Seeing couples of mixed racial backgrounds is no longer the oddity that it was a couple of decades ago.
Think of the famous celebrities who have fallen in love with a partner whose ethnicity they do not share:
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Robert de Niro and Grace Hightower, John Legend and Christine Teigen, or Nicholas Cage and Alice Kim Cage.
Still, there are some interracial dating facts that you need to be mindful of.
To start with, let’s understand what does interracial relationships mean.
Interracial relationships, interracial love, or interracial dating happens when people from different racial ethnicity form any type of intimate relationship, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or psychological.
For a long time, interracial dating has been frowned upon and deemed unacceptable. Even today, in many parts of the world, the challenges of interracial relationships are considerable.
To answer some of your interracial relationship questions, this article brings fresh insight into interracial dating problems and interracial relationship issues while offering interracial dating tips and interracial dating advice.
Interracial dating does not mean “black and white”
I’ll bet when you saw the headline of this article; you immediately thought Afro-American and Caucasian couples. But there are all kinds of flavors in the interracial dating hemisphere, and couples need not be heteronormative, either.
So when talking about interracial couples, it’s good to be sensitive that these couples are not just white + black, or even male + female.
Please throw out those sexual stereotypes
Offensive stereotypes related to specific racial attributes abound:
“Afro-American men have huge penises,” “Asian women love to serve their man,” “Latino men are macho and violent,” “Afro-American women have big butts,” “Latina women make good caregivers.”
These perceived notions are not only politically incorrect, but they are also hugely offensive and downright marginalizing. They have no place in today’s discourse.
When you objectify, you are not respectful
Do you know people who target a certain ethnic group when dating? For example, that guy who only dates Chinese women because he “likes little ladies who are submissive”?
Or that woman who seeks uniquely Afro-American men because she thinks they will be “wild in bed”? This attitude, which turns people into sexual objects, is immature and disrespectful.
All people, whatever their race, are humans and deserve respect. They are not objects whose superficial characteristics are to be fetishized.
Interracial dating does not make you a better person
Just because you see a white person dating a black person, do not automatically think they harbor no racism, or they are actively promoting the end to racism. All they did was fall in love with that person.
That person could have been green, polka-dotted, or have three arms…their partner would have still fallen in love with their essence.
Dating across racial lines is not a political statement. It is just another show of love, like all relationships.
Interracial dating is not, nor should it be, colorblind
While perhaps you might think that race doesn’t matter and that your love supersedes ethnic origins, you would be wrong, and you would be closing yourself off to learning so many wonderful cultural stories that come with your racially-different partner and their family.
There is no sense pretending your backgrounds are the same, because, as with any partner, your worlds are different.
With a partner whose race is different, this is compounded, especially if that partner’s parents immigrated from a different country.
Open yourself up with enthusiasm for learning about your partner’s ethnic roots.
If their parents invite you to their house for dinner, go there with an open mind (and hungry tummy) and embrace their ethnic cuisine.
Listen to their stories about what life was like in their home country. Ask your partner about any other language they might speak, especially at home.
You can learn a lot and broaden your own cultural knowledge by not pretending that your partner is just like any other “American.”
Be prepared for unsolicited comments
One of the most common interracial dating challenges is a hoard of unsolicited comments and questions about your partner and relationship.
“Is that the nanny?” one person asked the white husband married to a Filipina. “I’ll bet your girlfriend makes great tacos!” said to a white man dating a Latina.
“Boy, he must be a fantastic dancer” was said to a white woman whose husband is Afro-American. “Does he speak English?” asked a stranger to a white woman married to a man from Hong Kong.
Don’t allow people to push your buttons; you’ll need to develop some quick responses to these unwelcome comments, either funny ones if you don’t feel like educating the person, or just rolling your eyes to convey how ignorant they are.
People may not realize that you two are a couple
Despite interracial relationships becoming more commonplace, there are still people who are used to seeing the predominant paradigm of same-race, heteronormative couples.
So when they see, for example, a white woman with a man of a different race, they don’t see the two as a romantic couple.
They may even try to hit on the man, thinking he is unattached. Or they may think he is part of the help. These people definitely need to wake up to what the world looks like now.
What about the kids?
Children of mixed-race couples can sometimes feel conflicted. “Neither Black nor White” as Michael Jackson sang. He was referring to a utopian world where color went unrecognized, but it can apply to bi-racial children.
Kids of a mixed-race couple may even be subjected to inappropriate comments from their peers. They would need help to learn how to embrace who they are and adopt the best of both worlds.
They may need special support and lots of conversations about who they are and which race they may identify most with. They will need reminding that underneath our outer skins; we are all the same race: human.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.