If there was an easy way to find your perfect companion, the world would be in an ecstatic state of wonder.
The days would blend with the nights in music and acts of kindness. But as it happens, we have not reach such a state of amazement, yet. Taking the risk in a love beyond the boundaries of our expectations, particularly the ones our social and cultural realities may expect from us, may lead us into a field of new realities, new cultural awareness and a more awaken proposal for what companionship means. And so, with this contrarian idea in mind I ventured into the relationship I have now. There are no written rules you can follow when you find a partner, and even more so from a cross cultural relationship, especially when not all your friends have embarked in such a love journey.
My Cuban and I, his Canadian, have learn so much from these past six years together that we could write a three-part novel as easily as I am breathing now. I read somewhere that if a relationship passes those first three years of recognition, there are higher probabilities for such a union to flourish much longer. Whether this is true or not is not really a big deal, but what I can really tell you is that, in an international relationship the weatherproof skin we learn to develop to protect ourselves from headaches due to broken relationships becomes the super lovers cape, not for protecting yourself but for protecting what it has created from such a diversity influenced union.
We forget sometimes that all relationships have stormy weather days, as much as days of beautiful integration into the other’s life. The bad balances itself out by the good, and this is the only rule I feel relationships should pay attention to: “Let the power behind knowing that the bad flows into the good be the foundation of your relationship”. Of course, it sounds much easier written than exercised. I still remember how stressed we were through our early days of realizing how language was a bridge we needed to build for the survival of our merger. It was after we started putting so much attention into learning each other’s idiom, that we realized that all that struggle meant we were building the foundations for our union. It was clear that we wanted for our sailboat to have smooth sailing into the wild waters of life.
We are language’s field of action, and if you want to be understood, you must be as clear as possible. Even if it takes you longer to learn a language, you should know that for me, seeing how my children shift from one language to the other as easily as if they were changing toys is a gratifying sight. Remembering all the time it took my husband and I to teach the other our language makes complete sense. Besides, most doctors, specially neurologist will always recommend children to be bilingual during those first years of language learning. It helps them to exercise their neuro synapses more.
If the reasons that you must go against being part of a cross cultural relationship are based on fears that are not really from your own personal experience, then I recommend you go for it. The laws we sometimes follow without even realizing that we do, are set in motion by the cultural scenarios we grew up with. So, make sense of the things that lead you to where you are, they are the foundations for a better field that you can prepare for integrating yourself with someone who doesn’t share your background. It is in this openness where you and your cross-cultural partner can flourish, for without the proper understanding of your individuality it is harder to accept others.
Break the mold that our fathers nurtured in us after clearing its content of that baggage we carried from our own life line. The time my husband spent getting to know my Canadian roots and the time I have spent understanding the “arroz con frijoles spiced Cuban reality” has brought us to where we are. It is in our children where we see how our differences encourage the lives of those our union brought together. There is only one law in any kind of relationship and it has not been written yet. Brave yourself into the cross-cultural union you have chosen, the rest is pure practice of new language, new rhythms, new family bonding and new acceptance of differences. Ultimately, we are seeking a union for our individuality to prosper, a mirror for the other individuality we love in our partners. That is a wonderful law to follow.