The beautiful thing about the day and age that we live in is that interracial dating is more and more the norm, leaving just a few backward people remaining that still give the “side eye.” Still, while it’s becoming increasingly more common, it doesn’t take away the fact that this type of relationship can be tricky initially.
Check out our tips for avoiding committing some of the typical faux pas that many fall for when they get into an interracial relationship.
Don’t make your relationship ALL about race
Dating someone from another race has so many perks: You get to experience their culture and take part in their customs, your eyes are opened to a whole new way of life that goes beyond the seemingly cookie-cutter life you grew up with, and soon enough you’ll get to view the world with a new sense of empathy for what others have to put up with simply for not being part of the surrounding community’s majority. (Also, the food!)
But there’s a moment where you have to look beyond his or her race. You can’t build a relationship only on the basis of you thinking a particular race is attractive. If you go around saying things like you “only date black guys,” or that you’re “only attracted to Asian women,” you’re overlooking the fact that they are more than just a representative of a particular race and you’re ignoring that they are their own person. Also, it comes off a bit more like you’re simply fetishing a people’s race and culture. By all means, date people of any and every race, color, and creed, but don’t do it simply because they are of a specific race, color, or creed.
Don’t chastise them for not fitting your idea about their race
This one’s pretty simple. A person’s identity shouldn’t only be defined by the color of their skin, so don’t get mad or make fun of your S.O. simply because they’re not like what you expected someone of their race to be like.
No one wants to hear: “well you’re not really Black/Hispanic/Asian because you don’t…” It’s demeaning and you’re belittling how they associate themselves with their own culture. Also, don’t ever think you’re giving someone a compliment when you say “that’s why I like you, because you’re not one of those kind of (insert race).”
Do call your mother!
This is always the tricky part. Your parents “grew up in a different time.” We get that. But keeping your relationship with someone of a different race a secret to your family makes it look like you also think it’s something that needs to be kept a secret. Many people indeed did grow up with different customs and opposing views on race and race relations, but if there’s anyone that can help them update that point of view, it’s you.
Don’t let your parents stay “set in their ways.” Use your relationship as an example of how much the times have changed and demonstrate to your family that this is not a taboo subject, but rather a beautiful thing. Be proud of your other half, no matter who’s looking.