TCKDating

Third Culture Kid Dating; adults who have spent their developmental years outside their parent's culture


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Who coined the term Third Culture Kid or TCK?

I recently stumbled upon the ‘founder’ of TCK research, Dr. Ruth Hill Useem.  You can find the full article on the TCK World website http://www.tckworld.com/useem/home.html.  She did a Phd in Sociology, Anthropology, Social Psychology, and Psychology in 1947.  She moved to India with her husband John Useem to conduct research and returned a second time with her three sons to do a study on overseas Americans.  It was from this research and these life experiences that they coined the term ‘third culture’ and later ‘third culture kid’.  She started publishing her research on third culture kids in the 1960s.

Dr. Ruth Useem did research on expat populations and overseas communities.  She travelled to over 70 countries to do her research on TCKs.  She has worked on or helped contribute to 30 different doctorate dissertations on third culture kids.  Her main focus was looking at the impact that living abroad as children has on them as adults.  Her findings were fascinating and more of her reports and articles can be found on the TCK World website.  On one project in particular, she collected 700 questionnaires from adult third culture kids ages ranging from 25 to 90. Each questionnaire consisted of 20 pages of questions, which shows that she collected a great deal of information from these Adult TCKs!  In the next posts, I will bring up the findings she came up with when looking at adults who had spent the majority of their developmental years outside their parent’s culture.Image


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Dating as a Third Culture Kid. Would dating a TCK be the best option for you?

What do you think? I know that for friends or acquaintances, when I meet someone who has also moved around during their childhood, we straight away have a connection.  We can talk about the experience, the cities we’ve lived in, international schools, the lack of friends we are still in touch with, and all the rest!  I have to say it’s been quite rare for me to meet Third Culture Kid guys.  And on the rare occasion I have met TCK guys who could have been potentials for dates, and by that I mean attractive, my age, and charming…  Well, they were quite arrogant.  Ok, I am generalizing, and I have definitely not met enough TCK guys to even make a point of this. But that is only because those are the ones I’ve come across.

When I was in Boston, I would go to bars and pubs and meet American guys, mostly guys who had spent their whole life in Boston or Providence, and there would be either of two reactions. The first was a fascination for my background. They found it exotic, sexy, different, the unknown for them.  And to be honest, this is not that appealing, as we know, as TCKs that we don’t feel ‘exotic’; we are who we are, fair enough different but not ‘exotic’.  ‘Sexy’- well, that’s subjective ! And the second reaction is complete disinterest.  You know that look of ‘oh right’ and then the ‘turn around’. Too different. Not that cool. And I don’t want to make the effort to care.  Let’s be honest. That kind of guy might act like that with all girls, TCK or not.  But since I often had this reaction, I started feeling as if the two were connected.  What would you say? Do you feel the same way?  Do you get the same reaction when you answer their questions about where you’re from and they find out you’re a TCK?Image