The relationship issue below deals with problems that arise from relationships in which the couples are from different backgrounds or culture. This needn't be a problem unless the people involved make it one (as we'll see from *Mariam's story below).
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Relationship help forum: from different cultures
|is your true love from another place far away from yours?|
I’ve been dating a guy on and off for the past 4 years. We didn’t speak for a year and recently got back in touch again a few months ago. I just moved to London from Cardiff and coincidently he has been here as well working on a project in a large company. I'm White and he's Asian.
Different cultures, different needs from relationshipsOne night he texted me and we got back in touch and started seeing each other again. We hooked up one night and afterwards he told me he didn’t see it going anywhere because he was involved with someone in Pakistan - long distance. He told me they’d never met, but his family thought she was the one he should have a relationship with.
Even though he told me this I hung around because I thought he knew me, and at least that was one advantage I had over this other girl in Pakistan. We were always amazing together, and because I felt so in love with him I didn’t want to leave. Eventually though, we started fighting again and I got tired of knowing that I was his second best so I broke it off with him, but it wasn’t easy.
Culture and family getting between what could be a good relationshipI got angry knowing that I could never be with him due to our diverse cultures and his unwillingness to ever try to invite me into his. Why wasn’t I ever worthy of his acceptance after the 4 years we spent together? He had a lot of qualities that I look for in someone, but I knew he could and would never marry me. It ended by me leaving a message on his voice mail telling him how upset I was.
I was so angry that he came back to me knowing he never wanted me and that he wanted to stick to his culture all along. I haven’t spoken to him since and want to cut all ties, but I still find myself thinking about him all the time and am disappointed it will never work (despite the strong feelings I had for him). I know its time to move on but its hard to imagine I’ll find someone else like him. I just wish he’d left me alone to begin with. If he wanted the other girl I don’t know why he came back to me.
My advice to ...from different cultures
I’m truly sorry to hear about your story. You seem to be totally in love with him. Sometimes traditional parents and family members make it difficult for someone to marry outside of their culture. Many times people who dare venture out of this situation are disowned by their parents. I blame this guy for answering your call, except that he was honest enough to level with you from the start.
Culture can be stronger than feelings about a relationshipYou chose to remain with him, thinking that you could change his mind. The only good that has evolved out of this, is that you now know that you cannot change someone else’s mind for them.This is an unfortunate situation, but I am sure that if you choose to call him again some time in the future, the same thing will happen again.
You have to now pick up your life and move on. Maybe you were uncertain of the terms of this affair the first time you split, now you are not! As a married woman I can tell you that a vital part of any marriage is being able to accept one’s in-laws. Even, if you had married this man, you may not have lasted very long together because his parents would’ve never accepted you. This is a shame and it is certainly their (and his) loss.
Chemistry in a relationship can only count for so much. That has now been explored and expired from his point of view. As you know, a relationship is not one sided. He has his eyes on a girl and she isn’t you. Restore your self-esteem and believe that you’re worth loving just as much as you’re willing to give, and this will help you move on swiftly. It’s time to leave this behind, isn’t it?
Have you experienced a relationship like this one where your culture (or his) stopped you from being together? More importantly, do you have a relationship which has survived and thrived despite your different cultures? If you have, please let give us your opinion and tell us why yours worked and how you were able to put your differences aside and focus on your love - the thing that truly mattered.
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