01 May 2013

Why Dating a Foreigner is Good For You

It is true that multicultural/national relationships face special challenges that other couples might not deal with, especially if the two partners don't speak the same native language. Monsieur Right and I do have moments where we really just don't understand where the other is coming from. But I have yet to find a couple (even if their the same race, same religion, & from the same small town) that doesn't face that same challenge. Quite frankly, compared to a lot my friend's relationships, we've got things pretty easy. We also have some really great advantages thanks to our differences.


1.  You get away with things more easily.

Do something really embarrassing/stupid? Just tell your partner that that's how we do it in America. Now you're innocent. It's your culture's fault, not yours. Don't worry. Most of the time you won't even be lying. You will do a lot of things that seem ridiculous/stupid because of the way you were raised in the states. 


2. You're more understanding.


A.k.a. Your partner gets away with things more easily. You realize that most problems are just a difference of perspective/culture anyway. Maybe all French people do it that way, and he never learned any differently. Maybe he wasn't intentionally being rude. Maybe that joke would have been funnier if you were French too.

3. You get the best of both traditions. 

Tomorrow, I'm getting flowers! I also get Thanksgiving, Christmas stockings, King's Cake, and fireworks on Bastille Day. It's the best of both worlds, and I get to celebrate twice as much.

When I first insisted that we needed Christmas Stockings Monsieur Right was all, "Like in the movies?" He had no idea how they worked or what he was supposed to put in one. Don't worry. He's a quick learner. :)

4. Your partner is foreign, exotic, and has an accent.

Enough said.


5. Your partner thinks you are foreign, exotic, and have an accent!

You see, everybody wins!
His first time making s'mores.

6. Your cooking is exotic.

My husband was completely blown away the first time I made pancakes. Trust me. You don't even need great cooking skills to be a hit. Monsieur Right was also really impressed with my Spaghetti and Alfredo sauces. They just don't make them like that in France. 

Actually, I've learned to really love cooking American cuisine for the French in general. People here are like, "Wow! You know how to make real chocolate chip cookies?" I pretty much feel like a super chef every time I make Rice Krispies or cheesecake.

7. You might pick up a new language. 

8. You learn so much.

You get a view of a new culture that you wouldn't have have seen otherwise. When dating someone from another country you get a native's perspective on history, language, cinema, sports, etc. Your partner will be much more effective than any sort of history class. 


9. You bond in a unique way.

Most couples bond over things that they already have in common. But when you're in a relationship with a foreigner, you will both get to experience new things together all the time. Before Monsieur Right came to meet my family, he had never made S'mores! I get to show him the best of my culture, and he gets to teach me new things about his all the time. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's scary, and sometimes it's delicious. It's really amazing to be able to share these things with someone you love. Who knew that s'mores could be so sexy?

10. Your ignorance can make you more endearing.

When I came to visit Monsieur Right during winter break in college, we went to Ikea to eat lunch with his mom. I ordered "Les Haricots," pronouncing the "s" in front of haricots, like you do with many "h" words in French. His mother gently corrected me and explained that "haricots" was an exception to this rule. M. Right  looked a bit surprised. "Don't tell her that!" We both looked at him confused. "Why not?" I asked a bit bothered. He got a sheepish look on his face and responded, "Because it's cuter when you say it wrong."

We both love teaching the other about our cultures and traditions, and we both make plenty of language mistakes. Sometimes this can be frustrating, but a lot of the time it's just really cute.

So, do you think you could date a foreigner? Have you already dated someone who had a different cultural upbringing that you did? What were the pros and cons of that relationship?



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