How To Have A Successful Multicultural Relationship

Here are some common challenges that come with a multicultural relationship, and how to work on them.
Multicultural relationship couple
Photo by Nathan McBride on Unsplash 

Being in a relationship, any relationship really - faces its own struggles and ups and downs, but when it comes to a multicultural relationship, those differences can make it a little bit trickier to navigate certain situations in the relationship.

When you first meet someone from a different culture, it's all about the excitement and thrill of learning new traditions and ways of living, but no one talks about how those differences can impact the relationship when it turns into a serious thing.

All emotions aside, below are some tips on how to work on the differences that can make a multicultural relationship work.

1. Do not compare to your own traditions

Be open-minded about new celebrations and traditions, that's one of the reasons why multicultural relationships add another level of fun! Just be mindful that some holidays might not look the same as you are used to. 

On the other hand, it's okay to feel frustrated if your partner doesn't share the same enthusiasm as you do to certain celebrations- it's a totally natural feeling, but remember to put yourself in your partner's shoes, after all, they didn't grow up with the same traditions you did. If you want certain traditions or celebrations to stick, you have to be the first one to engage in them. 

Don't expect your partner to know everything about your culture, be open to teaching them and explaining why these traditions are so meaningful to you. 

2. Talk about your family values early in the relationship

What might be acceptable to you, doesn't necessarily mean that it will to your partner too.

If you're ever to grow as a family, you want to make sure that you are okay with the values that come with your differences. It's important to talk about these early in a relationship because no matter how many differences you are challenged with if you don't share the same values it's going to be really difficult to go through significant life decisions as a couple.

3. Visit each other's home countries

There is only so much you can explain about your home, your culture and your people, but reality doesn't truly hit until you get to experience them first hand. Embracing their culture will make you understand your partner on a different level. You will be able to put "a face" to what their upbringing was like and how they were shaped into who they are now.

4. Have open communication with your partner

Yes, it is important in every relationship, but especially in a situation where you are mixing two very different ways of living. You have to be able to express your differences and be very respectful in the way you do it. Be patient, be a good listener and try to understand where your significant other is coming from. 

That doesn't mean you have to excuse all of their actions, sometimes you just have to agree to disagree.

5. Don't take everything so literal

Expressing yourself might not sound the same in your head as it does when it hits someone else's ears. A great example of this is humor! They might not get your jokes or expressions the same way you do (even after explaining them), so why not have a laugh about it? There are other people in your life you can share them with. 

The best part is that you can share a language that goes beyond cultural understandings, where you create your own way of communicating with each other and laughing at the silly things that only the two of you can understand.

One of the reasons why you should consider yourself lucky to be in a multicultural relationship is how it opens up so many doors and opens your mind to accept new ways of living. Take all the good aspects of both cultures and create a way of living that works for both of you.

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