If dating and relationships are already difficult, try a language barrier. How do you explain your tastes, likes, dislikes, personality traits, history and make sure you understand theirs as well in a language you feel, at times, completely lost in? How do you make sure that something they said and the tone they said it in means exactly what you think it means? How do you make up for miscommunication? How do you control the frustration when they look at you with a blank stare and say, “huh” when you are trying to express yourself?
It is as simple as… patience (ha! We all know mine has been extremely tested since I moved to Paris).
These past couple of weeks I have found myself dating someone in a complete, foreign language. Trust me, I have done my few shares of dates here in Paris (thank you Tinder and OkCupid), but on those dates, the other always knew English. With this one, he can not speak much English and I can somewhat express myself in French. For some reason, we are somehow making it work.
The first phrase I ever said to him, he leaned over, corrected me and then continued on with his side of the conversation. I stared at him in shock and could not believe my ears. He had corrected me, having JUST met. Some people would take it as “rude” but I took it more as in, where the hell have you been? He looked at me worried after seeing my expression and asked if it had been rude on his part. I smiled and said, “let’s keep conversing” wrong but he managed to understand and correct me. From there, it all began.
This is not the “typical” dating of getting to know each other by saying what is on our minds. We have to say what is on our minds 3 times in 3 different ways to find the way the other will understand. Reading each others facial ques becomes the only way you know if you understand the gist of what is being said. We have to be patient while having a serious, expressive conversation. It is a different way of getting to know a person. You are testing personality traits you want to know about from the get go. It is definitely different. I find it fun and challenging… and it is working for us.