Why International Relationships Fail and How to Prevent It

A photo of a women leaning on a man’s shoulder
From afar, international relationships seem like fairy tales. However, they might be far from it.

Maya Angelou once said: "Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope."

But how much truth is in this?

Does love truly perceive no borders, even in a romantic relationship where partners have more differences than similarities?

International relationships are a little like a fairy tale. Two extremely different people who live thousands of miles apart end up meeting and falling in love either by chance or possibly fate.

These relationships demonstrate that you don’t have to be identical to fall in love. They’re romantic, thrilling, and meeting someone you wouldn’t have imagined to be with gives you a sense of amazement.

Yet, everything isn’t perfect

Life is a gigantic rollercoaster.

You can’t expect everything to be perfect all of the time. We all experience sadness and hardship from time to time. This is equally true when it comes to international relationships. They aren’t always a paradise for people finding real love. Because, along with the joy, they carry with them challenges that many couples are unprepared to confront.

Many challenges might arise in this type of relationship – from the couple’s distinct upbringings to their possibly conflicting personalities. So, what are these problems and how may love overcome them?

A photo of hands on a table.
Cultural differences may seem insignificant, but they have a huge impact on relationships.

Cultural Disparities

The tiniest differences can often cause the most serious problems.

For example, you might not consider marriage until you’ve been together for several years. However, because of her different values, your partner may want to marry as early as three months into the relationship.

This disparity will lead to misunderstandings, which can lead to conflict, and to both of you giving the cold shoulder. Worse, it might lead to a breakup.

That’s something you don’t want to happen.

So, how do you reconcile such a situation, and avoid a breakup because of it?

These are the times when you need to sit down and discuss. Talk about what matters to each of you and figure out a way to meet in the middle.

Relationships require communication, not everything can be a guessing game. Your beliefs are Western. Hers, on the other hand, aren’t. When it comes to cultural differences, being open to each other and keeping an open mind about everything is the greatest approach to settle conflicts.

Be interested in everything, as if you’re a child discovering the world for the first time. Accept even the strangest and most unique things for what they are. It will be challenging, especially because we are no longer children and have long been subjected to prejudice, but it is worthwhile to put out the effort and be accepting.

Family Relationships

Some cultures prioritize family relationships more than others. They prefer to keep their family close and take their opinions into account while making life decisions. Others, on the other hand, prefer independence and growing up apart from their family.

For international couples, a difference of opinion on this might be a major issue.

For someone who isn’t used to it, having a partner’s family involved in every choice and seriously considering their thoughts on things may be tiresome.

A photo of a woman whispering to another woman
It’s unavoidable that people are still very prejudiced about foreign love.

The Misconception of Society

One of the most significant challenges that international couples encounter is society’s perceptions of them. Even if these couples appear to be popular and mainstream, a part of society will continue to be prejudiced against them.

You may encounter harsh remarks, looks, and whispers as an international couple, all of which derive from unfavorable assumptions about foreign couples and relationships.

How to go beyond these?

With all of these concerns, it’s simple to provide advice that centers around the idea of "don’t worry about what other people think," but it’s easier said than done.

No matter how hard we try to avoid caring about what others say or think, it may still be stressful at times. It’s as though you’re up against the world.

Should you then give up on love in return for peace and the avoidance of these problems? Or do you want to fight together and get through them? Choose the latter without a doubt, indisputably, and without hesitation if you genuinely love each other.

In order for you to have a healthy relationship, both parties must contribute. There must be an exchange of feelings, and discuss the concerns with your partner and:

  • Educate each other about any traditions or beliefs that you believe may have an impact on your relationship.

  • Establish your expectations and priorities early on in the relationship.

  • Set limits and boundaries, especially when it comes to issues that your family will need to be involved in.

  • Discuss any unfavorable stereotypes or prejudices you may encounter as a couple when visiting your partner’s country.

You won’t be able to avoid all of these potential difficulties, but at least you’ll be able to face them together and share the weight. And these problems won’t be as taxing in the long run since you’ve learnt to rely on one another.

Relationships fail for a variety of reasons, including cultural differences, society, and so on. But a couple’s incapacity to relate and sympathize with one another is a telling sign of unhealthy relationships and can also be a reason why couples breakup.

Have a goal in mind

Apart from communicating with each other, there is another great survival hack for international couples in overcoming all of these difficulties and preventing breakups.

It is also necessary for you to have a goal in mind.

Maybe it’s the desire to marry them and have a long term relationship with them. Alternatively, you may assume they are a keeper and find it difficult to let her go.

Either way, it’s important to write down what you intend to accomplish. So, no matter how difficult things become, the notion of giving up on her and the relationship will never be appealing.

When compared to most relationships, international connections are more difficult. However, this does not imply that you may easily abandon it.

You must approach this connection with determination. And with a little work on both sides, you have a good chance of winning. No matter how much it feels like you’re up against the world, effort and determination – these signs of a healthy relationship – will give you a chance to overcome and win.