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Love in the Time of Globalization: Top Destinations for a Successful Relationship

Munich, 18 March 2015
The InterNations Expat Insider 2014 survey sheds light into the world of global relationships

Munich, 18 March 2015 – InterNations (, the largest network for people who live abroad with more than 1.5 million members worldwide, found that 14 percent of the expatriates across the world leave their home country for love. These romantics live in countries such as Greece or Argentina and 64 percent of them are female. Interestingly, more than half of all expatriates live in a cross-cultural relationship. The information is based on the InterNations Expat Insider survey, which is among the most extensive research studies ever conducted regarding the general living situation of expats and covers topics such as overall quality of life, personal finance, family life, working abroad, making friends and expat romance.

Best countries to find love

Taking a closer look at the world’s best places for romance, there are no better countries to go to than Greece, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and the Philippines. These are the destinations with some of the highest percentages of expatriates who either met their partner in their country of residence or whose partner comes from that country. At 66 percent, the share of people who are in a relationship with a local resident is the highest in the Philippines. However, Argentina (55 percent), Chile (54 percent), Mexico (54 percent), and Greece (53 percent) also show results that lie far above the global average of about one third.

Happiest couples in the world

More than half of expatriates live in a cross-cultural relationship and share their life with someone from another country. One in three expats are in a relationship with someone from their current country of residence, while 26 percent have a significant other from yet another country. There are various factors which influence such a relationship and might determine its success, says Niklas Tartler, an experienced couple therapist: “Apart from the cultural differences that might appear between the partners, connecting with new people and creating a home abroad is a significant challenge for couples. The destination’s ease of settling in and the friendliness of the locals might even determine whether a relationship can overcome such a culture shock.”

The happiest expat couples can be found in the Philippines, where 56 percent of the expatriates report being completely satisfied with their relationship, compared to the global average of 43 percent. The country also ranks fifth in terms of ease of settling in. The European equivalent to the Asian Paradise is Greece, where 53 percent state that they couldn’t be happier in their relationship.

Love knows no borders

Almost four in five expatriates met their partner before they moved abroad. Of this number almost half of the couples moved together, while in 17 percent of the cases the partner already lived in the new country of residence. One in ten expats are traveling spouses, who relocated for their partner’s job or education. The InterNations Expat Insider 2014 showed that 86 percent of those spouses are women. On the other hand, 20 percent of the male expatriates in a relationship have a partner still living in another country and are therefore more likely to lead a long-distance relationship. Malte Zeeck, Founder and Co-CEO of InterNations says: “Our numbers show that expatriate relationships are connected with traditional gender models. Generally speaking, men tend to put their career in the foreground, while women consider their romantic relationship to be more important. Those preferences influence the decision about moving abroad with or without a partner.”

Apart from gender, the motivation for relocating is another factor which influences the probability for moving together instead of organizing the move in stages or opting for a long-distance relationship: After the traveling spouse, the globetrotting expat enjoying an extended vacation is most likely to move abroad together with their partner (almost 60 percent). Meanwhile, long-distance relationships are more common among (former) students (37 percent) and people who move abroad for their career (35 percent).

Relationships in general and romance in particular are often important factors that influence expatriate living. A long-distance relationship might, for instance, be a strong motivation for a move abroad, and one partner’s decision to relocate can uproot a couple’s life. The nationalities which are most likely to name love as their most important reason for moving abroad are the Dutch, Americans, Danes, Croatians and Canadians. Overall, the destinations with the highest numbers of expatriated love birds are Greece, Sweden, Argentina, Ireland and Norway.

About InterNations

With more than 5.3 million members in 420 cities around the world, InterNations is the largest global community and a source of information for people who live and work abroad. InterNations offers global and local networking and socializing, both online and face to face. At around 6,000 events and activities per month, expatriates have the opportunity to meet other global minds. Online services include discussion forums and helpful articles with personal expat experiences, tips, and information about life abroad. Membership is by approval only to ensure we remain a community of trust. InterNations is part of the New Work SE, a group of brands that offer products and services for a better working life.

Find more information about InterNations on our press page or in our magazine.

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Country-specific versions are available in different languages in the download section at the end of each press release and upon request.