It’s obvious that the world has become more connected due to the internet. Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms play a significant role on interracial relationship especially when interracial dating sites started to become popular.
In the United States alone, interracial dating have become more and more common. You would see white guys dating a black women or vice versa and people around doesn’t seem to care at all. It’s like a normal thing. Is it because racial barriers have crumbled? Or is it because people just don’t care anymore?
The truth is that, although intercultural and interracial dating seem to look normal, there are still a lot of people who oppose it. If you are an observant or if you have friends dating someone different from his/ her race, you would have probably notice the “issue”. It may not be a big issue to them—the people involved—but to their parents, friends, coworkers as well as the general public, it could be a big issue.
7 Challenges about Interracial Relationship
1.Your parents’ disproval– some people tend to spend so much time deciding on telling their parents about their relationship. Some are not even willing to tell their parents about it because of the pain and resentment they will be facing once their parents disapprove on this.
2.Family and friends’ disapprovals– your family and friends might suddenly keep their distance to show their disapproval.
3.Public negative reactions– public negative reactions such as sarcasm and other indirect response such as stare, shaking heads when you enter an establishment with your partner or you (or your partner) not being welcomed in a gathering or any community events.
4.Core values and beliefs differences – sometimes, even the slightest thing plays a big role in a relationship—multiethnic or not. The couple must have an agreement at the start of a relationship. An agreement to respect each other’s values to normalize their daily activities. Undeniably, couples who share the same core values have more chance of building a happy and long lasting relationship.
5.Religion– this is a very common issue that interracial couples have to face. It cannot be set aside especially if each one is devoted to their own different religion.
6.Racial Fetishes– are you into this relationship because it makes you feel good about yourself? Some people may think of your relationship as some type of an obsession but if your motives are pure, what they say behind your back wouldn’t matter.
7.Political point of view– aside from religion, core values and other customs and traditions, different political point of views play a substantial role and poses a great issue in an interracial relationship. There will be tough moments of conversation regarding this issue but if you know how to handle it, this wouldn’t be an issue at all.
Read also: The Challenges of Interracial Love
When you are into interracial dating, there are skills that you have to know to overcome the challenges along the way.
17 Skills Required to Succeed in Interracial Relationships
1.Keep good communication- Just as any other relationship, one thing that will surely make your relationship last a lifetime is good communication. This is the first and foremost skill you have to know so learn to communicate well. Communicate your thoughts and feelings in a way that wouldn’t hurt your partner. Language barrier is one big issue on this type of relationship but if you will find a way to understand and communicate well, nothing is impossible.
2.Understanding differences– For couples from vastly different culture, differences can be more noticeable. Of course, we know that we all have differences and sometimes, we can easily adapt to it but when it’s too vast, communication is still the key to understanding the differences.
3.Respect your partner– this is a skill that you better have especially if you want to keep your partner. Respect his/her differences. The fact is, even when you’re not in an interracial relationship, you have to respect your partner all the time.
4.Be knowledgeable your partner’s culture and ethnicity– before even thinking of getting into interracial dating, do your assignment. If you get so serious with your relationship, be well-knowledgeable about his/her culture and ethnicity. Know the kinds of food they usually eat during typical days as well as during special events. Also know their customs and traditions. This will give you a full grasp of what not to say and what you have to say during special occasions especially if you are with his/ her family around.
5.Courageous to educate your children– this is something that you should not take for granted. Educate your children; tell them about their dual heritage as early as possible. This will help them identify themselves. It will also help them defend their selves to questions relating to their cultural background.
6.Be aware of negative reactions– studies have shown that black men or women tend to be more aware of negative reactions than their white partners. If you are white, you can show how much you care by being aware of these public retorts so you can acknowledge what your partner is feeling. Ignorance will never be a good excuse for insensitivity. So, educate yourself on things that will help your relationship grow.
7.Have a sense of humor– even during the most trial times of your relationship. Focus more on the positive side. Remember that any negative thoughts create negative emotions. A sense of humor helps promote a healthy environment so be happy all the time. This will relieve stress from any relationship barriers along the way.
