3 Reasons For Single Veterans To Move Abroad

Veterans want the person we date to match our values and military values and American values are turning into two different things. There seems to be a lack of kindness and reciprocity throughout the dating scene in the United States and that’s leading veterans, both men and women to think their ideal partner, situationship, soulmate or whatever else might be somewhere else.

We’re already international citizens from our military experiences and that leads us to live abroad, travel more and of course, date abroad. Lots of veterans are viewing the dating scene in the U.S. as toxic with the rise of dating apps, hookup culture, and exploding divorce rates. It’s normalized to play games, be combative, and have vague intentions. Dating abroad is more straightforward and people are more obvious with what they’re looking for, no matter what that is. That’s not to say the grass is always greener on the other side, but if you’re single maybe it’s not you, maybe it’s your environment. Or maybe it’s you, I don’t want to rule out that possibility.

John’s Note: I’ve been divorced twice so I don’t know why you’re reading this or why anyone would ever listen to me on relationships lol. But keep reading anyway.

3 Reasons For Single Veterans To Move Abroad

  • Dating abroad is more adventurous. You date in the U.S. sitting down and you date abroad on your feet. It feels more active than passive. Speaking from a male perspective, I don’t really have an interest in getting dressed up for five star dinners for first dates. Veterans would rather have fun with it, go on adventures and do activities. I asked a girl on Tinder back home in Iowa if she wanted to meet for coffee and walk in a park and she said I wasn’t “respecting her value.” Say what?!

  • You can throw your expectations out the window. The last time I was in New York City, I was out with some friends after a show and approached an attractive girl at the bar. I asked if she was single and I could buy her a drink, she gave me a disgusted look and informed me I was too short for her. The month before I had been in Africa out on a date and she said if we ever got married OF COURSE I could have a second wife. Age gaps, differences of race, height, and backgrounds are more common dating internationally. You can be with who makes you happy.

  • Dating is a great way to experience a new place. You can forget taking boring tours, going on dates to see new places is how you’ll get to know somewhere. People are generally eager to show their favorite places, restaurants, and experiences in other countries. They know the ins and outs of their city and often times people like dating foreigners. It feels more exotic and fresh, your dates can always turn into friends if the romance isn’t there. We think of dating apps as only for dating but BumbleBFF and other apps recognize we all want good friends too.

I have no idea if globetrotting increases your chances of true love, but I know it can be fun. For a lot of veterans, American dating has become a disheartening experience with swiping and ghosting. Veterans can sometimes be like toxic relationship magnets in the state when we date people who don’t match our loyalty and values. We get so used to our needs and wants not mattering in the military that we accept it in our dating lives.

Dating in the Dominican Republic Story: The first girl I dated in the DR we went out a few times, took tours, hit the beach, and rode bikes around the colonial zone in Santo Domingo. Eventually, as happens in relationships she spent the night at my apartment. I woke up the next morning and she had cleaned the entire apartment and made me breakfast in bed. I didn’t even know how to react or what to do, it felt like Christmas morning. That wasn’t normal in my previous dating experiences and really stood out to me.

Dating in the US story: I took a girl in New York on one date when I was living there. It happened to be the week before her birthday. I told her I’d like to take her to a show or an event for her birthday and she told me she actually really wanted this bag. Then she sends me a link for a Louis Vuitton bag and I told her “I think you sent the wrong one, this one costs two thousand dollars.” She said “That’s how much it costs, I’d rather have that for my birthday than anything else.” Again, say whaaat?! lol

Pros to Dating Abroad

It can help you gain a new perspective on the world, yourself and can lead to personal growth.

Relationships can have an expiration date (uncomplicated, clean and easy break).

You can date other expats as well as locals.

You can leave your baggage behind and start fresh in a new place where nobody knows you or your ex’s.

Cons to Dating Abroad

You might have to make some big life changes to maintain the relationship. Unless you’re living abroad because those flights aren’t free.

Relationships can have an expiration date (sad break).

Over time language barriers can be frustrating and you can have misunderstandings.

Dating can be overly casual, because being an expat can kind of feel like living in a space between vacation and real life.

John’s Tips

  • Don’t bullshit anyone. If you’re only somewhere for a week, enjoy yourself and be honest. Honesty is always the best principle to operate with and will lead to the best results.
  • Stay in hostels, you’ll meet a lot of travelers that way. They’ll have events and different kinds of living situations, you can get a private room there but if you’re a veteran you’re kind of used to that kind of living.

  • Use dating apps. It’s the new age and Tinder and other apps are all over the world. Some places have more unique are specific apps, like Thailand has Thai-Friendly. Check out my article on Veterans Living Abroad: Thailand. If you’re on Tinder you can use Passport Mode and check out people in other areas.
  • If you’re a veteran, you should know how to take care of yourself. Everyone knows you shouldn’t be taking drinks from strangers or be flashing cash. Just like in the states, there are some areas you shouldn’t be in.
  • If you’re a female veteran: Check out this article 10 Ways to Safely Date Abroad. I think female veterans are more apt to know how to look out for themselves, they’ve got training and they’ve had to deal with military guys so that can kind of prepare you for anything. But men are men no matter where you’re at.
  • Dress down when you’re dating abroad. I know you want to look good but you can leave the expensive watch, jewelry, bag or whatever else at home. Even if you’re wearing a counterfeit Rolex, someone might think it’s real. You might want to dress to impress but just like in the states that can turn you into more of a target.

Dating abroad can come with risks but veterans are risky people. Traveling is one thing you won’t ever regret, check out my article on Travel Therapy For Veterans. I think everyone should solo travel at least once in their lives and date abroad at least once. I grew up in a small town in Iowa and a lot of my friends married girls from the same town, built happy lives together and it’s beautiful to see. But we joined the military, we want thrills, to explore the unknown and to turn our lives into adventures.

I feel like people in the Dominican Republic and Thailand, two countries where I’ve lived feel more approachable. It’s small town vibes where if you smile at someone, they smile back. If you compliment someone, they’re more likely to take it positively. Complimenting girls in the states can be a complicated thing in the modern world. Dating doesn’t feel as judgmental, I remember telling a girl in Boston I don’t own a car and she looked at me like I was homeless. Real love is hard to find anywhere, I wouldn’t say moving abroad is the cure for your dating life but it’s worth a shot.

To me, everything is temporary from the military, to jobs, to relationships, to life itself. That’s why I want to have a good time while I’m still here. I’m hoping to end up in the paradise in the sky but just in case I want to make my life as close to a personal heaven as I can. A lot of our military brothers and sisters aren’t here anymore and we owe it to them to live lives worthy of their sacrifice. I’ll be posting more living abroad content on my Instagram and TikTok.

If you’ve got any dating abroad stories or tips reach out and let me know. If you’re ready to move abroad check out my article 5 Tips For Veterans Moving Abroad. If you need any travel or destination advice, or for any questions hit me up through my Instagram. I respond to all my social media messages and emails, minus the weird things, scams and porn requests.

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