New relationships can be challenging for anyone, but when you add cultural differences into the mix it can seem almost daunting. The good news is that couples all over the world manage the intricacies of multi-cultural relationships all the time and will tell you it is worth it and that these relationships can be rewarding and incredibly loving. Though no one can guarantee any relationship will be lasting, you can improve your odds by using a few tips to make the early days of your relationship easier.
Learn about your partners culture – This might seem like a given, but in the whirlwind of a new romance, it can easily get forgotten. This means asking about their culture, talking to others from their culture and whenever possible actually participating in your partners culture. Of course it is not always culturally appropriate to insert yourself in to your partners family and cultural traditions, which means part of learning about their culture means asking them and finding out from them when and how you can participate.
Challenge Stereotypes – Even the most culturally aware PC people have some believes about other cultures that fall into the category of stereo types. This can hurt a relationship in both the short term. No one is immune to that instant thought, but once you have the thought it is your job to challenge your beliefs and not buy into the stereo type. You may also need to push back on friends and families when it comes to the stereotypes they have adopted.
Compromise – There will be times when two different cultures will clash. This tends to happen the more often around holidays and traditions, but you might find it happening in everyday life too. You will need to talk about these clashes and come up with w compromise that recognizes both people in the relationship and both cultures. The idea is not to approach this as one of you has to give something up, but how you can make a compromise that ends up enriching both of your lives.
Don’t Look at Cultural Differences as a Negative – This can be really hard, especially if you feel like you sometimes have to give up your own important traditions to make room for your partners. Communication is really important with this, but even more you have to look at adopting something new and different as a way to enrich your life and as a way to bring you more joy and fulfillment.