Intercultural Couples: A Tango through Detangling

10/04/2014, 22:38:00

Intercultural Couples: a Tango through Detangling


Tango has a history of a very passionate and hot dance. Dance and let our body and emotions talk: dramatic, firm body posture, arms straight, firm hands grip, eyes glued and immersed in the other’s eyes, where our mouth stays shut, intense energy flow and exchange in the context of strong and emotional music.


This dance reflects all patterns of a Romantic Love as described by Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love where he talks about passionate and intimate love as the Romantic Love (Sternberg, 1988). Romantic love represents passion of the body and sensations and ignores completely the cognitive perspective. Nevertheless, it cannot last forever. The consumption of energy required by passion is incredibly high. After it reaches its peak approximately 6 months later, it starts falling to land on a level that is better balanced with other energy inputs and outputs. Fortunately and unfortunately, that is just the time when pink lenses fall down and reason enters to shift love to its next stage. Viva and hallelujah to the Mother Nature. The “pink-lensed” time is just enough for the genesis to happen. In case of intercultural couples this is a strategic milestone. The engine of evolution is impelled by diversity, multiculturality, and blended dichotomy. The next stage in a life of the Love, may be Fatuous Love, Companionate Love, Consummate Love, or unfortunately Empty Love, or even worse, schism, separation, distrust, disappointment, accompanied by emotional pain. This is not unusual in a context of any common marriage or coupleship, no matter if they are or are not of different cultural backgrounds.


American culture is growing and blossoming from a diversity of cultural heritages that have been brought by millions of immigrants. Couples trying to blend their cultural roots and customs experience unique clashes. Their culture is an undividable part of their identity. The threat of its possible loss produces anxiety that may trigger culture/identity protective survival strategies. Then the partners are like Tango dancers, performing movements that have their roots  in European, African, Hispanic (or any other) culture.


Statistics show that every one out of 10 marriages is interracial, aka, dancing Tango.


The statistics also show increased vulnerability of these coupleships to divorce. The same skills we need to learn to dance we can use to learn how to cope with diversity and dichotomy in intimate relationships of intercultural couples. We will use brain, sensations and our body with trust of the Higher Power, Nature, or/and God, that our experience of intercultural bangs and clashes is unique, allowing us unrepeatable experience and chance for growth that we cannot dismiss.


Any relationship requires putting a foot in two microworlds. Intercultural couples have the exceptional chance to practice to dance in richer, more challenging and bigger worlds.

The rollercoaster goes up to fall and falls to raise, then the beauty of the sudden shifts, shivering and inviting butterflies to enter the body.



Be aware you are blessed to have the rare chance to enter another world.

Observe and learn.

Measure twice before you cut – culture may be fragile.

Take this opportunity to live with your partner as a mission – you are invited, not forced, to a different planet. If you grab the offered hand you will grow, get stronger, and awarded by a profound enrichment.



Do not underestimate any cultural heritage.

Do not dump  any brass it might turn into a pearl – every culture has its roots and reasons why. Misunderstanding based on some prejudice or a lack of knowledge that is taken for granted may cause a lot of pain and damage.



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