arabia really abundant with handsome Sheiks just crying out for pale-skinned British women? Is America really just full of girls who melt at the sound of an English accent? Is Rio de Janeiro really what they say it is? Well, there's only one way to find out!

Of course, you have no luck in the dating game, who does? That's why you're single. In that case, all the more reason to go abroad, because on the continent they play a different game, and it's you that represents a taste of the exotic.

The International Language

It's an old clichés - whenever we're around someone we really like, we either clam up, say something incredibly stupid or start gibbering. But the wonderful thing about being in a foreign country is that you can get away with all of these things with surprising ease! Unless of course, they speak English really well. What may appear to be a huge problem may actually be your greatest ally - the language barrier.

If you say nothing, it's not because you're nervous, it's because of the language barrier. If you say something stupid, they misunderstand you because of the language barrier. If you gibber like an idiot they'll probably just look upon you with mild amusement, which let's face it, is a step up from utter horror or disgust.

The impediment of verbal communication opens the door for a far more honest and endearing form of communication - body language, which is really the only language you ever need when it comes to the dreaded business of flirting. This doesn't mean that the only kind of fling you can find is purely physical, it simply means that too often, words cause confusion. Intellectual stimulation bridges the language barrier too.

Culture Differences

Culture differences could work for you or against you, depending on what you're looking for and what kind of person you are. However, rather than attempting to examine every cultural or sexual stereotype in the world, let's start with how people view the British.

John Cleese famously said, "An Englishman would rather admit that he's bad in bed than that he has no sense of humour". Unfortunately, being great lovers is not something we're famous for. Many foreign cultures see us as being slightly serious - kind of a milder, funnier form of the Germans.

Being taken seriously does have its advantages though. Gentlemen are appreciated for their courtesy, especially when juxtaposed with a man of less modesty. The downside is that a British man can become a fashion accessory for some women. The popular view of a British woman meanwhile, is one of a fiercely independent and fun loving type - the downside of this image being that many men read 'independence' to mean 'easy'.

As a nation, we're also known for bad teeth, dry humour and an irritating capacity for condescension, but don't let these bizarre misconceptions get in your way. The moment you make contact with someone of a foreign culture the stereotype begins to give way to the real you - and that's when you begin to get into someone's heart.

As an adventurer you are on a natural high and are therefore at your most attractive. You are independent, fancy free and on holiday. Not only are you exotic, you're not under any pressure to impress with the right lines - it's more a question of the right moves - but once you get down to the basics you are open to the most profound cultural discovery of them all - that deep down, we all have a surprising amount in common. And we all dream of a little romance now and then, even if we dream in different languages.

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