Dating Overseas: Sex Money and Respect

Dating Overseas: Sex, Money, and Respect

There are three types of boundaries you need to set to survive the challenges you will face while dating someone overseas. Without setting boundaries, these cultural differences could easily ruin your life for decades.

These three boundaries are even more necessary if you are trying to succeed in large age-difference relationships with someone from another culture. If you ignore these three challenges, you may ruin what could have been a satisfying relationship for the rest of your life.

The three biggest challenges you will face are sex, money, and respect. If you set boundaries around these three biggest challenges you might be able to keep your age-difference relationship for the rest of your life. Ignoring them would be at your own peril.

During the first weeks and months of a new relationship, you will likely enjoy a new love’s company so much that nothing about them will bother you. But eventually, certain behaviors may become so intolerable that you decide to separate permanently.

So, the following framework for setting boundaries may seem extreme. But it may be the only thing that will save what would otherwise be an amazing relationship.

You do not need to take notes. In the end, I will give you a link to the written version of this report.


In the West, one of the quickest ways to ruin a relationship is to be disrespectful of your lover. If you or your lover disrespect each other, you and your partner are signaling that the end is near. You don’t even care enough about each other to show common respect.

This problem can spiral out of control even more quickly overseas. In age-difference cross-culture relationships, you may not even be able to agree on what behaviors are considered disrespectful. What is considered reasonable behavior in one culture or age group might be completely intolerable across generations or cultures.

Let me give you some examples. In the West, saying, “You are fat, you need to lose weight” is considered an insult. In the East, it is considered reasonable. You care enough about someone to speak up.

Other things like, constantly tilting your head back and rolling your eyes when someone is speaking seems to be an insult all over the world. But in some cultures, the insult is not thought to be so egregious as to cause the end of a relationship.

So why do these things seem to happen more in cross-cultural or age-difference relationships more than more traditional relationships and what can you do about them so a perceived lack of respect does not sabotage your relationship?

In age-difference relationships, the younger person may feel that the older person is lucky to be with them. The young person may feel they are entitled to treat the older person rudely. They may think their youth or beauty will compensate for their poor behavior.

In cross-cultural relationships, one person may believe they can treat another poorly if they have more income or net worth than the other. They may think they can treat another poorly because they have more money. They may believe that fear of poverty will keep their partner around even when treated disrespectfully.

These are just two examples of why people may feel they are entitled to treat others poorly. But there are many more. Feel free to share others in the comments below.

So how do you set boundaries in these kinds of relationships so that what could have been an amazing relationship does not spiral out of control and crash and burn?

Make a list of things that make you feel disrespected. If you know what makes your partner feel disrespected you can decide to stop doing it. Your behavior may be acceptable in your home country but it may not be accepted overseas.

Setting Respect Boundaries

Agree that you are going to help each other understand when you feel insulted. Agree that you will write it down so there is no confusion about what behavior is intolerable to you in a long-term relationship. Be specific. Your and your partner’s lists can be different.

One. Eye rolling when I am speaking

Two. Interrupting when I am speaking

Three. 15 minutes late without a courtesy call

Both partners should make a list of behaviors that make them feel insulted.

Setting Behavioral Consequences

Remember, you are teaching your lover how someone from another culture or age feels insulted so they can decide to alter their behavior if they want to maintain a loving relationship. But they are not going to be perfect when they first learn about it.

So you need to give them some time to adjust. How much time you are willing to wait and what the consequences are for when they are unable to adjust are all up to you. Nothing is written in stone. Here are some example of behavioral consequences.

These examples are only being used to explain a framework for teaching each other. Each of you will have to populate the table with whatever behaviors feel so insulting to you that they threaten very existence of your relationship. You each need to create your own table.


Frequency (#/period)


Eye rolling when I am speaking

3 times in 1 week

1 week apart.

Interrupting when I am speaking

3 times in 1 week

1 week apart.

15 minutes late without a courtesy call

1 time in a week

1 week apart

Insulting my intelligence

1 time in a week

1 week apart

Any behaviors causing 1 week apart

3 times in 1 year

1 month apart

Any behaviors that causing 1 month apart

2 times in 1 year

The relationship is over.

You should each have your own set of behaviors and consequences. And, feel free to adjust the frequency and consequences as you learn about each other.

Setting Behavioral Rewards

You can also teach each other how you feel loved. You can set loving behaviors that have positive rewards. Here are some examples of behavioral positive rewards.


Frequency (#/period)


Doing dishes

4 times in 1 week


Cleaning House

4 times in 1 month

Shopping budget

Making love

5 times in 1 week

Weekend at beach

Date night

1 time week

Oil Massage

You should each have your own set of behaviors and rewards.

