Over 50 years after the demolition of anti-miscegenation laws, the number of interracial relationships is growing.
Thanks to Meghan Markle successfully ‘infiltrating’ the royal family, we received a beam of hope that it is indeed possible for interracial couples to prosper.
But can two people from two entirely different backgrounds, cultures, and traditions really love each other and be together?
Again, taking an excerpt from Meghan Markle’s story, the answer is yes. However, it involves a lot of outsiders making uninformed judgements about your relationship (and yourselves), which will eventually drive you to give up everything, cut ties with the entire royal family, and move to California with your once Prince.
The narrative is not far from what most interracial relationship couples face, even in Singapore, but less the whole royal family and non-stop media coverage fiasco.
- What is interracial relationship/dating?
- Things to know about Interracial Relationships
- Challenges of interracial marriage
What is interracial relationship/dating?
To understand why, we must understand the meaning of interracial relationships, which describes two people belonging to different races, ethnicities, and religions seeing each other or being in a relationship.
Not seeing just with the eyes, but with the whole mind, body, and soul.
It’s just like regular relationships, but between two people who are from worlds apart.
Because of this difference, interracial relationships face a lot of unsolicited judgements, looks, and sneers. Why?
Going back to our Meghan Markle and Prince Harry story, and like most interracial relationships, the couples involved never seem to notice the dissimilarities, in fact, it’s what draws them to each other.
But when it gets into the public eye, somehow, two different people being in a relationship seems like something way out of the ordinary (or even out of line).
Despite how many times you hear the phrase ‘don’t see colour’, people will still have borderline racist pre-conceptions of people who look different from them, whether consciously or subconsciously.
And whether we like it or not, race and racism have made their way into so many aspects of our society, particularly when it comes to prejudice against interracial relationships.
Yes, this applies to interracial relationships in Singapore too!
Things to know about Interracial Relationships
If you ever find yourself in an interracial relationship, fair warning, it could be a bumpy ride ahead.
Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly), the challenges do not necessarily arise from the differences between you and your partner, but instead from the influence of unseen forces, views, and perspectives.
Traditional parents that don’t like to see you date outside the family religion, or friends who turn out to be more bigoted than you thought are a sad, but common, occurence.
On the other hand, being in an interracial relationship can help you to learn so much, and grow as a person in many ways.
To set you on the right path of discovery into interracial relationships, we’ve asked the experience of several interracial couples and here’s what we’ve learned:
1) Race will come up
Source: Business Insider
Expectedly, the topic of race may be brought up in the day to day. Not necessary among the two of you, but from outside influences.
Rather than tip toeing around the subject, talking about it and addressing it amicably is what keeps the relationship strong.
Just like discussing topics such as each other’s view on marriage, finances, family relationships, or gender roles, there must also be an open understanding when it comes to discussing racial issues.
2) Exploring different cultural backgrounds
To be with someone from a different cultural background, you need to have an interest in their culture. This can be accomplished through a lot of learning, along with the help of your partner.
Researching, reading, asking questions, and being involved in cultural occasions no matter how big or small, or just spending time with each other’s families are organic ways that you can learn from each other. And whatever you do, keep an open mind!
3) Exploring different world views
Dating interracially opens doors to a whole new world that you normally will not have access to. Your varying backgrounds and privilege structures means that you have varying experiences, which forms your distinctive perspectives.
To unlock your eyes to this wealth of information, it begins with having an open mind and an open heart as both your worlds naturally expands. The journey is worth it!
4) There will be comments
Source: Digital Market Asia
People will always say things, and some of them can be really stupid. Nevertheless, constant sneers, whispers, and derogatory remarks can affect anyone, causing unwanted stress and anxiety.
Think of it this way, that’s all there is, empty, superficial comments from strangers who haven’t walked a mile in you or your partner’s shoes. So why should they be allowed to affect your relationship?
Take the comments, scrunch them up into a ball, toss it far away, and snuggle back into your interracial boo’s arms.
5) Work to create a safe space for each other
It’s a scary world out there. There will always be haters, and haters are always going to hate.
But having each other, and working to constantly shield each other from negativity from the outside builds a strong foundation for your relationship. Treat each other like your solace, your happy place where negative energy immediately subsides when you are together.
Because of this shared hurdle, interracial couples also tend to feel closer to each other.
6) You learn to accept your own culture and traditions on a deeper level
By showing your culture and traditions to someone who’s eager to learn and accept it as their own, you get to see them in a whole different light.
It helps you to appreciate and embrace your own heritage, as well as your differences even more.
Challenges of interracial marriage
You’re probably thinking: ‘Wait! There are MORE challenges after this?’. You’ve made it this far! What’s a couple more curve balls?
You’ve probably already gotten numerous remarks about how your babies are going to look since they will be ‘mixed’ babies.
And it doesn’t stop there. Your children will also inadvertently become the subject of stereotype and discrimination.
Creating a safe space for discussion in the family is crucial, so that whatever your children are going through, they can turn to you for support.
Knowing that mommy and daddy are also facing the same problems helps to validate their feelings. It also fosters a solid bond between each other.
Source: Edmonton Journal
Holidays can be nerve wrecking especially if you’re celebrating them with each other’s families.
The first thought that comes to mind is ‘how will we celebrate it?’. Then, thoughts like ‘will they accept me?’ or ‘what if I accidentally say something insensitive?’ will surely play at the back of your minds.
Before this even happens, refer back to the list above and be open to talk about it!
|Check out: 15 Fun Virtual Date Ideas During Lockdown|
In many ways, interracial relationships are just like regular relationships. Race rarely comes up because usually, couples involved in the relationship are connected on a much deeper level.
The differences matter, but rather than seeing them as a challenge, embracing them wholeheartedly makes things 10 times easier.
As long as the connection and the foundation of your relationship rock solid, and you build a love that runs more than skin-deep, your relationship can work through anything.
Honey, if you find someone who loves you utterly and completely, with (literally) no boundaries, take it and cherish it!
For our honeys who are still on the journey of discovery, take your discovery to Sugarbook today where opportunity awaits!
Want more dating tips and information like these? The Sugarbook blog will satisfy your reading cravings ❤️