Tuesday 18 August 2015

Liefde Zonder Grenzen (Love Without Borders)

No matter who you are, where you’re from and what you did - you’re bound to have differences (check that reference out bwahaha). Davy and I are fortunate enough to come from the same continent; Europe. He speaks fluent English even though it’s not his native language. But even when we have little cultural differences between us, there have been some that have had us both going ‘what?’ to each other. Thankfully, there haven’t been too many culture shocks so far in our relationship. But I’m bound to come across some when I eventually visit the Netherlands. I’m thinking about maybe around our 5th year anniversary in Oct 2016 as the financial situation might be better and it’s an entire year from now (but it’s not set in stone). I know it’s been a long time coming but a lot of personal stuff has happened that has always prevented me from going so, it’s tricky. Not to mention, the only airport we have in Cornwall (Newquay) is finally expanding their horizons and teaming up with Emirates in conjunction with Flybe to link to 84 countries! So who knows what the future holds? :)

Anyway, back to the cultural differences between us. I’m going to list some things that I think separates us somewhat marginally by culture.


The Dutch are very blunt and straight to the point. Whereas us Brits try to avoid conflict and we’d rather go silent and be awkward, the Dutch can just blurt things out without really thinking how the other one might feel. There have been some awkward moments in our relationship when this has happened. Since being with Davy, I have noticed that I am a bit more blunt these days. Before, I used to just run away and hide and keep my evil thoughts to myself but now I’ll easily just tell someone if they’re pissing me off without batting an eyelid. Still, whenever we go out and people bump into me I can’t help but revert to my typical British being and apologise for it haha.


This can sometimes cause a stumbling block between us. When I’ve found the courage to let out how I feel and to be open, sometimes it can be a struggle to get Davy to do the same. Usually, he’ll just bat my questions about stuff that is on his mind with a ‘I don’t know, if I knew you I would tell you’ or a simple ‘nothing.’ Which, if I’m honest can be a bit frustrating and tiring to deal with, but eventually after a little subtle prodding and poking about certain topics, I get down to the bottom of whatever is bothering him. Where I like knowing what’s going on in his head to communicate freely, Davy is more reserved with his feelings and will hold them back in case it comes out wrong. I understand he does it to protect my feelings, but the most important thing is to get it out of his system however long it takes.


I already mentioned that we both speak English, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have language differences. Since I started learning Dutch over a year and a half ago, there have been times when I’ve been a bit stubborn and gone ‘but that doesn’t make sense in English!’ and Davy has had to remind me that Dutch is different to English with a little reminder: ‘baby, forget English. This is Dutch, you’re only going to get frustrated by comparing it to your native language all the time’ which has helped comprehension a ton. I think if I stuck to trying to always translate Dutch word for word, I wouldn’t get anywhere. But thanks to Davy, I can figure out the context without having to be like ‘okay that word means that and that one means this…uhhh’ instead it’s just like ‘oh it says this.’

I thought I would go for cultural differences that were different to the expected ones. Neither of us practise a religion, and our food is pretty similar (although the Dutch are known for bland food like stamppot and their desserts/pastries etc are heavenlyyyy). Remember, you can have cultural differences in any kind of relationship - for example: even when you are in a relationship with someone from the same country, you can still have differences. What might be the norm on your side of the country, might be completely different on theirs. Even regional differences can pose a shock and a problem or two. The most important thing is that you take each of these differences with a pinch of salt. Just because you come from different backgrounds, doesn’t mean it’s impossible to merge your cultures together.

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