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Can international love work?


Lola55

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Hello everyone,

 

I am currently in a serious long-distance relationship and I am having some major issues that I've been trying to resolve but don't know if I can, or how to resolve them.

I met this guy in Africa. I was there for a few months and we were together the entire time I was there. The relationship got intense really fast and we ended up spending almost everyday together while I was there. We grew up in totally different worlds and cultures (he has never left Africa), but we clicked right from the moment we met. It's hard to explain but I've never felt this way for anyone and he says the same thing about me. After I left we had been together for 3 months and we decided to stay together and try to figure something out. The thing is, I come from a very ignorant family. I had a hard time even going to Africa in the first place. I got questioned by so many of my family members who just can't seem to wrap their head around why I wanted to go. My parents being the worst to deal with.

Anyway, now that I am home I have yet to tell my parents about my new love. I am planning to go back and see him for a few weeks in a couple months and I have no idea how I am gonna tell them I plan to go back so soon.

Because I've been having such a hard time there are moments when I feel so weakened by the situation. I find myself asking questions like how will this ever work out? He could never work here in the same field he works at in Africa, he would never fit in with my friends/family and so on.

I know I sound horrible but I feel like the people surrounding me are just not going to understand. Then there is another part of me saying that I love this guy and have never met anyone like him so I should just forget what anyone else thinkks and find a way to make this work. But can it ever work? Can a girl from Canada and a guy from Africa ever make a life together? It feels so hopeless sometimes. Advice, experience, anything is needed please....

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For gods sake you are 26, bring the power of your life back where it belongs, namely in your hands. You don't need your parents approval, to hell what they think, you don't need them, nor should you be co-dependant on them. Parents might disagree but in the end its your life, and you make the decisions for your life that you think will make you happy. If you are positively sure that he's not out purely on your money, doesn't have aids(although you can still be together then but most likely no sex), and can survive in canada, just marry him and be happy together with him.

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Thank you for responding as no one else has. I don't know if my post came off a bit confusing. I know that the power is in my hands. I love him and if my decision is to be with him then everyone else will have to deal with that. My problem is I don't know what to do. I am confused and all of these obstacles are blurring my perception of what is right for me.

This part of your post really bothered me:

 

" If you are positively sure that he's not out purely on your money, doesn't have aids(although you can still be together then but most likely no sex), and can survive in canada, just marry him and be happy together with him"

 

Do people really think this way in this day and age? This is what I'm talking about, the stereotyping and quick assumptions. These are the strains that my friends and family are putting on me. I was really hoping that there might be someone out there who has advice or a positive experience to share with me.

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Well it can work as long as you trust eachother and are dedicated

 

It's not as far but I'm English with a Danish boyfriend and our relationship is going brilliantly. We are just as loyal and connected as any other couple, if not more.

 

Your family have no right to persuade you, it'll be hard but if you're prepared to make it work and you think this guy is worth the effort then go for it. Don't let anyone stop you because of ignorance and silly opinions. People get so held back, I understand, but if you can't get them to stop it then I'd advise just ignoring them. Firmly say that you are not changing your mind and stick to your decision. It's hard, I know.

 

And you guys are from totally different cultures, yes, but people do immigrate from countries with completley different cultures and survive. The only problem I think could arise would be if he doesn't want to come to Canada and leave Africa and you don't want to move either.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does he want to leave in Canada? is he making plans with you, saving money to travel to see you, learning the language, thinking about a career in Canada? or is he trying to persuade you to live in Africa. You mention more the attitude of your family than the attitude that he is having now towards the relationship.

I know stereotypes are very harsh but sometimes have some truth sometimes don't....

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Do people really think this way in this day and age? This is what I'm talking about, the stereotyping and quick assumptions. These are the strains that my friends and family are putting on me. I was really hoping that there might be someone out there who has advice or a positive experience to share with me.

 

I am in a long distance relationship with an African girl and would say it could work out, but I would be extremely cautious.

