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How Is Race Defined And What Is The Truth About Being In An Interracial Relationship?
The most basic definition of being in an interracial relationship is one in which each person belongs to a different race.
Race can be defined as a social group that can be grouped together by distinctive physical traits.
Most of the images we see in the media referencing interracial relationships are usually, a white man and a black woman, or vice versa.
I am going to be using the terms black and white in this post rather than Caucasian, African, Afro-American et cetera. Please don’t take offence to that, if you do, please stop reading now.
There are a ton of different couples in the interracial dating world that aren’t acknowledged as much as black and white.
Interracial can mean a black woman with an Asian man, a white woman with an Indian man, or a Spanish man with an Arabic woman. You get my point.
Dating outside of your race might show that you are open-minded, however, it won’t put a stop to prejudice or judgement.
The growth of interracial relationships over the last 20 years is evidence that we have advanced towards accepting these kinds of relationships. It’s about time!
Being In An Interracial Relationship Is Not That Big Of A Deal – Or Is It?
Not to me or us at least. Two people from different backgrounds who met, fell in love and are happy.
So why do other people make such a big deal about it?”Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by colour.”Click To Tweet
Quite often, we are reminded by others that we are in a such relationship.
Thanks, as if we didn’t know already.
Then come the questions –
“will you raise your child in both cultures?”,
“What does your family think?”,
“Oh I dated a white guy once….’’
…and my personal favourite, “Is there a reason you chose a white man over a black one?”.
No! He just happens to be who I fell in love with.
Being In An Interracial Relationship
Little incidents occur on a daily basis that re-inject race into our relationship.
Little things such as asking for directions, ordering dinner in a restaurant, being in a foreign city on holiday, even at the grocery store.
You gain a certain insight on how you are treated as individuals versus how you’re treated when you are together.
These things will in big and small ways illuminate how people may treat you depending on what race you are.
Here in Vienna, sometimes people stare at us and it’s like “Have you never seen a black woman and a white man before?”.
Some will even do a double take! Get a grip, welcome to the 21st century!
Being In An Interracial Relationship Can Be Hard
Cultural differences can cause tension and misunderstanding within the relationship.
In the Asian culture, leaving your shoes at the front door is something you do. Some people adhere to this tradition, others don’t.
In certain traditions, you tend not to smooch your partner in front of your parents.
Even if you are married and have been for twenty years, you just don’t.
In Africa for example, it is seen as inappropriate to live with a partner before marriage. Parents prefer their children (especially daughters) to live at home even at the age of thirty rather than live with a boyfriend,
In Europe, you move in with your boyfriend when you are ready – be it a few months, or a year after dating. No Big Deal.
It is important for both partners to be aware of each other’s cultures and traditions. Respect traditions and stick to them, or find a compromise.
These cultural traditions and differences will surely come up in most interracial relationships.
Meeting Family And Friends
Fast forward to that awkward moment when you are meeting your partner’s friends, family, or acquaintances for the very first time.
Their eyes spring open in shock upon the sight of you.
OMG…. he neglected to tell them what race you are… again.
You can almost read their thoughts – the words are practically jumping out of their faces.
Oh…you didn’t tell me she was …black!
They want to say something but know they shouldn’t. This is a drama free zone, right?
Besides, it is considered “politically incorrect”.
I faced this often times when we started dating. It never once occurred to him to mention I was black.
Why would it? I don’t go around announcing his “whiteness” either.
So what is one to do? If your family members are “culturally conservative” and have no experience with interracial relationships, you might want to sit them down and let them know that you’re now a part of a mixed couple.
Help them to understand the common misconceptions that surround being in an interracial relationship. They may not know any different. You are the teacher.
Be open to ALL questions.
This will help to avoid any weird, uncomfortable awkward moments when you meet each others’ family.
Their first response may not be the happy joyful one you would like, but remember, it is not a personal attack against you, your partner, or your relationship.
At the end of the day, If they refuse to accept your relationship, then you need to consider setting boundaries.
It is 2017 – if anyone feels threatened by interracial relationships, then they need to have several seats!”Speak the language of love, not colour.”Click To Tweet
All my life, I attended international private schools.
While writing this post I wondered how many couples ended up with a spouse or partner from the same country as theirs.
I decided to create a survey. My target was for 100 responses, as of this moment I have 93 responses, so I am basing my percentages on that.
Out of 93 international school alumni (my high school), 57 female, and 36 male, only three couples are with a partner from the same country as they are from.
The Truth About Being In An Interracial Relationship
The point I am trying to make here is that the international experience does not necessarily make you blind to race. It does, however, awaken you to the benefits of blending culturally.
Interracial couples have the same issues that any other couple have.
It can be annoying when you are stared at or questioned, yet, I can think of worse things in this world.
It’s not all negative and blah! There are so many great things about being in an interracial relationship that I could write for days!
But I won’t because I need to vacuum the living room, make an Apfelstrudel, then pick up my darling toddler from daycare. So, let me sum it up into a list of ten.'Want to know what the 10 best things about interracial relationships?'#interracialClick To Tweet
Here Are The 10 Best Things About Being In An Interracial Relationship
10. You inherit the ability to identify with two or more cultures.
9. You break cultural stereotypes.
8. You are exposed to new ways of thinking.
7. You are always learning.
6. You Inspire hope.
5. You have an ally against racism outside your race.
4. You see the world differently.
3. You represent progress.
2. You have an ally against racism outside your race.
1. You love who you love.
Pretty awesome right?
We laugh a lot of things off and don’t take the opinions of strangers to heart.
We prefer to have fun with it.
Have you been in an interracial relationship? Currently in one? Know anyone who is?
What have your experiences been?
Share them with me in the comments section below. I want to hear your stories! 🙂
Have a great day and a wonderful week!