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2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Here’s to celebrating the quirks of intercultural dating. - Quirks of intercultural dating

Cover photo courtesy of Jon Taylor Sweet

Before you hate me for implementing a clickable title based on a movie I haven’t seen and book I haven’t read, bear with me:

I have the Sparknotes storyline and it’s a love-hate relationship between pleasure and torture.

That’s just what dating a citizen of another country is like, or even someone who is from a culture or racial group profiled as very different from your own.

If you’re fallen for someone that you don’t look related to, you’ve probably been through one or two of these awkward / awesome moments:

1. Being told how beautiful your hypothetical mixed babies would be.

2. Having no idea what they just said.

3. Knowing you’ll never be mistaken as brother and sister.

4. Encounters with family members or friends you can’t speak with because they don’t speak the same language.

5. Saying something in your native language and feeling sexy.

6. Hearing something in their native language and it being sexy.

7. Accents in general.

8. Expressing affection in different ways.

9. Using “culture” as a crutch to letting them get away with behavior you don’t agree with.

10. Being referred to as “The American,” “The German,” or “The Aussie,” instead of as “the xyz.”

11. Wondering if they’d move for you.

12. Wondering if you’d move for them.

13. Trying to learn basic phrases in their language.

14. Painfully chopping up those phrases. And laughing about it.

15. Ceasing jokes about bad grammar.

16. Appreciating people who are bilingual.

17. Your significant other not getting references or jokes about childhood experiences, TV shows, pop artists, and etc. exclusive to your culture.

18. Eating new things.

19. Trying to cook new things.

20. Moments from friends and family of “oh, I know someone from
[insert country or race].” Because like your significant other knows everyone from their country and race.

21. Questions about visas.

22. Disapproving words or stares from people who don’t believe in interracial or cross-cultural dating.

23. Questions about where you would raise your unborn children.

24. Long nights discussing what you hate about your culture.

25. Long nights discussing what you love about your culture.

26. Discussions about why the U.S. education, health, war, and justice system sucks (if one is American).

27. Discussions about the U.S. failure to “get” soccer (if one is American).

28. Celebrating another country’s holidays.

29. Celebrating another country or race’s traditions.

30. The expat trying to get a job.

31. Spending more time with his/her family or friends because of the distance to yours.

32. Or vice versa.

33. Knowing they can take you places only natives/ locals know of.

34. Having a personal translator in at least one language.

35. Wondering if you’ll make it past this weekend, these few months, or a lifetime together.

36. Trying new things.

37. Learning new things.

38. Actually, moving to a new city or country, doing long-distance, or breaking up.

39. Inappropriate racial jokes that make you sick.

40. Pioneering the new world by statistically going against the fact that most people still don’t date outside of their race.


42. Wondering what would have happened if you did live in the same city.

43. No pressure because it’s just a traveler fling, and you know it wouldn’t work out in real life anyways.

44. Assumptions that either person has a “fetish” for a certain race or culture.

45. Making real life sacrifices.

46. Appreciating something for what it was.

47. Not resenting someone who wasn’t ready to make those sacrifices.

48. Having no regrets for trying.

49. The novelty of dating someone of a different country or race.

50. Understanding that love sees no color, feels no borders, hears no accent, and tastes nothing but sweet sweet kisses of trust, friendship, and passion.

What would you add to this list?

Big thank you to my friend Kristin Addis from BeMyTravelMuse

For helping me come up with one of the points that triggered five more! #TravelGirlProblems

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