Why do all the ex pats keep getting together?
You move to a different country and in a bid to ‘feel more at home’ the answer is to shack up with someone. However, the person you find yourself with, is usually someone you wouldn’t look twice at if you were at home in your native social environment. My question is why?
Being abroad limits your pool of people to pick from. More often than not, the men and women of a country are of a certain type. And here they just think you’re a dirty backpacker up for a good night if you’re a Brit, not someone who’s actually worth looking at in a proper relationship way.
As a result, your eye starts to wander across your immediate acquaintances and their pools of friends. That vaguely hipster guy with the facial hair that you would have quietly sniggered at during your time at Uni? He’s cute now right? He’s single, speaks your language, and won’t think it’s weird that you like milk in your tea.
This is the “Companionship Compulsion” in a nutshell:
You fill that perceived emptiness in your life with someone who makes it feel less empty.
We become drawn to people in these situations because they’re available and they’re there. This is by no means a bad thing, because there aren’t any social compulsions or obligations that say you have to date a particular person. Dating while living abroad widens your horizons and lowers any inhibitions you might have had against dating certain kinds of people at home. As a result, you get to experience a relationship with someone totally unexpected.
WORDS OF WARNING
If you do find yourself in a relationship while living overseas think long and hard about whether you really want to be with this person or whether it’s simply based upon the ‘The Companionship Compulsion’.
It is natural for human beings to crave each others company. In a foreign environment this becomes magnified ten-fold. The basic desire to make a home for yourself often drives lonely expats to make a home with someone else. Sex is an obvious benefit of this arrangement and for some it is the driving reason behind it.
Both sexes become compelled to be with someone, either in a long-term girlfriend or boyfriend sort of way, or when they pursue a multitude of one night stands in order to hold onto to that feeling of thinking that somebody else cares about you.
Living abroad is hard enough. Why not make it easier?