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Trying to figure out Ethiopian dating and relationship customs

Do Ethiopian men date in the Western sense? And would they be interested in farenji women? On a recent trip to Tigrai (where I had an amazing time!), I developed a massive crush on my thirtysomething single driver from Hawzen, which I later found out was reciprocated. At least I think it was. I can't figure him out. He sends me WhatsApp messages pretty much every day. Generally nothing deep, more like "good morning", "good night", "how are you doing?" and the occasional "I miss you", etc. Sometimes he sends me pictures. The chats only last a few minutes and more often than not they end rather abruptly... which might be due to the patchy Internet connection or that he's busy with work. A few times I've gotten a few terms of endearment ("konjo", "sweet"), compliments ("you too kind", "good person", "beautiful smile") and the admission that he was constantly looking at me in the rearview mirror but mostly it's just the daily "how you doing?". I honestly don't know what to think. In addition to the language barrier (his English is pretty basic), I'm sure there's a huge cultural divide that I'm not even aware of. What's the right answer to these "how are you?" messages - should I just say "fine, and you?" and leave it at that? I get the impression that he doesn't like direct questions - is that cultural or because answering in English requires too much effort? Does he just want to be friends or is there more to it? Someone enlighten me please...

The sound looks great! I understood all you said. Let me tell you some facts, as I understood from the things written by you, you both have language barriers! He wants to explain by his words but English is not good to express his feeling. If you were able to communicate in Amharic he can explain all in a nice way. As a one of Ethiopian Young guy, I can see this from 2 angles.
1. Either he is in love with you and he has a fear to tell you, b/c Ethiopian girls will not be happy if you say I love you within short days. Then He might be in fear of losing you(at least the friendship), Of course, he passed that all and he is telling you how much he is interested with your smiles, with your behaviour and he is sending you the daily message. Indeed you should confirm him that you have the same feeling too.
2. Or He likes you very much and he wants to be your best friend.
I can explain more about it, Nowadays everybody became smarter, so no one is there who want to kill time and money on unnecessary stuff, that mean, he will never kill time by thinking about you, if he doesn't love you.
  Things to do! ....Just ask him either he has GF or not. Emmmm....  before that, say him "what do you feel about me?" Don't expect the world I love you,  probably he will never tell you that. Of course, that is a bit culture influence. Indeed, at some area that doesn't work. For example, the guys those spent at university. However, after his reply; ask him about his relationship status.  Then you will understand his feeling.
For him it might be very difficult to explain in English, let him write a message in Amharic and I can help you by translation. You can send me the copy of the message(in private mail) and I can help you. Even you can write what you want to say for him and I can translate for you too. Honestly, I am spending these all time by writing the reply, b/c I know the feeling. I faced such a kind of moment in my brother life. He was a driver too and he passed this kind of struggle.
Meanwhile, I want to highlight that; the dating style is somehow similar but it depends on an individual. Wish you have good luck and any questions or doubts are appreciated.

Dear Misale's mom,
It is very hard for Ethiopian men to say 'I am in love with you'.  At least he showed you a sign, and he is interested in you.  my advice is, if you are interested in him too, go for him.

hi , if am not late , I can help you with the communication barrier  ,and feminine advice. the dating style is somehow similar but  be smart to judge his  personality ,  I do not think it  is hard  to judge  his act  with other people .
good luck

You can just assume that most Ethiopians would want to start a relationship with a foreigner, especially when they work in tourism. There is no question that Ethiopian men are interested in foreign women. 

By the way, I know quite some Ethiopians in Brussels, if interested we can hang out with them at Flagey to get you more advice.

Let me put  it this way, I believe there is a spark b/n the two of you given the communication attempt outside of work. It's not a very common practice for drivers to check on their clients, well not in my experience at least. I can see a few scenarios in your case however. One there is the obvious language barrier, lack of access to internet, probably the main issue could be a fear of losing his job if he misread your interest. Love have no boundaries. black, white, brown... we all are the same at a deeper level. Don't be afraid or try to read b/n the lines. Let him understand that you are interested if he is , aside work. Perhaps invite him for a drink after work. Don't be aggressive so he won't feel obligated to comply out of fear. Be approachable, friendly, engage him in a conversation and test the water. Above all, no matter which way this goes, assured him that his work is not tide to anything personal. Good luck and I hope he feels the same.

At a quick glance, you seem to ask an awful lot of questions ?

I almost feel this is research going towards something ....................

Enlighten me ?

James

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