Cultural differences in a relationship can be a blessing and a curse. While it is amazing to be able to experience someone else’s culture, there is a potential for it to cause problems later down the line. Cultural differences don’t have to be the be all and end all of your relationship.
Talk About It
If there’s a value that is most vital to a successful relationship, it’s communication. Being transparent with your partner and discussing issues you both may have will allow you to ultimately get over any obstacle that stands in your way. If the cultural differences in your relationship are causing turbulence, sit down with each other and take a good period of time to speak. Make sure you and your partner are listening to each other properly in order to prevent any larger conflict. Learning about your S/O’s culture is all about listening to their beliefs and values – with an open mind and heart.
Experience Each Other’s Culture
Diving into the deep end is often the best way to deal with cultural difference. It is so essential to expose yourself to each others’ cultures – whether it’s a negative or positive experience. The only way to learn is to experience. If it’s your first introduction to each others’ culture, allow yourselves to be completely open-minded. Exposing yourself to other cultures can be beautiful and can even strengthen you and your partner’s relationship. Allow yourself to absorb as much as you can.
Do Your Own Research
If you’re struggling to understand, or are just genuinely interested, take it into your own hands to research your partner’s culture. Research will allow you to become more open to the culture. You may even find values that you align with and learn something new along the way.
Importance To Their Family
It’s crucial to understand how important culture is to you and your partner’s family (please, please never assume here). It can determine levels of involvement and religiousness that can give you an idea of expectations and values. If you and your partner are moving towards something more serious, it is worth taking time to sit down with their family and truly discuss what their culture means to them. Again, their values may align with yours.
Make A Plan
Since different cultures celebrate different holidays, it may be a good idea to create a calendar. This should regard which days are allocated to who depending on the holiday. Speak to your partner about which holidays you expect them to attend and have them do the same. Creating this sort of plan before the year even begins will aid in preventing conflict when it comes to allocating time to celebration.
Culture is a beautiful thing that is supposed to be shared as every culture has their celebrations, food, values and customs. Maintaining openness between you and your partner can ensure you can both enjoy the positives of your cultural differences and minimise the negative.
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