The dating topic is probably one of the most interesting ones when you are an expat. We all know that the realities of dating abroad are more difficult than they might seem, and on top of that the COVID-19 situation does not help. So, if you are fully experiencing these right now, this article is for you!
In this first article we will talk about the 1st type: An expat moving abroad single and alone. This one is probably one of the most common cases!
To date or not to date, that’s the question!
You are having fun and you love your new adopted city, your friends, your work, and your lifestyle. But, at the same time, you see your friends back home getting engaged, moving together, having kids, while you just picture yourself at the bar with a bunch of friends sipping your 3rd Margarita. (ok that was before COVID but it works as well with your friends at home) 😉 You are now facing the loneliness feeling as you start wondering about your situation. And it’s a NORMAL feeling, don’t worry!
So you might start using some dating apps such as Bumble, Tinder, Hinge.. or by coming to our networking events Apéros Frenchies hoping to have a crush on someone! (Yes we know!)
And it happens! Sometimes it comes fast, sometimes it takes time. But the struggle goes on when this person is from another country especially.. your crush doesn’t have the same “dating language” as you… and C’est la catastrophe!
Perhaps, we learn at school how to speak another foreign language but we don’t’ learn how to speak another foreign heart language! And especially this lockdown situation pretty much everywhere, it doesn’t make things easier, since restaurants and bars are closed!
“How does it work? Do we have to meet for dinner or an ice cream? Do we have to play it fancy or cool? Should we invite them to our place?“
Bref, so many questions that nobody really knows how to answer but that we all ask ourselves before even trying out the relationship!
After a few texts you will more or less understand what your crush is feeling! She/He wants to meet you at her/his place but you don’t feel confident enough, just say it and offer him/her to grab a take away coffee downtown.
Another situation: you feel like inviting him/ her to your place and this other person sounds up for it. Parfait! As a french person I would obviously advise to have some good wine in your cellar/fridge 😉 But also.. to prepare a casual nice dinner sans pretention. In case the date goes well! For example, try HelloFresh :You pick in advance which menu you want to receive depending on what you like .. and they deliver all the ingredients + recipe at your place! It’s perfect when you are in a rush or if there is a curfew! 😉
If you are freaking out to meet with this person alone, and you prefer to be in your comfort zone with friends, what about inviting this person for some drinks in a park with your friends, or do some hiking somewhere with them too? Honestly possibilities are limited right now but there are still some! If it goes well, you‘ll feel safer and better to meet in person the next time, plus you may get your friends’ approval (which is not THE most important, but still, it matters!) If it goes wrong, it would be just a funny memory you’ll talk about with your friends in the future! 😉
In conclusion, follow your instinct, go with the flow and don’t pretend to be someone you are not just because you’re afraid they don’t like you. One day they will figure it out anyway! Good luck!
The expat blues are probably at the epicenter of peoples worries when moving abroad. However, at least in our opinion, this is still seen as a taboo that nobody really wants to bring up. As usual, Apéros Frenchies has your back! today, I decided to share some top tips with you guys based on my experience regarding this incredible but also not easy journey of being an expat. Hopefully these tips to handles those expat blues will help you to get through this difficult time!
We often move to a new country by ourselves and most often for a job opportunity. We say goodbye to our family, our friends and we jump into a new adventure not knowing exactly how long it will last. But keep in mind that this is an exciting feeling and that’s the reason why we are doing it after all, embrace the adventure and keep in mind that expat blues is part of the journey!
1 – Open your heart to a new relationship
Have you ever noticed that people are usually more open minded in your new adopted country than back home? The expat syndrome is contagious!
When we live abroad, we usually leave everyone behind and start a new life. We don’t have our family, our best mates or ex classmates to hang out with anymore. It’s hard to socialise and make real connections. So, if you don’t take this opportunity to open your heart to unknown people, you can possibly end up by yourself at home feeling this expat blues. (And this is probably not what you are looking for! 😉
Why not go for some drinks with your colleagues afterwork and take this opportunity to build relationships. You can break the ice by asking some simple questions such as if they already lived abroad or moved to another city. It helps to break the ice and maybe you will find some common points to chat about. The main thing is that you put yourself out there and make an effort, trust me, you won’t regret it! Who knows, maybe you will meet your best mate or long-time partner in the process 🙂
2 – Try to socialise as much as possible
Yes, I know, it’s easy to say and especially during this lockdown time where we’d rather be tucked up and cosy at home.. but don’t be lazy, take this chance and remember that we always meet people for a reason! Why not ask this easy-going friend to go for a walk / run or to grab a coffee outside and tell him/her to bring a friend or two?
Never underestimate this spontaneous catch up, because sometimes that is how you make the best – unexpected – connections! By the way, we often say in French “Les amis de mes amis sont mes amis” (My friends’ friends are my friends). Get it?
3 – Use social networks
I have seen many times in the different countries/cities I have livedin, people posting in expat groups asking to meet new friends. It takes courage to do it, but I am pretty sure that most of them met some cool people to hang out with or good friends, you have nothing to lose!
Don’t be ashamed to ask, there is absolutely no shame in this! we all went through it and most people would appreciate it because they are probably feeling the same way but are too afraid to take the initiative!
Even though I personally don’t use Facebook that much anymore it is a great network to share these kind of experiences and to join expat groups in your new city (or just our Apéros Frenchies’ page 😉 )
4 – Exercise the language part of your brain!
