Multicultural dating and assumptions

Posted by James, 24 Apr 07

I was once in an intercultural relationship. Me and my lady had so much in common. Never did I ever foresee that one day… tone time… culture will be an issue. Well eventually, it was. In an intercultural relationship, we must acknowledge the fact that different assumptions may surface over time.

Opinions and judgments made are usually based on our world views. And this view is mostly shaped by culture. Problems usually surface depending on how engrossed we are in our cultural beliefs and values. Truth be told… who in their right mind would think her/his culture is inferior. Can anyone here admit that their culture is totally screwed up?

All of our life experiences through family and cultural background shape our opinions and teach us how to deal with life's challenges. Often, this is how we begin to formulate prejudices against other cultures. The ego… "The way we did it in my country was better.᾿ Does this statement sound familiar? Well me being THE MAN with THE PAIR of you know what, I eventually screwed up the whole relationship with my cultural ego.

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The funny thing about all these cultural differences is that with time, we end up fussing about the tiniest things… the way the house is decorated, unfamiliar types of entertainment, different understandings of extended family relationships, the celebration of unfamiliar holidays, differing views of romanticism… Well you know what you fussed about this morning. Like it or not, we all have and would need to face such assumptions in the event of an intercultural marriage.

Someone once said that “marrying someone from an underdeveloped country and then bringing that person to the States may be shocking! The prosperity of North America can be incomprehensible. Likewise, the lack of what others may view as essentials can be equally shocking.᾿ With our parents - who may have once rejected such a union - keeping a close watch over the relationship, what is one supposed to do? What will your priority be? Love or the way the clothes are being washed?

The lesson I learnt from my previous relationship is - Try knowing each other's culture! Know what both cultures value. Keep your pair of balls in check. That way you can reach a comprise. Forget about how the clothes were cleaned. Focus on the end result and respect your spouse’s weird holidays.

So what if the assumptions are based on religion? You tell me.

6 responses to "Multicultural dating and assumptions"

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  1.   Smile4242 says:
    Posted: 31 Mar 09

    I think when you said "your spouse's weird holidays" you said it all. What was missing in the relationship, my friend, was respect for her culture. Even if you disagree with certain aspects of it, it is possible to respect it. Without that respect, your spouse could not feel respected since her culture is a part of her. In essence, you were disrespecting her by not respecting her culture. The cultural ego, as you said. The cultural ego had no respect for another culture, and that was the core of the problem right there.

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  2.   Smile4242 says:
    Posted: 31 Mar 09

    I can admit my culture is screwed up... but then again I think all of them are.... And I am not so sure that what you describe is always a cultural thing. I have seen people from the same culture and even the same town start to squabble about how their way is better, or their family traditions is better. To me, it is a symptom of the couple forgetting why they are there. When people start arguing about the small things, it usually is not the small things. There is usually an elephant in the room somewhere, that one person is ignoring, and the other may or may not know exists. When you are in love, the little things do not matter and you are willing to compromise. When you fall out of love, those little things start annoying you. I would suggest that maybe something deeper may (or may not) be at issue. Do you feel loved? Does she? Do you feel wanted? Does she? Are you both working together to make each other happy, or are you both more concerned about your own happiness? Or perhaps, one or both of you are picky and want it your way, and are unwilling to compromise. The little things are not that important. When they become important, then the more important things like love and attention and affection may be missing, neglected or forgotten. It may not be the case for you, but it might be. It is worth looking anyway. Good luck.

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  3.   manowine says:
    Posted: 14 Mar 09

    Maybe I am dense but I cannot tune into a "Queen looking for her King" and a "King looking for his Queen". To me it implies a regal, I'm pompous type air. Can anyone explain this type of moniker to me because I don't get it and frankly it turns me off a bit? Manowine

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  4.   hiimsteph says:
    Posted: 23 Jul 07

    the man that I have been talking to and getting to know is a muslim, despite that we have so much in common. I know we are going to have our differences, how big are small they will be, I just hope that we are prepared to arise to such occasions. From what I feel and see he does respect me and he is not like a hardcore muslim or anything, but he does observe the holidays and prays five times a day and doesnt at pork. He is a sweetheart to me and maybe, if we are together long enough, we can take that trip to mecca together. But that all in due time...

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  5.   Fala says:
    Posted: 01 May 07

    You really should find out these things before the relationship gets too serious.

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  6.   agilis says:
    Posted: 30 Apr 07

    Why did you think that in your country everything is better when your country men screwed your girl friends country beforehand? I believe very much that if you feel so strong about your values, why putting up with all this nonsense in your home country and living together in hers where you really can proof if your values are so much better...would it not be better to life e.g. ivory coast, Nigeria nanibia, wherever, doing something there in the community of your partner? this at least would help to overcome this hypocrisies in working with this money-eating NGO's who suck in our so called civilized world an old granny her pennys to waste it for fenct 4X4's.

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