5 things I’ve learned from my interracial relationship

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This world is diverse.

The international boundaries are shrinking and so are most people’s xenophobic tendencies. Come on, people are people and it is completely fascinating to be able to sit with anyone of a completely different background, isn’t it? 

Everyone has their own life story to tell regardless of where one came from. I have my own list of specifics for an ideal partner, and more often than not, I like the ones with the multicultural views and have seen the world I failed to see for myself (at least for the time being). I like the idea of getting a glimpse of the unknown or unfamiliar things.

Needless to say, my relationship is an eye-opener. Of course, there are difficult times like when we miss a cultural nuance or get frustrated explaining culturally-specific things. But, overall, it is really interesting to get to see the world from a different perspective.

Here are the things I’ve learned from our interracial relationship:

1. It’s just the same as being with any other human
I mean, of course, you will surely have that experience of saying things that are inappropriate as at some point but you are with someone who feels and sees things like most normal people do. In fact, even if you were raised on the different sides of the world, you probably have many more things in common than not. Just like meeting someone from the same city, you will learn about each other’s quirks yet are still attracted to each other, or know about each other’s past but work to build something together. He or she might be a foreigner, but it’s still just another human, right?

2. Everyone is more than just their race
Damn all these stereotypes. People do not fit into a single definition. We are all individuals and it’s crazy to assume one’s motivations, desires  or struggles without hearing it from them. Just like when people say oh, he is a German, he must be really strict or serious, blah, blah. And we would smile coz we know for sure I am the one that fits the frame of being strict and that he is more goofy than I am.

3. Love can’t conquer all
Growing up in different cultures meant you both have your set of beliefs, priorities, and individual dreams to fulfill. When relationships like ours would tumble, people start to ask, “Wasn’t it love that pulled them together, and isn’t it a priority after all?” I had a colleague who was in a relationship with a guy who, months after flying back to his home country, broke up with her and told her everything was just too much to bear and that he didn’t like to turn his life plans upside down. They were in love, but there were integral parts of one’s identify that must be shared in order to build a family. It can be done (and lucky are the ones who have taken the leap successfully), but for some, it’s just too much of who they are to give up.

4. There will be a whole new set of things to learn
We all  have our varying traditions which is fascinating to me. I remember discussing food with my husband (then, my boyfriend) and asked him, completely curious, “What do Germans eat with all their meals if not rice? Bread? Potatoes?” Or by the time he gave me a confused look upon seeing some people eat by hand. There was also the time when we were dating on the beach and he blamed the flipflops for his feet full of sand while bursting in laughter realizing how I can walk  (or run) on it flawlessly. Wouldn’t that be exciting that there is something new to learn always?

5. Self-awareness is as essential as your strong communication
This is true of any relationship but more so when there are differing communication styles. Since you both can’t magically understand each other’s life experiences, there is a need to understand where you both were coming from. Here is where explaining comes in. Talk about your first jobs, your struggles, everything! You should be aware of how different you both are to see the causes of your issues, and find out if you truly have a future with someone of a different culture. While being yourself, always be open, understanding, and respectful.

 

Interracial relationship, just like any other, has a lot of lessons to offer. No specific type of relationship can be rightfully labelled as “easy” but when you are with someone from a different country, the nuances of his or her culture can certainly add difficulty. For some, the obstacles will be too great to overcome.

No matter how different you are from each other, married or not, enough communication, commitment, understanding, and of course, luck can help you forge a beautiful relationship. You see, Cupid’s arrow has no bias. ❤

 

 What about you? Are you married or in a relationship with someone outside of your culture? How was it like? What are the fun and the struggles?

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19 thoughts on “5 things I’ve learned from my interracial relationship

  1. We had many struggles in the beginning, especially as my wife had all her knowledge about relationship from Asian TV Dramas (as you can imagine that was not the best way to view a real life relationship 😉 ).
    Anyhow over time it all worked out and we both learned to adapt and learn what the other culture has to offer 🙂

    1. Hahaha! Asian dramas are way too far from reality but are often seen as ideals. You cracked me up with this! Yes, both parties must learn to accept and compromise. And I am taking it from you… it’s gonna work just fine, right? ^^

      1. Asian Dramas are something else in this world, the few episodes I watched thus far were just too much for me.
        Indeed in the end everything works out somehow, just gotta stick with it 🙂