 

I would only really consider marrying an African if he has a university education, a good paying job and lots of exposure to western culture. I talked to a couple of women who married African men thinking that love will get them through it, but regretted it a couple years later. They were just not compatible culturally and emotionally.

 

Most Africans want to date whites (I am assuming you are white) for status, money and a ride to a developed country. I met men who told me that they will divorce their wives in a heartbeat if I could find them a white wife.

Most of the women I talked to said they wanted to marry me or set them up with one of my friends.

 

It is a similar situation in most developing countries, where there are lots of people with little opportunity to get ahead and see you as a way out. Even if that isn't the case, there are many cultural differences which will make the relationship fail.

 

What do you think your role as a wife will be? What do you think he thinks about your role as a wife?

 

You have to be able to work out these cultural differences ahead of time, instead of just relying on love to solve your problems.

 

The girl I am dating is pretty westernized, so we had things in common culturally and similar expectations on dating and relationships. To me, she is not much different than dating an American girl, so I think it has a chance of working out.

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First off, AIDS in Africa is not a sterotype-it's a reality. Most Western couples get STD tests when they first start sleeping together-get over it & get it done already.

 

Second-what Arsenal said. Do you guys have the same level of education? What do you have in common? How much does his culture influence how he sees women? And sterotyping aside-you are from a 1st world country that most people from a developing country would love to be in. It's like living in the Playboy mansion-I'm not saying a man would only date you for that, but he'd definitely be all "hey-let's hang out at your place"

 

As for your friends & family looking down on the relationship-consider that they do love you & might just be trying to protect you. I think everyone's probably done something stupid/naive while under cupid's influence; the difference is how easy it is to get out of the mess. Quiting jobs, getting visas/work permits, moving countries, learing a new language, trying to find a new job, etc... only to be dumped or cheated on a few months later is a HUGE mess to get out of (I'm not suggesting either of you are unfaithful people, but starting your life over for someone you've only known a few months is a MAJOR risk when new relationships are already risky enough). If either one of you does make the move, make sure you understand the risks & have a serious Plan B & cash for when things go wrong.

 

Is there a good reason why he can't come visit you? I think it would go a long way in making friends & family feel more at ease if they could meet him & make their own judgements. Plus since you've already visited him, isn't it his turn anyway?

 

It can work out in the end, but it's not easy. I am engaged to an African & I'm from the US (we met through a mutal friend at school). We both have advanced degrees & work in the same field, so that helped smooth out most of the differences. He came to the US to meet my family & friends & they fell throughly in love with him-ending all questions & doubts. So yes it can work, but it takes a lot of effort from BOTH parties. I think the best solution is have him come visit for a month.

 

Edit-I forgot to add-Skype is your friend.

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It's a good thing that you are considering the realities of the situation now that you are back and no longer on holiday. Of course it matters a lot that you love him and feel this connection, but feeling that way during a three month holiday-- especially in a foreign country where you had the luxury of not having to worry about "back home" - is different than feeling that way while dealing with day to day life in reality.

 

Also, I don't believe that just because you spend lots of time together over a three month period you can equate that with getting to know someone over a longer period of time, in real life - the better part of a year. Especially since you come from such different backgrounds/cultures, I would suggest that you spend the better part of a year together in a real life context to see if you are compatible. Cetainly, people decide to marry in less than three months time and are very happy together but it is much riskier especially in your situation.

 

And, part of your worry about your family/friends is really your belief that at least some of their concerns are justified -- so I would focus on what your concerns are and whether you truly think that your family/friends are simply wrong.

 

Good luck...

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I agree with everything that has been said above. I don't know if the education level, culture and life style, age are very different, but if they are it is a very high risk, because if you want him to live in Canada he will have to adapt and become a "different" person and therefore the relationship will be diiferent.

Moreover when there is a big "money" difference in any relationship it is a very very high risk, and I also understand the concerns of your family.

I don't know the background of your things in common so this is very general.

I am sure that you are in love with him and that the alternative it is very painful to end the relationship, so that's why it is very complicated situation.

But unfortunately love doesn't conquer all, so I wish you a lot of wisdom, to make the best of the situation and good luck.

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