Whether your brand new to your intercultural relationship of you’ve been around the block a few times, I have 5 steps for you. These steps will help you to get closer to your loved one, understand who they are, develop a plan to blend cultures, and make sure your improving where you can.
Haven’t you ever said to yourself, “If only I had a guide for all of this!?”
Well, today I’m giving you that guide and I know you’ll love it!
5 Steps For YOUR Intercultural Relationship
Get To Know Each Other
If you want to figure out how to blend cultures and start your family together, you need to know each other. Take time to get to know who you’re together with. I don’t just mean their favorite color and what they like to watch on tv.
You need to understand their culture. Their culture has shaped who they are and the decisions they’ll instinctively make. Ask them questions about how they grew up, what they value from their culture, what they’ve struggled with in their culture, etc. All of this will help you to understand each other.
Develop A Family Culture
Now, it’s time to develop a family culture. When you and your loved one start your relationship, you’re starting a family. It doesn’t matter if you have kids or not, you’re a family. When you start a family, you have to develop your own family culture and identity.
The best part is this culture will be from both of you. You need to sit down and talk about what’s important from both of your cultures and decide how you can bring them together in one family. The best part is you don’t have to worry about making the absolute best plan ever!
While making a plan is vital, you can change it up when you need to. The idea behind the plan is to know before hand what’s important and you can be more intentional in bringing it into your family.
The lines of communication need to be open at all times. As you get to know each other, you’ll feel more comfortable talking and discussing how your relationship is doing. Conflict is natural and will come up through your relationship. It will come up when trying to figure out how to blend cultures, when dealing with culture shock, and pretty much any time during your relationship. It’s normal.
The most important thing is that you learn how to communicate with each other so you can learn how to use your conflict to get closer.
You also need to be able to discuss how you feel about blending cultures. Are you comfortable with how the blending is happening? Do you feel like one culture is taking over? These are important things you need to talk about through out your relationship.
While the plan you develop may work great right now, you need to be prepared that it will change. You and your loved one have to constantly re-evaluate how your plan is working. If it’s not working like you thought or you’d like something to change, tweak it.
It’s going to change naturally over time because the longer you’re together, you’ll notice you’re both changing. You’re growing together and getting closer and your circumstances may change as well.
You should be scheduling time to talk about all of these things at least once a month.
Give Each Other Grace
Grace. Your relationship needs to be filled with grace. You are bound to mess up or hurt your loved one’s feelings and the other way around. The biggest thing is to remember you need to give each other grace. Blending cultures takes time. Even if you’re been together for years, you aren’t mind readers and things just happen.
All you can do is be sure to talk about it, let them know how you feel, and give each other grace. Let your loved one know they have room to mess up and you’ll still love them.
Intercultural relationships are beautiful, but they take a lot of patience and grace for each other. I can promise you one thing, it’s always worth it. The more you and your loved one work at your relationship, the better it will be.