Third Culture Kid Syndrome
May 31, 2013 8:49 AM   Subscribe

Mid-20s male in the US but with origins elsewhere. I feel at home in both countries, but also in neither, and recently I've really started to feel a kind of melancholy, sentimentalism, or restlessness about my situation as a 'third culture kid', and whether I've made the wrong life choices.

I've lived in the US since I was 5 with my nuclear family. I'm currently mid-training for a career that is not very mobile and will be pretty hard to pursue back in my home country - at least, not until I'm way more senior (10+ years). I love my career choice, but I can't deny that sometimes I feel 'locked in' here while my true self is back home.

My home country is single-race, language and history, with importance placed on the home, family etc. I too have a strong sense of cultural identity and pride, and it is difficult for me to treat it just as a passport formality or a mildly interesting personal characteristic (like what some of my other third culture friends do). My sense of humour, esthetics, moral philosophy, taste in women, are all quite non-US; my personality changes slightly depending on my languages and I always feel that my non-US version is the genuine one (perhaps because it's the one I have with my family). If hypothetically the two countries were to go to war, I would without doubt choose my home country. I had never visited my home country regularly so didn't feel like this until a few years ago, when I had the chance to stay for several months. It was just so... comforting, that everyone looked like me, or that a whole country was operating under a language that had been almost like a private language within my family. My US hometown is pretty white-dominated and though I've never been a target of overt racism (other than casual teasing), I had always had a distinct discomfort and lack of self-confidence, which I realized then was partly due to my always feeling a minority.

Yet, with all this, I do not feel truly at home in the home country either - even if I resonate culturally, I do not resonate socially with the kind of social norms, traditions, values, roles of men/women, work ethic over there etc, and it can be an incredibly claustrophobic, nitpicky and shut-off society. I'm sure I'll be able to adapt if I were to live there permanently, but I don't think it's good for my long-term happiness or creativity. In the US, I feel much freer - like I can do anything I want without societal constraints or caring about what other people think, and much more in contact with the rest of the world. Going back would be career suicide, and with the working culture I can imagine almost exactly where I'll be in about 5 years - burnt out, stressed, and sapped of creativity.

I guess the other complicating factor is relationships: I can't imagine having a wife with whom I cannot have the same kind of conversations I have with my parents, or have kids who can't speak with their grandparents. (it's very rare to find a non-native who can speak home country language bilingually.) My heritage forms such a large part of my cultural identity that I fear I would always feel 'Wife will never truly understand me or know everything there is to know about me' if I marry internationally. At the same time, however, a lot of my values, aspirations, expectations and education are all so American that I can't imagine marrying someone who has never left my home country either. I feel quite trapped by this cultural dichotomy that I feel that I will never be able to marry. This is added to the fact that a lot of my college friends in similar situations have almost all gone back to their home countries as well, perhaps due to similar identity crises.

Sometimes I reassure myself I've made the right choices; sometimes I feel I've made a drastic mistake and I'll never be happy. I feel pride for my dual heritage, but also envy for those who have lived in the same place forever and can unequivocally call it home. Any other third culture kids out there? How did you reconcile with this kind of split identity and lack of roots? Who did you marry, and how are you raising your kids? Many thanks.
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (19 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Start with this. Keep tissues aside. Find time and space for yourself, as you read this and let the memories and grief wash over you.

Then, I'll come back and write more with links.
posted by infini at 8:51 AM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]

And, as Norma McCaig once told me over the phone in 2002 (a call I'll always remember with gratitude for giving me a "home" in the name) Call it global nomads, not TCK and it is NOT a syndrome. Change that title.

Dr McCaig's definition is that global nomads are children whose developmental years were spent outside of their passport country, due to their parent's professions.

As with any other culture, there are pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses.
posted by infini at 9:00 AM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

My heritage forms such a large part of my cultural identity that I fear I would always feel 'Wife will never truly understand me or know everything there is to know about me' if I marry internationally. At the same time, however, a lot of my values, aspirations, expectations and education are all so American that I can't imagine marrying someone who has never left my home country either. I feel quite trapped by this cultural dichotomy that I feel that I will never be able to marry.

It's not that uncommon for people like you to simply marry people who have been through the same experience-- not people from the home country but people in the USA who have been through similar experiences and are of a similar (if not the same) national origin.

