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Cultural Issues You May Not Expect When In An Interracial Relationship

Updated on February 13, 2016

Love At First Sight

The first time you lay eyes on your soulmate, it's a feeling you never forget. You don't know how you know, but you just know. Everything works out and you decide to date to see where things lead. When you're in an interracial relationship, you try your best to prepare yourself for the differences, the looks people will give, the rude comments and common relationship issues, but you never think about a few of these issues until they are in your back yard, altering your life.

The Very First Year

For some interracial couples, the first year is the best. For others, the first year is the worst. During the first year of the relationship, you are getting to know your partner, their likes and dislikes, their goals, dreams and plans for the rest of their lives. During this time, it will mostly be you and your partner in the relationship. Most people wait to introduce their family members to the person they are dating, whether it is a sure thing or not because they are afraid of their family's reaction. Rejection of the biggest fear of telling families about an interracial relationship.

Cultural Issues You May Not Have Expected

Society

Some people expect the worst from society and others give society a benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, you have people who are involved in interracial relationships who are not concerned with society and what society thinks. For some people, it's easier to tune out the world and not listen to what's being said. Society can be downright nasty and rude. The other face of society can be pleasant. When you are in an interracial relationship, you have to be prepared to deal with both, and some couples are caught off guard with the different attitudes of people in society.

Holidays and Celebrations

Holidays and celebrations are usually a great time for everyone. There's food, beverages and a lot of fun to be had, until you feel you are the odd ball. Being the odd ball can be good at times, but in this situation, a lot of people try to fit in as much as possible instead of going against the grain. If you are sure your partner is your soulmate, you will do your best to ensure everything that involves your mate's family and friends run smoothly. After all, they may not be needed to make your relationship great, but it will certainly be easier if everyone got along. There will be more than enough awkward moments to go around, and you don't want their friends and family members to be most of the awkward moments. The issue with holidays and celebrations may come when you try too hard to fit in. Whether you are celebrating an Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Hispanic or other type of culture, the bottom line is, it is not your own and you may be a little uncomfortable. If you are like most people, no matter how hard you try to fit in, your nervousness takes over and it shows in your facial expressions and body language.

Food

You never think about food until you are the one in the kitchen attempting to cook a dish you have never cooked with ingredients you may have never heard of or know why it is used. Your mate may not be accustomed to the foods you enjoy or are familiar with cooking. This can become an issue, but it shouldn't be anything that is too major that cannot be fixed. You may not have to only worry about the type of food that is cooked, but the amount of food. You may be used to cooking for two or three, whereas your mate may be used to consuming three of four helpings of a meal, which means you will be cooking as if you were cooking for five or six guests.

Soul Food

Source

Religion

Religion may not cross your mind until you and your partner are ready to get married or have children. When it comes to religion, you will certainly notice a difference in culture. Religion may be one major issue within the relationship, especially when children are involved. A lot of cultures base the religion of the children according to the mother's religion. In other culture's, the father is the see-all-be-all, and has the final say over everything that occurs, especially religion. If religion becomes an issue, make sure the lines of communication between you and your mate always remain open and clear. Obviously, both parties will have to compromise.

Family and Friends

Family and friends could be the biggest issue you face when it comes to an interracial relationship and is the most painful. For most people, they expect the worst reaction, especially from their family, but are never really prepared to handle the situation if the reaction is negative. Family and friends are a sensitive subject for many people.

As far as friends are concerned, there are different levels of meeting and greeting. It's like filling out more than one application for the same job. If your partner's friends do not approve of you, it's not the end of the world or your relationship, but there will be more conflict than necessary. The same can be said about your mate's family.

Family is the hardest blow and pill to swallow. Some families stay true to their culture and it may state that one person should stick to their kind. Other families may not have an issue with interracial relationships until their child or other relative is in one and ask for their approval, especially when the subject of marriage comes up.

Having children in an interracial relationship can be a dream come true or it can be a nightmare because of culture. In some cultures, the woman plays a strong, lead role and when another woman comes about, things can get ugly. A lot of the time, a woman who is used to being in charge of her child's life will not be willing to accept another woman coming into the picture and calling the shots. While it's not an insult, your mother-in-law may feel like it's a punch to the face. The mother-in-law, daughter-in-law feud could last forever. On the other side of things, you may face a father-in-law who believes you will never be great enough for his daughter. When it comes to your partner's family's approval, you may have to jump through hoops and pull off a few magic tricks to get everything in order. Something as simple as education can cause problems because one family does not think it's important and the other family feels a proper life cannot be had without education.

Interracial Relationships (Short Documentary)

Getting Over Interracial Difficulties and Differences

Overcoming interracial difficulties and differences may be one of the hardest challenges you may ever have to face. One of the keys to a successful interracial relationship and family peace is not to force anything. Everyone has to get to know each other on many different levels, not just one. This applies to your mate, their friends and their family. It can be a very long journey, but the reward is sweet! There will be disagreements and differences, but it doesn't have to be the basis of your relationship! Take the time to understand the differences and keep an open mind to different cultures.

Interracial Relationship Q&A

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    • BrittanyRockette profile image
      Author

      Brittany N Rockette 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you for your enlightenment on the topic.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 2 years ago

      Life is a (personal) journey!

      Each of us (chooses our own) friends, lovers, and spouse.

      Ultimately if your friends and family want (you to be happy) they will be supportive of anyone you date who treats you well.

      In the U.S. the divorce rate hovers around 50% and most of those divorces have nothing to do with a mate's race or religion. It's "deal breakers"!

      The goal is to choose someone who shares your same values, wants the same things for the relationship that you do, naturally agrees with you on how to obtain those things, and last but not least there is a mutual depth of love and desire for one another.

      Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys!

      No amount of "communication" or "work" can overcome being with someone who simply does (not) want what you want!

      There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships: We either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them as (is) or move on.

      The choice is up to us!

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