There has been a steady increase in interracial relationships in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, interracial marriages grew from 7.4 percent in 2000 to 10.2 percent in 2016.
Regardless of race or ethnicity, virtually all relationships undergo turbulence from time to time. Interracial relationships have unique benefits and challenges due to cultural differences. The key to success is the ability for couples to blend their cultural traditions, beliefs, and values.
Are you skeptical about starting a relationship with someone from a different race? Continue reading to learn the pros and cons of interracial relationships.
Pros of Interracial Relationships
Here are some ways you can benefit by getting married to a person from a different race or ethnic background.
Acceptance and Open-Mindedness
One of the most valuable elements of a successful interracial relationship is acceptance. When individuals from different races become couples, they tend to be more tolerant, understanding, and empathetic towards other societies and cultures.
This trait trickles down to the offspring. Biracial children are typically more accepting and open-minded towards other races, ethnic groups, and cultures. They are more likely to take societal differences positively.
Furthermore, interethnic and interracial families are objective to new ideas, religions, beliefs, and practices. They are open to learning foreign customs and taking up what they find valuable.
Also Read: 5 Interracial Dating Advice
Rich History and Culture
History and culture are a critical part of interethnic and interracial relationships. When you're in a mixed-race marriage, you need to learn about your partner's race and traditions.
This is because race, religion, beliefs, and values are integral elements of your spouse as a human. If you have no interest in these issues, your relationship might not last.
The worst thing you can do is degrade, devalue or ridicule your partner's race, beliefs, and cultural practices. Remember, your ethnicity, values, and customs aren't any better than your spouse's. Putting yours above your partner's, you'll trigger gradual destruction of your marriage.
Your spouse will only feel accepted if you embrace his or her race and culture. You'll learn new cultural values from each other, making both of you better humans.
Enhanced Parenting Styles
Almost all couples have conflicts concerning parenting styles. However, interethnic and interracial marriages may have more pronounced differences because of varying practices.
If your parents were authoritarian, you're likely to be strict and more formal towards your children. Your partner might assume a more laid-back and relaxed parenting style depending on their upbringing.
These differences shouldn't cause clashes in your marriage. Instead, take them as lessons about your parenting strengths and weaknesses.
You will be better parents if you make compromises whenever you disagree and support one another when you're in consensus. Combining your parenting styles will help you instill discipline in your children without being too harsh on them.
Beautiful Genetic Traits
Another advantage of starting a family with a person from a different race is that your children will most likely be uniquely beautiful. Biracial offspring often inherit the best traits from each parent.
They may have an unprecedented blend of skin tone, eye color, hair color, and height, making them astoundingly attractive.
New Perspective on Life
When you start dating someone from a different race, you experience new surprises every day. It may be the food, language, religion, culture, and other lifestyle differences.
Overall, an interracial relationship brings new joys and helps you appreciate the struggles people from different cultures undergo. You can't understand your partner's life entirely, but you can get immersed deeply emotionally, culturally, and empathetically.
If you're ready to learn, your partner will teach you about their community's experiences. You'll start seeing the world from their perspective. Not many people enjoy such priceless exposure.
Escape from Stereotypes
Most people have a stereotyped belief of how to love, and they find anything different from their ideologies awkward. By being in an interracial relationship, you break the limitations of living within an ideology.
Psychologist Karen Wu of the University of California says that students in interracial dating are more open to any relationship. They are more comfortable interacting with people in same-sex relationships because they don't judge.
Such individuals are aware that what they consider a normal relationship might be unacceptable to other people. For this reason, they know how to treasure and cherish what society calls different.
Cons of Interracial Relationships
Mixed-race relationships have their fair share of challenges. Here are a few issues you might have to endure when dating a person from another race.
While many mainstream societies have accepted interracial relationships and marriages, some factions are strictly against it. Those who staunchly disagree with race-mixing can criticize, harass, degrade, and discriminate against interracial couples and their children.
Whether you'll experience racial discrimination or not primarily depends on where you live. People who bully those in interracial relationships or families may have grown up in an era when such interactions were rare, if not prohibited.
They may also have had a bad experience with people from different races or cultures. If you're in an interracial relationship, being cautious around such characters is imperative.
Genetic Diseases in Children
According to research, some diseases and illnesses are more prevalent in some races than others. Examples include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, various cancers, and more.
Biracial children have a high risk of developing health conditions associated with their parents' races. However, they don't have to suffer from these diseases.
Other People's Assumptions
The foundation of a healthy relationship is love, and third-party opinions and comments shouldn't bother you. Unfortunately, most people are not very good at minding their own business.
When you're in an interracial relationship, you'll often hear negative and ignorant comments from other people.
Some think your attraction to someone from another ethnicity is an infatuation that won't last, while others consider you unreasonable or rebellious. It happens within conservative communities.
Overcoming Interracial Dating Challenges
Mixed-race relationships aren't for the faint-hearted. If you're insecure and always seeking the approval of others, you might suffer mentally and emotionally.
Learn to listen to your partner without judging or comparing them to people you have dated before. If your family dislikes your partner because of race, encourage a candid discussion about racial stereotypes and love.