When you’re in a relationship, especially if you’re living together, you always need to learn about that person, his or her likes, dislikes, habits, family etc. But when you and your partner are from different cultures and perhaps countries, speak different languages or have different religions, then there’s a lot more you need to learn. To learn all those things will definitely take a long time, perhaps a lifetime if you aim to know “all”. The time you spend learning is, for me, like an exciting journey, it’s so interesting to get to know more and also to share.
So for me, being in an intercultural relationship is like being both a student and a teacher at the same time, all the time. I don’t mean that as only being the teacher when I talk about my culture because teaching my culture in some way mean I also learn more about it. Having grown up in a Swedish culture doesn’t mean I have all the answers about why we do things in a certain way. When you’re used to things and have a habit it’s easy to forget why we do it or exactly what it’s about because you take it for granted. That way I also learn at the same time as I’m teaching.
I think it’s really important to learn these things about each other, to learn about the culture, about traditions and to speak each others languages. Both because it makes it easier to live or spend time in each others country, interact with the society and work, but also because our background is an important part of who we are. So to know about my partners culture, traditions, language and religion means I can understand him better, and vice verse of course.