The dynamics of romantic relationships are often puzzling enough in one's own culture, but even more complicated in an intercultural context. Even if you don't contemplate a cross-cultural romantic relationship during your Peace Corps tour, you may be the object of someone else's interest or unintentionally communicate interest in another person, who then responds. It is important, then, for you to be aware of any differences between the norms governing male/female (or same-sex) romantic relationships in American culture and those in your host country.
|To complete the first part of this activity, answer the questions below from the perspective of American culture. Feel free to add any other questions of your own.
PART ONE: AMERICAN PROFILE
1. How does a man show he is interested in a woman? (or another man?)
2. How does a woman show she is interested in a man? (or another woman?)
3. How does a man show he is not interested in a woman who is interested in him? (or in a man who is interested in him?)
4. How does a woman show she is not interested in a man who is interested in her? (or a woman who is interested in her?)
5. How do you know when the relationship is becoming something more than just friendship? What are signs that the other person is taking this relationship much more seriously?
6. What do men/women do to show they want to pull back on or cool down the relationship?
7. How much touching, embracing, kissing is appropriate for a couple in public?
PART TWO: HOST COUNTRY PROFILE
Now ask someone who knows the host country culture well these same questions. Record the answers next to those you have already written for yourself, and afterwards compare the answers. What are the most striking differences? What are the implications of these differences for having a romantic relationship in your host country?