Now that you are dating someone from a different culture are there things that you need to do differently? Or is it just like dating someone from your culture? Cross cultural dating is immensely attractive to many people mainly because of the mystery and the differences that add to the charm and lure of the partner. You know the saying ‘opposites attract’? Well, it is particularly spot on in a cross cultural relationship. You are attracted to their uncharacteristic look, their curious accent, and their strange mannerisms and ways. But the differences that pull you towards them can become the greatest source of conflict if not handled properly. Here are some tips to accepting the cultural differences of the person that you are dating.
1. Right attitude. I know you are immensely proud of your cultural and who you are, but so is your partner and if you subconsciously think that your culture is superior to theirs then your relationship is in trouble. Sincerely evaluate your attitude toward your partner’s culture. Do you think that all aspects of your culture are more superior to your partners? If you do then you need a reality check to realize that each culture has good and bad practices and none is actually superior to the other. They are just different!
2. Embrace the differences. You need to not just accept the differences between you but for you to go beyond that and actually find ways to adopt some of the differences from their culture into your life. If you are able to do this it will do wonders for your relationship as it’s a demonstration to your partner that you are not only attracted to them but that you accept their culture and therefore them. If you totally reject all aspects of your partner’s culture then you unconsciously convey the message to them that you also reject who they are. Think about it like this, if someone said they loved you but didn’t like what you ate, how you spoke and what you did; would you believe their declaration of love? Then you know how your cross cultural partner feels.
3. Right focus. There will be aspects of your partner’s culture that don’t make sense to you just as there are aspects of your culture that make no sense to your partner. Do not focus on those aspects! Resist the temptation to make fun of those aspects and to keep harping on how they are just plain crazy. It may be funny to you but believe me when I tell you that your partner is not amused and they get less so the more you go on and on about it. Accept that it’s part of what your partner brings into the relationship and learn to make peace with it.
4. Speech to others. When in the company of family and friends, avoid any conversation that demeans your partner’s culture. Avoid repeating the negative stereotypes of your partner’s culture. Remember that your loyalty lies with your partner and that should be clear from your conversations. If your loyalties lie elsewhere then you may need to rethink the relationship.
If you are unable to follow through on these 4 tips then your cross cultural relationship is doomed to failure as you cannot really be a part of strong couple if you do not consider your partner to be as important as yourself.