Interracial Relationships: Facts, Problems, And Advice For Couples

Interracial Relationships
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For many people, the concept of interracial relationships is still very foreign (pun intended). The most common types of representation we see are in popular media, especially among celebrities around us. However, there is a lot more to interracial relationships than is presented in these already limited instances. A case in point is the harrowing issues that were faced by ex-Prince Harry and Megan Markle which had sparked a great deal of debate about race in the UK. Seeing blatant discrimination in the supposedly higher rungs of society is enough for anyone to question, “what century are we even in right now?”

Such issues tend to create an image of interracial relationships that tends to flit between ideas of brave martyrs battling against the status quo to a couple of cultural aliens trying and failing to communicate. As is often the case, the truth is somewhere in the middle. So instead of guesswork, let us look into some ground realities and dive into some interesting interracial relationships facts.

What You Should Know About Interracial Relationships

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Is this really that relevant?” or “Do people actually care that much about race when it comes to falling in love?” and the answer to those questions is, yes…undeniably, yes. Think back to yourself; when was the last time you saw any interracial couples in media or in real life where the very nature of their relationship wasn’t something they had to explain or justify to someone? Whether it’s Kim and Kanya or Ellen Pompeo and Chris Ivery, while these couples look smashing together on the red carpet and pretty much everywhere else, they have indeed faced a little bit of backlash here and there.

The times are certainly changing, but the clock seems to be a bit on the slow side with interracial relationships. As much as people might like to pretend race isn’t an issue, racial differences have never been bridged by pretending there isn’t a gap. Engaging head-first with our differences can result in amazing revelations about yourselves and your partners. Yes, there are many difficulties of interracial relationships that come with the package, but which relationship does not bring its own set of issues? At the end of the day, the love needs to be worth it. And if it is, then you’ll breeze through it.

Related Reading: When You Have Different Religious Beliefs In A Relationship

What Does Interracial Mean?

Here comes the big one. In a world of constantly swirling tags and titles, what does an interracial couple mean exactly? The easy answer is a relationship between two people who come from different races. You might think this term is fairly self-explanatory, but the idea of race often gets merged with that of ethnicity or even nationality. However, the distinction does exist, folks. Two people might be of the same culture but they might experience it completely differently because of their race, and that’s what causes hurdles in interracial dating.

The challenges and opportunities of interfaith relationships can be markedly different from that of interracial couples. However, they can also overlap if both partners are not just from different religions but also from different races. These reasons are why it is important to have a clear understanding of what interracial means for both parties. This does not mean that the two do not overlap because often they do; however, having a clear idea of this difference puts you in a better position to understand your partner and communicate with them effectively.

Interracial Relationship Facts

 interracial couples
The unique and beautiful journey of interracial love

Even though it may seem as though interracial relationships have been legal for a long time, historically, it has been fairly recent. Because of this, there are several things we still do not know about interracial couples or interracial dating for that matter. So here are some interracial relationships facts to help you develop an understanding of the basics.

1. When was interracial marriage legalized?

To start things off, let’s brush up on our history a little bit and look into these interracial marriage facts. Interracial marriages have been legalized in the US since 1967 when anti-miscegenation laws were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. However, remnants of such policies persisted, with the final of such laws being repealed in Alabama in the year 2000.

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2. Do interracial marriages have a higher divorce rate?

While there are several variances, there is a slightly higher rate of divorce among interracial couples. And there are some interracial relationships statistics to back that up. According to some studies, 10 years after marriage, it was revealed that interracial couples had a 41% chance of separation or divorce when compared to the 31% chance of separation among those who married within their race. And this can have quite a few reasons too.

This may be primarily due to interpersonal issues, but it is widely seen as a reaction to external pressures and stress. Sometimes love is not enough to keep a couple together, and for many interracial couples, this reality hits too close to home. That’s why interracial relationships take a lot of extra effort.

3. Have interracial marriages increased?

Studies have shown that interracial marriage rates have increased greatly over the years. Starting in 1980, the share of intermarried newlyweds had about doubled to 7%. However, by 2015 the number had risen to a soaring 17%.

4. Who has the most interracial marriages?

This is another one of the interracial marriage facts, that one should keep in mind. It has been revealed that amongst nearly all races, there was a higher tendency for people with some level of college education to have an interracial marriage.

