Dating someone from another country can be an amazing experience. You have the chance to share different cultural heritages, exchange language, and broaden both of your perspectives of the world.
But it can also come with challenges, cultural misunderstandings, language barriers, and tensions around communication styles. Sometimes, something seemingly simple can set off a chain reaction of emotion, and you're left to untangle it.
AITA for not telling my boyfriend that I speak his language?
My boyfriend, Jake (m29) and I (f27) have been seeing together for a few months now. Dave is Mexican-American but he’s currently working in Berlin where I am from.
I’ve heard him speak Spanish on the phone many times and inquired about this but he’s never asked me if I speak it and it just felt weird to mention it when he didn’t seem to care enough to ask if I spoke any other languages apart from German and English. Because of that, he’s never really found out I speak Spanish despite me quite literally watching a telenovela before bed quite a few times.
It kind of stings but it is what it is. I never eavesdropped on by is conversations though. His friend from the US was visiting him and I was meant to joking them for dinner. When I did, they were speaking in Spanish and his friend asked (in Spanish) if I speak it or should they switch to English only. My boyfriend said (again, in Spanish) nah, she’s a gringa, she doesn’t speak it.
Which kind of annoyed me because he never even asked to I replied to his friend, in Spanish, try at I do in fact speak it. Jake got angry and red. He didn’t say anything in front of his friend but on the way home, after dropping his friend off at the hotel, he started shouting how I humiliated him and that I’m a**hole for hiding it. I told him it’s best if he went to his flat and we would talk when he calms down.
He hasn’t changed his mind and still thinks I’m an a**hole and I should apologize . I told my friends and they’re split on it and I’m not sure anymore. Am I the a**hole for not telling him?
NTA. He assumed you didn’t, referred to you dismissively to his friend, and is pissed off he got called on it. Find a better boyfriend.
You literally watch television shows in Spanish in front of him, and it didn't occur to him you understand and can speak Spanish? NTA.
Nah, she’s a gringa, she doesn’t speak it
He's the A H to just make dismissive assumptions. Also, as it is your habit to watch telenovelas in Spanish, he doesn't seem to make an effort to get to know you. Are you just supposed to be 'some' girl until he meets 'the real one'? NTA.
NTA. He never asked and just assumed that you don't speak Spanish. He's more upset that you embarrassed him and showed him to be an a**hole in front of his friend. Honestly, if that is his feeling about you speaking Spanish, I would rethink your relationship. It's not a good sign for things to come.
ESH. He sounds like a real prize (sarcasm), but it is weird you never told him you spoke Spanish. Furthermore, the more time that passed, the more likely he would have believed you lied (lie of omission) bc you were spying on him.
ESH. You don't exclude the information of speaking a whole other language from someone who speaks that language that you are in a relationship with (friends/family/dating etc). He also shouldn't be calling you a derogatory term because he thought you didn't speak the language. He sucks for clearly thinking he had a way of bad-mouthing you without you ever knowing.
You suck for hiding a huge part of your person. It's not like a cute little quirk you could go an entire life without saying anything about like cutting your bread with a butter knife (or something equally as weird but pointless to life). This is you speaking and understanding his mother tongue.
And withholding that information because he didn't ask. Most people don't just ask general partners how many languages they speak (unless that's interesting to them). Dating is not a job interview. You should be giving information freely without prompting as well as answering questions. All in all, this seems like a bad match to me.
ESH. Sorry but you should have disclosed this. As a.multi- language speaker who's lived and worked in many countries,.its basic ethics and etiquette to tell.people when they speak a language you understand in front of you. And if you cared about this relationship, you wouldn't have embarrassed him in front of his friend. He also shouldn't be dismissive. I would say you just don't care much about each other.
Clearly, if this situation is any indicator, then this relationship is deeply laced with tension.