If you are in a cross-cultural relationship, you will need a bit of extra effort to keep it going.
Below are ways to avoid common problems in a cross-cultural relationship:
1. Be flexible with cultural taboos
It is very easy to offend someone from another culture by mistake. You and your partner will undoubtedly do something wrong at some point, but the key is how you both react. Try to develop a bit of a thick skin and realize that an accident is an accident.
2. Expect some discomfort
No relationship is easy and a cross-cultural one may have many unique challenges. You will have some moments when you feel unsupported, angry, nervous, or scared. The key is to pay attention to how long these moments last and whether or not your partner offers you enough support during them.
3. Keep your sense of humor
If your partner mispronounces something, just laugh and explain the joke to them. If you are the one making the mistake, be sure to keep a sense of humor, too. If either one of you accidently make a cultural misstep in public, then offer support and laugh it off. This is how memories are made.
4. Stay connected to your values
Being in a cross-cultural relationship does not mean that you need to jettison your own culture to make room for your partner’s. Instead, try to focus on those cultural traditions that hold particular meaning to you and make time for them. Incorporate them into your relationship, thereby creating entirely new traditions.
5. Be patient
Realize that it will take time for you both to become in sync. Give yourself plenty of time to get to know your partner and their culture and language. Realize that you also may need some space every now and then to just decompress around your familiar culture, too.
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