Many travelers find their soulmates and fall madly in love while traveling.
But how can you tell if they really do love you back? How do you know if your partner is honest about their feelings, or hiding behind a mask with ulterior motives? It can be difficult to know whether you are being used for a green card, or if your partner has ulterior motives.
Are you are being used for a green card?
No one can really answer this question for you. Only you can know whether your partner loves you and has good intentions. But it takes time to fall or grow in love, and sadly, when we meet lovers who live across an ocean oftentimes relationships can escalate to another level rather quickly.
Meeting someone abroad can be exhilarating and sexy and thrilling, especially when the person seems “exotic” and so different from the type of people you’re used to dating. Not only is it exciting to find someone who might possibly be your soulmate, having that affair blossom in a country where the music and food and celebrations, and even the physical environment are all so new, well this is where romance novels come from!
Knowing you have only limited time to be together before you are separated, especially when it will be expensive, or even feel impossible for you to be able to hop back and forth on weekends to get to know each other more. But time is the only way for you to know if what you both feel is real, even if the other person’s intentions ARE pure.
And if you are from America or Europe and have a partner from a developing country where there is severe poverty and few opportunities, it can be really tough to know for sure.
So if you meet a foreigner who seems really eager to jump into marriage immediately whether you meet online or you are on holiday, (particularly in a place known for its “sex tourism” culture), take a minute to slow down.
This list of questions can help you to at least look at some possible red flags and perhaps convince you to take a step back before rushing into anything. This way you will have more time to see if your partner truly loves you, or just looking to become a citizen of your country.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Did your partner proclaim their undying love to you soon after meeting you, or tell you that they have never met anyone like you before?
- I believe that I am so charming and lovable that of course someone would fall in love with me at first sight. However, this rarely is the case, and real love takes time.
- Is there a big age difference? Sure, many people marry someone older, but look at their actions not just their words. Older women are preyed upon by men (called “rent-a-dreads”, or “rastitutes” by locals) in popular islands like Jamaica and other hot spots like Mexico where “beach boys” and sex tourism is rampant.
- Did you meet your partner in a place known for it’s “sex tourism”?
- Thailand is known for the huge number of massage girls and guys looking for rich sugar daddies and mamas. And even in cultures where religion and the law forbids sex before marriage like in Morocco and India, you’ll hear plenty of stories where foreign tourists were used for sex, money or green cards.
- Do your friends/ family thing you are being naive? While tourists are not always innocent and often looking to hook up and have fun, it’s usually the more naive and innocent ones merely looking to enjoy their vacation who are targeted.
- Do you typically date people who are equally as attractive or is your partner considerably more attractive than your usual partners?
- Is your partner financially stable, or constantly complaining about having money problems?
- Is there a big difference in your incomes?
- Is your partner from a poor family/ community? Is s/he educated and employed, or does s/he have few opportunities in their country?
- Does your partner have any assets like a home or business, or does s/he live with parents? Although it is common for people to live with their families until marriage in many other countries, someone with a decent career and a home is often not as desperate to just up and leave everything behind.
- Do you believe your partner would want to marry you if they were already legally living in your country or a citizen?
- Has your partner ever discussed an intense desire to live in your country? Does s/he speak about their country with a tone of despair and desperation about their future?
- If you suggest living in your partner’s country for awhile, how would s/he react? Your lover may say no because you can make more money abroad. However, if s/he is logical and respectful when explaining this to you, that’s part of a normal discussion in a relationship. But if your partner gets pissed off or becomes angry you might rethink your plans to be with them.
- Has your partner introduced you to their family and friends?
- Does your partner push you to marry quickly? It’s better to go slow rather than to end up divorced and bitter once you find out their true motives.
- Did your partner pressure you for sex too quickly? Some players are damn good at getting you to fall hard and fast. Why not keep it on ice for a bit? There will be plenty of time for getting your groove on after the wedding. I’m not saying don’t be intimate with your partner if you want to. Just take your time. It’s a helluva lot easier to walk away from a scammer when you haven’t given up your money, your pride, or your “punanny”.
- Or, does your partner not want sex after being together for awhile? You might want to be wary of someone who makes excuses, or if he pretends to be a virgin, especially if your partner is a man. Many scammers trying to use someone for a green card will use their religion as an excuse to avoid being intimate with someone they are not attracted to.
- Does your partner expect you to pay for all of your dates?
- If you are a female and your partner is a male, especially when living in a male-dominated country, this can be a big red flag.
- Does your partner ask you for money or gifts? Couples often help each other when one is struggling. However, if your partner is asking you for help (especially when you’ve just met), avoid giving them money or gifts. They were surviving before they met you, so they probably won’t die without a new phone or computer or rent money from you.
There will be plenty of time to shower them with presents in the future if you do decide to get married. But for now, try showering them with love and affection and see how they react.
- Does your partner describe your potential future life together in their country as living in paradise, and suggest that you buy a house or start a business “together”?
- Beware! In many countries foreigners cannot legally own property or businesses unless their have a local resident as a partner, and many many people have been scammed out of large amounts of money.
- Does your partner has many American/ European friends on social media, or hide their friends list? Plenty of people do, so this alone does not mean anything, but when combined with a few other things on this list, it could be another red flag.
- Does s/he seem too good to be true? Many foreign men believe that Americans/Europeans are promiscuous and ‘easy’ prey and are pretty smooth, using lines that work over and over, telling you how amazing you are, unlike anyone they’ve ever met, and even spending money and lavishing you with gifts- at least, in the beginning. If the person seems too good to be true, just be careful.
Be extremely cautious if you see any of the red flags listed above. Be especially on guard if you catch your partner in lies or inconsistencies.
If you can check off one or more of these boxes, it does not automatically mean that your partner intends to use you for a green card. But use these red flags to help you to at least make the decision to go slow before marrying or rushing into anything that could have devastating, and painful consequences.
If you behave the way you would if you were dating someone who already has legal citizenship and/or their own money and stability, in time you will see their true feelings.
Scammers don’t usually stick around long when looking for easy prey.
Even if your decision to wait and take your time means that you will have to have a long-distance relationship for a while, don’t automatically think it will be impossible to fly back and forth to visit each other.
Today with low-cost carriers like Ryan Air and Spirit Airlines, there are more and more ways to save on travel. Skyscanner, Kiwi, and many other sites sometimes offer amazing deals on flights, and now with Airbnb, Booking.com, and other alternatives, you can save a bunch on accommodations if for some reason you cannot stay with your partner.
Talk to your partner and tell them you need time. If they truly love you, they will agree that you have the rest of your lives together. If you are meant to be, it will all work out in the end.
And, if you are still suspicious and unsure of your partner’s true intentions, here is an article that can help you avoid being scammed.
Have you ever been scammed by a lover? Or, did you find true love and marry a foreigner?
Please share your experience, advice, and tips on how to know whether someone is really in love or possibly only seeking a green card in the comments section below.