Things to Know if Your Friends are in an Interracial Relationship

If a friend or friends of yours are in an interracial relationship, they may need a little extra support. While society is more accepting of these relationships now than in the past, there are still people who believe we shouldn’t date outside of our own race. You may not think that way, but it’s good to be sensitive to what your friend might be going through – just for being in love.

Here are a few things interracial couples have to consider that other couples usually don’t. Keep them in mind when your friend needs advice.

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People are always asking why.

If you told a friend or family member about a new partner and their first response was ‘why,’ how would you feel? People in interracial relationships are often asked this question as others simply can’t comprehend why they wouldn’t just be dating someone of their own race. This assumes that people can’t have anything else in common, other than the color of their skin or their cultural heritage.
It’s a ‘phase’ or ‘rebellion.’

Another common reaction is that people dating interracially are ‘rebelling’ or ‘getting something out of their system.’ Imagine being in a happy relationship and hearing that! For some people, it seems that the idea that black people and white people could actually just want to be together is still too far-fetched.

The ‘exception’

Some people think that if, for example, a black man begins dating a white woman, the black partner is an ‘exception’ that’s fortunate to be welcomed into a community that isn’t their own. Again, this attitude is exclusive and elitist, and assumes that some racial groups are ‘better’ than others.

Dubious intentions

Friends and family members often question the ‘intentions’ of partners in interracial relationships, policing whether or not someone is genuine based on completely arbitrary, and sometimes, even imagined criteria. They might assume a partner is being fetishized or taken advantage of – anything other than two people who just want to be together. These comments can be especially hard to hear if someone’s guard is already up.

Basically, a friend of yours that’s in an interracial relationship will be endlessly grateful for your help and support if you stand by them in the face of others’ assumptions and criticisms. Interracial dating is on the rise, but people will always have their judgments, especially people of older generations who are less likely to have known an interracial couple in their lifetime.

Think of it this way – regardless of what shape, size, color, or culture your friend’s partner is, the most important thing is that everyone in the relationship is happy. That will be enough for them and should certainly be enough for you. Support them in their relationship every step of the way, and you may even be able to convince those less tolerant to join you.