During a relaxing, carefree holiday In Turkey, it’s all so easy to fall in love with a handsome stranger with a sexy accent, romantic walks on the beach, watching sunsets together and a lot of fun in the sun, but what happens when you return home, can the relationship continue or will he forget about you as soon as you board the plane?
We’ve all seen the typical ‘Take a Break’ magazine stories about Turkish men being love rats, cheating on British women, manipulating them for their money or using them for a visa, but are they all like that? The answer is no, they’re not, and some (and only some) holiday romances can go the distance and turn into loving, long lasting relationships and marriages.
A lot of things really depend on what circumstances you met in. If you met him while he was working in a bar one night and the only communication you had was while either one or both of you were drunk, the chances are it’s not going to turn into a real meaningful relationship. Drunken conversation and sex does not make a good foundation. What is more important is spending real quality time together and getting to know each other properly before moving forward, although admittedly that is difficult whilst on a short holiday. The normal rules of dating are put on fast forward, it’s easy to get carried away and fall head over heels when everything is moving quickly, you know your time together is limited and that you’ll soon be returning home so everything is rushed. First date, second date, first kiss,sex…It all happens in a blur and it’s difficult to know what is going to happen next and what it all means.
I suppose it’s important to figure out if it is love, or lust. Is it really possible to fall in love with someone in a country thousands of miles away from home where there are so many obstacles to overcome? The language barrier is an important one. Is it really possible to ‘love’ someone you can hardly communicate with? Communication is key. Getting to know each other from 4000 miles away is never easy, but nowadays with Skype, Facebook, FaceTime, email and text, there really is no excuse not to keep in touch, if that’s what you want.
An important thing to be sure of is that you are both wanting the same thing, are you both looking for a quick fling, or is one of you more serious than the other? While on holiday, a lot of us let our guards down, we are physically and emotionally relaxed and free from all the stresses of home, this makes it oh so easy to get carried away, but in reality, when you’re 4000 miles away back at home and have work to do and bills to pay, are you still going to be as interested in your Turkish ‘lover’? If you are serious about the relationship, be certain he is too. A lot of Turkish men working in resorts see a lot of women come and go, as soon as one flight leaves, another arrives. Some men see women, British in particular, as easy and fun loving. They assume, rightly or wrongly, that these women want nothing more than 2 weeks of fun, and the reality is he probably won’t be interested in keeping in touch until you’re back next year.
Turkish men have a reputation as being love-rats, only interested in money and a visa. Sure, some of these men are really clever, scheming, con artists who cover their tracks well, however, in most circumstances there are some clear signs that your ‘relationship’ is doomed. Don’t ignore the signs and leave your brains at the airport. If you’re old enough to be his grandmother, or great-grandmother, he’s probably not genuine. If he runs to the toilet when his phone rings, he’s probably talking to one of his many other holiday flings, or a Turkish wife. If he tells you he loves you in broken English after having known you 5 mintues, he’s probably not genuine. Once you’re home, is he constantly making excuses and too busy to talk to you? Did you do a bit of Facebook stalking and find out he actually has 5 different profiles with photos of him and a different girl on each one? These are all huge red flags, don’t fall for his charm or excuses, it’s not worth the heartbreak in the end.
A lot of women who have experienced the above sell their stories to magazines or newspapers or create online groups and blogs ‘warning’ everyone about the dangers of Turkish men. There seems to be an assumption that all Turkish men will try their luck and manipulate British women for money. If your fella gives you a list of duty free alcohol, trainers and the latest iPhone he wants you to bring out the next time you visit, realise he is not genuinely in love with you, he is more interested in your bank balance. If every time you speak to him he mentions how his mother, father or sister’s friend’s dog-sitter etc.. is ill and he needs money to pay the hospital bill, end the conversation and delete him from your life. He’s lying.
Turkish men are not all scheming, money grabbing rats, far from it. Generally, Turkish men are very proud; they work to provide for their families and would never ask someone for money, especially a woman. Using my relationship as an example, I don’t have a penny to my name, Berkay works hard everyday to provide for us both. When family come to visit, the most he’s ever asked them for is a bottle of Nando’s sauce.
If people try to tell you that your guy isn’t genuine, that he’s cheating on you or using you for money, most of the time they are probably right. Don’t dismiss their concern as ‘jealousy’. Take their concerns on board and be wary. If the signs are there, pay attention and take notice, if not, stay on guard but don’t turn into a bunny boiling stalker.
Trust is important. When you’re living 4000 miles away from someone, it’s going to be impossible to know what they’re doing and who they are with every minute of the day. Gut instinct will be the key, if you think he doesn’t deserve your trust or he’s acting suspiciously, move on, there is no way a long distance relationship will ever work if you cannot trust each other.
The most important thing for me is can you really make the long distance relationship work? Are you patient enough to understand that while friends and people around you may be settling down and moving on with their lives, you’re going to be back and forth only seeing each other for a limited number of days per year until you come to a decision as to where your future is? You can only visit each other so much as your job, and your bank balance permits. At some point, one of you is going to have to give up your life in your own country and move away from your friends, family , job and everything you’ve ever known, it’s inevitable and is the only way forward, eventually.
This brings us to the issue of visas. Depsite what everyone thinks, visas to the UK are not easy to obtain, if you are unwilling to try to settle in Turkey, be prepared for a long battle to get your Turkish partner to the UK, it’s not something to take lightly, it’s a long, hard process and the stress can be enough to split couples up.
There are also cultural differences, and religion pays a large part in some circumstances too. Is he Muslim? Will he expect you to give up certain things? Will he expect you to be a stay at home mum/housewife? Is he willing to let go of some of his more traditional Turkish cultural values, and are you willing to give up some of yours? Can you come to a compromise?
If both of you are willing to make it work and put in the effort as well as having the patience, trust, understanding and communication, your relationship may well turn into something wonderful. If not, enjoy it for what it is and move on, either way you’ll have great memories.