Things Only Cross-Cultural Couples Will Understand
Rachel and Paolo from F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Gloria and Jay from Modern Family, and Daenerys and Drogo from Game of Thrones. What do they all have in common? Yes, they were all in cross-cultural relationships. Every relationship is peculiar in its own way but an inter-cultural relationship is even more unique because of the blend of cultures. So here are some things you can understand only if you are in a cross-cultural relationship.
1. The language barrier
You and your partner don’t speak any common language fluently? Oh, shoot. We all know how common the phrase “that’s not what I meant” is, in a relationship. But in your case, it will be used thrice as much. You probably don’t get to discuss the meaning of life or the global economy. Words and statement that seem to have direct translations might convey utterly different ideas such that even dictionaries don’t have an explanation. Miscommunication will inevitably third wheel the two of you during every outing and phone call. But don’t try to dodge the language barrier. Instead, work past it. Learn your partner’s language and your heart-to-heart conversations don’t have to be so silent anymore! To sign up for language training, click here.
2. Change ahead!
If you are a wanderlust, life just got simpler! You can travel to his/her native country or town and this experience can be mind-blowing and eye-opening. Not only do you have a local tour guide but you also have a place to stay with authentic exposure to the new culture. Your relationship will act as your gateway to a new cuisine, new traditions and customs, new people, new language, new religion, new place-this list is never ending. Your food preferences, film choices, idea of a romance, adaptability and cultural understanding will all change.
3. The stink eye
Judgments. Disapproval. How in your right mind did you think you could escape that? The world consists of multitude of cultures and each of them have a different take on romance and relationships. You are going to be frequently questioned about the difficulty level of your relationship and about the future “you both don’t have”. Outside opinions and influences can affect any relationship but it’s harder when it involves merging two cultures. The expectations and doubts from your and your partner’s friends and family might be overwhelming. The questions posed can be highly intrusive and inappropriate.
4. Different folks, different strokes
Differences spring up in every relationship. In your case, the fact that your partner was accustomed to and brought up in a setup different from yours might have an even more strong effect. This could go two ways. The differences might open up unexplored avenues for you and broaden your horizon. Or they could be a source of frequent disagreements. Either way, you will get abundance of insight into various new outlooks and standpoints. Regardless of how open minded you think you are, a lifetime of social conditioning embeds a set of preconceived biases of which you are not completely aware. Understand this and make space for your partner’s views.