Relationships

Entering into a relationship should be approached with the same precautions as at home. It can be very tempting to be charmed by the idea of a once-in-a-lifetime foreign romance, but you should consider all relationships carefully, particularly when you are overseas. There are cultural values and rules regarding dating and relationships, and the relationship norms to which you have become accustomed may no longer be the norm. Differences in solicitation, dating, and what exactly constitutes a relationship will not be as apparent as they are in your home culture. While cultural sensitivity is a necessary part of adapting to your host culture, if you ever feel that your personal safety is threatened, it is okay to put aside your cultural sensitivity long enough to remove yourself from any uncomfortable situation in which you might find yourself. In a cross-cultural relationship, it is also okay to share your own standards of safe sex and discretion with your partner. Proceed cautiously, realizing that you are in the country for only a short period of time.