The Truth About Interracial Dating and Relationships
So, you are planning to date someone from another culture, someone of another race? Whether it is Asian, American, or Hispanic, dating is already hard enough. Black men and women, as well as white girls and guys, are typically stereotyped by the society.
It is already difficult to date someone, without stepping out of what the society considers normal according to its standards on what couples have to look like. Unfortunately, despite your good intentions, the society does not consider interracial dating to be normal. There is nothing wrong with dating someone of another color, background, or culture. It is just that the society perceives it as something out of the norm.
At present, you can find a lot of people who are in interracial dating. People are more open to it nowadays. Five decades ago, society looked down upon interracial marriage and some states even considered it illegal. In 1967, the laws that ban interracial marriage were finally deemed unconstitutional and interracial marriage became legal. Nevertheless, interracial couples remained to be the subject of discrimination and harassment.
The term “interracial dating” itself is an indication that the matter is something categorized or classified because it does not happen very often. Then again, there is still no reason for you to allow the society to interfere with your personal life. You should not let the opinions about other people get into you when it comes to dating a man or a woman.
It should not really matter who you date. You just have to enter a relationship with an open mind and a clear understanding of the possible challenges and issues that you might face. This way, you would be prepared to deal with situations that may threaten the security of your relationship or marriage.
Race Makes a Difference
You have to realize that society likes to promote a certain model as a treatment for racism. Due to its efforts to show that everyone is equal, it has ignored the fact that everyone is different. Each person possesses unique traits and qualities.
With this being said, you have to keep in mind that equality does not equate to be the same. It equally is not similar or alike. You can see this in feminism. There are feminists who are so intense in proving that they are capable of doing anything men can do.
In fact, some of them even use devices that allow them to urinate while in a standing position. Because of such belief and actions, they no longer consider the things that make a woman different from a man. They fail to remember unique characteristics and capabilities such as getting pregnant and having a baby. They also disregard certain differences in body structure and hormones.
Interracial dating entails that you will gain unexpected and new experiences because you are dating someone who came from a different cultural background. Keep in mind that two people who are not of the same race can have completely different cultures, even if they grew up in the same place. This is why dating somebody who lives in your city does not automatically guarantee that you will be able to adjust easily to his or her culture if he or she is ofanother race.
Can this be explained further? For instance, the black men of New York City tend to be judged quickly. As terrible as this may sound, they are more likely to be arrested or stopped for random searches than their white counterparts. Conversely, white women are more likely to be asked for a security check at the airport when they are dating Arabic men.
Why does this happen? This happens because the society already has a pre-determined judgment of people. They already have presumptions and expectations of how people should talk or act like. Such prejudice is what commonly leads to misunderstandings and chaos.
As individuals from different races, you have to keep in mind that each one has a different history, culture, language, accepted norms, and traditions. If you ignore these differences because you think that race does not really matter, you will only set yourself up for disappointment. You will not be prepared to interact with their families and friends.
This is why you have to accept the fact that race does matter and that you need to embrace your differences. It is only when you do this that your relationship can work. In addition, you may learn something new when you step out of your cultural norm. This is actually one of the greatest advantages of interracial dating.
People May Assume that It Is a Fetish
Admittedly, you may have already heard about this in the past. It is true that some people mistake getting into an interracial relationship as a fetish. The terms ‘Asian girl fetish’ and ‘jungle fevers’ are some of the most commonly used words for interracial dating fetish.
If you date people from outside your race, there is a high possibility that other people will assume that you have a fetish. You have to realize and understand that ‘fetish’ and ‘attractions’ are two different things. Fetish refers to an attraction towards certain things or characteristics. For example, you may have a fetish for stockings or pantyhose.
It is quite difficult to determine the difference between an attraction and fetish, however. There are just people who have an unusual preference for a type of look. For example, some men like skinny women with blonde hair and others prefer curvy women with dark hair.
Then again, you have to keep in mind that ‘fetish’ is merely sexual. A person who has a fetish is attracted to anyone who possesses this certain characteristic. ‘Attraction’, on the other hand, is a spark that initiates romance. Real love is not based on attraction alone.
People May Assume that It Is About Status
Some people may think that you are only going into interracial dating because you are concerned about your social status. Oftentimes, going out with another person from another race is considered a status symbol.
Take interracial relationships of black men and white women, for example. This one is based on decades of white supremacy. For many years, the white population has been dominant in the society. They were the privileged ones. Thus, having what they had can be an indication of validation for many.
This is the reason why some black men think of dating a white woman as a sign of success. It does not matter if another black woman has the same characteristics or financial success as the white woman. The black man will still prefer the latter because it signifies his success.It may sound awful, but it is the truth. In today’s society, women are often perceived as markers and trophies that indicate success. You have to be aware of this before you engage in an interracial relationship. This is especially true if you are a black man or a white woman.
The Society Is Not Blind and It Is Racist
They say that love is blind, and there may be some truth into this. However, society has its eyes wide open. It is always waiting for something to criticize.
