A Piece of Advice
Attracted to someone of a different background – what to do?
One of the beautiful qualities of the human heart is that it doesn’t inherently care whether two people come from the same background or not. But difficulties can arise in spite of what the heart wishes. Research suggests that there are various challenges couples from different backgrounds can potentially face, depending on factors such as their culture, where they live, the openness of their family members, and how partners treat their differences. While some couples and their community handle differences in their backgrounds quite smoothly, others unfortunately have to face social resistance ranging from mild disapproval, to strong opposition, abandonment and possible loss of necessities, to physical attacks.
Because everyone’s situation and the types of challenges they foresee are unique, I wouldn’t want to advise you on whether to act on your attraction or not. Only you know whether the difficulties you’re anticipating make it possible to move forward with this person or not. That being said, let’s assume that (1) the challenges you’re foreseeing don’t involve a threat to your or your potential partner’s safety, or to your ability to hold on to necessities such as housing, food, and clothing, and (2) you’re questioning whether to act on your attraction because you’re unsure if a relationship between two people from different backgrounds can thrive. If both are true, then relationship science has encouraging news: The number of couples from different backgrounds is growing and these relationships can and do succeed. Likewise, research also reveals that diverse couples are capable of finding productive ways of dealing with various challenges. So if you decide to act on your attraction to someone of a different background, not only are you in good company with plenty of other couples, the path toward a connected, happy relationship is thoroughly attainable.
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