Related Reading: How To Have A Non-Religious Wedding – Some Awesome Tips!

What Are Some Difficulties Of Interracial Relationships?

This is a bit of a broad category because so much of this is dependent on personal experience and subjective opinion. Generally, when we think of the problems faced by mixed-race couples, we think of society and of people’s judgment. While it certainly can be challenging to deal with societal judgment and the occasional unkind glance, internal thoughts and doubts can often be more challenging to deal with in the long run.

There are plenty of preconceptions that we all hold that are put into perspective when you are living with and loving someone of a different race than you. While there are indeed many benefits of interracial marriage, there is a flip side to that too. Let’s look at some of the major obstacles that interracial couples have to deal with.

1. One of the interracial dating challenges is that people are going to talk

And oh, they will talk so much. Being in a mixed-race couple will always be a learning experience, and it can be a beautiful one; however, the outside world can often make this journey a rocky one. People from different racial experiences may experience discrimination, and there are still plenty of people that would wag their fingers at the idea of interracial relationships. This is why you must question your perception of events and try to see situations through your partner’s eyes.

People are always going to talk, but that shouldn’t be reason enough to let go of a good thing. Take the angry words and unkind behavior for what they are: mere ignorance. People are afraid of what they don’t understand. If you have the energy to help them understand, then kudos; otherwise, just brush them off like dirt on your shoes.

2. Meeting the parents

This is quite a hurdle even for those who are dating within their race, we can only imagine how difficult this can be when it comes to interracial relationships. While we all hope that meeting your significant other’s parents would go smoothly, there are certainly enough examples to know that racial differences can be a bit hard to swallow for older generations. It has not been long since interracial relationships have been considered acceptable, and many members of the previous generations haven’t caught up to this idea.

There are sure to be a few misunderstandings and maybe disapproving looks, but this is an unavoidable part of the package. Showing that you understand their perspective and that you are committed to making the relationship work will eventually thaw even the coldest shoulder. And of course, you get payback when your partner has to go through the same process with your parents.

3. Lack of information about interracial relationships

Perhaps the most important part of being in an interracial relationship is to educate yourself on the racial differences between you and your partner. Just because you’re madly in love, does not mean that the differences do not exist. As humans, we have plenty of commonalities between us; however, that doesn’t mean we are all the same. Many people are afraid of saying the wrong thing or being insensitive, but rather than living in fear, it is more beneficial to channel that energy into learning what makes you different.

As we have mentioned, these differences can only be overcome through introspection and improved communication with your partner to help you understand why these differences exist and how you can contribute to making your partner’s life easier. It may be challenging at first; no one likes their worldview questioned, but through this process, you are sure to get closer to your partner and establish a deeper bond.

4. Raising children

In the midst of a whirlwind romance, you rarely have time to think of the future. Children might not seem to be on the horizon right now but you can’t deny that they are an unavoidable possibility to consider. If you have ever read Trevor Noah’s bestselling book, Born a Crime, you will be reminded that it was not long ago that having mixed-race children was considered a crime. While it has certainly become legal and has less of a stigma than before, with, according to a Pew Research study, one-in-seven U.S. infants being multiracial or multiethnic in 2015, this does not mean that the process of raising mixed-race children has become easy.

Mixed-race children often have difficulty identifying with either race because they can feel like they don’t belong and that’s what makes this one of the difficulties of interracial relationships. The children might look different and have an upbringing that is a mix of influences. In short, it can be like a more complicated Hannah Montana; it’s the best of both worlds but also can be the worst at times. Rather than trying to fit into a vague perception of acceptability, it is important for them to know that at all times, they are 100% both races, and they don’t have to try to be either.

Related Reading: How We Solved Interfaith Marriage Problems

5. One of the interracial dating struggles is picking a side

The issue with being with someone from a different background than you is, at times, you might feel pressured into picking a side. There will always be problems that come up when dealing with differences, and this becomes even more apparent in romantic relationships.

It may be due to a small argument or a misunderstanding between mutual friends but suddenly, you feel like you have to pick one side. Even though you want to avoid it, it can begin to feel like a race-related matter. Then any choice can feel like a betrayal to your loved one. In such instances, it is important to de-escalate the situation and clarify what the issue is. Even if you disagree with your partner, find a way to do so while showing them that you aren’t against them.

