I realised that I haven’t really written something about the differing cultures that are inherent in my relationship for quite some time. Heck, it’s almost been a year since I’ve written something like that.
To be honest, I always thought that a guy from another culture would suit me better. I didn’t realise this initially when I first started dating as a teenager, but after I dated local guy after local guy, I realised that none of them really suited me. None of them felt the same way that I did, none of them thought the way I did. I’m not saying that a couple should be 100% in sync with each other, but to know that someone feels the same way about you on your values, ideals and beliefs is just great, and none of the guys I dated were that way.
I hadn’t realised that I was essentially having dating failure after dating failure until I met my first boyfriend while I lived for a while overseas. It was there when I realised where there were people who thought the way I did, who weren’t so traditional or conservative or gossipy or less open-minded. I wanted someone who was adventurous like I was, someone who could carry himself well and someone who had a good sense of humour.
I didn’t want to limit myself to just dating “local guys” too (it would be so unfair to the rest of mankind, hur hur!), but at the same time, I didn’t really know how it would pan out. I didn’t know whether I could live to the Western way of life or how this could potentially work in the long term. Where would we settle? Where would we work? Where would we go? Could I really see myself living in a completely different city with less than a tenth of the friends I have back at home?
When I met The Boyfriend though, I knew that everything was going to be alright. I realised that it wasn’t a matter of cultures, or dating “local guys” or whatever. I didn’t know it initially, but as I got to know him better over dates and group outings, I realised that he was what I was looking for. He’s loyal, stable, independent and level headed and we have a lot of fun together as a couple. Our families have also been accommodating of us being in a relationship and they are happy for us which is an additional blessing.
To be honest, our two cultures hasn’t been a great problem (or any problem at all) in our relationship. We converse in English. I do know German, but not on a fluent level, so sometimes I would speak German with him and he’d laugh at my cute accent. We sometimes speak in French for fun, but we’re happy conversing in whatever language as long as we get our point across. Once over our long-distance relationship bit, I got The Boyfriend to write me a love letter in German and I had fun decoding and translating what it meant. 🙂
I know some people like to stick to the idea of dating someone from your own nationality and that’s absolutely fine and great. Everyone’s completely entitled to do what they wish to do. I’m just saying that the whole thing about cross cultural relationships is that it isn’t really that much different from a normal “single-culture” relationship. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived overseas for a while or maybe it’s because it somehow just works for my boyfriend and I, but every day has been an adventure and we’ve both always seen each other’s distinct cultural traits/behaviours/habits as a positive which is important for any relationship.
So there you go – one couple, two cultures, and we’re learning about each other more as each day passes by!