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Dealing With Families When Interracially Dating

Interracial Dating: How Do You Deal With Parents?

Progressing from infatuation to dating to relationship to marriage is a challenge for any couple, but interracial couples have a unique predicament. Besides the stereotype that dating outside your race is an experiment or, worse, a fetish, you have to deal with questions, concerns, and straight-up disapproval from friends and family. And no one's more judgy than parents.

There's a moving, first-person account in today's Guardian about a British-Pakistani man who married a white, Christian woman despite his family's insistence he marry Muslim.

His mother gave the wedding her blessing to his face, but then complained behind his back to siblings. Next she was declining her invitation, and the rest of the family followed suit. At the last minute, a sympathetic sister convinced their mom to come. They planned to stay just for dinner, but they closed the place down at 1 a.m.

A heartwarming ending for a story with such a volatile beginning, so I feel pretty confident it's possible for even the most traditional families. If you've been in a serious, interracial relationship, tell us how you either worked your way in to his family, or persuaded your own to like, love, or just tolerate him enough for a Sunday dinner.

Image Source: Thinkstock
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 7 years
oh and if we are keeping track, i can be attracted to all races! not any person despite their looks, but any race, sure! single ladies, don't be afraid to try something new! the most important thing is whats inside and in the bank account (jk)
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 7 years
ok i have something similar to pink pirate. my MIL is a hypocrite too! my parents probably don't care about race (maybe religion since they're not religious, it would probably have weirded them out if i came home a newly religious person one day) but my MIL is a hypocrite. she doesn't tell us to break up but i get weird vibes from her, and i do believe she wishes for a chinese DIL, i wish it was paranoia on my end but i dont think so. And even though she married a white guy after divorcing my husband's dad (they're chinese) and didn't teach my husband any chinese, (he can't even order food or speak coherently with family) now she constantly asks if i'm teaching the kids chinese since i learned it in school. kind of rude since i've answered the question so many times already. another thing, even though my parents are open, and i've told them so many times that my husband doesn't speak chinese, they used to always ask him dumb questions about chinese stuff (food, holidays, etc )or even Chinese people he might know since we grew up in a smaller community (about 75000) and it took them a long while to catch on to the fact that he didn't have much to contribute to those topics. not the brightest parents on either side!
Chelsea25 Chelsea25 7 years
I'm happy to say I've always found myself to be attracted to people from pretty much every race. Im mixed race myself (Italian and black african) Attraction is attraction no matter where you're from and its a wonderful thing to be able to see beauty in every race and to be open to that beauty. Obviously certain situations would make for smoother relationships but for me personally this is more true about religion not race. My fundamental religious beliefs are christian and while I appreciate other views i would find it impossible to see a long term future with say an atheist who doesnt believe in God or a higher power.
pink-pirate pink-pirate 7 years
I'm black African and my boyfriend is mixed (Middle Eastern/White). His mom married a white American man against her community's wishes so you would think she would be open-minded with her kids choices but no! She wants him to be with a girl from her culture instead of me. My family doesn't care, they just want me to be happy. FrenchKiss unless you have only dated blue eyed people then I suspect you have a bias. It's not out and out racism but honestly if you are looking for a person to be with, it shouldn't be about looks to that level of detail. I mean I prefer tall guys but I have been on dates with shorter guys when I was single, I would never exclude anyone I might have a connection with. I hope you are the same but if not then it would definitely seem like a prejudice to me.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 7 years
I'm Japanese, my hubby is white. We married late in our 30's so I think both our parents were elated that we had found someone to settle down with. We don't have any troubles with each other's parents. A long time ago my mom said I should date a Japanese boy. I told her to find me one to date and maybe I'd give him a chance. She just smirked and never said anything more about it. haha
bronzebeauty719 bronzebeauty719 7 years
wow.. this topic hits close to home because tho i am mixed race (mom is white american and dad is dark latin american) and was raised to believe everyone is equal. Until I went to college and learned my mother disapproved of me dating someone from a different religion. As zeze pointed out "I am willing to bet the mom would have not minded at at had the European/White woman been a Muslim rather than a Christian" is partially true though not entirely. Yes my family would be more content if whomever I married was Catholic yet theyd prefer someone with the same background i.e. latin american. My Muslim and Jewish friends are expected to end up with someone with exactly the same background. In my experience this is understandable yet unrealistic in today's times. Globalization has led to greater communication and relationships among people of all different cultures. In addition I think that religion is part of the person, therefore when you fall in love with someone you also love the influence their religion has had on them. I do think it would be harder if both are extremely religious to decide which religion to raise their children in. Yet, after dating people from all different religions and cultures I have determined that for myself religion is not a deal braker, rather I just want someone good with similar principles and aspirations.
