As an Iranian-American (IA), I know how hard dating can be…and then there is adding different cultural perspectives within the community. For example, dating an Iranian may bring many obstacles that come along with Iranian culture, but not without an open place to talk about it.
Ethnic and cultural identity play a huge role in your relationship, and it can also influence your selection of a partner and your dating patterns.
Some examples are:
- Experiencing disapproval and/or negative messages from parent(s) and/or family members regarding who you choose to date.
Being Iranian and ensuring that the person you date identifies with the same religion.
Iranians normally identify themselves within a collectivistic culture and by its nature it can be difficult to distance yourself from your family and their views. At the same time it is important to establish healthy boundaries that allow for self-discovery.
Finding it difficult to understand and balance traditional Iranian thought within an Iranian-American cultural context.
In my work I have recognized the difficulties in openly discussing issues relating to relationships and its impact on mental health. The stigma around mental health within the Iranian community can hinder seeking out help.
Therapy can provide a safe and confidential space where you can speak openly and honestly, receive support, and seek out guidance in establishing clear expectations of what one desires. Some couples who are from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds spend time in premarital and marital counseling in order to work through different aspects of their respective cultures in order to understand how they can affect their relationship. Talking about these issues doesn’t come naturally for most of us and it is when we begin to step out of the way it has been, and start to move towards how we want to be, that change and growth occurs. For a consultation or booking a session, you can reach me here.
–Negeen Moussavian, LMFT (#129033)