5 Ways to Support Your Partner if You’re in an Interracial Relationship

If you’re in an interracial relationship, you might be worried about how people will treat your partner. Or perhaps you’re concerned about how people from your partner’s social circle will react to you. Alternatively, you and your partner might have both grown up in different, marginalized cultures. Now, you’re wondering how to bring your worlds together.

Yes, being in an interracial relationship can introduce some unique challenges to your dynamic with your partner. But many people from different backgrounds have healthy, happy, lifelong romantic relationships. In fact, so can you and your partner. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your interracial relationship.

1. Explore Each Other’s Cultures Together

Sometimes, it’s easy to get bogged down by the difficulties of interracial relationships. But shifting your focus to the positive aspects of your relationship can help brighten your outlook for your romantic future. For example, you and your partner get a firsthand introduction to each other’s cultures. You may want to share holiday traditions, delicious family recipes, or even travel to the areas where you each grew up. Getting to know each other’s friends and relatives can be a lot of fun, and there’s nothing quite like exploring another culture with your partner as your guide.

2. Show Your Support

At times, your partner might face racism, prejudice, or discrimination. In these instances, it’s your job to show up fully for your partner. They need to know that if someone else is going to criticize them or judge them unfairly for the color of their skin, you will have their back. Check-in with your partner to see how they’re feeling. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to speak up on their behalf when necessary.

3. Handle Tough Conversations

What if one of your relatives or friends says something unkind about your partner behind their back? It’s up to you to take charge of this situation. When you’re in an interracial relationship with your partner from a marginalized group, you need to be ready to handle tough conversations with people from your social circle should the need arise. This is not your partner’s job. Set boundaries with people in your life as necessary if they cannot show respect to your partner.

4. Don’t Minimize Your Partner’s Experiences

If your partner has personally faced racism throughout their life, and you have not shared this experience, you need to be a good listener when they open up about this history. They may open up to you about issues they dealt with at a young age that you had never even considered before. Sometimes, you might be tempted to say that a particular incident wasn’t that bad or that you don’t view a specific issue as truly important. Resist the urge to make comments like these, and simply learn to listen. Chances are, your partner has a lot to teach you.

5. Embrace Continuous Learning

Being in an interracial relationship is an endless learning process. You need to be open to seeing the world through your partner’s eyes. Yes, this can introduce obstacles you haven’t dealt with in previous relationships. But overcoming these challenges together can deepen your bond. At times, you may even find that you have to recognize and grapple with latent prejudices in yourself, which can be uncomfortable. Yet dealing with this discomfort will help you grow as a person in ways you might never have imagined. You and your partner can come out the other side stronger.

Are you and your partner struggling with the challenges that can crop up in an interracial relationship? Working with a therapist can help. Reach out to us today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session for couples therapy.