My US hometown is pretty white-dominated and though I've never been a target of overt racism (other than casual teasing), I had always had a distinct discomfort and lack of self-confidence, which I realized then was partly due to my always feeling a minority.

Move to a town in the USA that has a lot more people who come from different parts of the world to work and settle down in. I think it would probably help you if you were in a more cosmopolitan environment. You don't specify what your profession is, but see if it is possible to move locations within the US (or maybe to an international city like London) to a place where you'd feel like less of an alien being.
posted by deanc at 9:08 AM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

Third culture kid here, I've moved back and forth between two countries, the US being one, and lived in a number of different cities. Nowhere feels like home anymore, and if there was the hypothetical war like what you mentioned I would certainly abstain from it.

As for spouses, my wife is from another country altogether, and there is a lot of her culture of birth that I do not comprehend as well as her, but that is not to say that I don't try. I have visited her homeland and plan to go back more often, and I have learned some of her language, so her heritage is not a black box to me.
posted by Joe Chip at 9:15 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

OK, I'm going to answer this as a non-third-culture person, who probably doesn't 100% understand what you're going through.

It seems like some of your concerns are things you're not entirely in control over, like your career path and whether you could do that in your home country. I really feel you on this, because my grownup life has also taken me thousands of miles from "home" and has created this weird split where it's hard to figure out where I belong. It is hard to have that out-of-control feeling, where something that is ostensibly a choice (career path) closes other unrelated doors you didn't anticipate.

A thought about the location thing and feeling like you're more at home back in your home country where people speak your language, look like you, etc. I don't know where in the US you live or whether this would apply to your home culture at all, but have you looked into maybe moving to a city with an enclave of people from there? One of the things that always fascinated me about New York was the degree of third-culturedness that was sort of assumed as default. It felt like every country had its own little 20 block radius full of native speakers, familiar foods, cultural institutions, etc. Los Angeles feels somewhat similar, and I know that Detroit, Minneapolis, DC, etc. are known for having enclaves of certain immigrant communities. Would your career allow you to move to a city like that? It might be somewhat the best of both worlds for you.

You also mention relationship/family issues. You know that it's perfectly OK to marry someone of your same background, if that's important to you, right? Again, this might be another reason it would be a good idea to relocate to a city. Even if you're, I don't know, Mongolian, and there's no major US city with a Mongolian neighborhood, you have a much better chance of meeting another Mongolian in a city with millions of people from all over the world than you do in Terre Haute, Indiana. And, yes, of course your children could be bilingual. If you speak to them in both languages, and your spouse does as well (even if she's not a native speaker, she can still study the language and learn it and practice it with your children), and they have a close relationship with other family members who speak it, or even better a local community of speakers, your children WILL pick up this language. That's just a fact of human biology.
posted by Sara C. at 9:22 AM on May 31, 2013

I agree with deanc, I think maybe you would feel more at home in a neighborhood that is more diverse. I'm 27, and I was born and raised in California. But I can kind of relate to you. I've never really felt at home anywhere since I moved a lot growing up. Also I was stereotyped at an early age as someone who didn't "act black" and so that increased my feelings of not belonging. In college I met my first boyfriend, who was from Ghana. I kind of adopted his culture by osmosis. I learned the language (some of it actually :) ), got to know a lot more people from Ghana, even lived there for half a year. I married a Ghanaian eight years ago and had a daughter...even though the marriage didn't work out, I still feel very much connected to the country as a person. My daughter currently lives there with her dad and goes to a Ghanaian school. I'm moving back later this year for at least six months before coming back to Cali with my daughter.

I love my adoptive country very much...but I don't think I could live there long term. You mentioned restrictive cultural norms, and I feel the same way about Ghana. It's not my birth country, and I don't think I'd be able to adapt fully. Whenever I am there, I miss Cali. Whenever I am in Cali I miss being in Ghana. Whenever I am in either place I feel slightly out of place. I have a close Ghanaian friend who has lived in L.A for five years. She loves her home country but at the same time she knows she could never move back permanently (cultural restrictions, few career prospects, etc.). She sort of has a foot in both worlds...I'm sure that is why we both get along so well.

