Holidays are a time for exploration, excitement and experiencing a new world. However, they can take a turn for the unexpected when you find yourself meeting someone – and beginning to fall in love.
It might happen with a fellow tourist, or you meet someone local to your resort and realise you have more in common than you could have imagined. It’s an unconventional way to meet, but sometimes, you can just know.
Unfortunately, most of the stories you hear about people falling love abroad have a tendency to be bad ones (see all the comments on this post about love cheats in the Gambia). They’re the stories about vulnerable people – predominantly women – who go on holiday and fall in love with a man that they then realise is not all that he seems. When this is the impression that society has of this kind of relationship, it can feel you and your new partner have an uphill battle to be taken seriously.
Of course, it would be remiss to discuss this without mentioning the fact that… the bad things do happen. You may think yourself immune, but none of the people duped by overseas lovers knew they were signing up for something troubling at the time of doing so. They all thought they were in love too; they met someone, fell in love, expected great things, planned a future of happiness and blissful Valentine’s Days with ‘the one’, maybe even planned a wedding and obtained a spouse visa with the intention of building a life together.
They didn’t think there was a problem or they were being conned.
So before you change your life for someone you meet abroad, there’s no harm in being cautious. You need to know the red flags and, if you see one, make sure you proceed with the utmost of caution.
Red Flag #1: Being Asked For Money
This is a difficult one, especially if you have seen your partner numerous times and you plan to share a life together. After all, if your boyfriend at home asked for a loan, you’d probably do it – so why is it so different when it’s overseas?
The main calling card of the scammers who prey on women for these scams is to extort money from them. Sometimes the sums of money can run into the thousands. If you’re asked for money – especially if it’s to cover an “emergency” you have no way of verifying is true – then be very careful indeed.
Red Flag #2: Your Financial Situation Is A Topic of Conversation
A brief talk about personal finances is important if you’re planning on building a life with someone, but if the subject comes up again and again, then you have to be wary. This is especially true if your financial situation differs from your partner’s; if you are wealthier while they earn very little, then you have to wonder why they care so much for your financial well-being.
Red Flag #3: They Don’t Introduce You To Their Life
If they’re not willing to introduce you to their friends and family, then this is a big signifier of a problem. Someone with pure intentions will want to share their life with you, so what exactly are they hiding? Questioning this kind of behavior is imperative to protecting yourself.