More on Weathering Those Cross-Cultural Differences in Your Relationship | Speaking of China

5 Responses

  1. Hilary
    Hilary April 11, 2016 at 12:26 pm | | Reply

    Absolutely! My hubby and I have been together 9 years and I agree that I have forgotten about the cultural differences more than once. We’ve had a lot of talks about having different perspectives but in the heat of the moment, one or both of us (okay, usually me!) forgets and emotions rule the show. It’s really so very hard sometimes! But I like to think that couples who grew up down the street from each other can also have their share of communication hiccups.

    The major event that changed our relationship again was having a child. It has become harder for us to have time to chat and simple stare into the eyes of the other, remembering why we fell in love so many years ago.

    Like you, I wish others well! It won’t be easy but stick it out if you believe it to be best for both of you. Relationships are never easy all the time especially since people just can’t seem to stop growing and changing. 😛

  2. Phil Chung
    Phil Chung April 11, 2016 at 8:23 pm | | Reply

    Nice post. Just a penny of thought – While I do see there are challenges in terms of cultural difference in an intercultural or international relationship, I still think communication and personality factors play more of the important roles when it comes to whether a relationship is successful or not.

    Sure, maybe a person would approach a problem differently to his/her partner due to cultural influence, but if they are on the same page in terms of their outcome then that’s not a problem. One just has to explain to one’s partner. Of course that would provide an opportunity to see the world differently. 🙂

  3. Mary
    Mary April 12, 2016 at 2:35 am | | Reply

    What a great post Jocelyn! I think you offer some really great advice up there. I mean, I think it’s ridiculous to NOT live with your partner before marriage. You learn so much about another person by sharing your everyday life and home with them. It’s really eye opening.

    I do agree that cultural clashes can strain a relationship (especially when it comes to communication styles and views on life goals). I think the most important thing though, as Phil mentioned up there, is personality and compatibility. With my ex-boyfriend in China, we fought and fought and fought and fought. I felt a lot of cultural tension because I found that his personality type found it difficult to sympathize. While I conceded a lot of my needs and personal freedoms because I knew it was not acceptable in China, he rarely did the same for me (he was dumbfounded by many western values and refused to accept them, or even try to).

    My current relationship with my Chinese man is a success and I’m happier than I ever could be, and that’s thanks to our willingness to mutually sacrifice and understand one another, despite cultural blunders here and there.

  4. Nicki Chen
    Nicki Chen April 13, 2016 at 12:27 pm | | Reply

    My Chinese husband and I were together for thirty years, long enough that it was hard to remember any cultural differences we had. He had lived in the United States for four year before we married, and we stayed in the US for another four years before moving to the Philippines. Being a “trailing spouse” was so much harder for me than adjusting to cultural differences.

    To anyone who is just beginning a cross-cultural relationship, I wish you happiness. Share, communicate, and be willing to compromise.

  5. Jonathan
    Jonathan April 14, 2016 at 3:51 am | | Reply

    Hi Jocelyn,
    Another excellent article. I didn’t really think about race when I was dating even though I dated mostly Asians. I don’t think my wife or I think much about cultural differences when we first started dating. I think she probably experiences more cultural “conflicts” than me just because Chinese culture has a lot of traditions. As everyone knows, marriage in Chinese society is not just about 2 people, it’s about two families. It’s a lot more complicated when you have to deal with that. You have to be open minded and adventurous in an interracial relationship to fully appreciate and embrace it. And communication is crucial! The funny thing is that I think her personality is more Asian and I am more American! 😀

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