As for relationships and marriage, if you meet someone you love who is open minded, then everything else will fall into place. In my experience love brings along a willingness to compromise. I know that even though I wasn't Ghanaian, I was very open to learning about my bf's culture. deanc mentioned that you might also meet another 3rd culture kid who strikes your fancy. Just having that in common could go a long way. You could also become a part of a subculture if you lived in a big city. In L.A we have neighborhoods like Little Ethiopia, China town, Little Tokyo, etc. full of people with roots in their home country.

Also, rest assured that this is so common in the 21st century. You're definitely not alone. Cultures are coming together all the time in different ways through different people. I hope that you can find your place in the world that makes you happy. And I'm sure that as you get older you will become more at peace and happy with yourself and your life.
posted by Cybria at 9:31 AM on May 31, 2013 [6 favorites]

Sending you hugs Anon. Your question resonates with me greatly.

I moved around a lot internationally as a child but did most of my schooling in my home country till I was 18. However even in high school I was given a hard time for speaking my mother tongue with an accent, preferring to speak English, and for not having a very traditional outlook due to my international childhood.

I have lived in the UK since I was 18, always feeling rather removed from the British Asian community (as it is known) and whenever I went back I would feel increasingly too 'Western' to fit in properly there either.

But the way I try to look at it is not that I am rootless, but that I am a citizen of the world with roots in more countries than other people. I think of myself as at the vanguard of a global movement, and that in a few generations most children will be like me, with roots everywhere. (In short, what infini said.)

Regarding relationships - it is true that sometimes I feel that someone who doesn't speak my mother tongue or understand my home country will never fully understand me. (There is a scene in The Namesake where the second generation Indian protagonist goes to a party hosted by American friends with his second generation Indian wife, and they murmur to each other in Bengali, and that scene has always made me feel wistful.) But my most meaningful relationships till now have tended to be with people from other countries. When you 'get' someone, it doesn't matter if your backgrounds are different. Someone who loves you will want to learn about where you came from and you will want to learn everything about them too.

Try and spread yourself out so that you have friends from all backgrounds - people from your home country with whom you can joke in your own language, people from the US who share your values and education, people from completely different backgrounds than yours, whom you just get on with. You don't have to be lonely. Good luck.
posted by Ziggy500 at 9:33 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

I was a mid-term (7 years) USian expat in my 20's. I don't have the perspective of a TCK but I imagine there might be parallels.

By my observation, there were 4 kinds of expats (like alien encounters):
  1. Those who decided they made a mistake and moved back to their home country within a year
  2. Those who successfully settled into their life, became more a local than a pure expat, but eventually decided they would never assimilate and moved back after around five years (that's me)
  3. Those who assimilated or married into the culture and stayed more or less permanently, often falling off the expat radar altogether
  4. Those who essentially became permanent expats. They didn't assimilate. They socialized mostly with other expats of multiple countries and locals who had also been expats. They didn't move back to their country of origin but may have moved country several times before settling in one, or never settled, just kept moving.
I think a lot of so-called Third Culture Kids were in that fourth group. It sounds like your birth country may not generate a lot of expats the way you can find tons of Americans, Canadians, Brits, Australians and Germans out there. But you will probably find people more in tune with your mindset, one or two people from your birth country who have that more global outlook, or people from neighboring countries with similar cultures.

You might look into becoming an expat yourself in a third country. If your passport country is in the EU you would have a lot of opportunity. Otherwise, your country might have treaties or arrangements with some countries more appropriate for your career. If this isn't appealing, if you live in or can move to a more cosmopolitan city (NYC, San Francisco, DC and so on) you may be able to meet these people.

Good Luck!
posted by rocketpup at 10:10 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Living in Liminality by Bobbi Schaetti is also insightful. My own thoughts on this, during hte time I pondered and wrote, I translated into my professional design practice. I worked on refining the pros, as written in the worldweave article I first linked to, and just lived with and accepted the cons. They were no different from the "differences" between my classmates and myself, after all, we are all in the same boat.