You may not be a racist, and you really want to date someone from another race due to his/her traits and attitude. Even so, racism is still present in the society. No matter how good your intentions are, people will still have something negative to say about you and your choices. So, when you date outside of your race, you have to be prepared to receive distasteful comments, judgmental stares, and perhaps even violence.
If you really want your relationship to last, both you and your partner should not allow racism to get in the way of your happiness. You can simply ignore it. It is not easy to do this, so you have to have a lot of patience. You may even have to adjust in your relationship in order to avoid the general displeasure and discomfort of the society. This does not mean that you have to live your life according to the standards of other people. It is just that if you want to leave in peace, you may have to make some adjustments to avoid chaos.
Whether you like it or not, there will always be racists. It will be tough to not allow racism to get into your life. This is why you have to be open to other options. For example, if you like country music, and you love going to concerts, you may not feel comfortable going there anymore if people start staring at you and your partner. So, it is either you stay there and suffer from the discomfort, or you choose another place to go to.
People Can Be Very Judgmental
If you are the man in your interracial relationship, the men in your partner’s life are likely to shun you. Likewise, if you are the woman in the interracial relationship, the women in your partner’s life are probably going to do the same. This may not always be the case. Nevertheless, you have to be prepared to experience it.
Do you know of the movie ‘Save the Last Dance’? In this movie, the protagonist who is white begins a relationship with a black man. The man’s female friend then confronts the white protagonist about their relationship, stating that white women take everything away, including their men. This shows that black women typically perceive white women as more privileged.
In a Huffington Post article, writer Sarah James said that there are white men than black men and that black men are more likely to go to prison as well as less likely to stay monogamous. According to statistics, 42% of black women remain single. This is perhaps the reason why they think that white women are getting their men.
This sad reality proves that the society pits women against one another. Races stick with their tribes. They prefer to move within their group. People get jealous or feel rejected when they see a person from their tribe go with someone who does not look like them.
You Will Feel Scared to Meet Your Partner’s Family
Meeting your significant other’s family for the first time is not easy. It can make you feel uncomfortable, cautious, and vulnerable. The tension is doubled when you are in an interracial relationship. You will feel much more scared to meet your partner’s family because you are not entirely sure of what to expect. Even if you argue that your community and partner are liberal, the decades of racism can still be a factor when it comes to meeting their family members.
So, what should you do when you meet your partner’s family for the first time? How should you react? What should you say? For starters, you have to give a good impression. While being your genuine self is good, you should try to make an effort for your partner’s family to like you. With this being said, you may have to pretend to like his or her mother’s cooking and not mention anything regarding their race.
As for your family, you have to inform them that you are dating someone from another race. You have to do this before you introduce your partner to them. This way, they will be less surprised when they finally meet the man or the woman. You may also ask them to be friendlier so that your partner can feel more comfortable around them.
Then again, in the case of things do not work out as you expected, you have to remember that your partner’s family should not be a reason for you to discontinue your relationship. If you and your partner are in love with each other, then you should not let this issue tear you apart.
Prepare to Getting Asked Stupid Questions
Since people are typically judgmental of interracial relationships, you should prepare yourself to get asked distasteful and unnecessary questions. The person asking the question may not intentionally insult or hurt you, but it can still be painful and ignorant.
Some people may comment or tell you that your children may get bullied in school because they are mixed race. Others may ask if you are selective when it comes to dating or even directly ask you about the sex. There may also be people who will advise that it is much easier to date a person of your own race.
Their Stares May Come with Good Intentions
Staring can be disrespectful, annoying, and uncomfortable. When people stare at you, you wonder why they do it. If you are in an interracial relationship and you are with your partner from another race, you may immediately think that the people who stare are judging you.
Sometimes, however, people stare and ask because they are genuinely curious. They may be in a similar situation and simply see themselves in you. For example, a person may ask about your relationship and the typical struggles that you face due to interracial dating. This may not necessarily be a form of attack or criticism, but rather a genuine question out of curiosity. The person who is asking may actually want an honest answer that he may apply in his own interracial relationship.
Hardships Are Helpful In the Maturity of Your Relationship
When your relationship is stagnant, it neither moves backward nor forwards. It just does not move at all, and this is not a good thing. Your relationship needs to grow and be mature in order for it to serve you well. Dealing with challenges and overcoming them help you get stronger and wiser.
With this being said, dealing with racist people can actually be beneficial to your relationship. It can help you grow and become more mature as a couple. Oftentimes, couples encounter rough spots or hurdles, such as illness, financial problems, and work issues among others. If your relationship is not strong enough, it will easily succumb to your problems. Eventually, it will fall apart.
On the other hand, if your relationship is strong and stable, it will be able to withstand anything that gets in your way, including hardships. As you go through dealing with these problems together, the closer you will be as a couple. This is especially true since you are in an interracial relationship.
Keep in mind that if you are not strong enough to deal with the negative connotations with regard to interracial dating and relationships, then perhaps it is not suitable for you. You and your partner need to be mentally and emotionally healthy in order for things to work out. You also have to be confident enough in yourselves.
