Couples - and those seeking partnership - from different national or ethnic backgrounds are faced with a variety of challenges. In some countries, dating culture is underdeveloped or even non-existent. Well, how do you get to know each other, if you can’t date people? – Good question. This is just what singles in these cultures ask. In some cultures, you may have an arranged wedding where your parents choose your mate. In others, you are expected to find your mate either in the extended family, or on the job, at the university, or anywhere you spend your free time. Of course, depending on where you work, what you study, or what your favourite pastime is, chances are, there are no eligibles in those groups of people. Fortunately, in a globalizing society, the concept of online dating is entering minds all over the world, and you can contact people you would otherwise never even see.
Once you have found the one you would like to date, you encounter more cultural differences. What is expected of the man in a relationship in the country of your Chosen One, what can he expect the woman to do? How do you relate to his or her parents, once you are getting more serious about the relationship? Make your partner your guide in all cultural affairs, and, in addition, try to understand as much about his/her culture by reading books or online sources about the country and society they come from. Do not let unspoken expectations ruin your budding bliss. Take time to discuss them with your friend and partner.
Having made up your mind to get married is not the end of the challenge. Clashing wedding customs can get you in one or two difficult situations if you are not aware of them before they occur. Collect information about wedding procedures and customs in the home country of your finance(e). Together, find a working compromise between your two cultures before taking it all to your parents and friends. Being one with your Chosen One will make the challenge of winning them much easier.
When you are married, do not settle down like you know it all now. Be ready to make it a lifelong learning process, and you will reap a bounty of inspiration and mind-broadening experiences. Make an effort to learn their language. You may not become a linguistics professor or an interpreter, but your partner will appreciate you trying. Aim at least to speak a few words or hold a simple conversation. Knowing some of the language will make you feel more comfortable with your partner’s culture and give you something to say when you are with their family or friends. Even if you feel awkward, say "Nice to meet you", or an equivalent in their language. You will be surprised at the respect such a simple gesture can earn you.