Dating women outside of my culture isn’t a problem. Although I was born in Jamaica, to Jamaican parents, and raised in a Jamaican household, I tend to identify more strongly with the “American negro.” I studied black history like it’s my own and identify far more with the struggles of black men and women in America than I do with my brethren in Jamaica. I spent roughly 99.9% of my life being raised on American soil and as such, there really aren’t any culture clashes in my personal life. With that said, culture clashes are definitely something to be aware of.
Growing up in a Caribbean household, I’ve been privy to some anger-inducing conversations regarding American blacks. For some reason, many people in the Caribbean community seem to look down on American blacks, believing the living situations they find themselves in are primarily a fault of their own. I’ve actually argued with members of my family regarding the state of blacks in the U.S. and came away disgusted with the ignorance I’ve contended with. I’ve been told black Americans are lazy, shiftless, and have wasted the opportunities they’ve been given for advancement. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
In my opinion, culture clashes while dating aren’t unlike any other differences between two people who are dating. It’s either something you deal with or you don’t. Personally, I believe dating someone of a different culture can be quite an eye opening experience. Learning how someone’s belief systems, upbringing, and personality traits relate to the culture they were raised in is all part of the fun of dating. Getting a chance to ask questions, walk in another person’s shoes, and have a personal tour guide to the ins and outs of a different culture can really be something beneficial for both parties in a relationship. The person doing the touring gets to introduce the other to all the things that makes them who they are, and who doesn’t like to share their cultures with other people?
With that said, one should also take into account potential red flags while exploring a significant other’s culture. The way women are viewed and treated would be the topic most relevant to the subject at hand. As I stated earlier, I’m Jamaican and I’m very well aware of the stereotypes of Jamaican men. I’m also aware of how men in my culture can treat women, as well as numerous examples of multiple families/children/lives I’ve seen the men in my culture living. While these types of situations shouldn’t be held against the individual, as they’re not responsible for the actions of others, a conversation about how men of the culture view women are influenced by cultural norms. Put simply, what one person may consider normal or abnormal may be directly influenced by the things they see. It might be prudent for a woman to know what those norms are and ask their dating partner about a potential significant other’s views on those actions. It helps to be informed.
Cross-cultural dating hasn’t ever been an issue for me because, generally speaking, I find that it isn’t a huge issue to begin with and I frame it the same way I frame any differences of opinion when it comes to dating. Dating across cultures can be an eye opening experience, introducing a person to all the wonderful things your culture has to offer with a personal tour guide at the helm. On the flip side, one must be careful when considering some of the negative aspects of the culture, especially the way that culture views women and they’re particular dating practices. Like all things with dating, it’s mostly a crap shoot and the only way to know for sure, is to see for yourself.