How to Have Great Success with International Dating
Do you know how to find the best matches through international dating? Do you know how to create safeguards to find the best and filter out the deceitful?
On today’s podcast, Coach Jack will help you know to be, and connect with, desirable people for international dating.
After listening to this podcast, you may want to:
- Read an article on how to keep communication going in a long distance relationship.
- Read a book to help you become good bait and find an incredible match.
- Get 5 free lessons to help the opposite sex enjoy talking to you.
Having Great Success with International Dating
[Introduction to the podcast]
Announcer: On the Reconciling Marriages with Coach Jack podcast, Christian psychologist, author, and relationship coach, Dr. Jack Ito, will help you to build and restore your marriage. By learning just a few relationship skills, you can help your spouse enjoy your relationship more, while getting more love and affection from your spouse. Listen to Coach Jack as he helps you with one more step toward a marriage both you and your spouse will love.
[Coach Jack’s presentation begins]
Jack Ito PhD: Are you interested in international dating? I have been doing international dating for many years, or at least I did before I was married, in addition to dating people from the US both near and far, and I would like to help you to have great success with international dating. I think there are many reasons to do that. But there are also some pitfalls to avoid. One good reason to date internationally is if you are having a difficult time finding a good match near where you live. So many people tell me that, “well I can find plenty of people to date, but I just can’t find people like me.” Maybe that’s you. Maybe you’re not part of the mainstream culture, at least the people that you meet, and maybe that person is far, far away. Well, how do you contact them? How do you have success with them? Maybe you’re interested in other countries and cultures and would like to learn more about them through international dating. What better way to get to know a culture than to really become closer at least interact with, and having good times with, somebody from another culture? That you are going to learn so much more than you ever could simply by reading about someplace or watching videos. Travel videos are just not going to give you the same perspective on culture as dating, or having a relationship, or even—even as in my case—getting married to someone from a vastly different culture.
So maybe you want to be able to travel and to meet people you already know when you get there. That’s another good reason to be able to date internationally. In today’s podcast I want to help you to be aware of some pitfalls to avoid so that you can maximize your chances of finding that special someone who will match you for a lifetime. I am a marriage coach after all—not just trying to hook people up for overnight stands. That is not what I do. But among the people that you date, one of those people, if you’re going to get married, one of those people is going to be your future marriage partner. So it is very important to know how to date people who are going to include someone who would be very good for you and someone who you would be very good for. You have to have both of those things in order to have a really good relationship. If they’re really good for you and you’re not really good for them, sooner or later your relationship will end. And the same is true the other way. International dating, like everything else in life is not an area where you should try to reinvent the wheel—thinking that you just can figure out how to do it better than everybody else.
Everything that you want to do in terms of international dating and successfully dating has already been done by other people. As Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun” and we can follow people who have already had success with international dating and international marriages. We can also follow people who did not. It’s really important to make sure you are learning from the right people. A lot of people who did not have success doing something still like to teach other people what not to do and perhaps even talk them out of doing it in the first place. That’s true whether someone is unsuccessful having their own business and they want to talk their friends out of starting their own business or they have had an unsuccessful marriage and they want to talk people out of working on their marriage. It’s also true for people who have been burned in international relationships to talk people out of having international relationships. For sure, a lot of people have had very bad problems in international relationships. But, if you really want to learn something you are going to learn from people who have had success. People who haven’t had success, perhaps they can tell you what not to do. But that is not going to help you know what to do.
You really need both of those things. Usually the successful person has to learn both. They know both what to do and what not to do. I wrote my book Overcome Neediness and Get the Love You Want to help both married people and single people to identify what healthy and unhealthy behaviors they have in relationships and also help identify whether a partner’s behaviors are healthy or unhealthy. If you are interested in international dating, I think this is also a very important thing for you to be able to recognize. There can be some confusion if you are looking at a person’s behavior—whether they are from Pakistan or Russia or Japan or Ireland or wherever. There can be confusion whether that is normal—the way they are behaving (for their culture) or that is something unhealthy about them. The good news in terms of learning to have good relationships is that what is unhealthy in one culture is still unhealthy in the next culture. Just because a person does something that most other people do, does not mean that it’s healthy. So above knowing about the culture, you need to recognize healthy and unhealthy behaviors.
