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What Are the Challenges of Interracial Dating in a Relationship?

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While funny looks and occasionally rude people may test a casual interracial relationship, people will really start to get annoying when you actually decide to commit to each other and let them know your plans.  For some reason, this provokes people and even the nicest of friends and relatives may start to get weird.

Here are a few challenges you should prepare for and some graceful ways of responding that minimize conflict.

1.Some people may not understand that you’re together.

Call it a quirk but many people are quick to assume that a black and white couple, or Asian and Latino couple are not “together” but might be friends or something.  This isn’t really hardcore racism, so there’s no need to get upset.  But DO be firm and remind everybody that this IS your boyfriend and girlfriend and that you’re not shy or embarrassed by it.  Your partner will be glad to see you so confident and in control!

2. Your partner is going to get hit on by other guys/girls.  It’s not a racial thing.

Okay, chalk this one up to paranoia.  Sometimes one person in an interracial relationship may get really angry when another person hits on their boyfriend/girlfriend—you know, because this rude person is ASSUMING you can’t possibly be together since you’re of a different race!

Believe it or not, it’s not a racial thing.  Some couples are too quick to become defensive.  We must understand that your partner is always going to be desired and looked at by other people regardless of race…because that’s just human nature.  There are plenty of lonely singles out there and sometimes they take a chance.  Just be honored that your partner is so beautiful/handsome and then remind the other person that this beauty is taken.

Sometimes friends and friends of your partner may also exhibit very “soft” racist attitudes – especially when it comes to the assumption that your black boyfriend/girlfriend should be with a black “sister” – and that the white girl is stealing a brother!

All that talk is ridiculous and totally unfair to the individual who may simply be attracted to a person for personal reasons – and it has nothing to do with status or symbol or anything like that.

3.Some people want you to play teacher.

The notion that you have to answer all these tough questions about interracial dating is sort of ridiculous and not exactly a PC attitude.  But don’t be surprised if family and friends ask you invasive and borderline stupid questions like “Do you only date Asians?” or “What does your family think of you dating a black person?” or “I dated a Native American once…”

These are all silly questions but usually they’re not given in a spirit of hostility.  Instead, the other person is just awkwardly trying to bond with you, in a strange way, but still an earnest effort.  Try to be respectful, but at the same time, don’t be dragged into a debate on race.  You love your partner because of who they are, not because of a political statement.

Don’t let people intimidate you, even if they’re your friends and family.  You and your partner deserve respect and you can act gracefully and yet be firm in your opinions at the same time.