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This post is about the Top 5 benefits and top 5 struggles you may experience with intercultural/ interracial dating and relationships.
In my lifetime, I have met different kinds of people who prefer different things in a relationship. The major determinant being race and culture. I know that some people are open to intercultural & interracial dating. Whereas, others would rather mop the entire ocean before they date someone outside of their culture.
Regardless of what you prefer, I am not here to judge. You do You! As long as you’re happy and it does not come from a place of hatred. That’s all that matters right?
But if you’re just starting an intercultural/interracial relationship, or you’re open to dating someone from a different culture, then I got you! I know you’re wondering if your relationship will work or if it’s worth your time.
Well, I have been in an interracial relationship for over 4 years and I can speak from my personal experience.
Read on honey! I am going to lay it down all for you haha.
The Top 5 Benefits of Interracial Dating
1. Integration of Culture
There’s nothing beautiful like the integration of culture. Is it just me or do you also love sharing your culture with other people? I get great satisfaction from watching someone else learn new Swahili words here and there, vibing to my African playlist, and using my strong African expression to express themselves.
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Being in an interracial relationship, you have to compromise to meet in the middle. Simply, you have to combine the two cultures to create a beautiful new one that only the two of you understand. Nevertheless, you will find yourselves bringing in the positives of both cultures and letting go of the negatives such as taboos, gender roles, stereotypes, and racism.
2. Trying new Foods
Food is such a huge factor. If it was just me, I would order a plain burger with ketchup only at every restaurant. At home, I would cook my usual three staples: chai for breakfast, rice for lunch, and ugali for supper. Year-round you guys and I am not even lying haha.
But, being in an intercultural/ interracial relationship, kinda forces you to get out of your comfort zone. Not too much, but just a little bit. Honestly, I can’t believe I now love sushi (cooked), shrimp, and calamari. I can’t believe I have tried a cocktail with a raw egg in it. How gross is that? I can’t even drink eggnog just because of its name. It just makes me wanna throw up. But, the experience of trying new foods is always one of the best memories we have.
Although, count me out from trying frog legs and any reptile. It’s a NEVER for me. That’s the Kenyan in me speaking.
3. More Effort Is Made
Being in an interracial relationship, both of you have to make the extra effort, or else it might not work. There is so much against you that you have to learn to embrace each other.
You will find yourselves giving 100% in the relationship.
If you’re dating someone from a western culture, they’re usually romantic. Let’s not forget about random flowers and surprises. In my parents’ culture growing up, buying flowers was just a waste of money. This is because they had flowers year-round that they could just pluck anytime they wanted, as my mom would say. Although nowadays things have changed. Africans have embraced western culture.
Being an old-school African soul, I always tell my boyfriend that I don’t need flowers, but he randomly delivers them anyway. Won’t lie to you, it makes me feel special.
In addition, I’m just a simple girl. Being surprised with flowers in public areas just gives me anxiety. I absolutely hate PDA or being the center of attention. It took me at least 3 years to be able to hold hands in public. Not even lying haha! It took time, but I made the effort anyway because I know that’s his culture. Although when I see an African aunty somewhere watching, I always cringe haha! It’s one step at a time guys.
4. Amazing Adventures
This is my most favorite part of intercultural/ interracial dating. Whether it’s traveling from one state to another or different countries, everything feels like an adventure. It is always fun to show each other places you really know in and out of. Chances are you didn’t grow up in the same town.
If so, it is still really fun to discover new adventures together.
5. The Love & Support
You will find you are more supportive towards each other’s massive goals and dreams, ignoring society’s expectations. For instance, I got so much love and support when I started my fashion business and blog. Western culture is more lenient towards the pursuit of purpose. Whereas, if I was dating somebody from my culture, it would be rather advisable to be practical than to follow passions. This is because degrees and high-ranking positions bring great respect and admiration. Nevertheless, they would prefer you to get your Ph.D. first before you even consider pursuing your passion.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I just value making money while fulfilling a purpose, rather than status.
