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The Romantic: Relocating for Romance

Romantics move abroad to be with their partner and do their best to fit in (e.g. by learning the local language). While they find it easy to make local friends, their job situation is often unfavorable.

Romantics have one reason for moving abroad: love. “I am happy to be with my partner,” states a Dutch expat in the USA, while a Ukrainian living in Germany even goes as far as saying: “My only reason for living here is my desire to be close to my partner.” However, in some cases their romantic relationship did not necessarily last: twelve percent of those who moved abroad for love are currently single. Those Romantics who are (still or again) in a relationship couldn’t be any happier, though: close to nine in ten (88%) are satisfied with their relationship, and for 57 percent things could not get any better. While most Romantics (88%) are in a relationship with someone from their new country of residence, where they met their significant other varies a lot: nearly two in five (38%) met their partner in their current country of residence, followed by 35 percent who met them in their home country, and another 27 percent met in a third country.

The Romantics appear to really make an effort to adapt to their partner’s home country: despite close to half of them (47%) finding it hard to learn the local language, 35 percent still speak it very well. This is the second-largest share among all expat types, outranked just slightly by the Students (36%). “For me, the best part of moving abroad was to accept the challenge of getting integrated into the German community by learning the language and the traditions,” says an expat from India, while a Filipino living in India states: “I have learned the language, culture, and how to get along with the people.” In fact, 38 percent describe their social circle as mainly consisting of local residents, which isn’t only twice the global share (19%), but also the largest one among all expat types.

With twelve percent of Romantics currently looking for work, their career doesn’t look as rosy as their private life. In fact, this result is four percentage points higher than the global average (8%) and the second-highest share out of all expat types — only the Traveling Spouse is unemployed more frequently (17%). Among those Romantics who do work, 34 percent are unsatisfied with their career prospects, compared to 25 percent globally. A Brazilian expat living in Australia reports that he had to “step down in order to get a job”. In fact, only six percent of Romantics work in a management position, compared to a worldwide average of 14 percent. Out of these six percent, fewer than one in four (23%) have made it to top management, twelve percentage points less than the global average (35%). Moreover, 41 percent of Romantics believe that their income is lower than what they’d make in a similar job back home (vs. 27% globally), and 19 percent even think that it’s a lot lower (vs. 11% worldwide).