One of the great things about dating someone from a different culture is the fact that you get exposed to (literally) a whole new world you may never have known existed. New types of music, new food… a whole new culture. There’s so much to explore, and the best part is that you’ve got your very own ambassador to show you the ropes. Here are five great ways to better understand your exotic partner.

  • Be Active
    By this we simply mean that you should let your partner know right up front that you’re interested in his or her world. You’re not just interested in your partner, but the world that he or she is from. By expressing an active interest, you open the door for new opportunities to explore together.
  • Keep An Ear To The Ground
    Music is a big part of other cultural traditions. Your partner probably likes music very different from what you’re accustomed to listening to, so plan dates around that very thing! Keep an ear out for opportunities to explore that aspect of the new culture you’re exposed to.
  • Film Festivals
    Films are another great way to get to know more about your partner’s culture. Many of his or her favorites are films you’ve probably never even heard of. It’s a great, low key way to learn more about the world your partner comes from, and maybe pick up a few new favorites of your own along the way. (I fell permanently in love with Bollywood, even though I fell out of love with my East Indian girlfriend)
  • Become A Foodie
    Food is another big part of other cultures. Depending on where you live, you may have to travel quite some distance to find ethnic restaurants showcasing foods from your partner’s culture, but it’s well worth the effort to find them. Take it to the next level by turning it into a kind of game. Take turns going to restaurants featuring ethnic foods from your respective cultures and order for each other. It’s a great way to not only learn more about the food from your partner’s culture, but it’s also surprisingly intimate, letting your mate select what you’ll experience and enjoy.
  • Cultural Events
    There are a multitude of festivals and celebrations that pay homage to other cultures, almost certain to include the one that your significant other belongs to. Seek these out and immerse yourself into it. You can plan to turn it into a nice weekend getaway for the two of you, if you live in an area that’s short on that sort of thing. Even better, plan a vacation to the country or region where his or her ancestors hail from. There’s no better way to utterly immerse yourself into another culture than by visiting the country that created it.

The bottom line with all of these ideas is that there are differences between you and your mate, if you’re dating outside your race/ethnicity. Celebrate that. Make it a fun, engaging part of who you are as a couple, and in the meanwhile, find out more about him or her. That’s what it’s all about, right?