Even as rates of interracial marriages continue to increase right across the United States, beginning one of these relationships isn’t the same as getting together with someone of your own race. That has nothing to do with the individuals in the relationship. People are people whatever their race. The issue is about how some members of society still view interracial couples.
Like with any marriage, when you marry someone, you agree to take on everything that they are. That includes their culture and race. Marrying someone of a different race may bring additional challenges you hadn’t expected. However, if your relationship is strong, you can face things together and will be all the stronger for it. Here are tips for a few things you might need to know about an interracial relationship.
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You need to stick together
If you’re committed to your partner long-term, your relationship needs to involve solid teamwork that doesn’t let anyone else’s opinion, family pressures, and society’s bias drive a wedge between you. Talk about things as a team, and make sure you both know you’re in it together. You’ll be able to handle whatever comes. This is especially important if you live in a more conservative or less diverse area, where there are likely to be fewer couples in a similar situation.
Talk about race
If you’re going to be in an interracial relationship, you have to be comfortable talking about it. Understand your partner’s culture, their understanding of racial issues, and be both a teacher and pupil. Those who are willing to learn and adapt are much more likely to go the distance.
Don’t make assumptions
It seems obvious, but all people are programmed to believe stereotypes. Despite this, racial groups are far from homogenous, and people within those communities have different experiences and perspectives from each other. Get to know your partner as a person, not as a racial stereotype, and don’t be surprised when the very preconception you have is completely shattered. You don’t have to agree on everything, but coming to your relationship with an open and honest attitude will help you understand each other better.
Make friends with others
It’s really helpful for interracial couples to seek out and befriend other couples in similar situations. Seeing examples of how these relationships can work despite apprehension from others, cultural difference, and lack of shared experiences can help you see that you and your partner can do the same. It doesn’t have to be someone in your social circle. They can be those people you follow online.
Connect to your own culture
Like with monoracial relationships, your partner can’t be your everything. Take some time to maintain your connection with your own culture. Watch movies in a native language, spend time cooking traditional meals, and do anything you can to keep that connection alive. You should also take time to learn and get involved with your partner’s culture. You guys can do many activities together that you may never have considered if you aren’t together.
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