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7 Reasons You Should Date Someone From a Different Culture

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7 Reasons You Should Date Someone From a Different Culture

There are many benefits of dating someone from another culture. Here are just a few reasons that the pros outweigh the cons.

You will learn words in a new language besides “hello,” “thank you” and “beer”

Learning a new language might conjure up high school Spanish and the task of conjugating verbs for an hour, but dating someone from a different culture can give you an opportunity to learn a new language in the best way possible: through immersion. Learning your significant other’s native tongue will allow you to communicate better with their family and friends, and open up a whole new world linguistically. Plus in today’s highly intercultural world, it doesn’t hurt to know another language and have a reason to stand out among your competition in your field.

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You will learn that Chinese food is much different than Panda Express

Often authentic cuisine from a certain culture is not what you thought it was. Take Westernized Japanese food for instance. Cooked sushi is what I am used to here in the US, but visiting my boyfriend’s family in Japan I learned nigiri (raw fish over rice) is more common. Dating someone from a different culture allows you to not only open your mind to different cultural traditions and beliefs, but also it will broaden your taste buds. You never know–you might find your new favorite food that you have been missing out on all these years.

You get to share highlights of your own culture

Growing up in a place where most people are similar to you, dating someone from a different culture can open you up to realizing interesting aspects of your own culture that you would not have thought about otherwise. The smallest things like cultural eating habits or viewpoints that you never thought about now are points of interest for your significant other and thus have you examining your own culture more closely looking for interesting cultural differences between you two.

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You get double the holidays

If things get serious, you will start talking about how you want to incorporate your beliefs and cultural traditions together. It may seem like a daunting task, but there are definitely some benefits that you will get as a couple. Discussing your cultural values together will only strengthen your bond and deepen your understanding of each others’ backgrounds. Plus, holidays always means tons of home cooked meals and you have no problem with that.

You will become more culturally aware

One of the most important benefits from dating someone from a different culture is that you will learn to be culturally sensitive to not only your significant other’s culture, but to other cultures in general. This is important because as we live in an increasingly global world, it is hard not to encounter other who are different from you, whether in the workplace or within your community at home. Being culturally sensitive will give you an advantage in any daily situation you might face.

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You will develop a taste for adventure

Dating someone from a different culture means that you are most likely to travel, whether it’s to a new city or a new country, to visit your significant other’s family. Before I dated my current boyfriend, I couldn’t name which countries were neighbors to Japan. Now I not only know them but have visited Korea and China as well. Your travels will also be put into context, where you will be able to spend time with locals and understand a destination from their viewpoint. The way you travel will also change, where you will be yearning to experience a place in a more engaging, less touristy way.

You will grow a thicker skin

As much as people will support your intercultural relationship, there are always those who will be naysayers as well. You will learn to not let those who disapprove of your relationship affect you as a result and will develop a thicker skin. It’s important not only for your relationship’s well-being, but it also helps you in difficult situations that may arise in life.

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Featured photo credit: People with phones at the station – Walking and talking/Susanne Nilsson via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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