  2. Everything you wrote is true. Surviving an interracial relationship needs a lot of understanding especially with one’s culture and beliefs. You have to meet halfway despite the differences. My husband always says what’s on his mind, and I am always careful not to hurt others with my words. I liked it that I learned a lot from him. 🙂

    1. It is true! It was a real challenge in the beginning but we are slowly learning from our differences. It was really difficult for us to be upfront right? It is just not our way of saying things. We are making progress. 😊

  3. I love happy multiculti love stories like yours. ❤ And ours. I'm Slovenian, he is Italian, and even though our countries are neighbours here in Europe, our cultures and languages are very different. That's why we rather speak English with each other. 😀 Slovenians are much more masochistic, sporty (does this go together??) and frugal (not to mention – at least me – atheist and socialist), whereas Italians – I've been living for four years in Italy with him – are hedonistic, demanding, Catholic and capitalistic. The funny part is that at work they call him Tedesco which means German. 😉 I think he is MUCH too pedantic than your average Italian. For sure it's been fun, sometimes a bit frustrating but mostly rather excellent. Here's to many happy years before us, and you two as well! (And yeah, we met online.)

    1. Thank you for this thoughts worth to ponder on! That sounds like a lot of adjustments at first, yeah? But as they have often said.. people are people and we are able to adjust to our circumstances. 🙂 The funny thing is, most often, he would tell me I am more German than him as I would like everything to be really organized and adhered to. Hahaha. Language wise, we seem to have fun using more than just English. I am happy to read your comment. 😊 All the best time to you too! ♡

  4. I’m in an interracial relationship too and I find it fun. Especially the things we both learn from wach other. And seeing each other do things for the first time. My bf isn’t used to wearing flip flop too and he was struggling wearing it in first few days. It was cute but I feel sorry too. Hehe. In my case, it would be using chopsticks 😂 I’m still learning how to use it.

    1. Yes!! The flipflops always makes me smile really. I can only imagine how much fun and pity you have had with this. As for the chopsticks, he was doing well in learning how to use it which is really cute. He said that is something to learn from the Asian side. All the best!

  5. Being British born to an Indian dad I found it was a struggle to grow up and find the middle ground between British and Indian culture, so when I married my Jamaican husband I had learnt to be patient, understanding of differences and I knew having two different upbringings would be a lot of discussions and explanations of why we do what we do.
    Everything you said was spot on! Communication is key for us and also willing to learn. Just by cooking my husbands favorite Jamaican meal can put a smile on his face like no other 😂

    1. That must be tough to get through the challenges. Yes, communication spells a lot of differences in relationships like ours. As with the food.. I think i have a lot to learn here. Haha. Thanks for the inspiring thoughts.

  6. I feel like after a couple of years there isn’t much cultural difference, you sort of merge into one mixed up culture. 😊 As my fiance has lived in the UK for so long and was in HK when it was British, we maybe don’t see as many differences as couples from other backgrounds. We still learnt a lot from each other though.

    1. That’s a good thing to hear! We certainly hope it works smoothly and that in the end, we come to get the mix we are both comfortable with although there isn’t any major differences that’s involved now. But you are right, despite the close similarities, there will always be that space for learning which is also fun. 😊

  7. I enjoyed your article and I look at all people as being people. I do think of organization and being strict when I think of Germans, but after going there for a wedding now I associate Germans with being able to drink a lot.

  8. I do not let anyone or anything keep me from following my heart. I want to be with a woman from a foreign country. It does not matter if she is black, white, or so.

    In fact, I plan to go back to Dominican Republic and see again a woman I have dated. Looking at her images on social media keeps me interested in her. I want to surprise her, take her to a restaurant, and maybe go shopping with her at a mall.

    If other people, unlike myself, let someone or something destroy their interracial or international relationships, those people may have some regret.

    If you are in a relationship or marriage with someone of the same race or nationality, are you happy? Do you love that person? If not, then why are you still with him or her?

  9. I think cultural conflict in interracial marriages depends on where the couple was raised. My husband (Eastern European Jewish/second generation Canadian born) and I (Catholic-ish, ethnic Chinese/first generation Canadian born) are obviously of different ethnic backgrounds, but we’re also very similar in many ways. Neither of us really HAD a lot of conflict while we were dating, or even now, after nearly seven years of marriage. Perhaps it’s because my parents, who came to Canada when they were in their early 20s, are well-integrated. I was, of course, raised with many of my culture’s traditions as well. Difference isn’t always about race or religion, but can be culturally. There’d be more cultural differences had I married a man born and raised in China opposed to a non-Chinese man also from Canada.

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