In the summer of 2016, I was burnt out from two years of OKCupid dates that didn’t go anywhere and decided to quit dating apps. I figured I’d just embrace being single for a while. Of course, that’s when I met my partner — but not where I expected. Rather than one of the NYC bars or cafes I frequented, I met him at the club Amnesia’s opening party in Ibiza, Spain. Because he lived on the other side of the world in Dortmund, Germany, I figured he was a one-night stand and nothing more. But as we grew closer over the course of the trip, I began to see us as star-crossed lovers instead.
On the plane ride back, it occurred to me that maybe living in different countries didn’t have to be a dealbreaker. I’d already tried for long enough to find someone near me, after all. This is an approach that dating coach Julie Spira recommends her clients take. "I think that singles have to cast a wide net when it comes to love," she tells Bustle. "There shouldn't be any barriers. If you're only hoping to meet somebody who lives in your neighborhood, you're really leaving the opportunity for deep love on the table."
So, I sent him an email confessing all my emotions. “I have some feelings for you,” he replied. He came to visit me the following month. I'd already been wanting to become a digital nomad, someone who travels the world while working remotely, and our relationship inspired me to take the plunge. This allowed me to spend a few months at a time living with him in Germany. It's the first place I went when I left New York.
Through our relationship, I’ve gotten much more than I expected when I was dating on OKCupid. Not only did I get a significant other; I got to experience another place and culture. Here are some things I wish I’d known about dating someone abroad that might benefit you if you're considering it.