It really is a small world. Globalisation has brought the world closer together. Particularly in Western countries, multiculturalism is thriving. Everywhere you turn there is a retail or food establishment featuring items from a different part of the world. You walk down the street and hear at least two or three different languages. I quite like that. Life would be boring if everyone was the same. I personally am from an ethnic background as well. I am Middle Eastern. That brings a whole new dimension to my dating experiences. To some I am “exotic” and interesting … to others I am “too different”. It got me thinking about “ethnic dating”. Dating within and between different cultures. Does it work? Is it a challenge? Are there “rules” you have to follow? I would say YES to all these questions.
I can speak for myself. I prefer dating men who are Middle Eastern. Why, you ask? I feel more at home with them. Sounds silly I know, especially since I was born in Canada. I am, however, quite attached to my culture – language, food, music, social environment – so I prefer someone who can share these things with me. This does not, however, mean that I never did, or never will, date someone from another culture. Actually, I’ve dated people from most ethnic backgrounds. That is how I know what I like. For me, the ability to talk to my mate in Arabic is important. We just get each other. My brother is married to a non-Middle Eastern girl and they are blissfully happy because my brother is not attached to our culture and she likes to participate in our cultural practices. Some people can make it work and that’s great, I have nothing against it. I believe you should do whatever makes you happy. Inter-cultural dating is just not for me.
So if you date inter-culturally … how do you make it work? Well, firstly, it is important to know who you are and what is important to you. What parts of your culture are part of your identity. Everybody has a culture, These are things you will need your mate to appreciate and love about you. They will have to want to share it. Once you know this, then you can fully appreciate and learn about anyone else. When you date someone from another culture, it is good to learn all about who they are and what is important to them too. Just put their culture in a search engine and you can learn a plethora of things about them. I feel it is important you do. Learn about the history of where they are from, their food, their holidays, their music and their people. You don’t have to tell them, but it will help you understand their perspective in life.
Trust me, when you grow up in an ethnic household, you grow up with a different perspective, especially if you are a first generation Westerner. I was born in Canada, my parents born and raised in a village in the Middle East … talk about culture shock! They raised us with that mentality … they were strict with us because they didn’t know any different (maybe that’s why I’m such a rebel!). Their world view was limited. They hadn’t seen people of other cultures until they moved to Canada. They not only needed to learn about a new country but multiple other ethnic groups. Their experience isn’t unique, all people from all cultures had similar experiences. Most first generation Canadians I know had the same upbringing I did. So this is something people need to take into account when dating someone with an ethnic background.
Ethnic dating brings an interesting dynamic to the dating world in the West. We have a rich diversity of different cultures and I think it is a great opportunity not only to learn about how other people live, but also how they enrich our lives. This is the same when dating … learn from your partner … embrace their culture as they should embrace yours. This will only serve to make you closer and enrich your relationship. But, never give up who you are for someone else. I once dated a guy who told me he hates my cultural music and food, so not to expect him to participate. Um, fine, see you later! Not interested!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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