What is a GloLo, anyway?

Proudly, I’ve noticed in various book reviews and blogs that the term GloLo is making its way into common English parlance. In The Globalisation of Love, there is an entire chapter in which I create a profile of a typical GloLo partner and put together a list of common character traits in the GloLo personality. There is also the recipe for the GloLoTini cocktail, which alone makes the chapter well worth reading. (Just skip to page 73 if you’re really thirsty.) Yet what is a GloLo relationship? And how GloLo can you go?

I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that what makes a couple a multicultural couple is really about how they see themselves. They make look at their union in terms of differences in nationality, religion, race, culture, ethnicity, language, geography and region. The surprising thing is how some couples who are very different on the GloLo scale will not feel different because they identify with each other in many other key areas of similarity such as worldview and perspective on life, family values, and dancing the Lindy Hop. Many of these variables can be as much about personality as about culture, even if the former is very much influenced by the latter.

So what is the GloLo difference? Since I invented the darn term in the first place and it is not (yet) on Wikipedia, it would only seem fair that I offer some kind of definition, wouldn’t it? Here is how I see it. GloLo couples are multicultural couple who are different either in nationality, religion, race, culture, ethnicity, language, geography or region or any combination of this list AND that the difference(s) lead to situations in the relationship that would not occur in a monocultural relationship.

For example, if language is the GloLo difference, the couple will experience communication glitches that go beyond the garden variety “you say TOM-AYTOH and I say TOM-AHTAH” discussion. If religion is the GloLo difference, the couple may be juggling with two religious belief systems and a whole lot of very good questions from the GloLo kids. If race, or what I prefer to call GloLo colours, is the difference, the couple may find themselves mobilising for non-discrimination and anti-racism within their own family. In summary, the GloLo relationship brings the couple into situations or GloLo moments that they would not have experienced in a monocultural relationship.

So a GloLo relationship is not just about being different, it’s about feeling different. Even though some couples who are very different don’t feel that different (“We’re soul mates,” they say), they still may have GloLo moments due to their particular mix of multicultural variables and the society where they live. So being a GloLo is not about one particular variable whether nationality, religion, race, culture, ethnicity, language, geography or region. It’s about how these variables in your life collide and clash, and mix and merge with your GloLo partner. It’s all part of the frustration and the fun of the globalisation of love.

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