French-Kiss French-Kiss 7 years
"French Kiss I don't think you're racist at all, but I sort of get the impression that you think a majority of black men are extremely religious and that's the reason you're not attracted to them in general. Really? Or am I just reading it wrong?" It's juste what i saw around me, with the people i talked with. But i agree not all black people are religious ! ^^
zeze zeze 7 years
The issue in the story Tres notes above isn't really about race, it is about faith. To most religious people marrying outside that religion and possibly changing religions and raising children under a new religion or no religion at all is very serious. And honestly, IMO, there is nothing wrong with that. Sure, parents should accept their children's decisions and love them no matter what - but faith is nothing like race. To disapprove of who your child dates/marries because of the person's race is wrong and ignorant - but to disapprove based on faith is reasonable. Not wanting your grandchildren to grow up Buddhist when you are a believing Christan is not wrong - you believe they are on the wrong path and it is only honest that you would disapprove and it is completely different than disapproving that your grandchildren would be biracial. I think this topic is a bit confused Tres. I am willing to bet the mom would have not minded at at had the European/White woman been a Muslim rather than a Christian.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I'm white (irish/italian) My parents both grew up with racist parents, so when they had me and my 3 siblings, they really pushed learning about other cultures as well as our own. Everything we did, from places we went, events we attended, what race our toys were, etc was a big hodge podge mix, and it was great. I've dated and been friends with a ton of people from different backgrounds from my own and never had any issues as far as race. My aunts and uncles all married into different cultures, so all of my cousins are half and half something or other.
socalbeachgal socalbeachgal 7 years
My parents always said look at the whole person until it came to their daughters dating. But they are accepting of all the son-in-laws. My family is Jewish and none of the 4 of us married Jewish guys. My husband is Japanese-Buddhist and I'm European-Jewish. Neither family was really happy about it until grand-kids, then my in-laws accepted me and my mom was happier about the relationship. It is tougher being in an interracial relationship since "everyone" has an opinion about it.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
French Kiss I don't think you're racist at all, but I sort of get the impression that you think a majority of black men are extremely religious and that's the reason you're not attracted to them in general. Really? Or am I just reading it wrong? My dad 100% disapproves of interracial relationships, and I've respected that my entire life and ended up with a bunch of assholes (or worse). I've spent some serious single time considering the future of my dating life and I've decided, the next guy I date will not be white. So I guess that makes me a reverse racist? Nothing against white guys but I get bored easily, and having white guy after white guy after white guy? I'm just sick of them, for now at least. Though I worry a lot about how my dad will react if/when I get serious enough to bring someone out to meet him.
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
I've never dated outside my race, but my family is open-minded enough, that it wouldn't have been an issue...
French-Kiss French-Kiss 7 years
Oh i didn't answer Très question. Well, my mother is actually racist, so it would be difficult to bring my boy home. I know she would be nice and hypocrit, but she would totally disaproove, which would create tentions in my familly. But that didn't stop me from dating a black guy once, which was nice (ut it didn't last for some reasons not linked to his religion). Howerver, she was happier when we broke up.
French-Kiss French-Kiss 7 years
Spacekatgal, for example in my case, i am not attracted by black people. Don't take it bad, i am NOT racist at all, it's just as i prefer blue eyes, i also prefer very pale white guys (with glasses - a geek ! haha). So it's not about "not mixing", it's just that i'm not attracted. However, as a friend, no difference between black or white for me ^^ But, i must say, in my case i have difficult times with strong religions, with people who tend to be extremely faithful to their religion (catholicism, or else like muslims), so sometimes it could explain why i don't date black, or else (or white believers uh !). It's because i just get angry and too animated while debates, or just when the subject is talked about (but i have friends who are religious, however they are not too strongly attached to it). But in France christianists are a bit more silent if i may say, around me i would hardly be able to say who's white and believe, whereas muslims easely talk about it, which doesn't attract me at all. You see ? I explain badly, it's not only about "black people", it's about all people that are able to say "i don't do it, it desagrees with the Bible/the Coran(...)". That would explain why i've dated mostly white guys - all of them didn't have any religion.
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