Social Cultural Barriers to Intimacy

Posted Friday, June 4th, 2010 | Tagged in : Relationship Advice By Admin

Today we live in a global world. In every major city, people from different cultures, religions and countries are rubbing shoulders with each other. So it is very natural that many are falling in love and getting married as well. But such relationships require very strong commitment and understanding. There are many barriers that couples who venture down this path will have to overcome. One such is the notion of physical intimacy or public display of affection. It varies drastically from culture to culture, country to country.

If you have a partner who comes from a different culture and the two of you are from different countries, here are some pointers on how to overcome some of the pitfalls that may present a barrier to your relationship.

First, let look at western countries. By western countries I mean the whole of Europe, the Americans and Australians. People from this region are open to public displays of affection. Sitting intimately with your loved one it more acceptable. If you have a partner who is from one of these countries, you may often see couples displaying affection in front of others. But unlike your partner, you may not be comfortable with holding hands, kissing, or hugging in public, because your social cultural background dictates that this type of affection should only be shown in private.

In Africa and especially countries where the Muslim population is strong, most outward forms of affection is not tolerated. It is better that you refrain from being too intimate or affectionate in public as not to offend the sensibilities of others or violate religious laws. Gulf States in the middle east, except for a few, going around with a woman who is not your relative, is often a punishable crime for both the man and the woman.

It is important that you learn about the social do’s and don’ts of your partner’s country before visiting there, to prevent any embarrassing situation and to avoid facing criminal liability for an infraction of their country’s laws.In some South Asian Countries the social cultural barriers to intimacy is relaxed and minimal compared to Buddhist countries like Japan and Hong Kong. But countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, where the religious faith is dominated by their Muslim beliefs, there are many social and cultural barriers to intimacy. Places like India or Sri Lanka, the customs on intimacy depends on the region or the city where you live whether you and your partner will be bound by restrictions to public displays of affection.

To reiterate, marriage between couples from different cultures, religions, and social backgrounds, are commonplace today. The thing to keep in mind is before you show some intimate affection to your partner, make sure you are aware of his or her feelings about public displays in their country. There must be an asserted effort to be sensitive to each other about intimacy issues. It is a mistake to assume you know how your partner feels. You have to discuss any intimacy issue.

Knowledge can be the bridge to understanding each other. To experience intimacy that’s satisfying it has to be something you both agree to. It starts with taking the time to talk  to each other about intimate things.

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