According to statistics, interracial couples have a high rate of divorce, with 41% of them getting divorced within ten years. Same-race couples, on the other hand, are only 31% at risk of getting divorced within the same timeframe.
In one study, it was found that couples that consist of non-white males and white females have a greater risk ofdivorce than couples that consist of both white partners. On the contrary, couples that consist of non-white females and white males showed little to no difference in the rates of divorce. Black women and white men also had a much lower risk of divorce than couples who are both white.
According to the researchers, other factors determine the risk for divorce, aside from race. These factors include the lack of support from the friends and family of the interracial couple.
It Does Not Boil Down to Just Black and White
Most of the discourse that surrounds interracial relationships focuses on black and white couples. When you watch about interracial dating on TV, read about it in the newspapers or magazines, and research about it online, you will often see black and white people. However, you should know that there are other interracial couplings out there.
For example, some black women get involved with Asian men and vice versa. There are also people who are regarded as multiracial or racially ambiguous. Some individuals are a mixed race who date other mixed race people. These different types of pairings come with an entirely different meaning and context, as do interracial relationships between people who are not heterosexual.
It Is Not About Sex Alone
There are a lot of different questions that tend to come up with the subject of interracial dating and relationships. Among these issues are sex questions. Some people think that black women are more aggressive than white women, and Asian women are more submissive than their Western counterparts.
The size of the penis also comes into question. Whose penis is bigger? Is it Latino men or black men? With questions like these, racial stereotypes are only perpetuated. They make interracial dating appear to be solely based on sex. Even though sex is a vital component of relationships, it should not be the sole motivation to be in a committed relationship, regardless if it is interracial or not.
You Do Not Exactly Solve Racism When You Enter an Interracial Relationship
Some people believe that being in a relationship with someone from another race makes them solve racism. Apparently, this is not true. Racism will always be around. You can help spread awareness that being a racist does not do anything good, but you cannot eradicate racism on your own. Being with a person outside of your race may signify that you are not a racist and are open minded, but your interracial relationship will still not solve the issue of racism.
When “People of Color” Date White People, It Does Not Mean That They Hate Themselves
Some people have this notion that dating a white person when you are “colored” signifies self-hatred. This is not always true. Some people just want to date other people, and it just happens that they are of another race. It is not necessarily their color that attracted their partners.
A black girl who likes a white guy does not mean that the black girl is self-conscious or has low self-esteem. She may have seen something in the white man that she has not seen with other black men. Likewise, a black man who dates a white woman may not necessarily be craving for validation. Perhaps, he just likes her for who she is.
You Always Learn Something New
This is the beauty of interracial dating and relationships. Because you are with someone who was raised differently and grew up with different traditions, you get to learn and experience new things. For example, if you are Wester and you are dating a Chinese person, you will get to experience their Chinese New Year and other unique traditions. You will also get to taste their food as well as find out more about their culture. The same thing goes when you are with an Indian man or woman. You will get to see how they do things. If you go to their home country, you will learn about more things and gain more experiences.
At the End of the Day, Race Is Not a Hindrance to True Love
You may have several issues and problems because of your racial differences. Nevertheless, if you really love each other, your different races will not matter. You should not give in to the pressure of society. Ultimately, it comes down to whether you are willing to make things work between you and your partner. If both of you have the same goals, interests, and are committed to sharing a life together, then your relationship will still be steady and last for a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you are new to interracial dating and you have never dated anyone outside of your race before, you may have some questions. It is natural for people to be curious and wonder about their partner early into the relationship. It is actually advisable to ask your questions and get your answers as soon as possible in order to avoid any potential conflicts that may arise in the future.
The following are some of the most commonly asked questions with regard to interracial dating and relationships:
What are the joys or advantages of dating a person from another race?
Later on in this book, you will read about the benefits of interracial dating in more details. For now, you should take note that there is really no particular advantage to selecting a partner of a different race. It is really a case to case basis. When you enter a relationship, you and your partner should have an emotional, spiritual, and mental connection. You must look for someone who is a good fit. You need to be compatible in order for the relationship to work. Your priority should be to choose a person who genuinely loves and cares about you, and not what this person’s race is.
What are the usual challenges that interracial couples face, but not same-race couples?
You have learned that the society tends to be judgmental towards interracial relationships. Many people still look down on this kind of set up in spite of the changes in today’s world. So, you can still expect for some people to give you long stares, utter insulting comments, or ask offending questions with regard to your interracial relationship.
You may even receive unkind words from the family of your partner. Your partner may not be racist, but you cannot say the same about every member of his or her family until you have met them. If they disapprove of you, you may not be comfortable around them. Likewise, your partner’s friends may also not like you because of your race. The first thing that will most likely come to their minds is your motivation for pursuing an interracial relationship.
