In terms of dating outside of one’s culture, I think people who really fit in well or have pride in their culture would have a hard time but even then, every family is unique. Even dating here, a lot of guys drink with their families and my parents never drank hardly at all. Then I joined a religious cult in college that disparaged drinking. I still have a hard time with families that drink together.
My mom’s friends are all unmarried. And one mentioned at NYE that because of her parents, she never thought she could make marriage work. My mom later said that she thought if her friend had met the right someone, she would have married and I pointed out that if she met a great guy and her response was to run the other way that she’d not marry. And it got me to thinking why I am single still. My mom’s encouraging me to be silent and shy sat badly with my generation, when women were expected (correctly) to respond. And I spent time in groups that I didn’t find belonging in. All my closest friends while I was an Evangelical had a hard time getting married. They were too smart, opinionated, and weren’t especially beautiful and took the Bible verses about not putting a lot of effort/money in your looks seriously. Basically, we weren’t prizes within that culture of women are pretty, happy little helpmates. One girl got married at 37 because she went to a different church in Ohio (the river is a big division geographically still). The other is talking to some guy and I don’t know about one. One girl got married before 30 and I don’t know much about their relationship except her husband is quiet.
My old therapist said that anger is a symptom of frustration. And I find that my family dealt with challenges and conflict by seeing themselves as victims. So, to this day, I still have trouble realizing that if someone hurts me, I can let go of that pain by knowing I can limit my contact with that painful person in the future. Or better yet, try to talk openly with them about how I felt in the situation and state I will not be allowing it to continue. One of my mom’s friends made a comment about my parenting and I realized a) I should not open up and share with them about Jake, b) that I could simply state that it hurt my feelings and ask not to hear more from her, c) avoid her if she says nothing or says she’ll say whatever she likes. C would be hard because me crying all night over a comment her friend made doesn’t matter to my mom. My mom has let relatives hit me, let anyone insult me, and values her friends more than me. So, I would have to hide in my room or go outside with Jake somewhere every other Saturday night to avoid her. But, at my age, with my medical history, I totally would get upset enough to do that because 30 years of thinking and feeling like a victim, getting dumped on by the world with no recourse has just left me easily frustrated aka angry.
All that being said, I think being healthy emotionally, mentally and communication-wise is super important, no matter what culture or family you have.
My feelings being my responsibility is the hardest part of being healthy in relationships for me because childhood. I repressed my feelings for decades and figuring out who to trust, how to share, and how to not bully others is hard.
I was a mess when I moved to California. I met a lot of healthy people and I received wisdom from them but I didn’t become close friends with most of them. Your roommates and Grace were my healthiest, closest friends and I met them all through Maggie who I think has put appropriate distance enough to me to remain civil with me, which is nice, because if she had demanded her friends not allow me over, I’d have no friends. But I think healthy people can only visit unhealthy/sick people. Too much time/too close of a relationship destroys their zen. Healthy people pointed out things I didn’t know, didn’t want to face, couldn’t understand, or never experienced, but changing took time and required my own effort. I don’t think anyone who was invested in me getting “better” was satisfied. Now, I want more reciprocal relationships. People who talk about how I need to change throw up red signs. People I feel need to change, I need to give distance and from that distance practice acceptance.