However another cultural barrier stood in the way: the very firm belief that many Korean families hold about the role of a daughter-in-law.
In many traditional Korean families, the daughter-in-law is expected to care for the groom’s parents, who often move into the newlyweds’ home.
An American woman in Hong Kong, a gallery director in her late twenties, has “no regrets” about choosing the expat life, she says. “I would like to have a boyfriend, my parents would definitely like me to have a boyfriend, but it’s hard to find here.” The biggest reason?
“I’m financially independent and have come further in my career by this age than I ever would have been able to in the U. Expat men in Hong Kong, a city known for its glimmering strips of bars in Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai, have far too much fun as commitment-free singletons to settle down with a career-oriented woman, she says.
The woman was seeing a fellow expat, and it was only after several seemingly serious dates that she saw him walking down the street in So Ho, a popular expat hub, with his arm around another woman.
For expats, dating is even harder, compounded by cultural missteps, the hard partying and commitment-free lifestyle of many expats, and the concept of “expiration dating,” which assumes that any relationship has a natural end point.
For other expats, it’s the unchangeable parts of themselves – their race or their sexuality – that can make dating harder than it would be in their home country.
But one thing is true for every expat in the dating scene: those who are looking for love overseas are bound for adventure.
A big issue for expats everywhere is cross-cultural dating.
You came to a new country to immerse yourself in all aspects of the culture, so why wouldn’t a relationship be a part of that?
Yet despite an increasingly globalized world, cultural rules often remain stubbornly unchanged.
American Christina Petit moved to South Korea to teach English, and fell in love with a local man, even enjoying the barriers created by not speaking the same language.
“It made us very slow, calm and careful communicators,” she says.