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Smart, Loving Ways To Help Multicultural Relationships Work – YourTango Panel

Very pleased to participate on this great YourTango panel addressing multicultural relationships, and how to make them work. To some extent, every relationship is multicultural – two people are always different and require stretching by both partners to understand and celebrate each other’s differences. Being curious about your partner, and conveying empathy for their experience are key tools of any healthy relationship.

That said, it can be tempting to stretch too far to accommodate differences sometimes, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and anxious. Be careful not to sacrifice your integrity, and be alert to signs of anxiety that can signal problems needing attention. If you start to experience conflict or anxiety, pay attention to its meaning and use your discomfort to motivate further bridge building between you and your partner.

Here’s what the Tango editors had to say about the panel below:

Get on the same page about honoring your differences. 

Interracial dating is often tricky business. But, we love who we love, right?

No one on this planet can tell you who the right person is to give your heart to; the heart wants what it wants. That said, in order to make your relationship work (whether your love interest is of a different race, religion or nationality), you’ll need skills found outside your normal way of doing things.

So, how hard is it for couples from different backgrounds to make their relationship work? Specifically we wanted to explore: What challenges should someone in a multicultural relationship expect to encounter? And: What sage advice can you offer someone who’s fallen in love with a person with a markedly different life experience or world view than their own?

Who better to tackle this question than esteemed author and anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, joined by psychologist Dr. Alicia Clark, counselor Marta Rocha and psychologist Dr. Foojan Zeine. According to the panel, we’re more similar than it can seem on the surface. And the main thing you don’t want to miss in the video above is HOW to see past our differences and connect over shared love and goals.

So whether you love someone who truly looks or approaches life differently than you do, or you simply find that you don’t share the same things in common with your beloved, this video has great advice to help you understand how to make sense of your tricky situation.

Alicia H. Clark, PsyD

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