Today, I’m going to get real and personal..cause sometimes that’s what the heart wants. This is about dating outside of my culture and the challenges as a first generation Canadian. I’ve always enjoyed variety and embraced the differences and uniqueness of each person so I almost prefer dating outside of my culture. I get that trying to fit into a someone else’s life who has a different culture has its own challenges and learning and it isn’t an easy task. I think I am an adaptable and flexible person so I was okay with the learnings that had to come when I decided to date a non-Persian man. But my parents, and my partner? Well that’s a different story…
It’s common here in the Western culture to being home your boyfriend/girlfriend and introduce them to your family, and so my non-Persian partner did just that. I was grateful that I got to know his family and we had a great relationship. I enjoyed their company a lot and we would stay in touch through phone/text/holiday cards/social media (they lived in a different city). But what do you do if your parents got a more traditional mind set that the guy you bring home has to be the one you’re going to marry? Does that mean I can never date any rn and outside of my culture because it’s hard for them to accept how things run in my family? My boyfriend kept bringing up the fact that he hasn’t met my family like a thumb sore. It was my weak point where I would shut up and could not say anything in response back. Yea I can say my family has a different culture and that’s not how things run in my household but it didn’t help to ease his pain. I can understand when he would say that he feels rejected and not accepted to my family cause my parents don’t want to meet him. But how could I stand against my family when they left their lives and families back home to immigrate to Canada so my brother and I could leave better lives and have more opportunities?
Eventually, his pain became my pain . As time went on he could not see a future with me because he didn’t know my family. He would say that he feels speechless whenever his family asks him about mine because he couldn’t say anything in response since he hasn’t met them. Whenever we were hanging with his friends and one of them would bring up that they went to visit their girlfriend’s parents for the weekend I would just want to melt into the ground because I knew exactly the thoughts that would be going through his head. It made me feel like I wasn’t enough.
When a person or a group profile you based on your culture/colour/origin/religion they often call it racism but what about in the context of dating? My mind was blown when I first heard the words “but your family is so different than mine, like culturally and I don’t know if I or my family can adapt to that” or “Do your parents speak fluent English? Wouldn’t it be hard for me to communicate with them?”
No doubt the Persian culture is different than the Weatern/American culture but in that second, I felt like the person I had a romantic relationship with and who claimed to love me wasn’t racially profiling me because of where I was from. Funny thing is that he would always say throughout our relationship that one of this favorite things about me was that I was foreign and originally from a different place.
I thought with today’s multicultural world there wouldn’t be any of this type of conversations. I had never felt racism like that before in my life…or maybe it just hurt more since it came from a person I loved. It also hurt a lot because I knew once he would eventually meet my parents, he would love them and vice Vera!
I believe love conquers everything. I believe if you really want someone in your life nothing can stop you other than yourself.
What do you guys think? Do you think I should just stick to my culture to avoid going through the hassle of cultural differences next time or do you think I shouldn’t give up and that there are people appreciate the cultural diversity in their romantic life? Let me know your thought by commenting below 🙂
Thanks for letting me vent out!