If you are a person who is open-minded and willing to extend yourself to someone different than you, then you may find yourself asking how to do that. There is no one way that definitively explains how to love someone different than you, but these are a few suggestions that may push you in the right direction.
1. Know Yourself The Best You Can.
It is vital for you to have a reasonable understanding of who you are. Be mindful of your traits, values, and flaws. If you are person who tends to be very outgoing, keep that in mind. If you are a person who tends to be sensitive to discussions around politics, keep that also in mind. Some degree of self-awareness is necessary before engaging with anyone different than yourself.
2. Check Your Prejudices.
Simply due to environmental influences, you may have preconceived thoughts about how a particular person will be. It is difficult to completely eliminate such thoughts, but do not let such thoughts dictate how you feel for the individual themselves. If you are white, and interested in someone who is black, keep in mind your scope of knowledge based on your background. If you were raised in a predominantly white neighborhood with second hand information about black people and their experiences, then your perceptions of black people may be unreliable or at least jaded. There's always more to what we know, so do your best to prevent your prejudgments from moderating your interest and affection towards someone different.
3. Learn About Who They Are.
It is important to actively take an interest in who they are and what is of interest to them. In other words, you want to be a student of this person. If this person came from a troubled family and you did not, be patient and try to understand their experiences in the best way you can, and apply what they shared with you as lessons for your life with them. Caring for someone different, takes some learning and patience on your part.
4. Know What Is Important.
Think about what is important to you. Research has shown that liking someone’s intrinsic qualities is what is most sustainable for a long-term romantic relationship. So, it should not matter whether that person is taller or shorter than you, bigger or smaller than you, physically fit more or less than you, dress better or worse than you, wealthier or poorer than you, and even darker or lighter than you. The external qualities may catch your eye, but the intrinsic qualities keep you staring.
5. Just Love.
Not much to be said here, but it is a common phrase that Love is Universal, and that seems to be true. All around the world, in every shade and in every way, love permeates.
Your love for someone different than you, can permeate too.