The advent of the Internet has changed the face of dating forever. No longer are men and women restricted to dating within their own cultures and communities. Internet dating allows multicultural, multi-language and even multi-continental relationships to spring up in a setting that is devoid of the many stereotypes and prejudices that can make it difficult for multicultural sparks to fly in the ‘real world’. Men and women can embrace and celebrate terrific diversity in this new era of dating, exchanging old taboos for unity and a chance at love that breaks traditional barriers.
Any individual interested in multicultural dating must understand that there are more than just two people involved in a long-term relationship. A new love interest comes attached to a family, which may not be as progressive as others when it comes to crossing cultural boundaries’.
It is wise to prepare for possible resistance when first meeting a new love interest's family. Two general rules of thumb can help to prepare new for a potentially bumpy ride with the relatives:
1. Homework Helps - Before arriving at the front door, an individual should study the customs and culture of the family in question. This helps ensure that there will be no embarrassing faux pas and will also provide concrete ways to communicate honour to the relatives.
2. Give It Time - Families may hold on to certain misconceptions about a new multicultural relationship until they are disproved. They may believe that the relationship is just an experimental fling, an attempt to escape one's own culture and be rebellious or an opportunity to climb the social status ladder and fit into certain social groups. The only real way to combat these misconceptions is to demonstrate real love and commitment for one's partner over time.
While the number of multicultural couples is growing, they still represent a small percentage of the population. It is a common misconception that interracial couples are discriminated against or made to feel awkward in public. While this does happen at times, the vast majority of mixed couples enjoy a high level of acceptance in most parts of the world.
If a multicultural couple does happen to encounter prejudice or misunderstanding in some parts of the world, it is wise to approach the situation as a teachable moment. Couples should educate those whose bias is based on ignorance, and attempt to be patient and forgiving with those who simply cannot understand. Above all else, it is smart to not let the odd discriminator steal the joy out a good thing.
Many people mistakenly assume the individuals involved in a multicultural relationship have no prejudice or stereotyped expectations concerning other cultures. This assumption is false, as every virtually everyone harbours certain untrue beliefs about people from unfamiliar backgrounds whether this is based on media perceptions, cultural stereotypes or personal experience. Couples should exercise honesty and patience with one another. Love is a learning experience and stereotypes will be broken only with real communication and trust.
The Internet has made multicultural romance a real option in today's global society and whilst there are no set rules to dating from outside ones’ own culture or race, giving them the same respect and care you would to any new partner may not always be enough to bridge the gaps, so be sure so make an extra effort to understand the other person. This said, every couple will be a unique situation where their families’ acceptance and support is concerned but being respectful, honest and faithful should win over most partners’ families. One thing is certain though, misconceptions are being shattered and unity is accelerating around the world.
This is a guest post by Louise Mitchell, a relationship expert and advises couples with relationship troubles as well as helping singles on the ways to find the best partner for them. Louise is currently consulting with Lovestruck on their on-line dating site to help singles use a profiling service to help people find specific traits they are looking for in a partner to help you find your perfect match in the Singapore Singles Dating Scene.
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