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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

What’s it’s Like Being in an Interracial (and International Relationship)

Updated Published
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

I was initially cautious about bringing up this topic as it is personal and close to my heart. But I was curious to know how many couples were having the same experiences as me, dating not only interracially but internationally as well. According to the US Census Bureau, the percentage of married-couple households that are interracial or interethnic grew across the United States from 7.4 to 10.2 percent from 2000 to 2012-2016. Here are some things you might find relatable if your significant other is of a different nationality/race as you.

You teach each other your language.

You naturally pick up on certain phrases and words in your significant other’s native language. In return, you offer to teach them a little of your own native tongue. It’s always fun to discover how a foreigner interprets a new language. Many times you can’t help but laugh at how bad their pronunciation is but are forced to have a reality check when you try to learn their language. If your partner’s parents do not speak English, you have to bear with brief awkward moments and realize that you depend a lot on your significant other to translate. Nevertheless, it’s always interesting to see how your partner relates to his or her parents.

You discover new types of delicious food.

Arguably the best thing that you can get out of an interracial or international relationship is food that you have never tried before! Since I’m quite an adventurous eater, I relish trying new things, even if they sometimes sound weird or unusual. You also learn your significant other’s preferences through the discovery of new food.

You learn to deal with long distances.

Snapchat, Skype and Whatsapp become your best friend, if they aren’t already. This is especially relatable when you’re in college. Holidays make you feel all kinds of emotions — thankful for the much-needed break but low-key disheartened about how long you’ll be apart from each other. A way to combat this is to stay busy: take online classes, focus on a summer job or internship, or spend time with family and friends. Be sure to establish regular, face-to-face conversation with your partner throughout this time, and not just texting or calling. Through video calls and pictures they send, you often also catch a glimpse of their life in their home country. Somehow, talking with your significant other makes you miss them more. You find yourself counting down the days when you two can truly meet again.

You feel proud about your unique relationship.

Interracial and international couples aren’t just like any other couple. We have our own unique set of obstacles to overcome, and that includes distance and learning new cultures, values and habits. Circumstances are such that we evolve to become more flexible, and that process itself strengthens our bond and makes us more resilient. I am heartened that society is opening up about interracial/international dating. I wouldn’t change a thing about my relationship.

Sources: 1

Images: 1,2, 3 (photo courtesy of author)

Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst