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Navigating Interracial Relationships

Dream on white boy / Dream on white girl” - Original Sin, INXS 1984


As recently as 1967, there were state laws that banned interracial marriage. These laws were overturned in the Supreme Court case: Loving vs. Virginia.


Certainly the way people are raised influences their outlook on life which includes their ideas about gender, relationships and love. No matter who your partner is, it is always important to understand where he or she comes from - this is particularly important in interrational relationships. This can be as easy as getting to know their family and asking questions in order to glean their ideas and beliefs. Questions like, when you were attending school, was it diverse? Did you have a diverse friendship group growing up ? Have you ever dated interracially before? What does your family think of interracial dating?


Silence is the enemy in any relationship but in particular, couples in interracial relatinships need to talk about things as a team, feeling that they are in it together. Having strong relationships with no trust issues helps to give one another the benefit of the doubt. This is especially true when one partner says something culturally insensitive. Being able to talk through it, learn from it and move on without latent resentment is key. If one partner asks something that feels offensive, the other partner should acknowledge that they are more often than not coming from a good place before gently explaining why what was said is an issue. Both parties should have the ability and space to honestly express themselves withoug being made to feel scared or stupid. With enough conversations over time, understanding will blossom.


Some stats:


In 73 percent of all African-American and White marriages, the marriage consists of an African-American husband and a white wife.


It is 3.08 times more likely for a husband to be White and his wife to be Asian.


Though African-American and Asian relationships are still fairly rare, it's 6.15 times more likely that the husband will be African-American and the wife Asian.


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