Being in love with someone of a different race, culture, or religion can be wonderful, new, exciting, and a chance to learn and see things from different perspectives, among other things. But, it’s very naïve to think that there won’t be subtle to distinct differences and challenges. So whether you’ve swirled before or are interested in it, here’s a list of all the things you need to know.
- Just because YOU don’t see color doesn’t mean other people won’t- I know it seems like it’s the common thing nowadays to believe that “we are all one in the same” but in actuality, that is not entirely true. Sure we may all want similar things out of life and may all bleed red, but no matter how many times you say you’re in love with the person and not their skin color, that won’t stop other people from seeing that difference and even worse, won’t prevent them from attaching their own stereotypes and stigmas to them. So the next time you are left feeling sad, hurt, or confused at the fact that some people in your life may not completely “get it,” just know that the best thing that you can do is educate yourself on just how the world perceives you and your partner and be aware of it.
2. You will have to be open and willing to talk even if it makes you uncomfortable- It’s almost inevitable to avoid comedy sketches, movies, commercials, or even just overhearing people talking so if you hear or see something that offends you, be open and tell your partner. There will also be times when race will become a major factor in certain situations like that way you are treated at a high end store or listening to a news snippet about another African American victim as a result of police brutality. When you’re able to tell your partner how you feel about certain issues and let them know what is and isn’t okay, it will build a stronger and deeper connection.
3. You have to have a thicker skin than usual- When you’re in an interracial relationship, it seems like everyone and their momma has an opinion about it. And it can feel like they honestly don’t care how negative, mean, or hurtful their comments are. The simple solution? Ignore them. Block out the haters and prove them wrong by standing by your partner through the good and bad. The not so easy solution? Speaking up when someone is giving their unwarranted opinion or negative energy about your relationship. Regardless of what you do, everyone is not going to agree or be so happy about you and your partner so having a thick skin will save you from unnecessary heartache.
Written by Imani H.