Marie Talks: Cross Culture Relationships

I have never put in any real thought into the difficulties of being in a Cross-Culture relationships, in the end of the day we are all human right? I kept this opinion up until quite recently,  and was making this a difficult topic to put together a blog worth putting out.

It wasn’t until I approached my boyfriend about the struggles I was having trying to write something more than the first paragraph down.  What he pointed out to me was the differences me and him share culturally. I’m Canadian, raised in a more British fashion,  he was born in Hong Kong, raised in that fashion. Which does make a bigger impact on our relationship than I give a second thought to.

In a lot of senses every relationship is to some degree a Cross-Culture relationship. No one is raised in a household with the same beliefs, morals, and traditions, etc. No one’s culture is the same as their partners, as even being raised in the same country, eg. England, there can be multiple different cultural differences.

For my relationship a few things stood out to me after we talked that do differ between us culturally.

1) Religion
I was raised in a Christian family, he was not. Sometimes when beliefs come into the conversation, we have differing views. I find it fascinating to hear what he believes and at this point in time does cause no issues in our relationship. However I do know down the road that it can cause some dilemmas and serious discussions between us. Such as if we decide to get married, both of us have different cultural aspects in ceremonies.
As well as if we decide to have children, which religion will they be raised with? Will we incorporate both into their life or neither? Religion can be a really difficult decision to make for a child if your views differ from one another.

2)Language
Personally I speak English and only English, however my boyfriend also speaks Cantonese. We talk in English and that’s no issues, however it can be awkward when he’s having a conversation with someone in Cantonese and I don’t know what they’re saying and just awkwardly standing there. It’s also difficult when he’s trying to explain something that he has to translate from Cantonese to English and isn’t sure how. Realistically neither of these barriers are horribly detrimental to our relationship, but are just awkward bumps in the discussion. At the end of the day it can make it difficult with his family, but we’ll take that one step at a time. I do want to learn Cantonese one day, to be able to communicate better with his family, and if we have kids to also help pass not only English but Cantonese on to them as well.

3)Family Expectations
All my family wants for me relationship wise, is to find someone who I love, is respectful and makes me happy. However his family has always wanted him to find a nice Chinese girl to settle down with, and shocker, I’m not Chinese. Luckily I have not been put through the ringer for that yet, and hopefully we will not have to ever face that possible outcome.

There are many other issues and speed bumps we and other couples will and have faced due to cultural differences, but I think those three for me have been the ones that come up the most in my relationship. Yes culturally our food, diets, and table manners differ. As do some of our manners and things we do in our day to day routines differ between our cultural upbringings. I could write a blog on the differences between our cultures but let’s be honest I’d never be done writing, because everyday we learn something new about each other.

Stay Beautiful Lovies,
Marie Olsson xx

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