For these past weeks I’ve been working on a school production about people who have a relationship with someone from a different country. I’ve interviewed several people with a foreign lover about their relationship and the struggles they come across. To get some more background I also talked to a sociology teacher and a relationship therapist and today I am sharing the results with you.
The most common struggle in a international relationship is the language barrier. One of the two or both of them doesn’t speak her or his native language while communicating with their lover. This can be a problem when someone has problems to really tell what their feeling in a different language. It can be hard to share things that you’re emotional about in another language than your native one.
Not only can it be hard to communicate with your partner, also talking to the family of your loved one can be complicated. If you and your lover speak a different language than her or his family it can be complicated to talk to them. For instance, one of the people I talked to has a Russian girlfriend and when they’re with her family everybody is talking Russian. Those times are very complicated for him because he has no idea what they’re talking about.
This can really be a struggle if the family of your partner speaks a language that is really complicated to learn and they don’t speak the same language as you do.
Another problem that could occur with a foreign partner is culture differences. In some countries it is normal to start eating once you got your food served while it’s custom in other countries to wait till everybody has their food. One of the partners might think the other person is very rude, but for him/her it’s just the way they’re raised and something that is considered as normal in their country.
Culture differences can be a problem, but it is important to realize that something that is totally normal for you could be super unusual for someone else and the other way around.
In the end it’s all about your norms and values and some people do have a totall different view on them. The different view is part from the country you’re raised in and part the family and area you grew up in.
Someone from the big city has slightly different norms and values than someone who grew up on a farm in the same country.
So couples who are both from the same country sometimes run into the same cultural differences as mixed couples do.
Like every other relationship, the key to success is communication, accepting the other person and give and take. Is the change to fail an mixed relationship bigger than an unmixed one?
Not at all.
If you want to know more about the things I found out, check out our website on the 12th of January. That day, my production will be online. (Dutch only)
I will be posting the link on the MissClumsy facebook page so don’t forget to follow my page if you haven’t done that yet.