They may argue that they are just being protective of their loved one, which is why they are cautious when it comes to the person they are dating. The people in your partner’s life may question why you are in the relationship in spite of your obvious differences. It is typical for people to have a negative state of mind by default. So, these people may think that you are only pursuing the relationship for your own gain.
What advice or tips can you give interracial couples to help them overcome the challenges that they face?
People who are not emotionally and mentally healthy should most probably avoid entering interracial relationships. Dating and relationships are already hard on their own. They become even more difficult when they involve couples of different races. If you are often insecure and feel the need for approval from other people, interracial dating will only bring you confusion and stress.
However, when you take a leap and start an interracial relationship, see to it that you always keep your communication lines open. You should always make an effort to communicate and understand your partner. You have to listen without comparison or judgment. You should never compare your current partner to a former partner of another race.
Your partner may experience situations that you do not normally experience. These conditions may involve issues regarding his or her language or accent, race, and ethnicity. If you love your partner, you have to do understand that your experiences, problems, or experiences may not be the same with him or her. Regardless of your experiences, you have to be supportive of each other.
What must you do if your family or parents do not agree to your interracial relationship?
It is common for people in interracial relationships to experience judgment, even from their own family. Nevertheless, you should still consider your age, independence level, and maturity level. If you are a minor who is below legal age and are still depending on your parents for support, then they have the right to give their strong opinions about your partner. After all, you are still living under their roof. Therefore, you have to follow their rules. However, you can still ask them about the reasons why they think about your partner that way.
If you are old enough and are already living on your own, you still have to respect the opinions of your family regarding your spouse. Then again, since you are already mature enough to decide for yourself, you should follow your own decision. You can ask for the approval of your family; but if they disapprove of your interracial relationship, you should still pursue it if you are happy. After all, it is your life, and you are old enough to know what you are doing.
Is it normal for people to be open-minded with regard to interracial marriage?
Interracial dating, relationships, and marriage are now more frequent than before. According to a survey conducted by AskHeartBeat.Com Interracial Relationships Survey, 58% of the 9,100 respondents stated that they hoped for a partner who loves them and that their ethnicity is not a big deal. 34% of the respondents, however, said that their family members are okay with them communicating and being friends with people from another race, but they do not want them to be in an interracial relationship. Over 25% of these respondents claimed that their parents are going to turn their backs on them if they date somebody from another race.
At times, the beliefs that families have with regard to other races are only shown when their loved one gets into an interracial relationship. Many young adults are surprised to discover their parents being selectively racist. These people are usually the ones who claim that they are supportive of other people, regardless of their skin color and appearance. However, when their own children date a person from another race, their true beliefs show. This proves that it is easy to claim that you are not racist, but it is hard to prove it.
With this being said, it can be concluded that people are not usually open-minded when it comes to interracial dating, relationships, and marriage. Some people may be open-minded to dating a person from another race but tend to withdraw when the topic of marriage comes up. They can be boyfriends or girlfriends with someone from a different race without having an intention to actually marry that person and have a family with him or her.
Do the possible advantages of interracial dating and relationships outweigh the issues and challenges that they bring?
Once again, people who are not strong enough should not be in an interracial relationship. You have to be determined and open-minded in order for this kind of set up to work for you. As you have learned, there are plenty of challenges that come with interracial dating and relationships. You have to overcome these difficulties, such as customs, cultural differences, religious beliefs, and even culinary tastes.
Then again, if there is true love within the relationship, the potential rewards outweigh the potential challenges. If you and your partner are willing to make your relationship work, you will be able to face and deal with the challenges that come your way.
Benefits of Interracial Relationships and What You Need to Remember
Interracial relationships can be just as rewarding as same-race relationships. After all, if you and your partner truly love each other, the race would not be such a huge problem.
You continuously learn
When you date a person from another race, you expose yourself to a new culture that you may have closed off yourself too. This allows you to learn new things. You also get to experience first-hand the things that you may have only read in books or seen in movies. Dating someone from another race helps you learn and grow.
Eating different types of food, going to another country, and participating in foreign traditions are truly enriching experiences.
You bear beautiful children
Mixed race people are beautiful. There is something unique about them; there are the good qualities you have, combined with the good qualities of your partner. This results in beautiful, talented, and one of loving children.
You view the world from a whole new perspective
Dating a person from a different race helps you see the world from an entirely different perspective. Aside from the culture, rituals, religion, family structure, and food, you also get to learn about the perspectives of your partner. This allows you to be a more mature and open-minded individual. You learn how to reduce your subconscious and conscious stereotypes, as well as challenge your own ideas and beliefs. As a result, you achieve personal growth.
You break the stereotype
Interracial dating allows you and your partner to have opportunities for breaking the negative stereotyping with regard to your respective races. You help other people become more accepting and open-minded when you provide a counterexample to these negative stereotypes. In other words, you somehow contribute to making the world a better place when you normalize interracial dating and encourage people to get over their prejudices. Nonetheless, you have to keep in mind that not all people of a particular race participate in the same rituals or traditions.
