Expat Dating 101: How to Make it Work

7 June 2013



Living and working abroad is an exciting new experience and if you are single, you may be looking for that special someone to share it with. Although we all deep down want to have a Hollywood-esque meeting where you find your dream partner by random chance or happy coincidence... in reality dating tends to be hard work and  is complicated enough without the extra challenges of being abroad in a brand new city.


The key to successful dating is meeting people, you will go nowhere if you don’t make the effort to make new friends and put yourself out there. Heading out to bars and nightclubs may be the most ‘obvious’ choice for looking for love, but it usually isn’t the most effective. You might want to start the same way you would to find new friends in your new city by joining sporting activities, classes, groups with common interests or social clubs. Ask around and find out from colleagues or friends some good ways to meet people and where to go, sometimes the best advice comes from people you know and trust. Expat Meetups are another great way to meet interesting people from all over the world. If you are in Singapore then you might want to check out the Singapore Expat Meetup, which ExpatFinder is involved with to organise fun, casual social events for expats.



You could also try online dating. It may have been seen as a bit taboo in the past, but nowadays everyone is doing it and is a great way to meet people. However make sure you sign up for a dating website that is reputable, check reviews and see if anyone has heard about it. Mostly online dating is pretty much like regular dating, you still have to make an effort to contact people and get to know them. It’s a mistake to think that you can just sign up, complete your profile and then magically find your perfect someone without any effort.


As with all dating, it is important to: be yourself, honest and not to go in with idealised expectations of your ‘dream date’. Expat dating likely means you will meet a diverse range of people, from different cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. To make it work you have to be respectful and open minded. Embrace differences and be open to new experiences and to see things from a different point-of-view.


There are also plenty of mobile apps that can help out with your dating situation; here are a few to get you started:



Skout – This free app is available for iOS and Android devices, which is a global network that helps you connect with new people near you to expand your social network. 



Badoo – This location-based app is a social network where you can meet new people, share your interests and chat to people close-by. It is available for most smart phone devices including iOS, Android and Blackberry, plus it’s free.




Zoosk – This is a popular dating app that uses behavioural matchmaking technology to help you connect to ‘dateable’ singles with your iPhone or Android devices. It is available in several different languages and countries.