Dating is something we have always done as human beings, we are hardwired to find another person attractive and it doesn't matter what you like, we are all different and should celebrate that as a fact. If you find yourself dating someone from another culture then there are certain things we have to remember. No one is trying to be rude, especially if you're dating them, but sometimes people aren't aware that their actions could be perceived in a negative light, even if you don't mean it. You don't want to be treading on eggshells for your entire relationship. First and foremost always be respectful and kind, but also remember these tips just in case you find yourself in hot water with your partner.
It's important to understand that dating someone from another culture will almost definitely come with several differences. These include various beliefs, including religion, languages, how they act in certain situations, behaviours, and practices. Cultural clashes are a normal thing to have to face when in a relationship and the best way to deal with it is not by arguing but by understanding and learning. For example, if you were a man travelling around Peru then you might try and meet some locals to see if love is on the cards. If you knew nothing of Peruvian women's tendencies, then you might find it difficult, however, if you had a little more understanding then you might be more successful. Having a how-to guide containing what you should know is a brilliant way to ensure you're being charming whilst staying respectful. Everyone is different, especially when they're from another country so doing your research first is a must!
I don't just mean linguistically, I mean everything. This goes for dating anyone but could be relied on a little more when dating someone from another culture. Things are going to be different and there are no two ways about it. The best thing you can possibly do is to try and understand what's happening in every situation. Becoming disinterested and snappy when your partner is doing something culturally sensitive to them is the first step in ending your relationship. When you enter into a partnership with someone you're accepting every part of them. Try and find a common interest in what they are doing, and if that's not possible you should try and show the willingness to understand it. You don't have to want to pray with them every day, but you can understand their need to do so.
Respect is a two-way street and the more you give, the more you will receive. Respecting your partner is one of the more important things you can do in a relationship and if you don't, then there is virtually no point in being in one. Respect their decision to do whatever they decide when it comes to a cultural difference. Let's keep that within a boundary for a moment, if they decide to wear a religious item of clothing or take part in a tradition you aren't familiar with, not if they're doing anything illegal or threatening.
One of the best things about being with someone from another culture is having the possibility of learning another language. It's also hugely important that you try and do this to show support for your partner, if you ever have children in the future they will most probably learn both languages, the last thing you want is your kids talking and having no clue what they are saying. Learning a language with a partner is a task that will bring you closer together, it will help connect you and give you something in common that not many have.
These are dramatically different when dating someone from another culture and often because of many arguments, things can be misunderstood, which leads into blazing rows when in reality all that was asked was a simple question. Talk about your expectations and find a common level with each other. Some cultures are more uptight about certain things, and others are super chilled out. Find your middle point and then you both have to work equally towards it. Realize you're going to have different expectations and the first step is done.
Dating someone from another culture is an amazing experience and if you end up in a life partnership then you will have some of the best times of your life. If you've never been in a relationship like it, then I would thoroughly recommend it, you learn so much and it's exciting. If you can control the differences and maintain expectations, then you'll have a long, fun, and exciting relationship.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist