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|Randy Mitchell • 9/25/14|
There’s a funny thing about love: It doesn’t discriminate. And when it comes to having heart pounding chemistry, key things in common and a long-lasting mutual attraction, we love who we love and nature always take its course.
Interreligious, intercultural and interracial dating has become much more accepted among society, no matter which partner comes from which socioeconomic/ethnic group.
No longer are the judgmental stares in the restaurants or grocery store checkout lines causing couples to pause.
No longer is the shock factor keeping men/women from following their hearts when it comes to choosing a mate who isn’t from their particular group.
On television and in the movies, intermixed couples no longer draw the attention or criticism they once did a few years/decades ago. Things have definitely eased, judgment-wise, but the real work will be at home with the one you’ve chosen.
With all of this said, if you find yourself being attracted to and acting upon your desire to be with one of another group, be prepared for some approaching challenges.
And it’s only the couples that have a truly unique, strong bond that can handle the upcoming tests.
The differences of being with one from a different culture, religion or ethnic category will become evident fairly quickly. Let’s be real here: Along with these differences comes the opinions of families, friends and communities.
Here will lay the challenges you’ll face. The question is: What’s the best way to deal with them?
If both of you have a solid enough commitment, understanding and accepting your dissimilarities will hold the keys to your relationship’s longevity. So let’s touch upon the major ones.
You’re Catholic and she’s Jewish. You’re Baptist and she’s Muslim. You’re Buddhist and she sings in her Methodist church’s choir.
If your religious beliefs aren’t that important to either one of you, this area may not be an issue. But what if it is?
What if you have children someday? What beliefs will they be raised in? What church will you be attending? Would you both agree to split your Sundays (with one week at Catholic mass and the next at a Jewish synagogue)?
“When love is pure, all that matters
is our individual happiness.”
Realistically, political beliefs very often follow our racial/ethnic backgrounds. It’s a proven fact.
Let’s say you/your family members are hardcore Republicans and hers are Democrats. Hmm, just imagine the spirited conversations you could be having around Thanksgiving meals, especially during an election year.
And if you’re both entrenched in your opinions, how might that affect your home life?
Are you going to sleep separately when the political elections come (her in one room and you in another)? Or would you both be willing to agree to disagree?
Your lineage believes in getting together with family members sporadically — Christmas, Thanksgiving, maybe a birthday here and there. In her family, getting together every week seems to be the norm.
There could be a language barrier. Her family mostly speaks Japanese, but yours only speaks English. Food and sexuality can also enter the mix. You like steak, potatoes and apple pie. She grew up on sushi, curry and all things spicy.
You want sex whenever the mood strikes. She only wants sex occasionally and mainly for reproduction according to her hereditary customs. There can also be major differences in the concept of time, tastes in music and work ethics.
I’m all for being with whoever you love regardless of barriers. After all, love is something we all want, strive for and hope is everlasting. And when love is really pure, all that really matters is our individual happiness.
When we’re dating, everything is new, exciting and filled with that spur-of-the-moment chemistry. We really aren’t thinking years down the road and are just enjoying the emotions we’re feeling.
However, successfully dating one who we have little in common with will involve achieving a healthy balance on a daily basis.
The most important issue regarding indiscriminate dating is making sure both parties are willing to look outside the box and talk about their situations.
Without two very open minds and resilient people, the relationship could wind up in shambles.
But if both of you agree what you’re doing is right for each other, then that strength will propel you through time.
Are you in an indiscriminate relationship? How have you dealt with the challenges? We’d love to hear from you!
Photo source: interfaithweddingrabbi.net.