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The Struggles and Benefits of Interracial Dating

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at George Mason University chapter.

Interracial dating can be hard due to external factors that can’t be controlled. Although it is 2018, some societies are still close-minded, making interracial relationships far from easy. It’s way past time for us to try to please everyone.  However, the pros of dating interracially can far outweigh the cons. The relationship can be strong, filled with amazing experiences, happiness and such great love. I have endured both of these positive and negative experiences within my own relationship, and I have had a lot to learn from them.

The Struggles

1. Negative perceptions from society

Interracial dating can be especially difficult when all the odds are against you. Not having an effective support system from society can make public outings uncomfortable. In my relationship, I have experienced many subtle negative reactions in public when in the presence of my boyfriend. Unfortunately, many people are still uncomfortable with the thought of interracial dating. These negative reactions can cause insecurity and instability in the relationship making it hard to imagine how it will work.Via Unsplash

2. Family Opinions

There is nothing closer in this world than family for many people who grew up in a close-knit home. Their family’s opinion on who they date matters, and unfortunately, we still live in a time where some parents would like for their children to date within their own race or culture. This makes dating in a diverse community very difficult. In many cases, it makes sense to date within your own race, sure. It could make things easier for both individuals, but that should not be the most important trait in a relationship. Your happiness should come first. Being in a family that sees keeping the bloodline pure and upholding a family name as most important leads to individuals keeping their dating lives a secret. Having to hide your relationship and living with the anxiety that your family won’t accept your significant other is mentally taxing and can even put a strain on the relationship.Via Giphy

3. Cultural traditions and customs

Similar to the issues related to family in interracial relationships, cultural traditions and customs can make things difficult as well. This view on relationships is in part due to specific cultural beliefs. Additionally, it can be tough to get used to and even understand your partner’s cultural practices. This can include being exposed to situations where you feel like an outcast and don’t really belong. Shifting your views on culture to accommodate that of another is not easy but it’s also not impossible. This only becomes difficult when your wants and needs centered on your cultural traditions and customs are different from your significant other’s. THAT can lead to disagreements on what each of you want for your future. Generally, this struggle just takes some getting used to and will eventually turn into a benefit, depending on how open-minded and willing to compromise you both remain throughout the relationship.Via Unsplash

                                                             Related: 4 Things You Learn In An Interracial Relationship

The Benefits

1. Open-mindedness

Part of being in an interracial relationship is being open to new experiences and adventures. This includes becoming understanding on a different outlook of life. This quality can come along in any type of relationship, but there’s something about dating someone from a different race that brings a new perspective into your life. This changes what things matter to you. Before my relationship, I was very particular in what I wanted for my future, but growing as a couple made me more flexible and compromising. Everything in life does not need to fit so perfectly into a box. You become open to learn more and more every day about your significant other’s life, such as their upbringing, family, beliefs, traditions, interests, etc. In addition to being open to learning, you are more prepared to be accommodating to the differences you each share. This open-mindedness affects all aspects of your life and provides you with a diverse mindset.  Via Unsplash

2. Learning about a culture different from your own

Part of being open-minded also comes from learning about a culture different from your own. You are able to learn about customs, traditions, beliefs, practices and ideas that may be completely different from the type of culture you were brought up in. Having these unique qualities allows you to share your stories and background with one another allowing your significant other to learn more about you along the way. You may be exposed to different ethnic foods, music, clothing, stories and artifacts that you may have never known before. Learning of various cultures and their history makes you more knowledgeable and less ethnocentric. This makes you more appreciative and grateful for all the diversity in the world. This learning process ultimately makes you appreciate your partner more as well. You are able to truly understand how different aspects of their culture and life have shaped who they are today and it makes your bond with one another all the more special.Via Unsplash

3. Finding yourself

Just like in all relationships, in interracial relationships, you find yourself. You grow as an individual becoming more aware of what you want out of life. You become stronger by learning how to accept disapproval while also training yourself to put your happiness first. Being exposed to situations that may be out of your comfort zone teaches you a lot about your personality traits such as flexibility. Additionally, your interests in life may also evolve or change along the way. Looking back on the way your life was before your relationship, you begin to notice how much you have evolved. For example, you may realize how close-minded and unaware you were of the world around you. The power of this type of relationship is that it has the potential to craft you into a better human being where you are able to love and appreciate yourself for who you really are.Via Unsplah

4. It’s great

The best part about being in an interracial relationship is that it’s just great. Despite all other benefits this relationship can have, it is truly amazing to go through such an experience and learn so much about life along the way. You get to share such great love and happiness with an individual who you begin to realize is more similar to you than different. Your relationship can be filled with adventure, patience, and maturity. Enduring all of the struggles that this relationship brings, while still realizing all the blessings that come out of it makes this experience absolutely wonderful.Via Unsplash

Don’t be afraid to let the external factors like family and public opinions affect your relationship. Take it all as a learning experience and be happy with your S.O.


Iman Naieem

George Mason University '18

Iman is a DMV native. As a first-generation college student, she is majoring in Industrial Organizational Psychology and minoring in Business at George Mason University. Her dream career consists of being a Labor and Employment attorney. On another note, some of her hobbies include spending time with her family, listening to music, and reading. Some of her passions include promoting well-being, empowering women, and offering support to minorities.