Realities Of Being In A Mixed Race Relationship (Based on Our Filipina - British Culture Difference Experience)
Jonathan and I met in a backpackers' place in Luang Prabang in 2013. He is British and I’m a Filipina. Since the day we met, we spent a lot of time together for a couple of days, but the time came when we had to part ways and go on with our separate lives. We kept in touch online, talking all the time and one day, I decided to visit him in Hanoi for two weeks. We have been together since that time!
We decided to take a huge step in our career and our lifestyle by leaving everything behind including our nine-to-five jobs. Things worked for us the way we wanted them to be! Since then, we've been traveling the world together through more than 70 countries and 7 continents. Having traveled the world and lived a life of freedom and excitement for more than three years, we finally got married in July 2016.
People admire us for having a ‘perfect relationship’. But behind the camera and the words you see on our blog, we have our fair share of fights and arguments too! From the pettiest things as to where we’re gonna eat and big things such as deciding on staying in one place or moving to another. All throughout our relationship, we have noticed A LOT of differences and we somehow dealt with it.
I’m not a relationship expert and I’m not claiming to be one. These are just bits and pieces of realities that I picked up on our 4-year relationship :)
(For this post, I’ll be using he/him. But everything is applicable to both sexes)
1. They Still Don’t Understand Why We Eat Rice For Breakfast
Bread is life, but rice is lifer!!
It’s still a puzzle to foreigners why Asians eat rice every single meal, especially for breakfast! And the worst part is, some of us could even finish up to 5 cups every meal! (Anyone else eating more than 5 cups?!) Haha. Well, it’s the same way we don’t understand how they feel full by eating pasta or bread!
2. They Won’t Always Find Your Humor Funny
Or sometimes, they won’t even understand your humor at all. There are just some things that can be only understood in your country (e.g. saging lang ang may puso) to the point that you’ll feel that it’s better to keep the joke to yourself rather than having to explain it to your partner. (TIP: Just try to explain it! They might get the humor one day!)
Well, I tried to learn British sarcasm but didn't fit me well esp with my accent! HAHAHA
3. Tissue Is An Issue
Asians don’t really fancy the use of tissue in cleaning you know what. We just find it unsanitary. Hence, the bidet or the dipper a.k.a tabo. But most of the western countries use a tissue to wipe it off and it’s perfectly fine. But once you start living with someone from the other side of the planet, you’ll certainly argue about getting a bidet installed or not, or you come to the point of even urging him/her to change this habit! But you know, there’s always someone who needs to adjust, and sometimes it could be you! (It’s not so unsanitary, after all)
4. You Must Learn Your Partner’s Language
And I repeat, it’s a MUST unless he is a native english speaker. While you and your partner can speak english fluently, most of the time his/her family can’t. And sooner or later, you’ll have no choice but to meet them. And definitely, it’s you who needs to learn and adjust. So try studying as early as now and surprise your partner with some beautiful phrases. He’ll appreciate it, I promise. Not only that, being a multi lingual is just so sexy!
5. It’s Hard To Explain Yourself When You’re Angry
Some things are better off said in your native language. And that’s a fact. Sometimes, no english word can really describe how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking. So the exact thought of what you’re trying to say isn’t there anymore. Sometimes you’re both so into the argument and there you are trying to find the correct words to say and you’ll lose the momentum all throughout. Haha. Well, just go ahead and say it in your language! Express yourself! But try to explain it to him when things cool off so you can eventually use that word over and over again :)
6. Taking Selfies Or A LOT Of Photos Isn’t Normal
Taking photos/selfies is fine. But taking them while you’re in a restaurant, in the movies, while walking down the street or basically EVERYWHERE like what you usually do is too much for some of them. So before you take one hundred shots, ask them first if it’s fine because it could be really embarrassing for them.
7. They Aren’t As Addicted To Social Media As We Are
Ever experienced tagging your partner in a funny video you come across facebook or just a mushy post to show how much you love him and all you get is a ‘like’? (A like. Not even a heart!) Don’t feel bad, it’s totally normal. They aren’t much into social media and they prefer keeping things private. They could totally have fun and go to a party without having to post a photo of the bottle they’re drinking or how ‘happy’ and ‘drunk’ they are on their social media accounts. And you certainly are special to him and it’s not for everyone on the world wide web to see!
P.S. Jonathan is now using his phone more now than before but unlike me he only reads and rarely comments! HAHAH! Just like a stalker!
8. People Give You This Odd Look
Whenever you’re out on the streets holding each other’s hands, people would just look at you for a brief moment and some are rude enough to stare. Hmmm.. we all know what’s going on inside their heads. Don’t mind them! You don’t have to explain yourself to everyone but if they ask, I just tell them that Jonathan bought me from a farmer in the Philippines in exchange for two piglets.. and here I am now, serving the Master! HAHAHA!
9. You Appreciate Modern Technology More Than Anyone Else
More often than not, people in a mixed race relationship spend most of their time physically apart until you both decide who’s gonna move - yes, Long Distance Relationship is real. But thanks to more than technology, you and your partner don’t feel distant despite the distance! You’re more than happy to see his face on screen or hear his voice on the phone. These are the little luxuries that you have until the time comes that you both can take a leave from work and see each other! (FYI: Aside from snail mails, long distance couples from way back then used to record their voices on tape. And they do that everyday until the tape gets full so they can send them to their amore!)
10. You Must Understand His Culture
Our culture is imbued deep within us. And there’s no way you can change that. Rather than trying to change him, you have to respect, understand, and learn the way things go in their culture. I’m telling you, it’s a beautiful thing to understand and appreciate one’s culture and for sure, he'll also adapt to ours! :)
At the end of the day, it’s just you and your partner. So despite these realities, you just have to make things work for that person and not for anyone else. The struggles are there in ALL relationships whether mixed race or not, and you always have to think that this person is worth fighting for. And remember these wise words from Mignon McLaughlin: “In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing.” ❤
Is there anyone in a mixed race relationship who can relate with me here? Share your thoughts! ❤
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