Your relationship has a much better chance if you can each learn and increase behaviors that make you feel loved and decrease behaviors that make you feel disrespected.

Setting Consequences, and Rewards

You have to be careful when setting consequences and rewards. If it begins to feel like payment for services rendered, that could have negative effects on self-esteem. Consequences should be moderate enough so someone has time to learn what behaviors are unacceptable and adjust their behaviors.

You can allow someone to make a higher frequency of poor behavior in the first few weeks or months when you are teaching them about behaviors that feel insulting to you. They may have been doing that their entire life so it might be unconscious at first. They may not even realize they are doing it.

Rewards can also be tricky. For example, if you start to feel that someone is doing something only for the reward, you might begin to feel like your relationship is transactional. If you begin to feel your partner is only having sex to get new clothes, that may begin to affect your self-esteem.

How you set it up matters. So think about whether rewards are teaching you two how to feel loved or whether your rewards are just making your relationship feel transactional.

Next, I will talk about successful sexual boundaries. But if you would like to learn how I was able to fire my boss and retire early overseas in paradise for 16 years so far, make sure to grab a free copy of my eBook in the notes below this video when it ends.


One of the joys of a great relationship is giving sexual pleasure to your partner. The frequency and variety of sexual needs vary greatly among people. So how do we navigate varied sexual needs so both partners feel authentically loved?

Some people are happy with a few sexual encounters per month and others need daily attention to feel loved. Yet, people all over the world can be uncomfortable talking about sex.

If one of you needs daily attention and the other is satisfied with sex once or twice per month, then silence is very unlikely to provide a long-term resolution. So how do you talk about your sexual needs without spoiling the spontaneous magic?

When you add cultural or age differences to the relationship, the person not getting enough sex may feel their partner is not attracted to them, when in fact, they are completely attracted to them and fully satisfied with the sexual frequency.

In age-difference relationships, if the one that wants more sex is the younger partner then the older partner may begin to feel inadequate. The older partner may become insecure about the age difference thinking the age difference is too much.

If the older partner wants more sex than the younger partner, then the younger may feel that the older person just wants them for sex. Either way, both partners may begin to doubt whether or not their relationship is sustainable.

Cultural differences also play a role in sexual self-esteem.

In some cultures, women may feel that the woman’s role in sex is just to satisfy the man. That conflicts with modern Western ideals where the man’s sexual self-esteem and excitement arise when they watch their female partner orgasm.

If a couple is unable to establish some consistency in their sexual relationship that is satisfying to both partners in terms of frequency, self-esteem, and orgasm, then that could likely be the death rattle for many relationships.

So how do you negotiate mutually satisfying sexual boundaries?

Negotiating mutually satisfying sexual boundaries

The purpose of this exercise is to get a partner from a sexually silent culture to talk about sex so you will understand their needs better, and they will understand your needs better.

Understanding your own sexual desire before you talk to your partner is key. How often do you want to be intimate? What activities are you willing to perform and what activities are off-limits?

Brainstorm sexual activities.

Make a list of all the sexual activities you can find online. All the while knowing that just because it is on the list does not mean you are going to try it as a couple. But it is good to understand the sexual landscape so nobody feels pressured to remain silent about an unusual fantasy. Then place the activities on one of the following five lists.

After you categorize the sexual landscape into five lists, show your partner these lists so they understand your boundaries and needs more fully.

Make five lists.

One. Things I would like to do often.

Two. Things I would like to try.

Three. Things I would be willing to try if my partner wants.

Four. Things I will not try.

Frequency. How often I would like to be intimate per week or month?

If you know your needs in advance and you share them with your partner, they may be willing to satisfy your needs.

Discuss your list and frequency with your partner.

By knowing each other’s desired activities and frequencies, you may find out that you become more interested in some activities just because your partner is interested. Many people learn to enjoy activities after they learn how excited their partner becomes doing them.

There is nothing wrong with finding joy in your partner’s joy.

Update your lists and frequency periodically and discuss again.

As you become more intimate with your partner over time, your needs may change, trust may increase, and your desired activities and frequency may change. So it is good to update your sexual boundaries periodically.

To understand how to set boundaries so money does not ruin your overseas love life, watch the video appearing in the upper right hand of your screen now. To get this report in writing, click the first link in the notes below this video.

Thanks for listening to Dating Overseas: Sex Money and Respect. 

Please subscribe to or our Youtube Channel to watch us move around the world, 14 years and 67 countries so far. Make sure to grab a free copy of my eBook, How I Fired My Boss and Traveled the World for 15+ Years. It has most of my best tips and tricks.

This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the Youtube channel for Thank you for stopping by. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?