The number of interracial marriages has increased steadily in the past few decades. An article published by Pew Research Center in 2017 found that interracial marriages made up 17% of the unions in the US and that 39% of grownups would be open to a close relative marrying outside their race. Although interracial relationships have several benefits, they are also prone to challenges. Primarily, the problems arise from external aspects that the interracial couple cannot control. Unlike couples from the same race, mixed-race couples are likely to encounter hostility from society. This article highlights some challenges you will most likely discover if you pursue an interracial relationship. It also offers tips on how to overcome challenges.
Although the general acceptance of interracial dating continues to rise, some societies are still unwelcoming. Interracial couples are likely to encounter unwanted attention in their relationship. Some people may disapprove of the relationship, be curious or fascinated by an interracial couple, and all this attention can have a mental toll. Besides, people in public places or restaurants will likely stare if they spot an interracial couple. In addition to unwanted attention, some people will intimidate or practice hostility towards a mixed-race couple.
Rather than focus on the negativity directed at your relationship, be in control of your happiness. Do not let the hostile situation bog you down. Enjoy the love between you and your partner and work with them to strengthen your relationship. When you perceive certain negativity by others towards your significant other, defend them or behave in a fashion that shows you care about their safety or mental health.
Challenges in communication
Each of the partners comes from a culture with a different primary language of communication. In some situations, one partner might feel the urge to express themselves in their mother tongue, but they have to be considerate for the sake of their significant other. As such, language barriers limit the number of issues or authenticity of topics the couple can discuss. Language can also create a bridge between the families of the couple. Misinterpretations during conversation can forever ruin relationships between the two families.
Barriers to communication can be diffused through the partner’s selling of the other person’s culture. For instance, individuals can explain to their families and friends the differences in moral values and communication protocols between their culture and their spouses. Also, the partners can ask their significant others what a particular situation means in their culture rather than assume.
Differences in cultural values and customs
The uniqueness of its beliefs defines every culture. When two people with different cultural backgrounds date, their perspectives on various issues differ based on cultural values and traditions. Sometimes, the interracial couple might face a dilemma as to which of the two cultures should take dominance.
The overcome this difficulty, the couple should be open-minded and flexible. Perhaps the best approach is to identify the positive differences and focus on integrating them into their relationship. The partners should also be interested in understanding each other’s culture because it defines who they are as individuals.
Negative perceptions from other people
Interracial dating can be extremely challenging, especially when the couple feels there is no support from their families or the community. Explicit negative comments or hostility in public might be detrimental to the relationship. Besides, others will be urged to criticize your relationship based on their insecurities or personal quirks. For example, a friend might confront you by asking, “Why don’t you date someone from your own culture?” or tell you, “Your significant other is using you!” These negative remarks can sow doubt in the partners, and they might question how the relationship will thrive.
The partners should be prepared for such reactions right from the beginning of their relationship. They should understand that most societal opinions are uncalled for and focus on the things that strengthen their relationship. Also, each partner should speak positively of their partner while with friends or family. Another tip is to ensure that you do not discuss every detail of your relationship with others. Ensure there is a mystery to your relationship, as people will use the information you give them to sabotage your relationship.
In conclusion, interracial dating is not a walk in the park. It is prone to lots of negativity from others, which are sometimes your friends and immediate family. Remember that communication is essential for your relationship to be a success. You are responsible for reconciling your language barriers by integrating the positive aspects of your cultures. Make it a habit to defend your partner against harsh reactions from others. Be aware that your partner might be exposed to challenges you have never encountered because of their accent, color, or ethnicity. Celebrate your differences and appreciate each other’s cultural heritage.