When Love Crosses Continents | InterNations
All of the men I've ever dated have been from different cultures. Whether they were Irish, Italian or Greek, they've always been of a different. On the other hand, the person from the relationship-oriented country may try so Create a Culture Where Difficult Conversations Aren't So Hard to 10 Cultural Codes from Around the World and Guide to Stepping Outside. The different ways in which cultures view romance may help you see your own relationship from a whole new perspective!.
Misunderstandings - Language is the key to instructing, directing and expressing. If you can't do these things properly then you open yourself up to misinterpretation, which in turn can lead to conflict. Frustration - When you have feelings for someone, you probably want to get as close as possible to them.
Not speaking the same language as them means you will always have a barrier between you, something which can become very frustrating over time.
Alienation - Meeting a partner's friends and family is a nerve-wracking experience for anybody. When you don't speak the same language, this experience can be 10 times as daunting. When everyone around you is speaking in a different language, it can sometimes feel like they are talking about you. Although they probably aren't, the paranoia and the frustration of not being able to engage in the way you want to can lead to feelings of alienation. Dealing with language issues in cross cultural relationships Counselling can help to improve communication pathways between couples, even when those couples don't share a first language.
By clearing up misunderstandings and voicing secret feelings about alienation and frustration, couples can step out from the tangle of problems miscommunication presents and start with a clean slate. Make the effort - Even if your partner is a foreigner in your country, by taking the time to learn their language you can show that you want to be a part of their world as much as they've become a part of yours.
Strengthen other communication channels - Find ways to reinforce messages to avoid misunderstandings - especially things like times and places to meet. Consider social gatherings - Ask friends and family to speak in your partner's language if possible, or to speak slowly without using informal language they might not recognise.
Be patient - It takes time and practise to learn a new language. Eventually, with patience and understanding, you will find a unique way to communicate with your partner. Loss of identity If you've moved to a different country, changed religion, or sacrificed your own culture to embrace your partner's, you may begin to feel a little departed from the person you used to be. When you integrate into a new culture, you often have to leave some of your old habits behind.
Multicultural relationships: Working across cultures and countries | Science | AAAS
Soon, it becomes apparent just how important those small habits were to you, and how much they impacted your own sense of identity. Do I fit in here? Do I have a responsibility to hold on to my cultural heritage? A counsellor will help you to think of ways you can reclaim parts of your old identity in a way that doesn't stop you integrating well into your partner's culture. It is possible to hold onto your identity while embracing a new culture and, with the help of a counsellor, you can start to explore what makes you you.
After all, you are an individual and while the culture you grew up in might have helped shape your identity, it does not own you - you are in control. Advice for cross cultural relationships There is no single formula for a happy, long-term cross cultural relationship. Relationships are always different and what works for one couple might not for another.
Whatever challenges you face on your journey, whatever complications arise from the differences between you, it is important to always remember that there was a reason you started your relationship in the first place.
Relationship advice from around the world
It might become tainted, marred, or forgotten - but that reason will never really disappear. Here are some tips for avoiding challenges in cross cultural relationships: Understand, respect and compromise Don't expect your partner to settle seamlessly into your way of life. Even if they're the foreigner and you're the native, you should see the relationship as a merging of cultures rather than that person adopting yours.
Respect their differences, learn about them and look at where you might have to compromise to help them feel happy. Relationships should always be about finding a comfortable balance. If one of you isn't making enough effort, then cracks will start to form. Get first hand experience of each other's cultures Visit each other's home country, learn one another's language even if they speak yours and read up about their religion and cultural history.
If you're not interested, why are you with this person? Making the effort to get out there and experience life from their perspective shows that you care and that you want to know them better. Pass on both cultures to your children The issue of children can be a big one for cross cultural couples. How do parents from different heritages instil a solid sense of identity in their child? Instead of seeing yours and your partner's separate cultures as two different identities, see your relationship as one.
Teach your children about both cultures and explore with them the differences between the two, focussing on how they work together and the positives that can be drawn from both.
Rearing your children to be bilingual is also a good idea so as not to alienate one half of your couple. Think positively about your differences Having a different perspective on life is a valuable thing - you have so much to learn from one another. See your differences as a good thing that enhances your relationship, rather than a stumbling block.
Don't forget to care and show caring It is easy to forget that the basis of any relationship is caring.
Everyone wants to care and be cared about. Caring about people is what makes a relationship real. Don't let your awkwardness around cultural differences get in the way of caring about people.
Listen to people tell their stories If you get an opportunity to hear someone tell you her life story first hand, you can learn a lot--and build a strong relationship at the same time.
