by Mona Briese
Sometimes love just happens. You don't expect it and then there is this one person that makes you all nervous and shaky.
Maybe you go out one night and there he or she is. The one who makes you speachless, the one that is so amazing and beautiful that you forget everything around you. It just happens. You can't do anything about it, but you know you want to meet this person again. You know you want to spend some time together.
Love always happens when we least expect it. And yes, it can happen during your stay as an au pair. But how to deal with that situation? Should you start dating? How will your dates look like? Can you invite them over to your host family's place? What will they say? And what's going to happen, when you have to go back to your home country and leave your love behind?
We will try to figure something out! So let's start with the question if you should even be dating during your stay. Of course! Love is something beautiful and you should definitely meet someone you like again and again. Check out if this could be more. You have your time off as an au pair and you can use this time however you like! Go to the movies or a concert, get dinner together or maybe lunch while your kids are at school and you don't have any other duties to take care of. Introduce him or her to the life you're living during your stay. Maybe you have a hobby that you can do together.
For your new boyfriend or girlfriend it is great to get to know you better and to see what you like. Tell them about your life in your home country too. Maybe there are activities that you only do there. Let them know how you feel and just forget for a while that you actually have to go back home one day!
My bed or your bed...
If you have met someone and you have been together for some time and sooner or later there will be the question if you want to stay for the night or if your new loved one can stay for the night.
The topic might be something private, but you should not forget that you're living with a family now, especially with a family with kids. You should always ask if you are allowed to invite people to the house and if you are allowed to bring your boyfriend or girlfriend. To invite a friend to watch a movie and talk is something totally different. So if your host family agrees that you can invite a friend once in a while, it doesn't mean that they allow you to bring your partner, too.
You should talk about this topic with your host family very openly. First you can ask them if you are allowed to bring your boyfriend or girlfriend to watch a movie (no netflix and chill, please). That would be the first step. You can also carefully ask, what they think about him or her staying for the night. This is a pretty sensitive topic and maybe you shouldn't ask if you already know the answer is going to be "No!".
As an au pair in the USA for example it is possible that you stay with a very conservative family that won't allow you to invite someone to their place. Maybe because they think that you shouldn't do anything before marriage. Their reasons are their business. It doesn't matter what the reasons of your host family are, if they do not allow you to bring someone. There might be some bed action and they do not want their children to hear it. That is totally ok! Never argue with your host family about this topic and don't be mad at them, if they don't want your partner at their place. You have to accept it.
If you want to spend the night at your partner's place, you should talk to your host family about it, but if you don't have to work the next day they should not forbid you to go. You can use your free time however you like. But no sleepovers on worknights!
The best time of your life....
Just enjoy the time together. See eachother when you have the time. Enjoy getting to know eachother and experience your au pair adventure together! Don't forget your friends, though. You probably had your new friends before your new partner and they will surely miss you, if you vanish and spend all your time with your "bae" now. Include them in your life and meet them. Of course there might be a night that you miss holding his or her hand, but you would miss your friends too, if they had a new partner all of a sudden you are pushed to the second place.
Time to leave - or - What if I stay?
There will be the day that you have to go back home. You have to pack your bags, leave your host family and some friends behind. And also your new found love. There are decisions that have to be made that are not easy at all. Will you stay together? Will you figure it out? Are you ready for a long distance relationship?
You have to think about it really good. Maybe your host country is not too far away from your home country. Maybe it's only a 2 hour flight so you can visit each other on the weekends. This could totally work for some time.
Another thought would be to go to university in your host country. In some countries this is easier than in others. You can get information on the classes you could take and the fees you would have to pay. Maybe this would work. Maybe you could even stay with your host family for a while if your university schedule fits your au pair schedule.
If you are from a European Union country and are an au pair in the EU you could also just extend your stay, since you are allowed to stay whereever you want and as long as you want in the EU. If your host family needs an au pair for a longer time this would be a great opportunity to be close to your boyfriend or girlfriend.
If you are an au pair in the USA you can always extend your stay and stay another year in the USA. After 2 years you'd have to find another solution, though.
It is also possible that both of you or one of you will decide to break up, because it's not possible for either you, your partner or both of you to keep up a long distance relationship. Don't be sad! You had a great time together, but maybe it just wasn't meant to be forever. Maybe you have other goals and dreams and even love can't change them. It's a tough decision to make, but you will be happy again!
Love doesn't know distance or borders. So don't let anything stop you from being with the one you love.
To start your au pair adventure you can register on AuPair.com and search for your host family.
This post is also available in: German