8.Honor family heritage and be close to your in-laws– your in laws create a great impact on your relationship. They can support you but they can also be a big hindrance to your multiracial marriage. It’s best to be close to them if you want to make your marriage last forever. Celebrate important events such as your in laws anniversary, birthdays and invite them regularly at your place. Even for couples who come from the same ethnic community, celebrating each other’s traditions, connecting with each other’s families, and accepting family background and lifestyle helps sustain a relationship. The same is true with interracial dating. Prepare something special to let them realize how valuable they are to you. Understand that when you marry your partner from different race, you also marry his/her family. So, celebrate the holidays, family traditions, and other celebrations with both families to know more of their family upbringing. Learning about their culture will give you the idea on how you can deal with his or her family in any given situation.
9.Be honest-interracial dating, interfaith and intercultural marriage can overcome the challenges associated with race but if you’re host to yourself and to your partner, these obstacles will be lessened.
10.Patience– yes, patience is virtue. Do you have enough patience to deal with issues no matter how great or small it may be, concerning your interracial relationship? Ask yourself, can you deal with sarcasm and other negative reactions from this society?
11.Know the signs– Know the sign of a troubled relationship. Know the signs when your partner is no longer interested and try to make things work out as soon as possible. Sometimes, all it takes is a little romance to make a troubled marriage work out. When you know all the signs that your relationship is not working—
For any reasons—do something right there and then.
12.Understand the possibilities of change– we live in a world where changes happen day in and day out and we can’t control that. Things and even feelings change and that’s fact. Although there may be some ways wherein you can still do something to keep your partner’s feeling come back, at the end of the day, he/she has to come back on his own free-will. And if the feeling is no longer mutual, your good communication skills will do the rest of solving this issue.
13.Managing marriage– in any marriage, the ultimate goal should be a long and lasting relationship. NO marriage is perfect, there is always up and downs but if you are willing to work on it, it will last forever. But, working hard to keep it alone will never work. Both of you have must be willing to do something. Marriage is— as we all know—a lifelong commitment.
14.Be attached-interracial dating starts with attraction and develops into a more serious and intimate relationship. Attachment is a road leading to love and commitment. Once you are on this stage, never forget how you two started because it is what will make your love forever.
15.Understand history– prior to dating somebody from a different race, you need to study and understand history. If you are dating a black man and you’re white, you have to understand the past. This way, both of you will feel comfortable talking about it without hatred in your heart. Also, family discussions may lead to history discussions that cover the noble and ignoble past from different cultures that consist a family tree. When family discussion like this happen, you’ll be able to approach it in a positive way—with an honest and open-minded point of view.
16.Learn to adjust– understanding all these cultural differences will lead to nowhere if you don’t know how to adjust. No matter how big (like going to church on Sundays) or small (eating rice each meal or boiled potatoes) these differences are, you and your partner must agree to adapt to it.
17.Stress and coping skills– millions and millions of people are now into interracial dating and multiethnic marriages. And we can’t deny that. But no matter how great the population is of these type of dating and marriages, we just can’t simply deny the history and its drawback. These cons can give you stress and if you want to keep your partner stay, learn to cope up with these stress. It’ is never going to be easy; there will be negative reaction from family, friends, colleagues and other people in today’s society will definitely give you stress, anxiety and even hatred but if you learn how to deal with it, then your interracial relationship is bound to last.
Individual experiences vary. Some people will find that interracial dating and marriage doesn’t seem to pose any issue. But some are also vocal when it comes to their life experiences after getting into interracial relationship. You’ll even hear people talk about interracial dating like it requires a drastic transformation in one’s lifestyle. It’s because different people have different ideas and perceptions. How they perceive things is a factor that influence on how they talk about interracial relationship.
There will seem to be irreconcilable differences and stressors caused about by the society but in the end, it’s still all up to you. What really matters is your happiness. Your family’s approval may play a huge influence on your relationship but then again, at the end of the day, you have to tell yourself “I am accountable for my own decision”. Though there are still people who value their parent’s approval, your ability to gauge its importance in your relationship is still what will motivate you to keep the relationship going. Everything else is secondary.
People will think it’s odd to see you with a white man because you are black or Asian or from another race, but this should not stop you. Remember that your life is your business and not anyone else. You do not have to prove anything. If things go well, that’s great but if things doesn’t work out too well, you don’t have to stay in a relationship just because you promised yourself you’ll prove your parents, friends or the whole society wrong. Be yourself.
Maintain an effective strategy that will make your relationship last. All proven skills that makes your relationship has to be maintained and improved. These 17 great interracial skills that you should know can certainly help you with the many issues that may come along the way. These skills can help you achieve harmonious interracial relationship. Don’t wait until there’s an obvious sign of problem. Take preventive action to promote positive relationship or successful interracial marriage.