My friends in school were Americans, Germans, French, the English, the Poles, the Benelux, Peru, and all across the ASEAN and the Pacific Ocean. In my senior year, nobody held the same passport as I did - that was fun :) All the elementary school kids would come find me on UN day to get their little charts signed from the 40 nationalities represented at our school.
posted by infini at 10:31 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hi anon. I'm not quite in the same boat as you, as I changed country much later in life (27), and there's almost no language difference. But I can definitely relate to not feeling at home in either country. My home country has changed enough since I left that I feel a lot like a tourist when I visit, mixed with the familiarity of home. But not home. My adoptive country is still not quite home, and probably never will be. I live in a big cosmopolitan city full of people from all sorts of backgrounds (Los Angeles) and this helps enormously. My friend group includes people from various different countries, as well as plain old Americans ;) This helps enormously with the feeling that I am not rootless and displaced, but instead a "global nomad". It makes it feel more positive, I love having such diverse friends! It's a community of friends who share the same difference, even though we are all very different culturally. I like rocketpup's categorizations above, I think I probably fall mostly into the 4th category.

My relationship is with another expat from the same country as me, so we have that shared culture. I strongly agree with previous posters that you should try moving to a diverse big city, if you don't live in one already; and you should try to find a friend group that is international, as that gives you a shared bond which helps. That does not mean "mildly interesting personal characteristic", within the right friend group, or at least that is not my experience of it. Having the diverse friend group means we often discuss our lives (i.e. the way we bring up our children) in terms of how they relate to our home countries and cultures, and analyse the difference, see where we take things from our home cultures versus American way (Hint, mostly from home country!). I think that perhaps the importance of your birth country and culture increases greatly when you get married and have children - there's a mindset change about yourself when you have kids which pushes the focus outwards away from yourself, to society and family. I can't put it into words quite right, but I think that's when it changed for me from "mildly interesting personal chaaracteristic" to something much more central to my family's identity.

Perhaps there is a city with an expat/2nd generation group with the same heritage as you. If you could find that group it would probably help the most.
posted by Joh at 10:59 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd say that the 4th category isn't quite that way and maybe more amorphous and nuanced as we each figure out what works best for us, and at what life stage. My peers are ready to retire and the internet helps us stay and feel we're still global.
posted by infini at 11:17 AM on May 31, 2013

I was raised in the US by a sort of vehemently non-assimilating British mother, so I suppose I'm in a sort of tangentially similar situation. (Your example of a hypothetical war caused me a great deal of distress as a kid.) Unintentionally, I went to a university where a lot of people had immigrant or ex-pat parents and it was the first time in a long time I could call myself American and not be worried someone was going to say "No, you're not, not really." or something. Since moving out of that space I think I've become more conflicted again. Sometimes I talk about leaving for the UK or somewhere else, but I don't know if I'm ever going to actually do it. There's a certain appeal to my difference being obvious--I think that if I sound American somewhere else, surely no one's going to mock the parts of my accent that aren't American. But there's inertia and the fact I know leaving would be harder than it seems--there's an awful lot of day-to-day life in Britain I know little about. I mean, that's part of why my mother's still here--she's been gone so long the country she left is gone.

I guess what I want is to live somewhere where I'm normal. That I can be American while calling England 'we' and no one's going to hassle me about it. Or where you admit to having two passports and no one's going to tell you that's impossible. How you go about finding such a life, I don't know. I don't know that it's a priority for me to have a partner from a similar kind of background (though this was the case in my last relationship and it was a plus, I think), but I think it's important that my hypothetical partner acknowledge or understand that this is more than an 'interesting fact'. Sure, it is sometimes nothing more than an interesting fact, but they damn well had better believe I was worrying about a hypothetical war as a child and not mock me for it.
posted by hoyland at 11:21 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

My mother is German. My father is a Hoosier (from Indiana) and old enough to be my grandfather. He is also part Cherokee and spent 26.5 years in the army. The army tends to be very multicultural. It is not like American civilian life. I tend to have foreign or bicultural friends. My romantic partners have tended to be bicultural/foreign and/or career military (and/or military brats).

I am a white American and I am usually middle class (though not at the moment). But I am not culturally "white, middle-class American." It causes me some friction with white, middle class Americans who think I am like them and then discover I am not in ways they find baffling and frustrating. If I looked or sounded "different" (brown skin, a foriegn accent) those issues would likely not happen, or at least not to the same degree (though I would, no doubt, have some other problem in its place).

