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Old 07-20-2008, 06:21 PM
 
23 posts, read 51,601 times
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Default Cross Cultural Dating

Hello,

I am a Black American female and recently I met a nice guy who is African, more specifically from Johannesburg, South Africa. We both currently live in America, however I don't know much about dating outside of my American culture. Can anyone tell me if there are differences that down the line may propose a problem? Specific questions I should ask? I've tried to find books that talk about it but haven't found exactly what I'm looking for. Maybe someone is currently in a similar relationship and can share your experiences.

Thanks
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Fondren SW Yo
2,784 posts, read 4,117,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hicksfs View Post
Hello,

I am a Black American female and recently I met a nice guy who is African, more specifically from Johannesburg, South Africa. We both currently live in America, however I don't know much about dating outside of my American culture. Can anyone tell me if there are differences that down the line may propose a problem? Specific questions I should ask? I've tried to find books that talk about it but haven't found exactly what I'm looking for. Maybe someone is currently in a similar relationship and can share your experiences.

Thanks
To me, the only red line that shouldn't be crossed in looking for a potential mate is religion, as that speaks to ones value system and ideally a shared value system is at the core of a healthy marriage and family raising. Differing culture, nationality, race, etc. can be challenges but not obstacles which can't be overcome. I have friends who have family in both Johannesburg (J-Berg as the locals call it) and Cape Town. One of the biggest challenges is distance - when family/in-laws are that far away it's tough. Communication is the best plan of action, anytime you are not sure of what he is saying/telling you, ask him directly what he meant. Ask about cultural expectations about you working outside the house, child rearing, housework, entertaining, friendships outside the marriage, etc. Don't assume anything or leave anything to "just work itself out." Lastly, listen to your gut instincts if you are feeling/seeing any red flags. Don't get sidetracked by the warm fuzzies. Problems left undealt with before marriage will rear their ugly head with 100% certainty after the knot is tied, so best deal with everything up front. Good luck!
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:59 PM
 
23 posts, read 51,601 times
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Thanks for the awesome reply. He is a physician that just completed his education and is now going back home to practice there for a month. My concern is, you hear so many stories of people simply wanting a "Green Card."

I haven't asked too many questions yet, as it's very premature. I simply have never dated anyone other than black men. Not by choice, just happen that way. "Thought I'd clear that up"

Thanks again.
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Fondren SW Yo
2,784 posts, read 4,117,351 times
Reputation: 2176
Quote:
Originally Posted by hicksfs View Post
Thanks for the awesome reply. He is a physician that just completed his education and is now going back home to practice there for a month. My concern is, you hear so many stories of people simply wanting a "Green Card."

I haven't asked too many questions yet, as it's very premature. I simply have never dated anyone other than black men. Not by choice, just happen that way. "Thought I'd clear that up"

Thanks again.
No problem, last little bit advice is take it real slow. If you feel like he is pressuring you to move things along quicker than you feel comfortable with then be very careful.
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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Will do... Thanks again.
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Dallas
21 posts, read 111,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hicksfs View Post
Hello,

I am a Black American female and recently I met a nice guy who is African, more specifically from Johannesburg, South Africa. We both currently live in America, however I don't know much about dating outside of my American culture. Can anyone tell me if there are differences that down the line may propose a problem? Specific questions I should ask? I've tried to find books that talk about it but haven't found exactly what I'm looking for. Maybe someone is currently in a similar relationship and can share your experiences.

Thanks
As far as the green card, depending on his specialty, I would think that hes in a position to get one on his own. What kind of visa does he have? Ive heard of doctors on a J-1 visa having to return to their country for two years, but one month? That seems like just enough time to go home and bring back a wife.

All kidding aside, Id be much more concerned about any cultural differences, as far as his perception of you is concerned. There may not be any.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:06 PM
 
23 posts, read 51,601 times
Reputation: 13
Now that is funny. I did ask about the wife thing because I know that can be the case and he assured me there isn't one. He's asked me far more questions about myself, spiritual values and for the most part we're quite similar there. "I guess time will tell."
Oh, his specialty is OB/GYN.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:41 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
12,992 posts, read 21,778,067 times
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If you think that the relationship is headed towards marriage, make sure that he respects your life goals and that he would treat his wife as an equal. It seems to me that one frequent relationship problem between an American woman and a foreign born man would be that the men are more traditional and old fashioned about how they expect their women to behave. You just want to make sure that if you marry him, you can have the career or type of family life that you want. You don't want to marry him and then suddenly he expects to make all the rules, or is the only decision maker in terms of household finances, or if suddenly you have to behave more demurely in public. Or maybe he expects you to be a stay at home mom and produce a big family for him. In some African cultures, having lots of children is proof of a man's virility.

These conflicts don't seem to happen when it's an American born man and a foreign born woman.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:52 PM
 
23 posts, read 51,601 times
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Now that would be way off as I'm currently in school working on a master's headed towards a PhD in education. You guys are scaring me.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:15 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
12,992 posts, read 21,778,067 times
Reputation: 10145
Other concerns would be if you got married, would he be bringing family members over (which is fine) but would they be living with you? Like what about his parents? Would you be expected to wait on them hand and foot? Or even if his family stayed in Africa, does his family expect him to send them money every month?

You seem like a very sensible woman. Just go slow with this relationship. Foreign born men are very charming with their accents and old fashioned manners. But as American born, we are used to having certain freedoms and rights that many foreign born women don't have or dream of wanting.

And I have this other rule that I feel is important for all relationships. Don't marry until you've had one good disagreement or fight with your s/o. When we are all first in love, everyone is on their best polite behaviour. But only when they get mad, do we get to see their true personality and colours. And all couples are going to disagree at various points over the years. Especially for women, it's important to know how your s/o fights and what he's like when he gets mad. Does he throw things and get physical? Is he unreasonable and pigheaded? When he calms down, he is willing to admit if he is wrong (if he is) or talk things out?

Anyway, don't be scared off from dating this guy. Just go slow and use your commonsense. Don't let yourself be swept off your feet by his charm.

Good luck.
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