What Are the Challenges of Interracial Dating as a Single Person?
If you’re looking for someone to date that’s of a different nationality than you and you’re already nervous about starting a relationship…slow down! Turns out, there are just as many strange social quirks to look out for just when you’re casually dating—let alone getting serious.
Although our society claims to be progressive, the truth is a lot of people are uncomfortable with interracial dating, because they don’t know what they’re supposed to say. Being aware of some of these social foibles might help you, so that no one catches you off guard and hurts your feelings. You might also be able to educate someone about interracial dating shaming! Here are a few challenges to consider…
1. Don’t be alarmed if you meet a minority of racists who feel inclined to share their opinion.
Reading over your Facebook feed, you might assume everyone in the U.S. is more or less cool with interracial dating, but you might be surprised to find a small percentage of the population who just doesn’t feel “right” about this relationship. Maybe they’ll say something or maybe they’ll just give you a funny look. The important thing to remember is to not give them the satisfaction of upsetting you. Just laugh it off and pity them for their ignorance and loneliness.
2.We live in a society that still racially-profiles.
They say it’s not “racism” but the fact remains that some public officials, police, airport security guards, and other people in positions of authority will occasionally give you a hard time if they see you with a person of a different race. Getting upset about this may help get some anger off your chest…but then again, if it makes irate, stressed and fretting all day, it’s NOT worth it. Don’t let people’s mistakes define who you are or what you want.
3.Don’t be surprised if your friends fetish-ize your relationship or choice of partners.
There’s really no big scandal in admitting you like a person who is black, Latino, or Asian. It’s a personal preference, a genetic thing, for all we know. In a perfect world, it would be a non-issue. However, it’s surprising how your own friends and family (who are generally on your side) may assume that your attraction is a fetish or something super kinky…when it may be nothing of the sort.
Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty. There is nothing fetishistic about preferring a person of another race. We respond to attraction subconsciously and then consciously. Fetishes tend to be unusual and purely sexual. However, you may actually be looking for a serious relationship and for someone to talk to, share life with, and stay friends with. The real problem here is when people devalue your choices and try to define your relationship in a negative way
It’s not a fetish, nor is it a status thing – i.e. stupid clichés about black men graduating to white women. That’s insulting and it has nothing to do with status. You are free to like whomever you like! People need to get over it.
4.Prepare for stupid questions!
Just accept that even your best friend in the world will probably ask or say something stupid…and not mean any harm by it. Remember that sometimes our loved ones are “processing” something and may not always be PC when they express themselves. They may be unsure of what you think about you dating anyone, let alone someone of another race. So just be aware that they are dealing with issues themselves and are usually not judging you.
Remembering these pre-relationship points may help you to prepare for people’s reactions and laugh them off, not allowing them influence the relationship. Besides…getting serious in an interracial committed relationship has its own issues, and there will be plenty more to think about when that time comes.
For now, focus on having fun and not caring so much what people think. Make sure you like the person and really can have a good conversation with them—that’s the stuff that really matters!