In short, I also never quite fit in. On the other hand, I tend to lack the suffocating social ties that hamper a lot of other people. As a kid, my oldest son never understood in-law jokes. It was alien to his experiences and he just couldn't comprehend why it was even something that got joked about. He never lived close to relatives for long and there just wasn't that kind of interference and nagging and so on. So, also in short, it isn't all downside. I have gone to some effort to try to notice and quantify what is positive about this situation.

California has generally been more comfortable for me than places that are less multicultural. Plus, a big part of my life is online. (And I used to meet up IRL with some online friends about every other year.) My sons are in their twenties and still very close to me. We are aware that our little family constitutes its own unique little culture, a microculture if you will. I was married to a soldier for two decades. We were perpetual tourists, treating each duty station as a stop along the way. We made sure to make lists when we first arrived and hit touristy stuff every long weekend.

I have known a lot of people with bi-racial/bicultural/multi-whatever marriages. That seems to be pretty normal for circles I hang in. I think I had a better marriage than a lot of people and the divorce was amicable.

Whatever thing you think you "should" belong to, it is dying anyway. While I lived in Germany, the Berlin Wall came down and the two Germanies reunited. An East German aunt visited West German relatives and then went to see relatives in America, including my mother. She said "When you go from East Germany to West Germany, everyone in West Germany looks rich. Then you go to America and everyone looks like on Dallas (a night time soap with super rich characters)." That remark sums up lots of different outcomes for different members of the same family. There was no one path for all those different siblings and world events beyond their control drove a good bit of it.

After my divorce, I moved back to my hometown. I ran into people I had grown up with or gone to high school with. The town was larger and my experience of it as an adult was very different from my memories of it as a child. All cultures are a moving target. Every day is a case of "It's the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine." I talk constantly with my kids about how Halloween as I knew it growing up was not what they grew up with. Times change. I didn't like the mambo at the mall on October 31st so my kids only did that one time. Instead, I tried to go to Halloween parties with them when they were little, then they opted out of Halloween altogether at some point. So you can pick and choose what to buy into if you aren't overly "married" to a culture. Traditions that are dying aren't some sacrosanct thing that you keep trying to resuscitate long after rigor has set in.

I think I have had a better life than most people I know who "belong" more than I do. If you pay close attention, a lot of those folks feel stuck, imprisoned even. They often can't quite put their finger on the invisible mountain of assumptions, expectations, and social forces that stand in the way of solving their worst problems or pursuing their most cherished dreams. They keep trying but failing and many of them ultimately "settle," not really happy but unwilling (or unable) to rock the boat enough to go anywhere.

So I am okay with not quite belonging anywhere. It gives me manuevering room that some people never do seem to find.

Best of luck.
posted by Michele in California at 11:51 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am a white American and I am usually middle class (though not at the moment). But I am not culturally "white, middle-class American." It causes me some friction with white, middle class Americans who think I am like them and then discover I am not in ways they find baffling and frustrating. If I looked or sounded "different" (brown skin, a foriegn accent) those issues would likely not happen, or at least not to the same degree (though I would, no doubt, have some other problem in its place).

Try Hidden Immigrants by Linda Bell

why yes, I do have a carefully selected collection of research I have done, I guess I am my own PhD
posted by infini at 12:16 PM on May 31, 2013 [5 favorites]

TCK here, two passports, just one language(previously 3, but language skills get rusty with misuse), three different countries before I was 16.

And I won't spend too much time rambling on, but the short answer is that I live in Los Angeles now, and have for 10 years, and my friends are multicultural as all get out, and even though, no one has the exact same experience as I do, it's close enough. Los Angeles is full of nomads, and often times, coming from the Midwest is enough to make you feel lost.

I married a man who has friends from 2nd grade, and hasn't moved more than 60 miles since he was 2, but he loves traveling and experiencing other cultures.
posted by sawdustbear at 4:25 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

There are lots of good answers already, but I'd like to just add that I too understand how you feel to a certain extent. I'm Japanese but grew up mostly in various places in the US, and have a BA from a uni in Canada. I've lived in Japan all of my adult life and I STILL feel displaced here a lot of the time. I try to avoid talking about my upbringing and the fact that I'm completely bilingual to passing acquaintances because it always ends up becoming A Big Deal and it gets tiresome. And sometimes I really, really miss being able to talk about the stuff that I remember from when I was a kid. But, I get by here and I'm far from being unhappy.