Things to Keep In Mind When In an Interracial Relationship
Of course, everyone is different. Thus, you have to consider your own situation. The challenges and the intensity of these challenges are basically on a case to case basis. For instance, you have to consider certain factors, such as if you and your partner grew up with the same socio-economic backgrounds, which races are involved, and whether or not you are in a major city with a large population.
Keep in mind that there are interracial relationships that are bound to be more eventful and racially charged than others. For example, white men who date black women in the South may experience more challenges that pertain to their relationship. Latinas who date Indian men who come from traditional families may also have a bit of a hard time adjusting to their culture.
You have to be sensitive towards their feelings
In general, you have to be a sensitive person. You need to be considerate towards the feelings of other people, regardless of their race. Then again, you have to be especially careful with what you say or the way you act towards people of a different race. This way, you can avoid being accidentally disrespectful or arrogant. You may not mean to be rude, but they will think that you are if you do not become sensitive towards the way they feel.
You should remember that your partner may be sensitive about certain subjects that you cannot relate to. For example, if you are a white woman dating a black man, you may not think of police encounters or salespeople following you around in stores to be a big deal. For you, these things are normal and harmless. You experience them,and nothing bad happens to you.
However, your partner may have a different point of view or experience with regard to this matter. Because he is black, he may be anxious or tense around the police. He may have to panic attacks whenever the police approach or confront him because he knows about the negative stereotyping of black people. He may also feel uneasy when the salesperson keeps following him around because he might think that the salesperson is judging him and thinking that he will steal something.
If you are a white man dating a middle-Eastern woman, you should probably not call her ‘exotic’ because it may offend her even though you are only trying to give a compliment. She may think that you are offensive and disrespectful towards her.Thus, you have to refrain from assuming that your partner feels a certain way merely due to his or her race. Rather than judge the way your partner feels by how you believe he or she should feel, you just have to accept him or her as himself or herself. You do not have to walk on eggshells. When you understand where they are coming from, you will be able to make your relationship stronger.
You have to focus on your skin thickness rather than your skin color
Since you are in an interracial relationship, you may want to concentrate on finding solutions for the common problems that interracial couples face. There may be days when you hear people make offensive comments and there may be days when your extended family disapproves of your interracial relationship. During these times, you have to remember that you and your partner are a team. Both of you have to be supportive of each other. You have to be there for your spouse, and your partner has to be there to stand up for you.
You have to accept the fact that some people just never change their minds. This is particularly the case if they were raised a certain way and grew up in a strictly traditional environment. So, if you are black, your white partner’s grandparents may never accept you. Likewise, if you are white and your partner is Asian, your in-laws may never fully approve of you no matter how hard you try to please them. You just have to learn not to take things personally. It is not really about you as a person, but rather your race.
It is not easy to be nonchalant about this matter, but you have to have thick skin. You have to learn how to brush off their negative remarks or comments. You have to eventually get to the point where you can only say “Who cares if they do not like me? My partner and I are still happy together”.
You have to have open communication
Lack of communication is often a problem in relationships. It can be especially detrimental in an interracial relationship. Thus, you have to exert more effort to communicate with your partner, and your partner has to do the same. You have to inform your partner about any issues that bother you. For example, if his friends make racial comments and these comments bother you, you have to say it. Your partner probably has no idea that these things make you uncomfortable. So, you must tell him or her before the issue gets out of hand and make things worse.
By telling your partner how you feel, you open the doors for problem-solving. You encourage both of you to find a way to solve the issue and deal with similar issues that may occur in the future. You become proactive rather than sweep issues under the rug and allow problems to build up over time. In this example, you may ask your partner to talk to his or her friends or your partner can make an initiative to do it. This way, you will no longer feel uncomfortable the next time you hang out with these people.Being in an interracial relationship can actually have an effect on the way you view the world and interact with its population. Since you have a partner from a different race, you are able to from two different perspectives. If you and your partner are compatible with each other, your racial differences will not matter anymore. You can still have a successful relationship, regardless of what the people around you say and feel towards your interracial relationship.
The Importance of Education In a Relationship
Marriage is a vital step that a person takes in life. When you love someone and feel that you are ready to spend the rest of your life with this person, you prepare for marriage. However, deciding to get married is not easy because there are many factors you need to consider. Of these factors, you should make sure you take education into consideration. It may not seem too important, but it actually is. Your level of education, as well as your partners, has something to do with your relationship success.
If you are in an interracial relationship, you have to pay more attention to education. Your family or the family of your partner may not approve of your relationship if one has had a higher form of education than the other. In addition, if one of you is interested in academics and the other is not, you may experience more problems in your relationship. If you are well read, and your partner is not, you may not enjoy each other’s company due to the lack of common interests to share or talk about.
At present, many people say that education is crucial to have a fulfilling marriage. Why do they say this? There are several reasons why. For instance, if the husband and the wife have the same level of education, they may have a healthier standard of communication than other couples because they are familiar with each other’s type of language. Educated partners tend to be able to talk about a variety of topics equally. So, each time they communicate, they have something they can talk about. They may even share the same interests.