The Top 5 Struggles You Might Experience With Interracial Dating
1. Hate & Politics
There is always a lot of tension during political seasons. People look at you differently. Mean things get said all over. You will feel the need to overexplain yourself and your relationship. Nevertheless, politics is always a no-go conversation around each other’s families. Even though both of you may be voting for the same party, you never know who believes in what. The political season is just usually an uncomfortable period of time.
2. Limited Language
This is the most annoying part of being in intercultural/ interracial dating hands down haha! I can tell you the number of times I feel like talking in Swahili about a random person in public, but just can’t. It’s always a juicy scenario that I wanna comment on at the moment. Like someone’s outrageous outfit choice. Oops! I said it. But then, I have to wait till we get back in the car to explain it in English. It’s not the same haha!
Nevertheless, there are limited jokes. I love to laugh so much. But for me, jokes in English are not the same as in Swahili. Translating and overexplaining jokes just ruins it for me.
It’s not all hopeless. The longer you stay with somebody there’s always something to laugh about.
3. The Looks
Whether it is traveling or at restaurants, people will stare. I know it is
2021 and I completely don’t get it.
Well, they can’t control it, but you can. I suggest just act unbothered and diffuse the situation. Move on honey! It’s not worth your time to confront anyone.
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The best thing you can do is always to make sure the other person is comfortable and protected. For example, one time we were traveling through Kentucky. We stopped at a random small town Walmart, where we got an uninviting vibe. You know when you feel like everything is moving in slow motion and everyone is giving you the look? That grim look from the movies.
Yes, I felt totally uncomfortable, but I didn’t say anything. Within a minute, as I thought we were parking, my boyfriend just accelerated the car fast enough out of that Walmart. I asked him, “why aren’t we stopping?” He said, “because I don’t think it’s a safe environment for you.”
That’s it. Be mindful of each other’s environment.
4. Other People Questioning Your Relationship
Omg, this is the worst feeling about intercultural/ interracial dating! People will feel the need to tell you what’s faulty about your relationship. Just because they look like you, they think it’s okay to be loud about their negative opinion. For example, you will hear things like:
- Why are you dating a white man and even they can’t…
- Who paid for it?
- Just checking to make sure it’s not for citizenship…
- We have to make sure they not using you…
- Just be careful because…
- I will NEVER date…
- You’re too good for…
- How about dating someone who shares the same…
Most of these opinions are honestly uncalled for. My suggestion is that you should form a two-handed circle. You don’t have to tell everyone what goes on in your relationship. Just be careful how you speak of your significant other in front of friends and family. If you’re dating a good person, uplift them in conversations. This is very important. Other people should be minding their business. They don’t need to know everything. The last time I checked, a relationship is between two people.
5. The Compromise
I know that being in a relationship with just anyone, you have to compromise. But, with an interracial relationship, you have to compromise even waaay more. In most cases, you have more differences than similarities.
Great examples being music, temperature, outfit choice, social gatherings, behavior, activities, conversation topics, etc.
When I meet with my Kenyan friends & family, all I want to do is naturally speak in Swahili to catch up. But, when he’s there, I need to make him feel included.
Another example: my culture is all about dancing, while for him dancing in public makes him highly uncomfortable.
In order for your relationship to thrive, you have to give each other a ton of grace. Do not focus on inadequacies but each other strengths. Be patient when they’re trying to learn more about your culture. Some questions might be assumed as ignorant, but people honestly don’t know.
In conclusion, all relationships are beautiful. So, is it worth it for me to be in an intercultural/ interracial relationship? My answer is absolute YES.
I once listened to a story from the moth podcast, that completely opened my mind. This wise black woman said, “When you’re open to love, love comes to you.” We might think that love should look a certain way or act a certain way. My friend, you will be surprised. People you least expect might make you the happiest in life.
Whether you’re into intercultural & interracial dating or not, I urge you to be open-minded for love to come to you.
Once again, keep looking chic & classy just like a million bucks as you pursue interracial dating.