8 Tips for Cross-Cultural Relationships
Learn ways to bridge the cultural gap with your significant other.
Photo By: Instagram: @lorenbrovarnik
Photo By: MAHEDER HAILESELASSIE TADESE
Love Knows No Bounds
Falling in love can be complicated, especially if your partner comes from a different cultural background than yourself. Based on experiences of 90 Day Fiancé couples, we've learned eight tips that can help you have a happy and successful intercultural relationship.
Research the Culture
It may seem obvious, but there are many 90 Day Fiancé couples who could have benefited from this advice. Spend some time researching your significant other’s culture online and learning about their customs. Having this background information will help you embrace each other’s cultural perspectives and be able to understand where they’re coming from–both literally and figuratively.
Learn Phrases in Each Other’s Languages
Communication is essential in any relationship, so an argument becomes even more difficult when you can’t understand one another’s language. Learning a new dialect isn’t easy, but there are apps you can download that can make it more fun. Just focus on learning basic phrases to start.
Share Traditional Foods
Many people across cultures show love by cooking for others. Be open to trying each other’s traditional foods and even cooking a meal together. It can be a fun (and delicious) opportunity to bond and learn about the other.
Visit Their Country
Traveling to each other’s country or hometown, even if you no longer live there, can be an eye-opening experience that allows you to better understand their culture and traditions. Make it a vacation where you can find time to relax and enjoy each other’s company while also immersing yourself in the culture.
Talk About Religion
Religion is a very personal thing that can be closely intertwined with someone’s cultural beliefs. Whether you're of the same religion or not, have a conversation about what it means to you, so that you both know where you stand.
Prepare to Meet the Family
If you’re in a serious or long-term relationship, you’re going to meet your significant other’s family. Again, this is an example of when it’s a good idea to have researched the culture beforehand, especially if your significant other’s family is more traditional. Having that background information can be helpful as you start to spend time with each other’s families.
Plan for the Future
If you’re ready to commit to a long-term relationship, it’s important to think about what you want your future to be like and how culture comes into play. What traditions and experiences are most important to you? Where do you want to live? What are your expectations for raising children? Getting on the same page about these things before you take those steps can help you avoid potential conflict later on.
Communicate Clearly and Ask Questions
Miscommunication may lead to arguments that could have been prevented. This is true for any couple but can be especially important when there are cultural barriers, and possibly language barriers, in a conversation. Instead of assuming you know what your significant other meant by something they said, ask them to explain and attempt to talk things through before the conversation escalates into an argument.