When Love Crosses Continents
Every person has an important story to tell. Each person's story tells something about their culture. Listening to people's stories, we can get a fuller picture of what people's lives are like--their feelings, their nuances, and the richness of their lives.
Listening to people also helps us get through our numbness-- there is a real person before us, not someone who is reduced to stereotypes in the media. Additionally, listening to members of groups that have been discriminated against can give us a better understanding of what that experience is like.
Listening gives us a picture of discrimination that is more real than what we can get from reading an article or listening to the radio. You can informally ask people in your neighborhood or organization to tell you a part of their life stories as a member of a particular group.
You can also incorporate this activity into a workshop or retreat for your group or organization. Have people each take five or ten minutes to talk about one piece of their life stories. If the group is large, you will probably have to divide into small groups, so everyone gets a chance to speak. Notice differences in communication styles and values; don't assume that the majority's way is the right way.
We all have a tendency to assume that the way that most people do things is the acceptable, normal, or right way. As community workers, we need to learn about cultural differences in values and communication styles, and not assume that the majority way is the right way to think or behave. You are in a group discussion. Some group members don't speak up, while others dominate, filling all the silences. The more vocal members of the group become exasperated that others don't talk.
It also seems that the more vocal people are those that are members of the more mainstream culture, while those who are less vocal are from minority cultures. How do we understand this? How can this be resolved?
In some cultures, people feel uncomfortable with silence, so they speak to fill the silences. In other cultures, it is customary to wait for a period of silence before speaking. If there aren't any silences, people from those cultures may not ever speak.
Also, members of some groups women, people of low income, some racial and ethnic minorities, and others don't speak up because they have received messages from society at large that their contribution is not as important as others; they have gotten into the habit of deferring their thinking to the thinking of others.
When some people don't share their thinking, we all lose out. We all need the opinions and voices of those people who have traditionally been discouraged from contributing. In situations like the one described above, becoming impatient with people for not speaking is usually counter-productive. However, you can structure a meeting to encourage the quieter people to speak. For example, you can: Have people break into pairs before discussing a topic in the larger group. At certain times have each person in the circle make a comment.
People can pass if they want to. Follow a guideline that everyone speaks once, before anyone speaks twice. Invite the quieter people to lead part of the meeting. Talk about the problem openly in a meeting, and invite the more vocal people to try to speak less often.
Between meetings, ask the quieter people what would help them speak, or ask them for their ideas on how a meeting should be run. A high school basketball team has to practice and play on many afternoons and evenings. The coach is angry with the parents for this requirement, because it takes his player away from the team. Families have different values, especially when it comes to family closeness, loyalty, and responsibility.
Needless to say we had to deal with many questions from friends and families about where the relationship was headed. We knew they all meant well but we were still frustrated with their lack of understanding. Somehow, we knew we wanted to be together.
The logistics though were a bit convoluted. He could not seem to find a job in the US, and I could not seem to figure out what I would do in Europe; but we persisted. Being very pragmatic people in our lives, we sat down and came up with a project. The goal was to be together. We just have to figure out how. Then we decided to think "outside the box". What if we both relocated to somewhere new, a neutral ground where neither one of us had the advantage of familiarity, friends, or family?
And so the idea to move to Australia was born. Living the Life of a Geographical Single In the summer ofwe got married. A week after our wedding, my husband had to fly back to Germany to continue working. The skepticism about our relationship continued, but we knew we had a plan. We had just found out that we could both move and work in Australia, but the paperwork would take time. So, for a little while longer, we had to live on separate continents.
Many people would ask me how we kept such a relationship going. Out of curiosity, I went online to find out if people dated across continents. I found out very quickly that we were not unique; we even have a name! The world has become more global now and people are traveling around the world for various reasons.
Falling in love with someone who lives miles away is not uncommon. So, couples are finding ways to keep relationships going. The advantage of that is that you are in this perpetual honeymoon. Everything is temporary and thus exciting. You want to savor every last second of your time together so everyone is on their best behavior, and every meeting is an adventure. The disadvantage of these long-distance relationships is that you are on a perpetual honeymoon.
Relationship advice from around the world
You never get to be around each other long enough to be in mundane moments and moods; to not look or feel your best, to have your differences and be able to resolve them in an amicable manner, while still being two different individuals, and this is something that geographical singles should be aware of.
Having an end point to when you will no longer be in separate geographical locations helps you to keep going. Without this plan, the relationship faces the danger of fizzling out and dying.
While in their case they were saying goodbye, I like to think of long-distance relationships as walking on opposites sides of a great wall with plans to meet in the center but not for a farewell embrace but for a reunion.