Relationships are never a smooth road. They have their ups and downs. These challenges are exacerbated when you are in a relationship with a foreigner.
Recently, desis came together to talk about their experiences of dating and being in a relationship with foreigners. Some answers will make you go aww. While some bring out the hard work involved in keeping a relationship intact.
1. “I am a South Indian (Tamilian) — married to an Italian American! It all started with a very genuine friendship as he was the only person I knew in a foreign land! Our interactions were mostly around food, and our endless discussions about the way we were brought up, our culture, and family traditions – were always enlightening to both of us. Behind all the differences — without our knowledge was a deep love and understanding that was growing between us beyond our control…We recently got married in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, where I grew up. My husband’s family and friends (~30 Americans) came down for the wedding!…They say love has no “bounds” — I experience it every day! <3” – Amritha Lakshmi
2. “When I was growing up in India, if you had told me that I would someday be married to an American woman, I would have called you crazy… I came to the US for a master’s degree in community planning…My now-wife Anna was then finishing her graduate program in community planning…Over the four years that we dated, we talked things out with both of our families, and finally, both set of parents agreed to the marriage. They Skyped each other and “arranged” the marriage – time, date, location, who will attend, etc. Everyone agreed to two weddings – an Indian one in Gwalior which happened first, and then an American one in Cincinnati which would be the “legal” wedding…But all the cultural differences have been worth it since now we have such a beautiful life together. There are always bumps in the road, but I’m glad that I have the right person to go down the road with me.” – Tarun Jaiswal
3. “I dated an Italian on campus at IIMA. She was an exchange student from Bocconi, Milan. I was in my first year at IIM. We met through strange coincidence and bonded more in one of the dorm parties. She asked me to join her on one of her trips to Jaisalmer…She was kind and compassionate. I don’t know why she liked me out of the all people who liked her on campus..I still remember her in tears when she left campus with a long letter she had written to me. We both knew that we had to move on, but I still cherish the time I spent with Martina.” – Mathivathan Vhallatharasu
4. “I am from South India (Hyderabad). As many troves of kids do, I came here for my studies…In the most boring way I met my now-wife. This gorgeous looking South East Asian American girl struggling with something on her computer. I mustered the courage to ask her does she need help in figuring it out. Turns out my JAVA scripting skills helped her. Fast forward now 18 years later, we are husband- wife with a 13-year-old boy who is a rock star in his own world. Life was not this smooth. There were disagreements on culture (She is Latin-American and I am, as you know “South” Indian). Her parents did not like me and my parents were no less.” – Sunder Chitturi
5. “We met in a nightclub during a party in Melbourne. We instantly felt a connection and spent the rest of the party together. After that party, we went for a second date within a few days. And then in a few months, we became serious about each other and moved in together in Melbourne… Since then, we have been living together and with each passing day, our love and relationship is getting stronger… one of the greatest advantages of being with an Italian man is that he can cook some delicious food (yummy pizza, pasta, etc).” – Sreetama Nayek
6. “Yes I am a normal guy and obviously I don’t look smart. But I dated a supermodel (she was, once, in the top 50 beautiful females in the world in a famous French magazine). I was in a live-in relationship. She is a French Jew, and now in Hollywood. Due to the difference in our thoughts, we mutually decided to separate. We are good friends now. But damn, the relationship was super intense.” – Honey Singh
7. “I am married to an amazing Vietnamese girl.” – Sid Goyal
8. “We were 22 and 24 year old kids when we met in the middle of Pennsylvania – a white American girl from New York City and a Maharashtrian boy from Bombay, India. The two of us were brought up in two different societies half way around the world in much different cultures and in much different lifestyles. Our parents tried to convince us that given the difference in our backgrounds, our life together would be quite difficult! But we were ready to take on the world. We did not relent. I decided I would get a job and live in the US. We got married about three years after we had met and celebrated our 40th anniversary this past summer.” – Anil P. Lingras
9. “He’s French and I’m Tamilian and we met in my college in 2011. Hailing from a catholic family, I spent 23 years in Chennai with my family. Initially, we saw each other for six months and fell in love by the fourth month. He then left for France and then, we stayed in a long-distance relationship until December 2016 , when we eventually got married. The best part of it was that my parents knew all the while when we were in a relationship and I wouldn’t wish for better parents than mine. My family stayed with me at tough times, even when my college was against us.” – Catherine Francis
