You know you are dating an Albanian when…

Lifestyle Opinion

I asked the online expat community of Albania, what their experiences are in dating Albanians. The question caused much discussion and a lot of humorous responses and these are a selection of 27 of the most interesting, interspersed with my own. Of course, no one is meaning to generalise an entire country of people, but the following points were all mentioned multiple times and to me, they are endearing and part of the reason why us expats love the Albanian people!

  1. Their mother feeds you/ sends you parcels of homemade goodies.
  2. Time becomes a social construct and totally open to interpretation. If you arrange to meet at 8 pm, be aware that this actually means 8pm+ up to 90 minutes and this is not considered as late.
  3. You become fluent in swearing in Shqip.
  4. You realise that family comes above everyone and everything else.
  5. You get to find out things about the country that you would have never discovered on your own.
  6. You get to go to places in the country that you would have never found in the tourist guide.
  7. You find yourself having a passionate view on politics, despite knowing very little about it and vowing not to form an opinion.
  8. You realise that an invitation for coffee is akin to a declaration of love.
  9. You start singing along to Albanian music without having any idea of what you are saying.
  10. Your standards of what ‘good driving’ is, take a nosedive.
  11. You become very patriotic of your host country.
  12. You know that no matter what, they have your back.
  13. You will start eating things you have never eaten before. See point one.
  14. They are a little bemused and confused by the fact you have a housekeeper and don’t do the chores yourself.
  15. You realise that most of the men cannot cook.
  16. You may disagree on more liberal issues, but that is ok, you just learn to avoid the topic.
  17. You realise that cultural differences can be overcome.
  18. Your pace of life slows down and the phrase “avash avash” can be applied to almost everything you do.
  19. You develop a deep interest in their tradition, culture, and history.
  20. You realise that traditional gender roles still apply here- your girlfriend will mother you or your boyfriend will be reluctant to make the bed.
  21. You really appreciate how kind, caring, and thoughtful they can be.
  22. You will find yourself getting into all sorts of herbal and tea based-remedies.
  23. You will become acquainted with the Albanian temperament. Whether they are angry, happy, sad, or excited, it is always, always expressed to a passionate degree- in three short words, “hot Balkan blood”.
  24. You find yourself believing/accepting that a little bit of jealousy is a good thing and is directly representative of the level of love in a relationship.
  25. You realise that they are not all after a passport/visa/”cool status”.
  26. You realise that anything is possible in Albania!
  27. You have the best partner ever and you wouldn’t have it any other way!
Follow The Balkanista!