1. Work on a solid foundation.
Do your best to avoid other people’s opinions or notions get in the way. You can’t help but hear the opinions of family, friends, and society as a whole, but never make it about them. Focus on you—and what you have together. As long as your bond is genuine and strong, nothing else will matter and all the differences will instead emerge as beautiful nuances in your relationship.
It’s also important to include trust as one of the solid foundations of your relationship. Despite the cultural differences as to beliefs and values, you can both talk about them and learn from each other as you go. As long as you both the trust that you both want the best for the relationship, you can always make healthy compromises to live peacefully and beautifully together.
2. It helps if you have friends who are into interracial relationships
Especially if you’re starting to feel challenges in the relationship and you need some level of reassurance, it helps to be surrounded by people who are on the same boat or who can understand your relationship better.
If you don’t have actual friends who are in the same situation, you may follow online groups or watch online videos whose values and circumstances resonate with you. This brings some emotional support and overall helps you feel a sense of comfort and ease.
3. You don’t have to change your name
Especially if your name can hardly be pronounced or remembered by your partner and her family, you may feel like you need choose to have an easier nickname they can call you. However, if you feel like letting go of your real name is tantamount to letting go of your heritage, you don’t have to force it. You don’t have to do the adjusting if it ends up being uncomfortable and awkward for you. If you are with the right partner, she will understand and it won’t be a big deal at all.
4. Prepare to be comfortable constantly teaching
You basically will have lots of differences to begin with, especially in a cultural sense. So, from the foods you share to the languages you use to the cultural rituals and holidays you have, you will be teaching all these to your partner. You need to be willing to do that patiently and actually enjoy the process to make it worthwhile.
Your partner may have a lot of questions to ask, so be prepared to answer all of them and don’t take anything personally, especially if in your culture, that question can be offensive. Just become a clean slate and be in the teaching mode all the time. You also need to be honest with your interactions. If your partner did something that you find offensive, especially in your culture, instead of feeling bad, teach and make your partner understand how such context isn’t ideal from where you come from. As long as you go through the process with patience and understanding and gentleness, you’ll be okay.
5. Prepare to be in the learning mode all the time too.
Of course, your partner will also be teaching you about her culture and values, and you should be willing to learn new perspectives and even new ways. You don’t have to adopt any of these as yours, but you have to understand these elements in order to always know where your partner is coming from. There are a lot to learn, and this can be a good thing as your relationship gets as rich as it can be. Whether it’s new foods, new traditions, new cultural experiences, you would be learning about them and more.
An interracial relationship can be a great adventure. It’s exciting to share many new things with each other, and as long as the foundation of trust and understanding is there, no amount of cultural difference can cut off the bond. Whether it’s your first time pursuing an interracial relationship or not, rest assured that it’s going to be fun and exciting as long as you always choose to make it count.