Okay, so we know that cultural issues are a big deal when it comes to interracial relationships and, honestly, they are probably the single biggest hurdle to get over. Interracial couples tend to either become numb to the public disapproval they receive or they develop permanent blinders that prevent them from seeing or paying attention to it at all. And, honestly, dealing with the constant scrutiny can actually tend to create an even stronger bond between an interracial couple and bring them closer together. However, the majority of a relationship is spent building and spending a life with your mate. So, when the two of you are all alone, that’s when the real issues tend to present themselves. And how you get through those is what will make or break it for the both of you.
Cultural issues are the hardest to work out because our social norms are ingrained into us as children and, as adults, they are often difficult or impossible to change. We thought about what the typical cultural issues are for people in interracial relationships and developed the following top list of problems for interracial couples to consider.
1. You didn’t have the same life experiences. When one of you grew up in the south and the other in the north you are bound to have different contexts. Maybe one person grew up appreciating a big Sunday dinner with family and the other is more accustomed to informal dinner chats surrounding the TV or maybe even no interaction at all. Different life experiences can affect the way you interact with your mate and what you both value in life. When you don’t see life through the same lens, it can pose significant problems. Sure, this affects same-race couples as well but the issue can be even more pronounced for interracial couples. Consider, for example, that one person may see law enforcement in a positive light while the other views policing with a critical eye because of those different life experiences. One of you may have seen nothing wrong with the Zimmerman verdict while the other may clearly feel like it’s business as usual and think the verdict is incredibly racist. Imagine the drama around the topic of conversation!
2. You don’t have the same core values. Core values are those fundamental beliefs a person has and the guiding principles that dictate their behavior and actions. They allow people to distinguish between right and wrong and set one’s internal compass. A lot of people in relationships claim to have the same core values and take pride in that being one of the things that brought them together. But what happens when you don’t share the same philosophy about how life should be lived? Religion, financial management, the importance of family, the value of honesty, and a belief in work/life balance are all examples of core values that, if not shared, could pose challenges for an interracial couple. And, they are likely to vary dramatically in some cases because of cultural differences.
3. You don’t have the same interests. It can be hard to relate to each other when one of you grew up listening to Neo Soul and the other grew up listening to Grunge rock. Culture plays a huge part in a person’s interests and, as we all know, having shared interests is vital to a relationship. Culture impacts our tastes in everything from music, art and literature to physical activities. When you don’t share the same interests as your mate you can be doomed from the start because they help you grow together as a couple.
So, how can interracial couples get beyond having different life experiences, different core values and different interests in order to make it work? Well, they may not be able to change what’s already set in stone but they can concentrate on establishing new cultural norms that they can share together. Creating new life experiences, finding out what core values matter most to you as a couple rather than as individuals and finding new shared interests are all things that can help interracial couples navigate around the common cultural problems that can sometimes divide them.
Interracially yours. -Cupid out.