Communication in intercultural dating relationships

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In the 1991 movie , Dimitrius (Denzel Washington), an African-American carpet cleaner, falls in love with Mina (Sarita Choudhury), the daughter of recent Indian immigrants.

Her parents vehemently oppose the relationship, so she leaves home to be with him.

Her husband, Dennis, is Chinese American, and she is from a white family. They don’t expect me to be Caucasian.” The occasional confused look is the least of the challenges faced by couples in interracial and intercultural marriages.

Being raised in different cultures means couples have to negotiate different communication patterns, agree on what they want for their mixed-race children, and learn to accept new traditions.

Coping with the language barrier can be enjoyable – even if it sometimes makes communication more protracted.

"I think you have to accept in the beginning that any type of communication is going to take more effort," says Sophie, "you need to be patient and to persevere – there may be misunderstandings sometimes, or things may come out in the wrong way, but you can end up being more in tune with your partner because you can't rely on words alone to work out what's happening between you." "Neither of us are anywhere near fluent in each other's language but between us we make it work," says Max.

Love can be expressed in many different ways – words are just one of them." Max and Sophie are two years into their relationship now.

As Max said, "Not speaking each other's language forced us to communicate more not less, I think it actually brought us closer together and although we still have the odd communication mishap – we sometimes have to check what the other means – overall it seems to be going pretty well." While you might not be able to discuss world politics or the meaning of life in any great depth on day one, falling in love with someone from another culture can be a wonderful experience.

The rate of interracial marriages increased by 28 percent in the last decade, according to the U. Just like any marriage, however, the thing that binds interracial couples together, and what helps them bridge the divides they face, is having the same values and shared vision of life.

"If someone from Beijing descended upon the dinner table, we'd be conscious of making them feel comfortable," says Stanley Ned Rosenbaum, co-author with his wife, Mary Helene Rosenbaum, of (1994, Ragged Edge Press, .95).

"But here we assume that we are all on the same page because we think of America as a melting pot." Popular culture provides some examples of the challenges presented by an intercultural relationship.

Intercultural marriages — marriages between people of different faiths, races, ethnicities and geographic regions — have become commonplace in American society.

Still, such marriages have complications and such couples see high divorce rates, so the relationships need extra attention.

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