Lawyer couples, for example, are both interested in the subjects pertaining to the laws. So, they can discuss politics, current events, or any other matters that have something to do with their shared interests. Engineer couplesmay have the same hobbies so they can use their free time working on projects together and discussing other possible projects in the future. When you have the same level of education as your partner, it becomes easier for you to pique his or her mind. This allows you to enjoy a marriage that has intellectual happiness and fulfillment.
On the contrary, if a couple does not possess the same level of education, they may easily get bored with each other. They may find it difficult to look for common ground. They may struggle in thinking of topics they can talk about or ponder upon. The less educated one may even feel left out or lonely most of the time, especially if the more educated partner’s friends are around, and they have the same level of education.
With this being said, you can say that different levels of education tend to challenge the marriage or relationship. It makes the couples unhappy and unfulfilled. Moreover, couples have to keep in mind that their children are watchful of their actions. Children have a tendency to mimic what they see their parents do. This is why you have to be a good role model to your kids.
If you and your partner have the same high level of education, your children will be more likely to do well in school. When they see their parents getting work done, they become inspired to be just like them. They become more confident because they are aware that their parents are smart and have the capacity to help them do their homework or school projects. They grow up wanting to be just as intelligent and successful as their parents.
On the contrary, if a gap exists between the level of education or the educational background of the parents, their children may select a figure that they think will be able to love them more or do more for them. In this case, they may prefer the parent with a higher level of education to the one who has less. Because of this, the children and their parents may suffer from the gaps in their levels of education.
Men and women who are highly educated tend to marry late in life, but often select a partner of the same level of educational attainment.
These people prefer to focus on their work, and studies, which is why engaging in relationships becomes less of a priority. When they have accomplished their professional goals, they pursue their relationship goals. For these people, their careers are more important than their personal life. They value professionalism, which is why they also tend to choose a partner who is at the same level as them academically and professionally. They believe that a person of their level has a better capacity to understand and support them.
On the other hand, men and women who have less education tend to get married early because they do not have many professional goals. They also tend to choose a partner who is at the same level of education as them because they believe that these people can understand them better and accept them for who they are. More often than not, less educated people do not have a lot of money, which is why they often face financial problems. This is also another reason why individuals with a higher level of education do not go for them because these people do not want to get burdened with their partner’s financial problems.
There is a cultural aspect involved in this matter as well. In the West, for example, people are more meticulous than those who live in the East when it comes to the level of education in marriage. For them, educated individuals should find a partner who is also educated. Some people even choose someone with a better education than the one whom they actually love. They do not marry the partners that they want simply because they do not have the same level of education.
In the East, educational background is not a big deal. A lot of highly educated men do not mind marrying women who did not even finish high school and are unemployed. Historically, people from different classes could not get married legally. Those who are rich were forbidden from starting a relationship with those who are poor. Their families are considered about their wealth and social status. This is why arranged marriages have become common. Today, however, times have changed, and people have more freedom to choose their partners.
In a study done by Gustaf Bruze, a Danish economist, it was found that men and women sort themselves into partnerships with people of the same level of education. This study was published in the Journal of Human Capital. In fact, this has been a phenomenon that increasingly grows in popularity. According to Bruze, this type of sorting has social repercussions in the society. It can perpetuate economic inequality and class stratification. Researchers say that a person with a higher education tends to gain more earnings in life.
For years, social scientists have pondered on whether sorting by the level of education reflects a desire on an individual’s part for greater material wealth. They also wonder if those who select partners with the same level of education do it because they prefer a partner who shares the same lifestyle, interests, and abilities.
In order to get an answer to these questions, Bruze studied the marriages of the most famous celebrities. He checked out the profiles of the top 400 movie actors. Why did he choose successful and famous actors? Why did he not choose any other subjects for the study? Bruze selected these actors for important reasons. For instance, these actors tend to meet their partners outside of school. They may have met them on the set of their movies, but this does not have anything to do with their educational backgrounds. There is no actual correlation between the professional success of the actors and their level of education.
Thus, if these actors sort themselves into partnerships or marriages with other people who have the same level of education as them, then such selection would imply that their reason for choosing these people has little to nothing to do with wishing to secure financial future. It may have something more to do with being with a person who shares the same interests.
Bruze then proceeded to eliminate actors who did not have sufficient data on their educational backgrounds. He ended up with 140 pairs of subjects for the study. Most of these actors were married to other people in the same industry. They were usually models, singers, musicians, and actors too. Nevertheless, there were also some actors who were married to people outside of the entertainment industry. These people can be considered as regular people.
According to his data, 47% of these actors met their partners at work. Only 7% said that they met at school. The other 45% stated that they met their partners through other means, such as during public events or through friends. After studying his data, Bruze learned that in spite of the lack of association between the professional success and the level of education of these actors, they still tend to select a partner who has the same level of education as them.
Well, this one is all about the rich and the famous; but what about the regular people who are neither rich nor famous?