Let me just give you an example of that. Let’s suppose for example, there is a culture where most people are very critical (I’m actually thinking about parts of New York City, but it could well be other places, too). Now that might be a normal thing to do in that area, where that person is from, and going around criticizing people may not have much impact on the social relationships. However, when people are critical in their marriage or in their close relationships, criticism is still going to have the same damage that it’s going to have anywhere and so if you find someone who is very critical and you say, “well, this is part of their culture, so I guess I’ll just put up with it,” it’s not going to be very good because it’s still going to cause the same damage in your relationship. The same is true for them of course.
If you have unhealthy behaviors and you think, “well, that’s just the way people are where I’m from,” and the other person will just have to accept it, well of course you will be able to find other people who will accept those behaviors for the short term, in order to have short term relationships with you. But in the long term they won’t like those behaviors any more than anyone else and those behaviors will do the same damage as they would do in any relationship. We really need to be our best and meet other people who are their best and see if we match up in other ways. That’s how we are going to have a relationship with anyone. Just to tell you a little about my history of dating, I have dated quite a few people both in the United States and in other countries as well. I’m from the USA—I’m from Vermont and have traveled many places and have lived many places in the United States. Currently I live in Georgia with my wife from Japan. Prior to marriage for many years I dated people who were in the United States and overseas. What I was really doing was a couple of things. One, I was just trying to find people that I could have a good time interacting with, that is the fun of dating. For me, dating doesn’t mean finding someone to have sex and that’s the goal. I think many people now think of dating that way.
When I grew up things were a little different. Admittedly that was a while ago. And when I talk about dating I’m really talking just about going out with someone to do something—maybe dinner, maybe playing miniature golf (I did that a lot) and just see how it goes between you two. And, if you enjoy interacting with each other, then you would go out with each other again and maybe your relationship would continue to grow closer. And that’s how relationships were started. It was not at that, you know, you just find somebody on the Internet, hook up with them within two hours and your off and running in a relationship or having sex. That is not at all what I mean by “dating.” Although it possible to do that, it’s kind of a recreational activity. It’s not gonna fit any kind of Christian principles and eventually it’s going to be very dissatisfying not to have people who truly care about you, the way you are, and who love you for the way you are.
If you want to have a relationship where you really feel love, then you’re going to have to take your time to find somebody who is a really good match for you. And that requires dating people who are good prospects to begin with. So, as I say in my book on overcoming neediness, I think one of the best ways to make sure you find somebody who matches you is to, is to just keep dating people until you find somebody who matches you so well that you don’t think you could find a better match. In fact, you had enough experience to find out for sure this person matches you very, very well. That’s really important for predicting marriage success, because in order to have a successful marriage, we have to not only match in the beginning—we have to maintain that match or our relationship will fall apart—will lose the emotional connection.
The first step to dating internationally is the same for dating people who live in the same town or city as you, and that is to become the best bait you possibly can for the kind of person you would really like to meet or be with. Generally, this means to become as successful as you can. Success, I know, has many nuances, but whatever you decide success means you need to be successful in that as well as you possibly can and you need to be as attractive as you possibly can. What is attraction? Attraction, many people just take as physical appearance. Physical appearance is part of being good bait—the more physically attractive you are, the more people you are going to be able to initially attract simply based on appearance. That initial attraction based on appearance is not going to be maintained though, if you don’t have other features that also make you attractive. So, even if you are competing with someone else who is more physically attractive than you, you can still have better success in dating than they can, if you have more attractive features. More features that makes that person want to be with you. They are going to get more initial dates than you based on attractiveness, but you will be able to have more people interested in maintaining relationships, continuing to see you.
