Interracial relationships, like any other relationship, are challenging. Efforts need to be made, adjustments need to be done, and constant communications must take place. Even though interracial relationships are not that uncommon anymore, dating someone outside of your race can still be daunting.
Many people, especially people of color, are struggling with navigating the territory. It can be more discouraging if you are in your first interracial relationship. The truth is, it’s alright to feel that way, but it’s always a good idea to be aware and pay attention before things go south. But the question is, how do you identify whether your relationship is toxic?
We’ve listed below some of the things you need to be aware of, especially at the beginning of the relationship.
Here are 5 red flags you need to pay attention to in an interracial relationship
It’s alright to like someone because of their racial feature(s). Whether it’s the skin, the shape of the eyes, or the hair color. It’s normal and understandable. What isn’t right is when you’re being reduced as mere stereotypes.
Example: you’re an Asian girl with a white boyfriend, and he has this unhealthy imagination of being in a relationship with a submissive, obedient Asian sex doll. If he can’t accept you for who you are—your complex, unique personality, and the whole shebang, leave him.
Invalidation is harmful. Your partner should not reject or ignore your thoughts and feelings, especially if they do not have the background or perspective from where you are. If they don’t want to learn and acknowledge your views, your relationship is doomed because they don’t respect you.
Example: You don’t feel comfortable around your partner’s friends because they subtly insult you through racial microaggressions. When you tell your partner, their reaction is telling you that you’re overreacting. It is unacceptable because it means that they don’t trust you and your judgment, as well as belittling your emotions.
A healthy relationship requires both parties to incorporate themselves into each other’s life. That includes learning about each other’s background, habits, and culture. It means understanding where you’re from and why you do what you do. Refusing to learn about your cultures or traditions, means that they are ignorant and not willing to work and fight for the relationship.
Pretty much the same as the previous point. If they think that getting along with your inner circle is a lot of hassle, it means that they don’t value you or the relationship enough. A healthy, sustainable relationship involves not only you and your partner but both of your support systems.
To fight and end racism, the first step is to acknowledge that we have privileges. We all have unconscious bias, regardless of who we are and how we are brought up. Everyone doesn’t start from the same place, especially if one is coming from a certain race/class. What’s worse is if your partner thinks that they’re free from bias because everyone is the same; that we all have the same head start. This behavior means that not only they’re lacking empathy, but also self-entitled.