Interracial dating

I’ve heard that from various people all my life. Now, at 35, I’m a Minnesota-raised Indian-American recently married to a white American from South Louisiana. I wish we could be all kumbaya-we’re-all-human-beings-love-is-love, but in this current cultural and political climate, the race is not something you can pretend you don’t see.

When you marry someone, you marry everything that made them who they are, including their culture and race. While marrying someone of a different race can have added challenges, if you go in with your eyes and heart wide open, you can face those challenges together and come out stronger. 

Are you down with the swirl? That's American slang for interracial dating. (Think swirled ice cream on a cone.) Mixed ethnicity families are on the rise in the USA!

I could have thrown our entire relationship away based on my fear, but luckily, I turned to a friend who had been in an interracial relationship for 10 years. He’s a Haitian American from New England and his partner is a white American from Oklahoma. They have a relationship of mutual love and respect. He had faced some of the same challenges I did. Knowing how much they had to work for it, and how happy they ended up as a result, helped me see that we could do the same.

I waffled on changing my name — it felt really difficult for me like I was letting go of my Indian heritage. Ultimately I decided against it, and my husband was supportive of my decision. Would it have been different if my husband were Indian? I’m not sure, but I do think about it.

Whether you can find someone in your friend group, through social networking or even just watching relevant YouTube videos, hearing from people who have been where you are can serve as emotional support.

Single Asian women

All couples experience struggles in their relationship from time to time. It doesn’t matter if you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, got married young, believe in abstinence until marriage, or have a “picture perfect” relationship, you can understand that all relationships need to be filled with love and respect in order to last.

Fitting in with a new family can definitely be a difficult task. This can be even more stressful if your SO’s family isn’t fully comfortable with your relationship.

Even though it’s 2019 and people have made significant steps toward accepting relationships of all kinds, interracial couples still experience struggles that outsiders can’t relate to. We’ve talked to an expert and college students who've been in interracial relationships to explain a few of these struggles as well as ways to deal with them.

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Negative public perceptions and even family remarks can cause relationships to waver depending on each partner’s personal comfort zone. This could mean one partner is more comfortable being affection in public while the other may not feel safe to act this way.

Michelle elaborates further on her relationship’s comfort zone. “We are both extremely open about being together in places we are both comfortable, like on campus, but when traveling to a new place where we aren't sure how we will be perceived can be hard,” she shares. “As we see how people react to us simply holding hands, we can soon tell if we will be welcomed as a couple or not.”

She concludes with advice that should be considered by everyone, in any type of relationship. “We both understand that people have their own views but as long as we are happy and comfortable in our relationship that's all that matters." We couldn’t agree more.

You should never have to feel ashamed of who you are or who you love. People may not always understand each other, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be accepting. With everything going on in our country right now, the last thing we need is to fuel the fire with hate. Hate doesn’t solve anything. Be kind to others, embrace their differences, and never be afraid to live authentically.  

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