If someone goes out with a very physically attractive person and that person has very bad interpersonal skills, or really is a bad match for them, then they’re not going to be so attractive for that second date no matter how physically attractive they were for the first date. This should be a very big clue for you that if you want to date people repeatedly—I mean not just one time, then you have to not only attract them enough that they want to go out with you in the first place, but you also need to maintain that attraction in order for them to continue to want to go out with you and develop a relationship. The same thing is true in marriage. Many times, when we get married, we do a good job of being attractive before we get married, but then after that stop doing all the things that attracted our spouses in the first place. When we do that, quite naturally our spouses stop being attracted to us and that really impacts negatively how much love they feel for us. When I help people to rebuild relationships very often what we need to do is to help that person to get back to doing many of the things that they initially did that their spouse found attractive. And when people leave a relationship in order to be in another relationship, most of the time, they are attracted to someone else who is very similar to how their ex was at the beginning of their relationship.
What attracts people tends to be consistent over a very long period of time. People in other countries are not all the same, just as they’re not wherever you live now. If you are an attractive person, both in appearance and successfulness, then you are going to basically attract everyone who is open to having a relationship. Most of the people you attract will be needy, unattractive people, with poor relationship skills. You’re also going to attract people who would like to manipulate you and use you for selfish purposes other than a relationship. And, if you are successful and attractive—meaning you’re the kind of person they would really like to be with—you also will attract others who are attractive and successful and secure. You will attract all three groups of people. If you were just randomly going to choose one of these people, there is a very good chance that you will end up with someone who is really not a good match for you. We are going to have date people who are interested us and who seem like a good match at the beginning, in order to find out which of these groups that person is in. Are they in the needy, unattractive, insecure group? Are they a manipulator? Or are they a secure and attractive person who is a good match for us? This is one of the reasons we need to be dating many, having relationships with few, and committing to one person for the rest of our lives.
On the other hand, if you are not good bait, if you don’t make yourself an attractive person who is appealing to others in appearance and the way that you behave and your successfulness, then you still will attract some. You are not going to be attracting the successful and secure, but you will attract the needy people who have not been able to do better for themselves and you also will attract the manipulators who want to be in a relationship with you for some selfish reason such as sexual gratification just for themselves, or getting your money, or getting their green card or visa, to be able to work in your country or something like that. Let’s suppose, on the other hand, that you don’t become very successful or attractive—or at least as attractive and successful as you can become, but you are able to make a very good first impression. Well certainly you would appear to be good bait. The problem is it would be hard to continue a relationship with a secure and attractive person because you would soon be found out to be not quite measuring up to what you seemed to be at first. Some people continually have this problem because they are very good at fishing for people but not so good at keeping people. Other people have the opposite problem where they actually are very good people to have relationships with, but they don’t know how to be good initial bait and so have a hard time getting those initial dates.
It’s key for you to work on whatever skill you need most, whether it’s that first one or the second or both. The same thing is true when you are working on rebuilding a relationship with your spouse, if you are married. My next recommendation for dating internationally is to stay off of dating sites. Looking for quality on a dating site is like looking for treasures in an antique store. Most of the stuff will be junk. Instead, connect with people based on matching interests and it will also give you a natural way to interact with them. For example, I met my wife, who is from Japan, in a language exchange program. She was learning English and I was learning Japanese. This was a natural common interest and that led to more and more interaction and we found out that we actually had many things in common and desired to meet together after that. Most of the people that I met through this language exchange program were actually fishing for relationship partners, even though it wasn’t a dating site. Many people from foreign countries are going to be looking to date you simply because they want something from you. Many people from foreign countries will be looking to have a relationship with you, many of which are in the manipulative, selfish, deception kind of category and you need to be very wise not to just be sucked into good words, get into relationships quickly or anything like that. I helped to prevent that kind of situation by actually eliminating from my contact any people, especially women, who appeared to be interested in language exchange with me mainly because they seemed interested in dating me. That became very apparent because of the way that they were talking. That is another benefit of connecting around interests. Anybody who immediately shows interest in you rather than in the interest that you are involved in is someone to be cautious about.
