As the product of not only a bi-racial marriage but also a cross-religion union, I always looked at my life as being blessed. I have the ability to live in multiple worlds at the same time. Yet, on more than one occasion, I was told by people that they felt sorry for me that I didn’t fit in anywhere. I also heard, on more than one occasion, from women who were attracted to people of different cultures but that they wouldn’t want to “do that to their kids.” The experience of an interracial relationship is not for the faint-hearted but here are some tips for those committed to keeping the relationship on track.
1. TELL YOUR PARENTS THE RIGHT WAY – Rather than surprising them or making it an issue by saying “my girlfriend is coming to meet you but I just want you to know that she’s Korean.” Try to casually work details about her culture into a conversation. Also, make sure that the times you mention these details, they are associated with positivity and your own growth and cultural expansion. Then, when they ask you if she is of a different race/religion/culture affirm their suspicions and mention how wonderful it is to get to experience new things with her.
2. TALK ABOUT HOW YOU WANT TO RAISE YOUR KIDS – I’ve seen many relationships fail when people don’t confront the major issues before they get married. If you know the relationship is serious, see how your partner feels about passing their religion or culture on. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. You can raise them with both religions as I was, with either one, with none, or with a new faith, but you have to make a conscious decision about it before you are faced with the question.
3. LEARN YOUR PARTNER’S CULTURE – This is actually true for any relationship. You need to make an effort to understand what your partner is about. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like “Why do you wrap your hair at night” or “How come you don’t eat fish on Fridays.” Your partner might not even realize that you don’t understand certain behaviors because it is something they have always done. And, if you can’t ask the tough questions of them, you’ll never be able to have a deep, open relationship.
4. KNOW HOW YOU WILL HANDLE HATERS – People are going to talk, look, and make assumptions about you somewhere you go in the world. Discuss your feelings with your partner about being with someone of a different background and acknowledge their feelings as well so that you can respond as a united front if or when you meet resistance from the outside world.
5. NO NAME CALLING – I have heard of slurs and labels that initially were thrown about in relationships in jest turn into real issues and hurt feelings. No matter how comfortable you get with your partner’s culture, boundaries with name calling are tenuous and you risk injuring them and the relationship if you use them incorrectly or at the wrong times. Safest to just avoid them altogether.
In lieu of all the racist remarks being plastered all over the news, Dates & Mates believes that opening your mind starts with opening your heart, so if you’re still single and limiting your search to your own race, now’s the time to expand your horizons and look to other cultures and ethnicities. You never know who you may meet.
If you have opened your dating portfolio to all races and are still having trouble finding the right person for you, it’s time to stop and take pause for the love you have now. Read more HERE