By Shayla Olson
There are many aspects that are important for multicultural relationships to understand to be successful. Below are a few things that if you are your partner discuss will help your relationship grow immensely.
1. Gender Roles: All cultures have different types of gender roles that are tradition to follow. Before getting too serious with your partner or even moving in together, it is important to understand the differences in responsibilities that you expect each other to meet. What responsibilities do you expect out of each other? Will you both be working? Is one person expected to stay at home and care for the children? It is important to establish this before getting married or moving in together because both cultures have different expectations. Make sure that one of you is able to change their customs a little in order to make your relationship work.
2. Intimacy: The discussion of when partners will become intimate is very different in varying cultures. Some cultures are not ashamed to be intimate even on the first date, while some cultures think that it is shameful to have sex before marriage. It is very important to discuss with your partner when you believe it is appropriate to be physical with each other. Some cultures also do not think that personal displays of affection are appropriate. On the other hand, there are cultures that think that PDA is the main way to express their feelings towards you. Sex and displaying affection are two very important things to discuss before getting serious in your multicultural relationship. Not discussing this and doing something against your partner’s culture can be very damaging to your relationship.
3. Family traditions: One potential problem that has to be addressed quickly in a multicultural relationship is the matter of family traditions and holidays. Splitting holidays with a partner’s family can already be stressful; it can be even more stressful with a multicultural relationship because of the differing traditions. It is important to discuss with your partner which holidays you will be spending with which side of the family and more importantly, which holidays you will be celebrating. A holiday that is tradition to celebrate in your family may no be celebrated in your partner’s. It is essential to discuss this with your partner so that there are no feuds with your two families.
4. Children: The question of having children and how to raise them can be a big fight in many multicultural relationships. How many kids you have can be the first issues in question. Certain cultures have different traditions in how many kids they have and also the names of the children. After the children are born and that fight is resolved, there is also the question of how the kids will be raised. What religion will they follow? This is important for couples to understand as a potential disagreement and make decisions and compromises on beforehand.
5. Religion: Having different cultures, it is very likely that the two of you of you to also have different religions. Having different religions is not the issue; the issue arises when you are not able to make compromises for each other. Some of these problems can arise if you can’t agree on what religion to teach your children, if you are able to go to different churches or religious family traditions. Finding a good compromise on your religious aspects is essential to the success of your relationship.