A lot of long distance couples are of different religions, cultural backgrounds or are interracial. We for example are of different cultures and interracial. Being in an interracial relationship can be both exciting as challenging. Like everything there are two sides: the good one and lets call the other one the challenging one. Yes, the most easy path is definitely not always the one you'd want to take. A challenge has never killed anyone. So let's talk about the truth about interracial relationships.
Interracial couples are not something new. It goes way back but only gained popularity recently. 'Interracial couple' is a term used when two people of different race or ethnic backgrounds are in a relationship together.
Getting married outside your ethnic group used to be illegal in some countries, but was mainly frowned upon without an explicit law telling it wasn't allowed. One of the most famous interracial marriages in the US that changed the course of the country was of Mildred and Richard Loving, who were originally thrown in jail for it, but fought against it in court and it was deemed unconstitutional in 1967 to forbid interracial marriage. A lot has happened since and a lot has changed. Like everything else in the world we develop and learn how to accept and grow.
Culture and differences
This is also very important when coming into contact with the culture of your partner. There is an exciting part where you get to learn and experience how they look at the world with a different view, taste the previously unknown food and get familiar with their customs. You also get to pick and choose which holidays you like and want to celebrate together. Do you celebrate Christmas on the 25th or Noche Buena on the 24th? Chinese New Year or the regular New Year? Sinterklaas or Santa Claus? In our case we decided to celebrate all of our holidays. The more the merrier, right? But this amazing aspect can also bring challenges when trying to understand each other.
Different customs and ways of thinking can cause quite a ruckus if you can't place yourself in your partner's shoes. Language can also contribute to the confusion. It can be pretty challenging to express yourself in another language that is foreign to you, but you don't need to see this as something negative. See this as a way to learn another language, expand your knowledge, and learn how to pay more attention to your partner's body language, as this is something universal.
But it's not just you two who are confronted by these differences. The world also has an opinion to give. You often hear comments about skin colour or cultural differences, usually quite stereotypical. Some have even asked if it is some kind of sex fetish.
People can be really critical in their way of thinking, even though they've never experienced such a relationship themselves and only focus on the negative aspects of it. Not everyone, but unfortunately it does still happen and for some of us more often than not. Those people often don't understand and have very bigoted views on what love is and who you should love. You often get extra attention on the streets while people keep watching you, because you stand out. This could be experienced as negative for some couples but we decided to give it a positive spin by saying it's because we are good looking and we are even better looking together.
The race card
Then there are some who think you hate your own race or you disgrace your own race because you are dating outside of it. I have often heard comments about this and honestly these are the ones that bother me the most. Not because I'm dating outside of my race makes me hate my own race. It means that I don't mind where the person is from and that I am open to know and fall in love with the soul of this person regardless of the race they're a member of.
And finally there's the group of people who see all the mountains for you in the form of many different questions. "Wouldn't it be easier to date someone your own race?". Sure, but I don't date someone because he or she is the same race as me. I date someone because I genuinely like them. "Aren't you worried or afraid of discrimination?". Perhaps, we are fortunate enough that we live in a place where it is generally accepted to be in an interracial relationship, besides the things I mentioned above, but for some I can imagine this to be a real problem. "Aren't you afraid of how your children are going to look?". What do you mean afraid? We're going to have cute caramel coloured babies with blond curls. Who wouldn't love that?!
Family and support
Luckily for us our families are both very supportive and open minded about it all. We both got accepted and we were able to make it work. I guess we're one of the few who can say they like their in laws with full honesty. Unfortunately people will often get judged by their family about being in an interracial relationship. Considering that family is an important part of life this can make things a lot more complicated than it needs to be. But as much as your family means to you, it is also important to make sure you put your priorities first and be strong about the choice you make.
After all, it is very powerful to be in an interracial relationship. You put yourself to get to know your partner's culture, way of thinking, beliefs and maybe learn the language. It makes you appreciate, understand and have a more open mind. You learn to value and integrate the different cultural customs. All in all, you get the best of both worlds.
Against all the odds, it's just two people who want to be together through a loving commitment. Like every other relationship it's a matter of finding the right balance while staying true to yourself. It's about loving you and the other person for who he or she is regardless of the place they're coming from. It's a matter of communication and the willingness to understand one another. How can this ever be frowned upon?