Thursday, October 6, 2011

Are you in an interracial or intercultural relationshi__? (fill in letter of your choice)


INTERLOVIN' pt. 1 Horrific and Unedited v.1
by Jill Cabansag on Tuesday, 04 October 2011 at 09:00

Thank you, yes... I coined that junk.

These days, there are so many "two-toned" couples, if you know what I mean. Japanese-American, Filipino-African, Korean-Chinese seems to be the THING these days. In-breeding is no longer the social mandate and the world's people has become much more beautiful because of it quite frankly.

I have been, for the most part of my dating life, participating in this relatively nouveau 'equal opportunity' dating scene and it has enriched my life in more ways than one. It has exposed me to so many sides of human anthropology and behaviours, and played a major part in helping me become the crazy person I am today.

Today I will write about some of my radical experiences and lessons learned. Many of my FB friends are in this kind of mess errr--- relationship (haha) and methinks this little blog entry could help yallz climb to Everest. Keep your pants on, here goes.

For part one of this saga, I will discuss what is probably the most fundamental FUNDAMENTAL of any human FUNDAMENTAL. ===COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE===.

We all come from our own little nooks and crannies. In my case, PILIPINAS KONG MAHAL, THE HILLS ARE ALIVE, and the UNITED STATES OF ADOBO. Pretty messed-up I tellz ya. Growing up, I've had to manage leveling things off to make sense of my various cultural backgrounds which had socially labeled me short of being a freak of nature aka weirdo. I then learned of this thing called third culture kids or TCK but that will be another story for another day.

So my cultural norms and mores lean towards the "West Wing"... Add that to my God given loud and sailor mouth, and extensive traveling experiences (I totally beat Dora la explorada)...... and bring ALLA THAT to the East, where my blood comes from... (drum roll plz....) is a bit too much for comfort.

I came back to the Philippines, from the United States of Adobo at the not so tender age of 26 to have the opportunity of a better life (HAHAHAH DONT ASK, those who know, KNOW...) and found me a Korean prince living in the palace of M2. ("Oh Gosh", says Chaz)...and months passed, happily ever after seemed as complicated as to why my grandmother keeps money inside her bra. Yes, go figure. Why? It's all because for a long time, we were completely lost in translation. Our language skills were just about as good as google translator or those famously sketch and obscure English signs you find all over the world, especially in Thailand. And that's when we TALK FACE TO FACE. Then, theres ONLINE communication which sometimes gets soooo outta hand, feels like trying to get a fat kid to eat his vegetables.

Yes, the Korean and I have had innumerable fights and about 95% of them had something to do with miscommunication or a typo error.

I have then learned that in this kind of relationship, what you say don't count as much as what you DON'T say and how well you listen.

In the States, men and woman have this equality mambo jambo; however, in many parts of Asia, that thing simply does not exist within the norms of an upright Asian man who is raised right by his momma. It's a hard thing to swallow, and but this is where I've had to do a lot of introspection and identifying what I want out of life and how to put the pieces I have chosen together, to get to the bigger picture.

Yeah, yeah...

Anyway, to my lady friends: Communication is very important and spending time going to the movies or having pizza with the crew don't count. It is important that you spend time talking things through... and not talking things through (GIVING THE BOY SOME SPACE), leveling it off and learning from it.

Intercultural relationships are not easy at all, but it doesn't mean that happiness is unattainable. In my opinion, this kind of relationship give you a lot of hypertensive attacks in the beginning, and then the inevitable hits you: In time, you start developing your own language and understanding each other more.

The Korean culture is by far the most different I have ever come across. The way they do things, how they see foreigners and handle interpersonal relationships sometimes reaches a point of absurdity, but then with time, whilst keeping an open mind... is actually more similar to all my cultural backgrounds than it is different! I just had to process and communicate with him more than usual and more importantly, consciously try to improve my LISTENING over my REASONING.

Looking back to my former relationships (both interracial and intercultural), I have realized why it never quite worked out... Yes, I was youngER and stupidER (haha) "at that time" by a wide margin, and it dawned on me that a few years of this and that called EXPERIENCE really sustains ones endurance and perseverance that leads to precious PATIENCE... which I now believe to be the mealticket for a good relationship.

A few parting words:

Quote from the movie EVER AFTER: Don't talk unless it helps keep the silence.

Focus on being positive, because G.O.G.I. Garbage In, Garbage Out. You figure that out.

One love.