When "different" means an Inter-Cultural Relationship, are the added challenges worth it? Find out!
Have you ever wondered if it would be worth it to be involved in an intercultural relationship? Has it ever fleeted through your mind and, without much consideration, you quickly dismissed with a “no,” not really giving much thought as to why? Have you been involved in an intercultural relationship, and concluded when it ended, that it was because of the cultural differences and doomed from the start? It could have even been the excuse you or your partner used to end it. Maybe you’re contemplating that excuse right now.
If you’ve never considered a relationship outside of your own subculture, that’s OK too, but don’t let it be because of some illusion that we’re here on earth to create and sustain separateness. Being open to other cultures and subcultures, makes the world a bigger and better place to live in – for you.
Relationships are difficult at times anyway. Think about it; you have two minds coming together to share a segment of life together. Two people think differently. Different genders will process thought, and communicate, differently. Those different minds are probably what attracted you to each other in the first place. Let’s face it, sameness can be boring; no real growth or expansion required.
When people first get together, they go through that “getting to know each other” stage and putting their “best foot forward.” For some, they’ll progress to the “in-love” stage. Through the stages, you’re learning about each other, your differences and your similarities; it’s exciting!
At some point all the newness wares off and those same things that you used to think were cute and different, can turn into annoyances. Those end up being the things you and your partner have to work on in your relationship to accept about the other, or work out in compromise. Don’t waste time trying to change your partner though; that will just make YOU crazy. (Change only happens when a person decides to change for him/her self, not for someone else.)
OK, so you already have all that “usual” stuff going on. Now add in some cultural differences attributed to such things as age, race, religion/spiritual beliefs, socioeconomic background or influences. These differences will undoubtedly require extra attention at times just to be able to communicate effectively, because each will have gained different “filters” and perspectives through the experiences of their own subculture(s). The ability to communicate is a key element in the success of a relationship. 4 Steps To Help Couples Speak Their Very Own Language [EXPERT]
Another challenge you may encounter is that others sometimes feel they have the right to force their opinions, disapprovals and sometimes aggressions onto your relationship. It could be family and/or “friends” that have some “wisdom” to share about your choices and how it will affect you. But what they really mean is how they think it will affect them. People you work with may decide to have a reaction to you and your partner’s age or race differences. Sometimes total strangers will even get in your face. People can be very judgmental. It’s unfortunately prevalent throughout most cultures to be judgmental of another culture’s differences – again, from age differences to ethnicity.
- There are differences of two minds working within any relationship.
- Then any cultural differences brought in with age, race, religion/spiritual beliefs, and socioeconomic factors influencing thoughts, feelings and actions of both partners.
- In addition to those, perhaps outside forces of negative spewing and/or doing may appear and add a burden to your relationship, regardless of your choice to act on or ignore it.
The Question: IS IT WORTH IT?
Answer: It is whatever you say it is!
FACT: Your relationship is what you and your partner make of it – bottom line. None of these other things have detrimental power or influence unless you allow them to. Good relationships are built on honesty, mutual respect, and compromise through love and effective communication.
The moral of this (my) story is that if you want a good and lasting relationship, no matter any cultural differences, be honest about the challenges and then be true to you. Be loving and respectful of yourself and your partner. Find ways to compromise with each other without compromising who you are. Be committed to growth in yourself and that of the ever-evolving relationship with your life partner. Never consider conforming to someone else’s idea of how you “should” be living your life. Do this, and you’ll live happily ever after together.
For more help finding your own direction, or simply adding more joy to your life experience, I invite you to contact me through my website for Life Coaching services or to check out my new book, Mastering the Art of Feeling Good.
Find out about the New HOUR OF POWER!