Thursday, July 5, 2007

Living Together

Building a relationship is never an easy task. Even after many years of living together couples still have to deal with their differences that became so obvious the very first day of their cohabitation. That’s why much patience is required when starting a full-fledged relationship with a person whom you only know through correspondence and the two of you have spent just a week or two together.

If your partner comes from a faraway country and a culture very much different from your own, these differences may become the greatest source of tensions for you as a newly born couple. It can be silly things like – she’s used to having instant coffee and just can’t figure out the coffee-maker; or she forgets to say hello and smile to your next door neighbor. But it can also apply to things by far more important – like family budget and relations with in-laws. If the little misunderstandings in the kitchen could be solved rather quickly with a good share of humor, the more serious issues will require a lot of time and effort to settle. Don’t forget that what seems natural to you is a completely new way of thinking that she’s not accustomed to. Communicate your position reasonably, hear out what she has to say about the issue, and work out together where your opposing opinions can meet.

As an accepting party taking in a foreigner into your house, you have a better chance of seeing the bigger picture behind your tensions. After all, you’re still in your own country, your family and friends are close at hand and ready to support you. On the whole your lifestyle remains almost intact. Now imaging how your partner’s life changes – she’s out of her background, away from family and friends, in a completely new surrounding, having to speak a language which is not her native any time she wants to be understood. It’s pretty much akin to turning one’s life upside down and around 180 degrees. If the conflict is becoming too intense, be prepared to concede and if needed get back to discussing the issue when both of you are not so wound up emotionally.

Any change generates tension, and depending on the individual’s adaptability radical change may provoke different degrees of stress. Thus, do your best to introduce change slowly and without pressuring your partner too much. Don’t expect her to change overnight. Give her time and space to learn. Most of the people can adjust to any kind of life changes, but it’s better if they do it at their own pace establishing analogies between the old and the new.

The extra mile
Keep in mind that simply working through the cultural tensions and stress caused by radical change of environment is simply not enough to make a relationship function properly. That will only save it from collapsing at the very beginning. A lot of love and affection, as well as tolerance and time is required to establish firm ties between two people and make living together not only bearable but enjoyable for both of you.

After all, you know you’re not taking this risk for nothing. With the help of the modern technology you’ve met a person whom you would most probably never meet otherwise. If you believe that this precious person is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with, don’t hesitate to take that extra step and go the extra mile for her. Getting to know each other deeply and intimately, you’ll be able to create a symbiotic relationship grounded in trust, respect and communication.

About Author

Oksana Lykova



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