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Embracing Cultural Differences Through International Dating

A photo of a lovely couple looking at each other.
Oftentimes, cultural differences are better understood through international dating. | Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels

Gone are the days when relationships were only created among individuals of the same cultural backgrounds and society. Gone are the days when international dating was considered taboo in most communities.

Nowadays, marriages are no longer limited nor forced and people are enjoying the freedom to choose who they want to spend their life with.

In the past, cultural differences were mainly seen as a challenge that couples needed to overcome. But now, it is seen as more of an experience worth taking rather than a challenge worth conquering.

People are gradually realizing that there are practically more advantages in dating someone from a different country or place. More and more interracial couples are succeeding in their pursuit of making international relationships work and proving that it, indeed, lasts.

Hence, to help you embrace the differences you and your partner have whilst engaging in an intimate and meaningful relationship, the tips below are especially for you.

Don't think that the relationship isn't normal.

When one thinks of international relationships, the first thing that comes to their mind is how different they are from what they think NORMAL relationships are. What most people miss out on is that intercultural relationships aren’t that different from any other forms of romantic relationships.

Interracial couples also face the same problems that couples of the same ethnic background do. Just because you have a different skin color doesn’t mean that the relationship is complex or you’d have to work harder for it to last. They’re all normal and both have to deal with their own issues and differences.

Instead of focusing on your differences, by learning about and understanding different cultures, you come to realize that you have a lot more in common than you first thought.

Just like “normal” relationships, these differences are likewise amenable through creating goals, hopes, and future plans together.

Free yourself from preconceived notions.

What commonly sets interracial relationships apart from other relationships are the preconceived notions that surround them. Or at least, that’s what the majority thinks.

In order for it to work and not let the cultural dissimilarities hinder your relationship, simply assume nothing. Free yourself from all the stereotypical images that the society around you dictates about other cultures.

A photo of a couple lying on the grass.
Cultural understanding makes it possible for interracial couples to succeed in their relationship. | Photo by Mark Decile on Unsplash

Only believe what comes out of the mouth of your other half. If there are differences that seem inevitable, choose to be patient instead of forcing what you were told to believe was right. Respect the difference and expect that there will always be diversity in your relationship. Other than that, avoid any assumptions until you both discuss matters.

Have open communication.

In a relationship, compromising never fails.

When communicating with each other, make sure to always listen and understand where your partner comes from. When in doubt or confusion, don’t hesitate to throw questions as it encourages a healthy exchange of beliefs and/or perspectives. Sometimes, it might lead to fights or arguments, but in the end, it often comes out beneficial to your relationship.

Other than having open communication, it’s also important to understand each other’s communication styles. Some people are direct communicators, while some like playing with words.

Discuss which communication style suits best for both of you. That way, even if you both speak different languages, miscommunication can be avoided.

Don't take offense quickly.

While it is easy to take offense out of a seemingly rude or offensive remark, sometimes, you need to check first who that remark came from.

When dating someone overseas, chances are, you view things differently which means you also have differing opinions on what statements are offensive and not. Most of the time, your partner doesn’t mean to offend you because, in the first place, they’re clueless that a statement was even offensive.

Try to broaden your viewpoint and understand where these people are coming from. It’s also one significant way of practicing cultural understanding.

Rather than taking offense quickly, calmly talk about how you felt and how it became offensive on your part. Afterwards, both of you should adjust and adapt accordingly.

Take an effort to learn each other's language.

Most of the time, it’s always the one who came from the West that had to make the least effort when it comes to learning the language of their partner.

Just because the majority of people around the globe speak English doesn’t mean you’re free to slack off and not learn your partner’s dialect. Learning a new language is one of the few compromises you should be willing to do when you find love in another country.

A photo of a lovely couple talking.
When you find love abroad, be willing to learn and speak their language .. | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Not only does it greatly benefit your relationship, but it’s also the best way to establish good relations with your partner’s family and friends. You’d better exert effort to learn a phrase or two, unless you want to constantly question yourself if they are talking about you, or worse, laughing at you.

The Significance of Cultural Diversity in a Relationship

It’s a common misconception that when you immerse yourself in a person with a different cultural background, you need to give up a part of your cultural identity and begin to adapt to the culture you’re being introduced to.

In reality, you don’t have to lose yourself in order to keep track of the process and get a hold of the relationship you decided to take part in. Instead of losing your identity, start to see life from a different perspective. Start looking at international dating as an opportunity to widen your perspective on life — and not limit it.

See the beauty and the privilege of being able to enjoy life from a bigger view or perspective. You don’t have to feel suffocated in trying to fit in because you don’t necessarily have to. You just have to appreciate how these many types of cultural differences make the world, in general, diverse and gratifying to live in.

Instead of criticizing and comparing each other’s cultural beliefs, choose to learn and integrate such learning into how you were brought up.

Appreciating diversity and inclusion will definitely make your life more interesting and they’ll contribute greatly to your growth not just inside the relationship but in general.

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