According to the study, people seem to harbor unconscious and strong preferences for non-monetary traits in their partners that are connected to education or academics. In addition, even though the role of workplaces and schools that congregate people with similar levels of education disappears, people will still go for partners who are at the same level of education as them. Bruze concluded that they will still marry someone whom they think is on their level.
Language and Communication
One of the primary challenges of interracial relationships is the language barrier. Because they are from different races and cultures, they also speak different languages. If they are not fluent in a common language, they may have misunderstandings, which can lead to fights or even divorce.
If the couple speaks different languages, they have to determine early on in their relationship which language they would use at home. This is especially true if they plan to teach their children their native languages. Usually, the language that wins over is the one that used in the place where they live. For example, if an American man marries a Mexican woman and they both decide to live in the United States where English is the primary language, they may choose to speak English at home.
On the other hand, if the American man and his Mexican wife decide to settle in Mexico, the American man has to adjust to the way of life in that country. Aside from learning their culture and traditions, he also has to learn their language because he is most like going to need to use it anyway. Since he is in a foreign land, he has to learn their ways and speak the way they speak so that he can fit in.
If the couple has children, they can decide if they would teach both of their languages to their children or just use one. It is much easier if they only have two languages. In the example above, the children of the American man and the Mexican woman may only have to learn Spanish if they are already speaking English and are staying in the United States.
However, if the couple each has their own native languages, they may have a difficult time teaching their children three languages. If they are living in the United States, they have to speak English. They may also want their children to learn both of their languages separately.
The same issue may come up if you are living in another country. For example, if you are a French woman married to a German man and both of you decided to settle down in Germany for good, you may have a hard time teaching your children to learn German, French, and English. English is widely spoken all over the world, so your kids still have to learn it, regardless of where you live, if you want them to be able to fit in comfortably everywhere.
You may decide to let them speak English at home and German when outside. This way, they would be able to speak both languages fluently. If you think that they are ready to learn your mother tongue, you may gradually introduce them into it. Even if they do not become perfectly fluent at it, at least they would be able to understand words and come up with sentences. They will still be able to communicate in your native language, as well as in English and German.
Another thing you have to consider is the upbringing of your partner. You have to know how quickly and loudly they communicate. This way, you would be able to keep up to their phase. Bear in mind that some people tend to be louder than the others. Some races are just naturally loud and quick to speak. For example, Latinas can be expressed very fast when they speak their mother tongue. So, if you are trying to learn your partner’s Spanish language, you may have a bit of a hard time.
Filipinos also tend to be loud. According to a certain book, it only takes three Filipino women to chat with one another to be mistaken for a crowd. They also tend to go in groups. So, when you spot them in restaurants, coffee shops, and in festivals, they are usually with other people. If you are not used to the way they talk, you may find them loud and annoying; but that is just the way they talk.
You should also learn about jokes and teasing. Keep in mind that some of the things you find funny in your country may be offensive to those who live in another country. So, if you have a foreign partner, you have to be considerate of his or her feelings and points of view. If you want your interracial relationship to be a success, you have to be sensitive.
If the joke is not particularly offensive, it may still lose its effectiveness when told in another language. For example, if the joke involves local terms and connotations that do not have an equivalent in other languages, the joke may no longer be as funny when you tell it to your foreign partner.
You may hear Filipinos teasing one another and see them laughing. However, when they translate their jokes, they appear to be offensive. Conversely, there are certain jokes that only Westerners get. If you tell these jokes to Asian people, they may not find them funny. They may not even react at all because they simply do not get the jokes.
You also have to be mindful of the way you express your love to your partner. For example, in the book Song of the Warrior, the red skinned men hunt wild animals and then gather around to share the meat and play the pipes. Then, their wives arrive with big knives to cut the meat. They carry the meat back to their village and lay them under the sun to dry.
If the women ever start a fight, their husbands do not interfere. Even if the man loves and cares for his wife and his wife is attacked by a group of other females, the man still does not interfere. He ignores them not because he is afraid to fight for his woman, but merely because he trusts that his woman can take care of herself.
Today, this practice may no longer be existent. Nevertheless, different races still express their love in a variety of ways. If the interracial couple is not aware of such differences, they may end up with a misunderstanding. For example, a Filipino woman dating an Italian man may expect to be wooed and treated like a princess. The Italian man may not have an idea about this. So, if he treats his partner the same way he treated his previous Italian partners, his current partner may be disappointed and think that he does not care that much about her.
Aside from your words, you also have to pay attention to your actions. Keep in mind that your body language can also be a factor in your interracial relationship. Different body languages can mean differently to people of various cultures and traditions. So, if you do not want your cultures to clash, you and your partner have to discuss this matter beforehand.
For example, if you are a Filipino woman married to a Thai man, and both of you have to attend an event in Thailand, you have to be mindful of the way you behave. You may think that there is nothing wrong with touching the head of your son and playing with his hair, but this seemingly innocent act can actually be offensive for the Thais.
