Being in a relationship with someone from another culture can be an extraordinary adventure: you open up and discover a new way of thinking and living. However, this international exchange brings its complicated part when trying to find the right balance when they do not have the same culture.
Even if these problems are not specific to international and binational relations (mixed couples, for example, must also face these problems), it is in this context that we will see how to succeed in a relationship of this nature.
This may seem obvious, but a relationship requires one to be able to understand the other exactly to communicate well together, but in a situation where there is a language barrier, the couple will face much more stress, misunderstandings and possible disputes than others.
This is even more frustrating for the person who does not speak in their mother tongue. How to express yourself to be understood? How to express what you really feel?
Therefore, both need to learn each other’s language quickly in order to address deeper issues: future, marriage, etc.
The good news is that this learning can become a fun and rewarding activity.
2. Cultural differences
It must be taken into account that different cultures mean different communication styles and different standards. The same words can be used to convey a message that is drastically different from what the other person is hearing.
Sometimes they can be acts of non-verbal communication that are interpreted differently from one culture to another; An innocent gesture for you may become inappropriate for your partner. The same is true for social norms and expectations that may vary from one country to another. In some countries, women are destined to stay at home and take care of the home and children, marriage is extremely important, even sacred.
Expectations can also change drastically in terms of having children, education, place of family, individual values, etc. A misunderstanding about one of these issues can have enormous repercussions, so proper communication is vital in these cases, dedicating time and patience to understand the expectations of the couple.
3. The budget
An international distance relationship, that is, with someone living in another country, or even in another continent, is very expensive.
Then maybe you have found the man or woman of your life and you will be ready for anything, but specifically, when and where will you see it again? How much will it cost? Do you have enough days off? What is your budget? Which of you can leave your job to join the other?
The issue of money is not romantic, but it should not be avoided because it is synonymous with security for a binational couple. Feel free to stay financially as much as you do emotionally. And, in any case, talk about this topic as soon as possible.
4. A distance relationship
A binational relationship often begins with a distance relationship: this may involve different time zones, but in general it means that you will not share your daily life together, which may affect your privacy and communication.
Usually, in the physical aspect of a relationship, it can be extremely difficult to keep the distance. With patience you can succeed, and fortunately, we live in the age of the Internet, emails and Skype.
It is true that they will not go out together on a Saturday night, but they can organize a remote meeting that is just as nice, it takes creativity, but it is not impossible at all.
What do you do if you do not like the culture of the other in the end? Cultural shock is one thing, but living the rest of your life in a culture that is not ours is a challenge, because when you go to your country, you inevitably realize the differences that exist with yours and, in particular, certain aspects that are more difficult to understand and accept: norms, values, customs, lifestyle, social interactions. etc.
However, if you want to reduce these problems over time, you should focus on the points that interest you most and please your partner’s culture to compensate for negative emotions towards your country.
The next time you comment on it, you are less likely to feel attacked personally, because you will know that, in general, you appreciate your country and your culture.
Couples from different countries are often very different, but in the end, if they are together, it is because they have very similar interests and characteristics, so keep an open mind. Be patient. Be tolerant.
Cultural differences are more difficult to overcome than linguistic differences, it’s not too late to get an English teacher and surprise your partner with an advance in their language and culture.
If those in the relationship love each other, then they understand themselves on a much deeper level, and they will find stability in their new life together.