Anyway, I thought I'd address the marriage part. I hope this doesn't come across as condescending, but you sound so very young... Your marriage part of the question isn't so much a "difference in cultural backgrounds and upbringing" problem, it's an "all relationships in general are like this" problem. I know this is hard to do when you're trying to find someone who feels right for you, but try not to think that unless someone has the exact same background as you they will not understand you. Or that the person you have a relationship with or get married to has to speak the same languages as you. Or that this person has to be able to understand everything there is to understand about you. Because you will never meet this dream person. To be blunt, nobody will ever thoroughly understand everything about you. But this isn't because of your background. It's because... we're all different people.

This is probably the biggest cliche in the world, I'm sure, but when you meet the person you end up marrying, you will make compromises. Not in a bad way. Just that, you'll be able to set aside certain things because you want to be with that person. My husband is Japanese through and through. Doesn't speak a word of English, though he understands it better than the average Japanese person. But this is only because he studied more than the average person and retained what he learned, not because he lived somewhere overseas. The only place he's been to outside of Japan is Guam, and only for a couple of days at that. If someone had told me before I met him that I'd marry someone who couldn't speak English, who had never lived outside of Japan and who, god forbid, was shorter than me, I would have laughed in that person's face. But I did and we've been married for 16 years now. My son was born here and was raised in Japanese, but I've tried to teach him that there is a lot more to this world than Japan and that he should someday go see the world for himself. And to do so, learning English is A Must.

This is getting much longer than I expected so I'll stop now, but don't lose heart. Try to keep an open mind, and in the meantime, try not to dwell too much on "where you should be" or "where you belong." You will be OK.
posted by misozaki at 5:13 PM on May 31, 2013 [9 favorites]

Yep, parents from one country, I grew up in a second, currently (12 years) live in a third country and am considering moving back to my parents' country of origin (where I lived for one year as an adult, pre-current location).

It's alienating and I worry about finding a partner too-esp as I am much older than you- with whom I can relate.

Read Pico Iyer's books, especially 'Global Soul' and maybe 'Video night in Katmandu'. He is also a 'rootless' person....or 'multi-rooted' depending on your perspective.

On one hand you are very lucky and it enrichs your life, on the other hand it's lonely and wierd sometimes.

I'm definitely starting to really notice it now...and I live in a major US city. Move might be imminent.

Also there was a recent movie called 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' as well as the previously mentioned 'The Namesake'....the first is very provocatively titled but both definitely outline the complications of the 'dual or triple' life.

So all that to say, you are not alone, and better to consider your life enriched as a result.
posted by bquarters at 6:29 PM on May 31, 2013

Sorry I've been threadsquatting, but one last anecdote that may help someone just as it helped me.

Norma McCaig listened to me tell my global nomad tale, then said these empowering words to me:

You see, dear, you sisters were always permanently temporary, which your parents did not realize, because as adults moving, they percieved themselves as temporarily permanent.

Now, almost 43 years later, mom and dad are finally seriously talking about "moving back home". Yeah, WTF?
posted by infini at 2:57 AM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

I was partnered up with a man who had lived in all the same places I had...

He was Norwegian and lived in England and SoCal. I was from SoCal with a Norwegian parent and and English parent and living in England.

We met in the UK and I was so thrilled to be with someone who had lived in the same places as me- close to where I lived in LA, and same counties in England- Hampshire, West Sussex...

It was so nice to be with someone who understood who I was geographically. Culturally even.

Unfortunately- that DIDN'T translate into knowing, or connecting to, who I was as a person.

The most cherished relationship in my life was with a Syrian/Algerian- who had moved to Algeria with his Syrian parents and then on to the US as a 20 something.

He understood who I was, and connected with me in a way that has endured for almost 15 years.

So don't worry about finding a wife that has to have geographics in common.

It is super important, yes. I had issues with my middle eastern partner that boiled down to culture- but I had completely different issues with Mr. Ihaveplacesincommon and the former relationship lasted MUCH longer than the latter- and the bond was much stronger.

I never felt my self with Mr. Ihaveplacesincommon.... I have always, for 15 years, felt my true self with Mr. Middleeast.
posted by misspony at 9:55 AM on May 30, 2014 [5 favorites]

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