You can connect around any interest that you have. If you have no interest in another country or culture, then I don’t recommend you date internationally as that requires both openness to new things and an interest in doing so. Nowadays it’s easier than ever to connect with people with similar interests, whether it be farming, outdoor activities, food, music, you name it. If you don’t know how to connect with people with similar interests and all you know how to do is to connect with people on dating sites who are already looking for dates then it would be worth your time to learn from a coach how to connect with people outside of a dating site. That’s also going to include key skills for making friends. Most people don’t go on to dating sites to make friends. So while you are connecting with others online and/or traveling and visiting people, be sure to continue dating at home. It’s really important to be dating multiple people before you get yourself into a committed relationship. Once you are in a committed relationship, you are not going to be dating anyone else and so that would exclude yourself from continuing to meet other people who might be really good matches for you—in terms of relationships.
So you want to really make sure you have a good match before you commit to a more serious relationship. And then you will be exploring whether that person continues to be a good match to you or whether you drop back to a less committed level and continue your search for someone who is more similar to you. There is nothing wrong with going back and forth between that level of commitment and a lesser level of commitment. There is nothing wrong with becoming committed to someone (I’m not talking about marriage, I’m talking about dating), become committed to only date that person and then once you discover that you really are not a good match, breaking the commitment and going back to the search for someone who is more similar to you. That is not being unfaithful. It would be unfaithful if you don’t tell them about it and you just start dating other people. But when you let others know that, “hey we don’t seem to be such a great match after all, but I really appreciate the time that we’ve spent together,” of course they would be disappointed or upset in some way. Or they might be in complete agreement with you. But it’s really important to do that as soon as you recognize this person would not work out for a long-term relationship, just so that you don’t waste a lot of time that you could be using to meet the right person for you. One thing that is really sad to me is when people find the wrong partner and then they just try to make that work. That usually relates in a relationship which is very dissatisfying for both people for a very long time, until the relationship comes to an end. It is possible to keep such a marriage going, but it is a lot of work and requires a lot of change to come to match the other person better.
So back to my wife and I. We are a good match. We’re both secure. We’re successful. We’re very similar. And we have a great relationship. My mindset is that I can’t imagine after all these years of being married to her, I can’t imagine that I could ever find a better match for myself. Just imagine what would’ve happened if each of us had settled for one of the first few people that we had dated. Then we never would have found each other. I had to date very many women and she dated even more men before we could find people that we considered to be the best matches for ourselves. And we still consider ourselves to be great matches. Also, if I hadn’t dated internationally, we never would’ve found each other in the first place. So you can see that I am in favor of such dating, but you will also see that it requires more security and a lot more time to develop relationships because it usually takes much longer to get to know each other in person. Knowing each other through email, texting, any kind of online chatting, is not really knowing each other. It is just too easy to not be our real selves when we have very limited contact. Don’t be the fool who connects with one person internationally, falls in love without meeting that person, gets engaged to be married, and then after that meets them for the first time. That is a recipe for disaster. It is even more of a recipe for disaster than people who do that locally because there is a lot more expense and legal hassle involved. Your best match, and there is no perfect match, may not be found locally or even in this country but make sure that you become a person of quality before you seek a person of quality.
Don’t hesitate to work on your attractiveness as a person and as a romantic interest even if you need to hire a coach. Your quality, your quality will determine the quality of the person that you can attract, and the quality of the person that you will be able to keep. If you need help on becoming more secure, I recommend you start with my book Overcome Neediness and Get the Love You Want. If you need help with connection skills, once you get the relationship going I have a free download for both men and women with five lessons to help the other person to enjoy talking with you. That is a very good way to start a relationship, so that you can at least get the chance to get to know each other better.
Thank you for listening today. I wish you all the best in your relationship. If I can be of any help to you, please let me know.
Announcer: Thank you for listening to Reconciling Marriages with Coach Jack. Visit coachjackito.com to learn more skills for reconnecting with your spouse and restoring your marriage.