Interracial Dating Dos and Don’ts

Interracial dating is, unfortunately, still an issue in our country, but that doesn’t have to stop you from dating someone who doesn’t share the same cultural background that you do. Even though an estimated 4.6 million married couples in the US do not share the same race as their spouse, this is still a great minority.

When it comes to dating, a person’s race is not an important factor. A person of any race can love you for who you are, support your dreams and aspirations and respect you. The joy in a relationship is finding someone we have a true, deep connection with, not finding someone whose skin color is the same as our own.

It is unfortunate that even now friends and family may have unkind words or actions in response to interracial dating. Their reasons for this poor behavior are not yours to worry about, but you may want to emotionally prepare yourself for this potential when you begin dating. Some couples can fold under the pressure of this scrutiny.

It may help to share the reasons you love, admire and respect the person you are dating with those who don’t approve. Often times, people are afraid of others who seem to be different than themselves. While stereotypes may have a kernel of truth, it is often distorted through time and repetition so allowing your romantic partner to spend time with family and friends who do not approve of the relationship can help to soften their hearts.

One of the benefits of interracial relationships is that both partners are able to enhance their understanding of the other’s culture. Both partners become more open and understanding of all cultures as well.

Racially mixed couples face challenges from the onset of their relationship and so if the relationship lasts, they develop the ability to deal with more complex issues and problems than their single race counterparts.

As more people drop their barriers and begin seeing people for who they are, judging them by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, interracial dating and marriage will become more widely accepted. This is a good thing for our country and our future.

We will slowly move to being a nation where melanin content does not determine our success in life.

Psychologist Dominic Packer of Lehigh University and researchers from New York University examined whether people of different races felt more ‘connected’ when put to work on the same team. Unsurprisingly, they found that once a group of people form a working team their similarities became much more important than their differences. To quote their study:

“…once we’re part of a group, our brains tell us to think, act and feel like a member, regardless of the group’s racial makeup. Essentially, spending time in other groups creates brain-based bonds that may make people more likely to see others as distinguishable individuals, as opposed to just part of a group. This is a critical component to eliminating racial prejudice because distinguishing individuals is the first step toward connecting with another human.”

The same can hold true for interracial dating. Once a person is no longer considered ‘other’, the idea of racial prejudice vanishes.

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