Even though the opinion of your partner’s family should not deter you from pursuing your interracial relationship, you still have to be mindful of your words and actions. Of course, the family of your partner is important for him or her. Surely, you do not want to make your partner upset by neglecting their family values and traditions.
In-Laws and Extended Families
Speaking of your partner’s family, another common problem that interracial couples face has something to do with in-laws and extended families. You have to keep in mind that a healthy relationship with your in-laws can help prevent chaos within the family. If you do not get along well with the family of your partner, you may face challenges often. If you are not able to resolve your issues, your relationship may be torn apart, and you can end up getting a divorce. This can be much more challenging if you have children.
If you have just been married, you have to make it a point to get along with your partner’s family members. This helps you ensure a less stressful and less irritating relationship with them as well as with your spouse. If you do not get along with your mother-in-law, your spouse can have a hard time trying to balance his family life. It is not a good idea to make him or her choose between you and his or her parents. Selecting a side can leave a strain in the relationship and rock your marriage.
Your future in-laws can affect your wedding plans
You are not yet married, but you are already experiencing problems with the family of your partner. This is not a good situation to be in. If you do not get along well with the family of your partner early on in your relationship, you may not expect things to get better in the long run.
For example, if you are a white woman marrying an Asian man, you may not make your wedding celebration to be such a big deal. However, the family of your partner may want a grand wedding because weddings are a big deal in their country. In many Asian cultures, weddings mean big feasts. So, you may have to splurge on a grand wedding reception just to please your future in-laws. If you do not serve meals on the dinner, it may look like you are trying to be offensive.
Religious beliefs can also be a factor. Which one of your religions should you follow when you get married? If you are a German man marrying a Thai woman, you may consider having two wedding celebrations to keep any family member from getting hurt or offended. You can have one wedding in Germany with your German family members and another wedding in Thailand where you can apply the cultural practices of your partner’s family. In Thailand, Buddhist weddings are typical since most of the people there practice Buddhism.
There could be expectations from the origins of your families
Since you are in an interracial relationship, you can expect people to have questions regarding your origins. They may ask you about your family tree and history. If your partner is black, their questions may seem offensive, considering that slavery was a sensitive topic. This can put you in an uncomfortable position. So, you have to speak to your partner about it. If your partner is cool with it, then you can go ahead and answer their questions together.
You may experience challenges when it comes to raising your children
Some races are keen on how children have to be raised. If your in-laws are like this, they may meddle with the way you raise your own children. While this can be annoying, you have to be respectful of their traditions. Nevertheless, you still have to set some boundaries. If you always give in to their demands, you will lose your identity eventually. If you are firm with your own beliefs and refuse to recognize theirs, they will think that you are rude and disrespectful. Hence, it is important for you to learn how to achieve a right balance between the two.
In addition, you may want to do research beforehand. Before you marry your partner, you should ask him about his family, especially his parents. Some women are surprised to find out how much meddlesome their in-laws can be. If you do not want to be more stressed out because of your in-laws, you have to think about your marriage decisions carefully. If you are prepared for these kinds of situations, then go ahead and marry your partner. Otherwise, you may need more time to think.
You may have a hard time dealing with prejudice or racist in-laws
Racism and discrimination are often associated with interracial relationships and marriages. Even if you are marrying your partner and not their parents, the parents’ opinions can still have a significant weight on your spouse’s decisions. They may even try to poison your partner’s mind if they are really against you. You are lucky if your partner is wise enough to see past through this and still make sound decisions regarding your relationship.
You may even have a worse experience if your in-laws try to poison the minds of your children. Some people tend to look down on people whom they think are inferior to them. So, if you come from a third-world country, your in-laws who are living in the first-world may look down on you and mistreat you. They may also encourage your children to look down on you too. As the parent of these kids, it is your responsibility to raise them properly. So, no matter how poorly your in-laws speak of you, your kids should still not disrespect you.
Which one of your families should receive more help?
In Asian cultures, it is common for people to have close family ties. In fact, most extended families tend to live together under one roof. When one family member achieves financial success, it is expected for him or her to help the rest of the family by providing financial support.
If you are an American man married to an Asian woman, your wife may ask you to help her family financially. You may be asked to send her nephews to school as well as to give her parents monthly allowances. As a Westerner, these things are not common for you. You probably do not have the responsibility to feed other people’s children. However, since you are married to your Asian wife, you may have to adjust.
If you are not comfortable with this kind of setup, you have to talk to your wife about it. See to it that you resolve your issues as soon as possible to prevent them from getting out of hand. If you always try to help your wife’s family and your own family suddenly needs financial aid, your wife’s family may take offense if you suddenly stopped providing for them in favor of your own family.
This is why you have to set boundaries and try to achieve balance. If you are going to help your spouse’s family, you can tell them that you are only going to help them up to a certain extent. This way, they will not be abusive of your help, and you will not feel taken advantage of. Likewise, you have to provide support for your family as well. You have to discuss this matter with your spouse to avoid any problems in the future.
Copyright © 2016 by Camtu Suhonen
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