Strong Relationships

I have dated outside my race, but more important, I have dated outside my culture. While I am not against dating inter racially I think it is important to date inside your own culture. When you grow up receiving love via the home cooked meals your Mom makes for you, or snuggling up to your Dad while you watch TV it is going to be very hard for you to live without someone that enjoys making home cooked meals or snuggles up to you while watching your favorite TV show.

One of the first conversations I had with my wife about our relationship was about what makes it strong. I actually first heard about the concept in martial arts from sifu Chung, my Kung Fu teacher. He was talking about training but then I applied the idea to relationships. Think of relationships as a rope full of little strands of thread. Everything you like about the other person or you share is a thread that strengthens the rope of that relationship. One thread alone can be easily snapped with little force, but the more threads your rope has the stronger it becomes.

The relationships I had in the past did not have many common threads. When one of the threads would give away and snap, there was not another one to help support it. If both people like movies, but eventually you are burned out from watching movies so much, then what other common things do you have? If your common thread is one type of music, what happens when you already listened to the same CD for the 20th time?

Relationships with people that share something culturally with you are more likely to be successful. If you are passionate about your religion, or are into geek or Internet culture you need to find someone that shares some of that culture with you. I think that if you grow up around people of a certain social class, you are going to have a different set of ethics than someone that grew up dirt poor.

So Pretty Woman is unrealistic?

I think so. While the people that I have been with in the past had lots in common with me we did not come from the same culture. Understanding being an immigrant is something that is hard to relate to unless you have lived it. Same with racism. Someone that has never experienced racism to the same degree you have cannot understand what it makes you feel.

For someone with a complete different culture to work out in a relationship with someone else, there is a level of give and take that has to take place for the people to come up with a new culture for that relationship. If one person tries to force the other into buying into their culture while losing theirs, it spells disaster.

Having the same background helps with threads that make relationships stronger. Relationships with people different than us take work, and if both people are not willing to build those threads the relationship just falls apart when the main thread is not there anymore. If you want a successful relationship with someone makes sure that you build threads along with the ones that brought you together in the first place.

5 comments on “Strong Relationships

  1. Very true, those common bonds are very important. It does remind me of another quote that I found to be pretty funny:

    “If both people in a relationship are just alike, then one of you is unecessary” =)

    This highlights how the differences between people can be complimentary.

  2. Great post Logtar, I totally agree. A relationship needs commonalities in order to work; without these it all falls apart. Your thread/rope analogy is simply perfect, I couldn’t have summed it up better.

    To be honest, I think the best thing about being in a relationship and in love is finding out things you have in common that you never even knew about. Take food for example: before I met my wife I didn’t really care about home cooked meals, but she seems to cook every dish with love! I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed meals so much as I have with my wife.

    Plus we’ve introduced each other to lots of new music and all kinds of interests (and I’ve totally turned my wife into more of an audio/videophile than even I am).

  3. Coming from a culturally mixed family and after moving so much from place to place, I don´t really have a clear idea of what “my own culture” is. I can recognize the differences, but not what binds me together with others. Sometimes I think that´s my search in life: to find someone who shares as many strings as possible, at least those used to make a relationship rich and enduring.

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