Interracial dating has occurred throughout history, but what makes it different in this day and age from what it was in the past is that people no longer hide their relationships in fear of being socially discriminated. Although anti-miscegenation laws were repealed, there are still a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions about what it means to date someone of a different race. Going forward, it’s important to be mindful and aware of these misbeliefs that continue to haunt and hold us back from establishing any true understanding of interracial relationships. Psych2Go wants to cross those barriers and shares with you 7 things you should know about interracial dating:
1. Interracial dating is not just black and white or heterosexual.
It’s not just about a white person dating a black person or even just a heterosexual couple for that matter. It’s more than the tiny sliver media portrays. Sometimes, it might look like a bisexual Hispanic man dating a heterosexual white woman or a gay Asian man dating a pansexual man of mixed races.
Interracial dating might not always look obvious on the surface, too. Some people are multiracial and can be racially ambiguous when they are often mistaken for another race or ethnicity that they don’t identify with. It’s important not to judge someone based on what they look like or allow your preconceived notions of what you think race ought to be stop you from understanding.
2. Interracial dating is not about the sex.
Although sex may be an important component for some couples, it is not the sole purpose of interracial dating. In fact, this only highlights the sexual stereotypes that still exist regarding different races. How sexually active someone is or how someone performs sexually should never be based on what race they are.
3. Interracial dating hasn’t stopped the objectification of men and women of different races.
There is a common misconception that Asian women are submissive and that black men are more masculine. Degrading and putting these types of labels on people of different races causes them to be seen as mere objects and ideas, rather than human beings. Admiring the differences in someone else’s race is okay, but don’t blow that out of proportion and use it to generalize and objectify a person.
4. Interracial dating isn’t about status or validation.
People often think that if you’re dating outside of your own race, then it’s a way to climb the social ladder and be respected more in society. People may also think the opposite and believe that you are in self-denial and uncomfortable with your own race. Interracial dating isn’t about validating oneself or fulfilling a social desire to be accepted. We all have our own flaws and insecurities that make self-love difficult to practice at times, but to view interracial dating in such black and white terms of taking pride and favoring one race over the other is offensive.
5. No two interracial relationships are the same.
Don’t generalize and compare one interracial relationship with another. Interracial dating isn’t about making a political statement. You can’t take one example of an interracial couple and expect others to be similar. Every interracial relationship is unique and has its own set of challenges to be worked out and overcome.
6. Just because interracial dating has become more prevalent, doesn’t mean racism has been solved.
It’s great to see more diverse couples out on the street, but that doesn’t mean racial issues have been resolved. Throughout history, there has always been a struggle for people of color to be heard, understood, and accepted. Although there have been some progress made, we still have a long way to go in terms of being truly united as a whole.
7. Stay open-minded; there’s always something new to learn.
Keep up with what is happening in the world and have open-ended discussions about how race affects those events. Don’t back out from certain conversations just because they may be awkward or difficult to have. It’s important to address the issues and challenges of interracial dating if you want love to ultimately conquer above everything else.
I’m thankful that my partner doesn’t shy away from discussing our different races and cultural backgrounds. He’s white and I’m a second generation born Chinese-American with parents who emigrated from China. We grew up with very different childhoods, but we don’t allow our differences to create more distance.
What are your experiences with interracial dating? Psych2Go would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment down below!
Blay, Z. (2015, August 12). 7 Things Everyone Should Understand About Interracial Relationships. HuffPost. Retrieved October 12, 2017.