The intercultural relationship is no longer bashed by the society. It has now been accepted by many people. But the intercultural complexities are still there, lurking somewhere in every corner. Our society, how-so-ever modern it might be, still is stunned when they hear you’re dating someone out of your own cultural background. You still have to go through all the whispering, occasional talks from the people randomly, which sometimes bring out the worst fears in you.
Intercultural relationships can be daunting. Yes, they’re perfectly normal, just like any other relationship but the only thing you need to do is stick to each other and not let the people get to you.
Should You Actually Be Concerned About It?
You need to learn and accept that intercultural relationships require you to have an open mind and be ready to accept a few things out of your own comfort zone. Sometimes it may so happen that even silly things might create an issue between you and your love. No, you won’t break up just because of this but it might create resentment between you two. That is why it is really necessary for you two to understand each other’s culture and family traditions.
You know what that means? That means you’ll have to work your way through many challenges that might come off as obstacles in your relationship.
Here are few challenges and truths about intercultural relationships that may come in your way when you decide to get serious in your relationship
Racism Still Exists And Still Affects Our Lives
As much as you want to believe that racism doesn’t exist in our lives, it is not the truth. Your and his family members might have accepted you wholeheartedly but that doesn’t mean that you won’t face racism ever, especially when you’re surrounded by a few countable open-minded people. It is up to you and your partner to be aware of this and be prepared to face the criticism that might come your way. You need to learn to take a stand for your own relationship.
Religion Is Crucial Almost Always
What religion will you follow? What religion will your children follow? Will you have to convert? Will you have to stop eating meat? These questions should clearly be discussed. It might not seem much important to you two but is it the same for your families? Will they easily let this matter go? If you have to live with them then it is necessary that you discuss as to how it is going to affect your daily life.
Another crucial thing when it comes to religion is that you need to respect your partner’s religious beliefs and do your best to not to get into heated religious debates because they may create issues which may never be resolved.
There Are Certain Rules Of Marriage That You’re Expected To Follow
Every culture has its own traditions which have their own importance. Non-fulfillment of which is not going to be liked by the family and folks. Having come from a different culture we do not realize the importance of these and that is where you will feel as if you’re unwelcome in the family. If you want to be welcomed in the family then you’ve to understand the traditions followed in each other’s family. You might also find it hard to adhere to some traditions for which might receive nasty comments.
Families Are Meddlesome
Both of you might be living miles apart from your respective families but your families will still pry into your day to day matters. Almost everyone has meddlesome families and you can’t do anything about it. You’ll be taking your own decision but you’ll still find your immediate families influencing the decision. That is why it is called culture and many families derive this meddling quality from the family values that are evolved from the culture itself.
Significant Amount Of Bias Exists Amongst Minorities
Though we might not pay heed to all of these but if you pay close attention you might notice that few people have underlying cultural biases among themselves. After being grown up in their own society, people create a cultural bias among themselves. They no longer want to be involved in their own society and prefer to be in a relationship with people of different culture. And this is pretty much damaging to a relationship when your preference is based on society rather than attraction.
Planning The Future Is A Looming Question
Apart from culture, society and family, the most important thing that might be looming on you is the future. You are content now with your love life but once your relationship takes a step forward and moves towards marriage, the question about the future will arrive. You might have to move in into your partner’s home and it might possibly not be in your own city. This is not the same in every case. But the possibility is that it the question might arise and you might have to make a choice.
You might also have to face particularly difficult choices as to whether you’ll be able to continue to work or not.
Love Isn’t Always Enough
Remember that love can do only so much and life never revolves around a single person. Your partner won’t always be your priority because sometimes family can become more important in certain situations. Sometimes love can receive a short end of the stick. You have to find the right balance.
As much as it pisses you off, family and friends will always be an important part of your partner’s life as long as you live (just like yours matter to you)
The Most Important Advice For Intercultural Relationship
Now you might be thinking are intercultural relationships really that difficult? But if it so why do we still find these relationships everywhere?
Even after trying so much you might still not be able to fill in the culture differences and they might get harder to overcome. Before you get totally frustrated and overwhelmed about it, be true to each other, and be honest about your wants, needs and feelings. What you need here is to build such a relationship that is your own, where you can understand each other and respect each other.
Another that you need to take into consideration is that to treat his parents with the same respect as you treat your parents. Parents/ family are a crucial part of everyone’s life so creating a place for you in the hearts of his/her family is also important. No doubts you’ll face your own share of disagreements, arguments and silent treatments but that is part and parcel of the lives and you can get through them.
Anisha is an aspiring writer. She's a graduate in BBM. An ambivert by
nature, she is very fond of reading sappy romantic novels, passionate
about singing, cooking and dancing, holds a keen interest in learning
new things and wanderlust.