Last month, I was a guest blogger on Ute’s Expat Lounge blog.  I wrote a post about when friends move and how an expat, specifically me, adjusts to losing friends.  Inside that post, I discovered something that had eluded me in the seven years living abroad: there are two distinct groups of expats.

Before I go any further, if you are new here on this blog let me clear up one word right now.  Expat is short for expatriate.  The Merriam & Webster’s definition is, to leave one’s native country to live elsewhere; also :  to renounce allegiance to one’s native country.  That includes a lot of people!!!  I didn’t even know about the second, part of it, renouncing your citizenship!  So now that scope is even bigger.

 

Back to my post, I talk about expats in two groups.  To simplify it: 1. those who come for a short period and move on. 2. Those who come and stay indefinitely.  It’s here, number 2, that I’ve been thinking a lot about these last few weeks.  This one, I am currently a member.  I asked myself what makes me a part of this category.  Well, I married a Dutchman and I came for Love.

I’ve been aware of another term thrown around the expat community and that is, Love-pats.  At first glance, you may think it’s an affectionate term for “a tap on the bum”. 😮  But for expat purposes, it’s this: someone who moved from their home country for LOVE.  Love + expat becomes then Love-pat. The dash represents the “ex”.  I’ve seen it typed differently but that’s my take on it. 😉  It’s a cute way of talking about this group of people.

I wanted to explore more into the world of us, Love-pats.  You see, I know first-hand this isn’t an easy gig.  There is a lot of trust that goes into making such a decision to move to a foreign country.  Trust in your partner.  Not to mention strength of character from the love-pat themselves, because let’s face it, people will ridicule you for moving for Love.  I sure did!  It comes down to a person and that is, unfortunately, an easy thing to tear apart, create suspicion or a sense of fear.  That’s before you even move.  Then comes the living in the country part.  There are more obstacles to climb over which impacts the relationship every step of the way. And let’s not forgot to mention, that the relationship is a bicultural one where communications are often strained since one person, or both, is usually not speaking their native tongue*.  Ahh..Love is a wonderful thing but for our group it can get complicated. x