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Intercultural relationships

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Last weekend I visited a university friend, who is pregnant and is going to get married today. I feel so happy for her, since she’d been looking for the perfect match for ages, always dating guys being interested in loose relationships only. She and her fiancé now seem to be that perfect match at first sight, but seeing behind the curtain made me wonder if intercultural relationships have a rougher ride than those within one culture.

Here is what gave me food for thought:

My friend is what you would call a stickler for order. Her place is always nice and clean, even the cushions on her bed are arranged by colours. She seems to spend a lot of time cleaning her apartment and making sure everything’s neat and accurate. Meanwhile, her Arabic fiancé seems to be the total opposite of her. His apartment is what you could almost call a squalid lodging. Order and tidiness seem to be unknown words in his surroundings.

I feel I can speak for the majority of German ladies, and say that this place is not where we’d wanna stay. Even my friend… she prefers to spend their quality time at her place.

It wouldn’t be a problem at all, if they weren’t planning to move in together next month and get a baby at the end of the year! I can see future trouble in the air… and these circumstances made me think if this is just about the difference between men and women or between slobs and perfectionists, or if it is about the difference among diverse cultures.

Do these relationships demand more compromise or is it just an assumption at first view?

Is it possible to compromise on a reasonable level without losing too much of your own identity, religion, habits and culture, or do they have to live two different lives with particular moments they share? And do these relationships still have a harder time being accepted by their respective cultural environments?


On the other hand, I imagined their expected child as a really cute girl with a mixture of the best genes of both (do you know any kid with intercultural parents who is not extremely cute?), being able to speak at least two languages when entering primary school, being flexible and social with her fellows since her background made her tolerant above the average.

All of us know the well-known saying “Love does not know any boundaries”. In general that’s true, but what happens when love turns into routine and familiarity? Do intercultural boundaries tend to be a higher hurdle than the usual ones? Since I have not come to the point where love turns into routine with an intercultural partner, I would like to ask you!

What experiences have you had? Was or is your mixed relationship experiencing a harder time than the mono-culture ones? And what benefits have you noticed?

LoveLy is in her early thirties, lives in Leipzig and is experiencing single life in this bubbly town. She will give you an inside into her dating culture experiences.


  1. I think it depends on the mindset of the people in the relationship. If you want a challenge and learn a lot that is completely new beyond personality differences, then it is the best for you. I got easily bored with a lot of relationships that were neither enough of a challenge or me learning about things I would never have been exposed to. A benefit, amongst others, for sure is learning traditional ethnic dishes (but this is on useful for a foodie) from the in-laws you also would probably not have had a chance to.

  2. I’d say I have mostly done intercultural dating. Perhaps because I’ve lived outside of Brazil, my birth country, for nearly 20 years. I feel closer to people from other cultures who have done extensive travel and lived abroad than to people from my own culture who haven’t done that at all. Being abroad for so long has changed me profoundly, and I feel I’m more like a hybrid of cultures. I’ve also grown up, so I look for different traits in people now than I did some years back, and behave differently as well. I think it’s totally possible to work out if you share some values, applicable across cultures. I don’t think I could work out with someone ultra religious or conservative, though – no matter which religion or cultural background. Jealousy and possessiveness have also become huge turn-offs for me. As for cleanliness, I dated a guy from my culture who was very messy when this wasn’t the norm in any sense. I also dated an American guy who was messy when he shared his flat but then became very neat when he bought his own and thus felt like he had more ownership. People change their habits when given the necessary motivation in life; maybe your friend’s partner will, too, once he has a household, marriage and child with her, and maybe (hopefully) they can meet somewhere in the middle.

  3. Intercultural connections include two or more diverse societies, which are the traditions, convictions and practices of distinctive lifestyles from around the globe. Some of these connections are likewise interracial, implying that the couple are from distinctive ethnicities or races. An expected 14 percent of relational unions in the United States are interracial, as indicated by a the Council on Contemporary Families. Intercultural connections have favorable circumstances that advantage the couple, as well as their loved ones.

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