Learning a new language might conjure up high school Spanish and the task of conjugating verbs for an hour, but dating someone from a different culture can give you an opportunity to learn a new language in the best way possible: through immersion. Learning your significant other’s native tongue will allow you to communicate better with their family and friends, and open up a whole new world linguistically. Plus in today’s highly intercultural world, it doesn’t hurt to know another language and have a reason to stand out among your competition in your field.
You will learn that Chinese food is much different than Panda Express
Often authentic cuisine from a certain culture is not what you thought it was. Take Westernized Japanese food for instance. Cooked sushi is what I am used to here in the US, but visiting my boyfriend’s family in Japan I learned nigiri (raw fish over rice) is more common. Dating someone from a different culture allows you to not only open your mind to different cultural traditions and beliefs, but also it will broaden your taste buds. You never know–you might find your new favorite food that you have been missing out on all these years.
You get to share highlights of your own culture
Growing up in a place where most people are similar to you, dating someone from a different culture can open you up to realizing interesting aspects of your own culture that you would not have thought about otherwise. The smallest things like cultural eating habits or viewpoints that you never thought about now are points of interest for your significant other and thus have you examining your own culture more closely looking for interesting cultural differences between you two.
You get double the holidays
If things get serious, you will start talking about how you want to incorporate your beliefs and cultural traditions together. It may seem like a daunting task, but there are definitely some benefits that you will get as a couple. Discussing your cultural values together will only strengthen your bond and deepen your understanding of each others’ backgrounds. Plus, holidays always means tons of home cooked meals and you have no problem with that.
You will become more culturally aware
One of the most important benefits from dating someone from a different culture is that you will learn to be culturally sensitive to not only your significant other’s culture, but to other cultures in general. This is important because as we live in an increasingly global world, it is hard not to encounter other who are different from you, whether in the workplace or within your community at home. Being culturally sensitive will give you an advantage in any daily situation you might face.
You will develop a taste for adventure
Dating someone from a different culture means that you are most likely to travel, whether it’s to a new city or a new country, to visit your significant other’s family. Before I dated my current boyfriend, I couldn’t name which countries were neighbors to Japan. Now I not only know them but have visited Korea and China as well. Your travels will also be put into context, where you will be able to spend time with locals and understand a destination from their viewpoint. The way you travel will also change, where you will be yearning to experience a place in a more engaging, less touristy way.
You will grow a thicker skin
As much as people will support your intercultural relationship, there are always those who will be naysayers as well. You will learn to not let those who disapprove of your relationship affect you as a result and will develop a thicker skin. It’s important not only for your relationship’s well-being, but it also helps you in difficult situations that may arise in life.