10. “It’s been more than 3 years since we got together. These have been the best years of my life. I joined a publishing company in 2012 and was so happy to work for an MNC. I had no idea how my life was about to change. She moved from Boston to New Delhi where I was working. I saw her for the first time and developed a huge crush on her the moment I saw her… Finally, I somehow gathered the courage to go talk to her. She was in the smoking-room alone. I went and said “Hi”. She responded, “Finally! You got courage to come and say hi to me” and we laughed.” – Nitesh Sharma
11. “I have been living abroad since 2007 when I went to France for my MS studies. Since then I have moved from one country to another…The lady whom I got hooked to was a Russian Lady from Moscow. She had something which I didn’t find in any one else. We have a huge age difference (10 years) and she was previously in a bad marriage. I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight but it was something very beautiful…During our initial days it was challenging, I must say, due to our different way of expressions. On top of that, she was not very fluent in English. I am a very loud guy whereas she is very shy and quiet…For both of us, this long-distance, cross-continent love affair has been really exhausting, frustrating, some times pushed us towards “emotional breakdown” and so on. So many times we have fought and I told myself it’s over but somehow this relationship didn’t get over.” – Sougata Pal
12. “I study in Shanghai, China. So I meet a lot of people from so many different countries. But one guy caught my eye in a very special way. I didn’t see him in person. He wrote an article about someone in Chinese and our teacher was narrating us the same article. Till this day I don’t know what was in the article because I was sitting there and was just staring at his picture. If I would have listened, I would have found out that he was from Turkmenistan. Anyways cut to the chase, he was a nice guy, liked Indian movies, a big fan of Madhuri Dixit (who isn’t?). I asked him out and he said yes. It’s almost been 2 years and I have never complained even though sometimes language is an issue but we have overcome it together.” – Umar Mukthar
13. “Around 15 years ago, when I was in my early twenties, a shy, timid girl, I went to U.S for post graduation. I was a fish out of water there…However, everything changed when I happened to take off by myself to explore the countryside one Sunday afternoon. That was when I met Jake. Jake was the embodiment of everything that would make my father clutch his chest. He was Christian, loves rap music and is black. He was in my university and had apparently noticed me and decided to tag along for the next couple of days- to the library, to coffee shops, and to my apartment. Needless to say, we began seeing each other…I was head over heels in love with him- so much that we considered marrying. Nonetheless, the crazy, stupid, love didn’t have much life. A few months later, there was a brawl in a nearby dollar store. Unfortunately, Jake was there. He died. Three bullets and his ever smiling face was lost for me.” – Nandini Prakash Menon
14. “When I was working in Canada a long time ago, I dated a Chinese woman from Hong Kong. It started with casual dance lessons together and later short coffee dates. God, we’re both lonely and liked to chat utter gibberish about the weather, local events, our histories, clothes, and whatnot. Everything except Indo-China rivalry…Our backgrounds were vastly different, and so were our intended destinies. We bid tearful goodbyes when I had to return to India and start working here. She was heartbroken, but I couldn’t help that. I wonder if we had a future and what if I had stayed back.” – Ashish Shenoi
15. “Dutch: We met a few years back and had a long-distance relationship for about a year and a half…We decided to take the leap, she moved to India. We were living together for a while before we decided to get married. Now we have an awesome 1-year-old daughter. I am so glad that we decided to take that chance and it all worked out for us.” – randombloke
16. “Dated a couple of white European girls. Then met an Australian girl who was volunteering in India. We lived in together for 3 years and now married to her. Best decision of my life. As long as you both are compatible rest can be worked out.” – Brownboypower
17. “I had a German ex. It ended because she had a troubled childhood. She was sexually abused by her own mother. We still remain best friends, however.” – neurothym
18. “I am based out of Berlin and am in a live-in relationship with a German girl for the last 7 years. We started of as friends with benefits, then dating to finally moving in. Finding apartments in India as an unmarried couple was a struggle. There were a lot of uncertainities with regards to resident permit for her when she was in India, and for me when I was in Germany…Next year we will get married in India. My would be wife loves India, has lived in India, her day starts drinking chai, knows more about Bollywood updates, has turned vegetarian, is learning Hindi for the last three years, does yoga everyday, and goes for Bollywood dance classes here in Germany. I, on the other hand, have become more Germanized…It was worth the wait and the sacrifices.” – wildradical
These answers make us realize that love knows no borders.