You’re finally in your Host Country, found some friends and suddenly someone comes along who you just can’t seem to take your eyes off. Between having to take care of your Host Kids and wanting to travel as much as you can, starting a new relationship as an Au Pair can be tricky.
Is it worth it though? That’s a decision only you can make for yourself. But don’t worry - here’s a list of pros and cons to help you make that decision.
Benefits of dating as an Au Pair
Learning the language
What better way to learn your Host Country’s language than by spending time with a local
? If you’ve spent the whole week with your Host Family, you might not want to spend your weekend with them as well. Many of your Au Pair friends
might only speak broken English or whichever language you want to learn. Spending time with someone who knows the language and doesn’t want to talk about Au Pair stuff too much is a great way to improve your language skills.
When you’re in a different country feeling alone and homesick it surely helps to have someone you only have to think of to make you smile. This way, it’s going to be easier for you to be in a good mood when you really need it.
Your personal tour guide
I’m sure your Host Family’s great and does everything they can to show you around. But that being said, they are also probably a little older than you. The things they feel are important for you to see, may not be the same things someone your age would have shown you. Having a special someone in your area will give you the chance to explore your Host Country in a whole different way.
Downsides of dating as an Au Pair
Communication may be hard
Sure, having someone to practice your language skills with is great, but it might be hard to communicate at first
. How are you supposed to have deep conversations if you only understand every other word? Your culture
might also differ a lot from your date’s. Something that might be funny to them might be rude for you.
Having to say goodbye
Remember that you won’t stay in your Host Country forever. Sooner or later you will have to go back home.
Saying goodbye is already hard, why make it even harder by having to say goodbye to your partner? Of course, you can try to make a long-distance relationship
work, but ask yourself if that’s really what you want. If you can’t see a future for the both of you, why even start?
As wonderful as love can be, it can also be pretty stressful
. You already have a lot going on as an Au Pair.
You better make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Talk to your Host Family
Your Host Family should always be your priority. After all, you became an Au Pair to take care of their kids, not to find love. That’s why, before you start dating, you should discuss the subject with your Hosts. If they are ok with you going on dates: great! Many Host Families have special rules though, such as not having your date come over to their house or wanting to meet them once the relationship is starting to get more serious. If they’re not ok with you dating, you should respect that, too.
Back in my time, one of my Au Pair friends dated even though her Host Parents told her they weren’t comfortable with it. So she hid the relationship from them. As the relationship got more serious, it got harder and harder to hide. As a result, she left the family early and has now been happily married for about three years.
How to stay safe
It’s finally time for your date. You’re excited and can’t think of anything but what to wear. Well, you should think about your safety, too. There are many easy ways to stay safe that won’t impact your date too much.
First and foremost: don’t let your date pick you up at your Host Family’s house. You don’t know this person very well yet, so you might not want them to know where you live. On the same note, make sure you know how to get back home. Instead of letting your date pick you up, try meeting where a lot of people are, so that you already are in a safer environment.
Now comes the part in which I tell you why it’s a bad idea to secretly go on dates: if something happens, no one will know where you are. Tell your Host Family or at least your friends where you’re going and when you’re going there. You should also have some kind of code that will tell them that you need them to help you get out of a difficult situation.
Don’t worry about being overcautious or annoying your Host Family - they would rather know you’re safe than have to talk to the police without knowing what happened. So talk openly and your date is much more likely to be a success!