Cross cultural dating: the good, the great, and the awkward.
The following article is a guest post, courtesy of Alina Polishuk
So, you’ve found someone that you like like. Perhaps you met through a friend, in line at Trader Joes, or through an app on your phone (hey…what a great idea!). He or she is intelligent, charming, and the perfect cuddling height, and, ok slight curveball, from a different country.
Perhaps he is on your turf for a long work stint abroad, or you are on his to study and explore. Or maybe you are both navigating the perils of living in a new country at the same time. But just because your newfound love is international, doesn’t mean that it has a doomed fate. In fact, regardless of circumstance, cross cultural dating can lead to the most exciting adventure of exploring the world through another person. And really, there are some undeniably wonderful (and occasionally not so wonderful) things about dating someone who holds a passport from a country that is different from your own. With the help of some emotionally stirring visuals, here are a few situations you might encounter.
1. Learning bits and pieces of a new language:
This one practically goes without saying. When you start dating someone whose first language is different than your own, you’re bound to pick up a few words here and there. After saying thank you for the first time in [insert language here], you’re just like:
But ok, the language barrier doesn’t come without its… well, barriers. How about when you finally meet his mom for the first time? You think you’re practically fluent because you can say “thanks” and “good morning”, but when you try to speak [insert language here] the response can be just the tiniest bit awkward:
2. Trying his/her native cuisine
Let’s not pretend you starting dating him or her for any other reason besides the food.
Ok, just kidding, but learning about your partner’s culture through cuisine can be amazing! Who knew that stewed beef tongue or balls of deep fried and dough wrapped chicken could be so delicious?
But it’s not all fried meat and tantalizing spices. That first forkful of coagulated pig’s blood? Also your last.
3. Seeing your partner try your favorite cultural customs for the first time
Introducing your world to someone else can be equally as exciting as being introduced to someone else’s! No matter how mature and adult your relationship is, taking him skiing, making him his first grilled cheese, or even watching Mean Girls together (that’s a cultural custom, right?), can be the cutest/most exciting thing ever.
4. Having a legitimate response when someone asks you about current events in your partners country
Your partner is undoubtedly more engaging and interesting than any international newspaper, so instantly she becomes your new source of information when it comes to learning about her home country. In a few weeks, you find yourself able to talk easily about the bus strikes of 2011 or the rigged elections of 2003, and boy does that feel good.
5. NOT having a legitimate response when someone asks you about current events in your partner’s country
But there is only so much you can know… When a pesky co-worker or curious uncle brings up the 1978 Rebellion and its effects on international trade, you can feel a little bit under informed. Just a little.
6. Saying goodbye when she has to go home and see her family
Probably one of the worst parts about being one half of of a multi-cultural couple is that one of you might, in fact, call a different country home. Hopefully the visit/stay/vacation is short, and saying goodbye simply means a few skype dates and phone calls until you see each other again.
7. But… airport reunions!
So why not open yourself up to someone who has a different background, speaks a different language, and was born in a different country? True, relationships that involve plane tickets are not always easy, but pushing yourself out of your own cultural comfort zone can not only change the way you see yourself, but the way you see the world. Happy exploring, in both love and in life!
Enjoy this post? Then check out our take on the 6 first date spots that must be avoided.
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