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Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships: Public Perceptions and Practical Benefits of Friendships and Romantic Relationships in Intercultural Contexts
Unformatted Document Text:  Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships 7 both parties will bring to their relationship. Although partners of an intercultural relationship may be attracted to one another because of differences, some similarities must be established for the relationship to successfully grow (Hatfield & Rapson, 1992). The final reason why people generally enter intercultural relationships is physical attraction. Attraction can lead to a friendship or a romantic relationship. Specific standards for physical attraction are individually and culturally based. In the United States, physical attraction may be the most important aspect in the early stages of a relationship (Martin and Nakayama, 1999). Positive traits that are associated with what is attractive may differ from culture to culture, but the judgments among cultures in favor of “what is beautiful” are rather consistent (Wheeler & Kim, 1997). Intercultural Friendships An intercultural friendship can be broadly defined as an affection between two people from different cultures arising from mutual esteem and good will, friendliness, and/or amity. Friendships are often the heart of one’s social life and being. What happens as a result of our socialization and interactions at a young age may dictate our relational patterns later in life. Some scholars believe that our evolutionary heritage provides us with an inborn desire for contact or inclusion within our world (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1971). Our patterns of being with others and being in isolation are established at a young age (Barrett, 1997; Capella, 1991). Perceptions and Beginnings of Intercultural Friendships Adolescence is a primary time in one’s life when relational expectations and norms are set. When an adolescent begins school, she or he is socialized into a new

Authors: Docan, Tony.
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Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships 7
both parties will bring to their relationship. Although partners of an intercultural
relationship may be attracted to one another because of differences, some similarities
must be established for the relationship to successfully grow (Hatfield & Rapson, 1992).
The final reason why people generally enter intercultural relationships is physical
attraction. Attraction can lead to a friendship or a romantic relationship. Specific
standards for physical attraction are individually and culturally based. In the United
States, physical attraction may be the most important aspect in the early stages of a
relationship (Martin and Nakayama, 1999). Positive traits that are associated with what is
attractive may differ from culture to culture, but the judgments among cultures in favor of
“what is beautiful” are rather consistent (Wheeler & Kim, 1997).
Intercultural Friendships
An intercultural friendship can be broadly defined as an affection between two
people from different cultures arising from mutual esteem and good will, friendliness,
and/or amity. Friendships are often the heart of one’s social life and being. What happens
as a result of our socialization and interactions at a young age may dictate our relational
patterns later in life. Some scholars believe that our evolutionary heritage provides us
with an inborn desire for contact or inclusion within our world (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1971).
Our patterns of being with others and being in isolation are established at a young age
(Barrett, 1997; Capella, 1991).
Perceptions and Beginnings of Intercultural Friendships
Adolescence is a primary time in one’s life when relational expectations and
norms are set. When an adolescent begins school, she or he is socialized into a new


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