Different Cultures, One Love : How to Have a Happy Intercultural Relationship


All relationships go through some challenges at one point or another. In some occasions, they can be petty, but in other instances, they can be deal breakers. Intercultural relationships are no different. In fact, some disagreements may even be highlighted because of the disparities in the upbringing of two completely different individuals.

Some issues such as the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the language you use, or even the way you show your love can be so different from your partner especially if you come from the opposite side of the world.

What are great ways to avoid conflict in an intercultural relationship?

Here are some great tips to help your partnership thrive despite the differences.

1. Acceptance and respect should be the cornerstone of your relationship

There is no room for love to grow if there is no acceptance and respect in an intercultural relationship or any relationship for that matter. The both of you should be able to accept there are really some things that are different in the way you handle your lives.

The most important thing is to ask yourself if this conflict and culture is something that is worth ruining the relationship over. Small issues such as food preferences, clothing or language choice are some things that you can agree to disagree on. Agreeing to disagree doesn’t mean that you don’t love your partner. It just simply means that you love and respect them enough to give them their freedom of choice.

2. Be open to one another’s culture

Another way to foster acceptance and respect in your relationship is to be open to one another’s culture. If your partner comes from another country, you can try travelling and experiencing the way they have to live their whole lives.

Who knows? You might be enjoying the sights and sounds that you initially thought was something that you don’t agree with. At the same time, don’t be dismissive to think that your partner will not like your culture. Start with baby steps and introduce some things that you are different with such as traditional rituals, cuisine, or even celebrations you can enjoy together.

3. Discuss your core values together

When we talk about differences, there are indeed a lot of things that you can disagree with. However, it is important that you discuss the things that truly matter to you. This stands as your core values. Some people regard religion as a part of their core value, and others may consider parenting, sexual preferences, handling finances, or any other fundamental principle as a part of their core value.

Having similar core values is very helpful to avoid control in an intercultural relationship. Discussing them early on sets you with a realistic mindset that you must accept your partner whether their core values would change or not.

4. Compromise when needed

The greatest secret of successful couples it’s not the fact that they don’t disagree with things, but it’s their way of compromising with each other. Sure, there will be some days when your argument is so extreme that you want to slam all the doors shut. But at the end of the day, what matters is that both of you learn to meet halfway.

The art of meeting halfway has saved many relationships and marriages with couples who appear so different from each other. Sometimes, it is not because of what you argue about, it’s more of how you argue and resolve a conflict.

5. Understand that your differences are what makes the relationship interesting

Wouldn’t it be boring to find a partner who is exactly like you? People that are too similar to each other may not have the chance to discover new things, thus making their relationship stagnant. Being too similar may even cause more conflict especially when solving arguments. A couple who has both passive-aggressive behaviors may end up not fixing a relationship problem at all.

As an intercultural couple, it is essential to understand that differences is what makes the most part of your relationship interesting. Through your differences, you can introduce new things to each other, and you can grow from one another. See your differences as a way to discover another part of life that you wouldn’t have experience if not for your loved one. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new from each other.

Relationships aren’t just about rainbows and butterflies. Like any other good thing, it requires hard work, lots of love, and limitless understanding.


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