Ali's Blogs

Online dating for expats in Turkey

31st August 2015

Let me be honest with you this blog was at first going to be a guide for expats, to look at the Turkish dating scene. But to be honest is a guide to any countries dating scene even possible? Sure I can think of somethings people should and shouldn’t do when they’re out on a date but I think most people know what those things are.

But if you’re a single expat in Turkey and looking for love what should you do? Well although there are many rules to any countries dating scene that are the same or at least similar, every country and culture as its differences.

Not to mention everyone is different, some people might expect the man to pay for dinner while some will prefer to pay for their own meal. So while I can’t do a guide to the Turkish dating scene I can give you some tips and advice.


Online Dating

Online dating is popular well everywhere and it’s a popular choice for expats who are new to Turkey. There’s even some dating sites and forums just for expats so the good news for expats is some Turkish men and women might find their different culture and foreign ancestry attractive.

The bad news is that online dating is to be kind not usually a recipe for success, don’t get me wrong I’ am sure plenty of people have met and fallen in love through online dating. However it’s always the nightmare dates we hear about isn’t it? 

Despite its not so great reputation many expats new to Turkey should consider giving online dating a try. You likely won’t find the love of your life (although who knows you just might) but it’s a great way to meet new people and practice socialising with people in a foreign country.


Dating Customs and Traditions

The above title is somewhat misleading while there are no doubt some Turkish traditions and customs still being followed it’s fair to say that many of these traditional customs are likely not practiced much anymore.

For example one regional tradition judges a young women’s potential to be a good wife based on how her coffee tastes. It’s fair to say not many people practice this tradition anymore. 

One thing to mindful of is religious beliefs since Turkey does have a very multi-faith society and in religions such as Islam it’s not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man. However not everyone will follow these religious guide lines to the letter, but it’s still something to be mindful of.

Another thing to be mindful of is the importance of family, while your partner’s family is important in many cultures the family unit is very important in Turkish culture. So if you’ve been dating someone for a while and they ask you to meet their family then this is a definitely a big step.

Also while on the whole the Turkish people are very kind and friendly you might experience some cultural stereotyping. As a westerner you could be perceived to be many different things depending who you meet or where you go.

You could be perceived to be promiscuous or even incredibly wealthy to stall holders and merchants. This is indeed a minority opinion amongst Turkish people and you’ll find the majority of Turkish people will be polite and courteous.


Starting the Dating Game

So yeah this “guide” wasn’t much help was it? But like I said there’s no real guide to any countries dating scene. But if you’re feeling brave or adventurous you could check out some of these popular dating sites, Badoo.com is a global online site where you can chat and meet new people all around the world.

It’s quite popular in Turkey and while the dating element is an important part of the site it’s not all there is to it. POF.com or to give it its more common name plenty of fish is another popular site you could try.

You could also go for the Turkey only sites like Turkishdirect.com and Turkishpersonals.com, these sites are available in English and Turkish and even some other languages so you don’t have to worry about the language barrier. 

Saving the best for last my final piece of advice is to not be afraid of making some mistakes. You’ll likely have some truly disastrous dates along the way (unless you’re really lucky) but you’ll probably make some new friends, learn more about Turkish culture and eventually you might just meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. 


 


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