Mar 23, 2007
Friendship - Pen Pals From Other Cultures

It can be very exciting getting to know people from other countries and other cultures. Friendships with people from foreign lands are to be encouraged and can only benefit everybody concerned. However, if those friendships turn romantic in nature the situation can become a little more complicated.

Of course, getting to know somebody from another country or culture is a life-enriching experience; you begin to see your own culture in a new light and to better understand your place in the world. But what if the friendships begins to turn into a romantic relationship? How do you stand then?

In many ways such a long-distance relationship will be exactly the same as any other romantic relationship, albeit separated by many miles and having the need to communicate by e-mail and other means, perhaps supplemented by holidays in each other's countries. The real difficulty may come when one is contemplating a serious long-term relationship, and the individuals involved in the relationship no longer wish to live apart from each other.

In this case your fascination with the other country and culture may even turn out to be the proverbial two-edged sword. You must be equally as prepared to go to live in the other person's country as he or she must be to go and live in yours -- equality is vital in any relationship. The point is that one of you will have to relocate to another country. Whilst this may seem a fascinating and life-enhancing opportunity at first, with the passing of time adaptation to the new culture and way of life may become strained. Everybody is used to the culture in which they grew up, and nearly everybody will eventually begin to miss their culture when denied it for what may be years at a time.

There is also the issue of close family. You may have to contemplate living apart from your parents or siblings, perhaps seeing them only with a gap of several years in between. Long-distance travel is expensive, and likely to become increasingly so in a world in which air travel is a significant contributor to global warming.

These downsides could be a very real possibility for you; it may be that your new partner's family depend upon him or her financially and therefore there can be no question of your partner leaving his or her country. Then it would be down to you to make the sacrifice. These are things that have to be considered, possibilities that may turn out to actually come about.

None of this is to say that romantic relationships with people from other countries or cultures are in themselves problematic. There are many successful examples of couples who are blissfully happy in which one of them is not living in their country of origin. The purpose of this article is simply to inform, so that if you do choose to begin a relationship with somebody from another country you will be aware of what some of the potential problems might be a few years down the line.

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posted by Robert at Friday, March 23, 2007 ¤ Permalink ¤


1 Comments:


  • At March 27, 2007 at 9:18 AM, Blogger Merle

    Hi Robert ~~ Thanks for your visit and your kind words. Glad you enjoyed
    my blog. Yours is very colorful and has been a lot of work. I liked the Love Songs post and this one.
    Take care, Cheers, Merle.