90-Day Fiance: Fairytale or Fallacy?
I recently binge-watched a season of 90-Day Fiance, and I have a confession: I’m hooked. The show isn’t simply reality television — it is these people’s reality.
While each story is different, similarities do exist. A U.S. citizen chooses an international lover who comes to the U.S., and the two need to marry within 90 days. In almost all situations, friends and loved ones are nervous and hesitant to trust the new partner and their intensions. But the reality is that every situation varies. Yes, some people abuse the system and the love really isn’t there. But many times, it is real and tension just occurs because moving somewhere new is a major cultural shift.
There are couples who make it and overcome their obstacles, but there are others that throw in the towel because 90 days is just too short. But when faced with that short timeframe, how many of us would really make it? Can you truly, truly get to know anyone in 90 days? Lovers aside, I feel like you don’t even really know your friends in that short period of time. So if you are weighing the option of marriage, the pressure is truly on.
What can you do to get to know each other quickly? Obviously communication is key. Be open, stay up late and exchange stories. The best way to get to know someone is their past, and the stories that come from that. They may be a totally different person now, but knowing where someone came from shows character and gives you important background you need to know. You should also be prepared to ask tons of questions — the more the merrier! The past is important, but the future is even more essential. Ask what their aspirations and goals are. This is a great way to see if your hopes and dreams line up. That way you can see if you can grow together and build each other up in the future.
You should also make your partner feel at home. Culture shock is very real. So while you are moving fast to get married, you should try to take it slow in other areas. Answer and really explain copious amounts of questions without seeming bothered. Yes, it can be a lot, but just think if you were in another country and your world was turned upside down. You would have a lot of questions, and you would probably ask the same question more than once until you get the hang of things. So take it slow when possible and be open-minded.
Lastly, make sure you integrate them into your lives. They are leaving their family and friends behind, so anyone you can introduce them to helps them feel more comfortable and a part of your life. But, you don’t have to do everything together. They are their own person, and you need to give them space to go out and make their own path, meeting friends outside your circle.
At the end of the day, you want them included in your life, but they have to have their own too so they don’t feel suffocated. It is all about balance and trust. Give them the space they need to be their own person and find where they are comfortable in their new surroundings. It is not easy and you don’t have a ton of time, but if you both just be yourselves and get to know each other, you will enter the 90 days with hope and a goal to meet. Then you have the rest of your lives to figure out if you are in it for the long-haul or if any changes need to happen. Be hopeful, and good luck to those taking a chance at love, no matter the obstacles that come and go.