Dating Someone From a Different Culture
Washington, D.C. is an incredibly diverse city full of different cultures and ethnicities. This diversity allows for a cross-cultural dating scene. I have dated the entire spectrum of cultures in D.C. and have found that it can be very rewarding yet challenging to date someone who may not know about your culture and vice versa.
Do your research
When in an inter-cultural relationship, it helps to do your research. Researching typical traditions of your partner’s culture can help give you a base of knowledge when speaking to him or her about holidays and other customs. However, keep in mind that, just as your traditions have changed with each generation of family, your significant other’s traditions might have a modern twist on the usual conventions. Because of this, you should use your research to ask your partner educated questions about his or her customs.
Avoid silly blunders
It is also extremely important that you do not make assumptions about the usual relationship benchmarks and really talk these out with your partner. Some cultures date very differently. There are cultures where you must ask the parents for their blessing to date their son or daughter. In other cultures, it is inappropriate to meet the parents until you are ready to propose marriage. This is important to talk about beforehand or you may end up in a very uncomfortable situation.
The great part about inter-cultural dating and relationships is that it keeps the dates and conversations interesting. Learning about each other and how you approach life can be really fun. You can teach each other how to cook family recipes or even learn a different language. It can also be an eye opening experience that causes you to truly evaluate your history, customs and traditions, and understand how others outside of your culture may perceive you.
Share your own culture
However, dating is a two-way street so make sure that as your partner is sharing, you share your culture with him or her as well. Explain your customs and let him or her know how you celebrate the holidays. Your significant other will appreciate this and will be able to understand you much better.
Even if your partner is not from another country, but rather simply just a different religion than you, you will still have varying customs. Embrace these cultural differences and take it as a learning experience, which will help you and your partner be closer together. If you are open to learning more about his or her culture and he or she is open to learning about yours, these cultural differences will create a more rewarding dating experience for the both of you.