Try to remove race-related rhetoric from the conversation unless it is essential so that they understand what the core message is being conveyed. In an interracial relationship, it can be easy to feel alienated, which is why you must try doubly hard to ensure that they feel seen and heard. As long as both partners’ emotional needs are met in the relationship, all other issues can be worked through.

Interracial Dating Tips For Successful Relationships

There is no way we are going to let you leave here by just identifying the problems and not providing you the valid solutions. The thing with interracial relationships is that you will figure out most of the solutions on your own, along the way. But keeping a few tips in mind is not going to do you any harm. While this journey is going to bring its own set of challenges, we don’t plan to leave you empty-handed. Keep these pointers in mind so you can truly focus on the benefits of interracial marriage or relationship and say goodbye to the woes:

  1. Being open and accepting: Your partner will bring in differences into this relationship, differences that you might not even have expected from them. But now that you’ve decided to love them despite it, it’s time to put in effort in the relationship to be able to bridge those gaps. To start on the right note, you need to be more open to their ideas, habits, wants, and upbringing. Don’t compare notes and do not belittle them for who they are
  2. Be a good listener: The best way of being open to your partner is by listening to them well. The best way to overcome interracial dating struggles or any other relationship struggles is to listen well to your partner and understand their side of things intently
  3. Check your privilege and support your partner: Just because you’ve chosen to love them, does not mean your partner is done. You and your partner might face a lifetime of rude remarks or questioning that can make you uncomfortable. Notice what behaviors they may be dealing with, especially if you are from the more privileged race, and try to uphold your relationship through it all
  4. Choose the right friend circles: Try to go out and spend time with more like-minded individuals and now people who will crack insensitive jokes about you. One day you’re drinking at a bar and someone makes a silly joke and you brush it off. But over time, it turns into a series of jokes that keeps making you and your partner uncomfortable. This is the sad reality of interracial couples, so do choose your friends more wisely
  5. Practice caution and create a safe space during arguments and discussions: A lot can be said during heated discussions and arguments in an interracial couple. Sometimes, race can be a point of possible contention that can be mishandled or mentioned inappropriately. Know that you two need to create a safe space in your relationship, for possible issues to come up

Key Pointers

  • Interracial marriages have indeed increased over the years, however, they also have a higher divorce rate than same-race marriages
  • In interracial relationships, lack of information can be a major problem so try to always be up to date, cautious, and create a safe space for you and your partner
  • While there are indeed some benefits of interracial marriage, one of the bigger problems can be raising children so make sure to do it wisely and show your children a middle-path
  • Be a good listener, check your own privilege and be careful of the friends you choose. Don’t let anyone mindlessly make insensitive jokes about your relationship 

It is undeniable that there are some extra challenges when it comes to interracial love, but there is more to being a mixed-race couple than just struggle. Every relationship can pose new challenges, but they can just as easily be learning experiences that enrich your life. In fact, overcoming these challenges only helps to make your relationship stronger.

There are so many things that we take for granted about our perception of the world. Dating someone who challenges that perception and broadens your horizons makes you grow as a person. So don’t be afraid to take that leap; you never know how your life could change for the better.


1. Are interracial relationships difficult?

While this is a highly subjective issue, generally, interracial relationships do come with unique challenges that you will have to learn to deal with. However, there is no relationship without any difficulties. The course of love never did run smooth, and what are a few additional bumps in the road if the route is beautiful?

2. What are the challenges of intercultural marriage?

Intercultural relationships are always going to entail a clash of worlds. Each person comes from a different upbringing and cultural values. Sometimes they might align, and sometimes they might be polar opposites. It is up to each couple to examine these cultural differences and communicate their perspective to come to a common understanding.

3. What is the divorce rate for interracial couples?

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Centre, “General interracial couples had a 41% chance of separation or divorce, compared with a 31% chance among couples who married within their race.” Having said that, there is a degree of variation to this number, dependent on the combinations of race and gender. 

4. What is the best interracial dating app?

You can try InternationalCupid, Black White Dating App, and Mixed or Interracial Dating Chat.

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