What’s worse than living in a country where we don’t speak the language? Living in our bubble doesn’t help much either when trying to integrate! Although some languages can be more attractive than others, you really have to force yourself to learn. Believe me, I’ve been living in Germany long enough without speaking German to understand the struggle. 😉 It took me almost 3 years to start pushing myself to learn. I personally used an online platform : Babbel and I would recommend it to everyone. It’s easy, playful, and best of all, at your fingertips, online! It really helped me to warm to German and broke down lots of barriers to the language! ;’)
5 – Organise small events at home
Due to the pandemic, the restrictions are different depending on the country you live in. However, if we cannot meet in restaurants or bars, generally you are still allowed to invite friends over (check the restrictions regarding your country).
I realized that despite this lack of social life/ crazy nights, we’ve been forced to focus on what’s real and it is important. Yes, Friday night fever is cool but what about a nice diner and good wine at home with great people? You can have some good chats, and even learn new things about your friends, such as musical ability!
For instance, it might be a nice idea to prepare a special dish from your country so that your friends can also try something new, this is the core of expat life and experience! Friends are always happy to discover new cultures! Also, don’t hesitate to check out our article Apéro at Home – Plan the Perfect Apéro! If, you are running out of time, we definitely advise you to have a look at this website! HelloFresh delivers great recipes and fresh ingredients to your home each week!
Don’t worry, if cooking is not one of your best skills, you can still order food from your local restaurant using the handy app and keep it easy!
Anyway, use this opportunity to ask friends about their feelings and how they handle their expat blues. You’d be surprised when you ask this question that you won’t be the only one who has mixed feelings! 😉
6 – Zoom Apéro from Apéros Frenchies
You probably know about us because you’ve been to our networking events, right? Or maybe someone told you to come! I will soon talk soon about the reasons that drove me to build Apéros Frenchies and organise those events. However, unfortunately, we cannot organise events right now but some of you asked us about some digital Apéros to connect all of you guys!
We have already done it a few times and we had a lot of fun! Let us know it is something you would like to do again!
BONUS Treat yourself! (One of my personal favourites)
Who said we couldn’t buy happiness? It’s true that happiness does not comprise of an online order, but it can contribute! (Raise your hand if you agree!)
By the way, maybe you already checked it out before, but we have also written an article about our favourite products to buy especially tailored to a busy expat lifestyle!
Also, if like me, you crave delicious French chocolate, I can give you a tip, you can definitely buy a bit of happiness here! (That’s my personal secret but don’t shout it too loud!)
That’s it for today guys! I hope I helped you a bit regarding your expat journey with these top tips to handle these expat blues. Please, don’t hesitate to comment on our Facebook post if you have other ideas to share or would like to find out more and don’t forget to follow our Instagram page too!
Remember: You mum always told you “don’t talk to strangers!” ? BREAK THE RULES!
Tired of not traveling and can’t bare to spend one more weekend in your city? It’s time to explore the country, guys! Discover Cologne from a new perspective. Experience the city from an URBAN LOFT point of view, entailing art, food, drink, music, and most of all, fun!
A few weeks ago, we were traveling around Cologne. We were curious to discover this new design & young concept from Amaron group: Urban Loft Cologne. Co-working space by day, hotel by night, it is located just few minutes away from the central station, which is perfect when you arrive by train it also offers all the facilities to visit the city.
With young friendly and really welcoming staff, we felt at home as soon as we arrived!
Art connoisseur? You would love their exhibitions from the bottom to the top! Every room is meticulously decorated with paintwork from local and international artists.
Rooftop lovers? Have a drink and relax on the terrace. Don’t take our word for it, experience it yourself.
Sports addict? Don’t worry, this place have a nice, furnished gym where you can work out at anytime and detox from the previous night out 😉
As we say “après l’effort le réconfort” make sure you enjoy the unconventional breakfast to kick off a new adventurous day in Cologne.
NB: All the products served or offered at this hotel, are eco and made locally in Cologne!
Book your trip to Urban Loft Cologne with Trainline and save time and money!
Cocktails lovers? Check out the Little Link, a speakeasy cocktail bar which appeals greatly to mixologist buffs.Delicious drinks, tranquille atmosphere & efficient bartenders!
Urban flair, tasty cocktails, panoramic views over the Alps. Munich’s rooftop bars provide the perfect location for your summer nights out. We’ve put together the best rooftop locations for your summer in Munich!
The Terrace is located at the top of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This bar has a great atmosphere and is one of Munich’s best-kept secrets for asian inspired al fresco dining and sipping on cocktails. Guests are accompanied by a stunning view of Munich, including the twin domes of the Munich Cathedral and the sunset over the Alpine horizon. Does it get much better?
The Goldene Bar creates unique cocktails that are made just for you. Of course, you can order from the standard menu, but why not tell them your favourite (and worst) flavours, and be pleasantly surprised with what the talented bartenders rustle up!
Located behind the Haus der Kunst, and the Englischer Garten, the terrace and stays sunny until late, and the beautiful sunset will go down nicely with your new favourite cocktail.
Oh, and if you need another good reason to come, this place is a meeting spot of the Eisbach-surfers …need we more? 😉
Flushing Medows is one of the best hidden rooftops in Munich. The vintage interior of this cosy rooftop bar invites you to relax and chill out with friends while being served the finest creation of cocktails. It’s a great place to enjoy the view over the city in the evenings!
The café Vorhoelzer is located at the top of the the architecture faculty of the Technische Universität München, and offers a view over the Pinacoteca museums. The entry is quite tricky to find, but hey, it’s a somewhat secret location for students! Perhaps you’ll make new friends whilst finding your there. Oh, and if you get hungry, feel free to order something to eat too!
This summer-pop-up bar is located on the roof of the Alpina Parking House, not far from the main train station. Kulturdachgarten is a great example of green city projects: The entire bar, seats and decoration are made from recycled materials.
If you’re hungry after a long day of work, taste the Indian vegetarian meals – they’re delicious.