When it comes to dating, most people want their parents’ approval. Some parents, however, may be concerned about you dating outside your race. While these cases are frequently the result of simple bigotry, your parents may be concerned or perplexed by your decision. Before you talk to them, ask your partner and friends how they would handle talking to your parents. Then, choose an appropriate time and location to sit down and talk with your family about your partner. Stay calm and try to anticipate their questions. Be honest about your feelings and relationship.
Part 1 Talking to Your Partner
1. Discuss your concerns with your partner. Inform your partner if you are having difficulty talking to your parents about your interracial relationship, or if you anticipate problems doing so. If they’ve been in a similar situation, they may be able to offer advice.
For example, you could say, “I’m worried about what my parents will think of us,” or “I’m wondering if my parents will be upset that we’re dating.”
Tell your partner that no matter what your parents think, you still love them and don’t care what race they are. Say something like, “I’m not going to let my parents’ opinions influence how I feel about you.”
Don’t be discouraged from sharing your situation because you’re afraid your partner will think you’re blaming them for your family problems. Because your partner loves and respects you, they will appreciate it if you are open and honest with them, even about this difficult subject.
2. To figure out how to talk to your parents, consider your previous experiences. Your parents aren’t the only ones who are concerned about your interracial relationship. Consider how you approached the subject with friends who had questions or concerns about your interracial relationship. Did you wait for them to mention it? Did you directly ask them what they thought?
You could also think about how to approach the subject with your own parents by drawing on the experiences of your friends or your partner. Discuss with them how they dealt with their parents’ concerns, if any. For example, you could ask your friends, “Did you have any difficulty telling your parents about your interracial relationship?”
You can also think about what you already know about your parents’ attitudes toward race and the reasons why they may be opposed to interracial relationships. For example, your parents may have a friend who was in a dysfunctional relationship with a partner of a different race. They could be basing their ideas on the experiences of this friend.
3. Examine your emotions. People can detect discomfort in others when they themselves are uncomfortable or feel out of place in an interracial relationship. Speak with a trusted friend, family member, therapist, or religious leader to accurately assess your own feelings and level of comfort. If you feel comfortable discussing these issues with your partner, you may want to do so (or instead).
You could, for example, ask a friend, “How do you know when you’re with the right person?” or “I don’t feel like I belong with my partner.” Have you ever had that feeling in a relationship?” Pay close attention to their response.
Ask pertinent follow-up questions, such as, “Do you think these feelings will pass?”
Part 2 Conversing With Your Parents
1. Choose the best time. When both of you are calm, your parents will feel more at ease discussing interracial relationships. Find a time when both you and your parents can devote serious time to discussing interracial dating.
The best time to try to talk to your parents is probably over the weekend or in the evening.
Do not try to talk to your parents about interracial dating while they are at work or watching TV. Mornings are also a bad time to talk to your parents in depth (about anything), because you’ll all be rushing around eating breakfast, showering, and getting ready for school or work.
Do not bring up interracial dating immediately after your parents make an inflammatory racial comment or do anything else that offends you.
2. Choose a private location. Talking about personal matters necessitates a safe environment in which your parents can express themselves freely. If you speak to them in public, you might not get a straight answer. Talking to your parents directly when you’re at home is usually the best way to communicate with them.
If you can’t talk to them in person, call them when they’re at home. You could directly ask them when they will be home so you know when to call. The hours of 7:00-9:00 p.m. are probably the best.
3. Highlight your partner’s positive characteristics. When you talk to your parents, they should only be concerned with whether you are in a happy, healthy relationship. Tell your parents everything you love about your partner. How do they show you how much they adore you? What do you like best about them?
For example, you could say, “I adore my partner.” They are so kind and helpful.”
You could also say, “Being with my partner is fantastic because they are very intelligent.” They are always introducing me to new and interesting things.”
If your partner gave you a wonderful gift, you could show it to your parents and say, “Look at this wonderful gift my partner bought me.” It appeals to me greatly.”
When your parents see that you are in a loving relationship, they will be relieved and any concerns they may have about interracial dating will be alleviated.
4. Pose inquiries. In order to understand why your parents feel the way they do, inquire about their perspectives on race and interracial relationships. When asking these questions, try to be patient and respectful. Some questions to consider include: What are your feelings about other races and interracial relationships?
Why do you think of them in this manner?
Was there an event that caused you to think this way?
What do you believe would have to happen for you to change your mind about other races and interracial relationships?
5. Prepare to answer questions. Assure your parents that race has no bearing on the maintenance of a loving and supportive relationship. In all cases, actively listen by nodding and making eye contact. Use your pre-talk planning time to consider specific issues that your parents may be concerned about. As you respond to your parents’ questions, try to be patient. These questions may appear to be insensitive, but they are motivated by ignorance and fear. Your parents may have specific questions, such as, “How will you raise children?”
Isn’t dating someone of a different race more difficult than dating someone of our own?
Are you concerned about what others will think of you?
6. Don’t keep your interracial relationship a secret from your parents. A happy, healthy relationship based on mutual love and affection is something to be proud of. When you and your partner start dating, you should not keep it a secret from your parents (or anyone else).
If you pretend that you are not in a relationship when you are, your parents may learn the truth from someone else and be hurt.
Similarly, don’t pretend to your partner that you’ve discussed them with your parents when you haven’t.
Part 3 Communicating Your Perspective
1. You must respond to your parents. It is critical that you express your feelings about your parents’ point of view. If your parents are against interracial dating, express your desire for them to be more accepting.
Some parents may have legitimate concerns about your and your partner’s cultural compatibility. Pay close attention to what your parents say and respond thoughtfully.
Assure your parents that you have considered and will continue to consider their viewpoint. “Thank you for your feedback,” you should tell them. I value your candour, and I will carefully consider what you have said.”
Remind them that every relationship has difficulties, and that you and your partner care about each other and are willing to work through any problems that arise.
Remind racist parents of all the positive aspects of your partner. For example, you could say, “I adore my partner.” They are not defined by their race. I’m sorry you don’t see it.”
Tell your parents that what matters most is what someone’s heart is like, not their appearance or upbringing.
2. Maintain your composure. Keep emotional outbursts to a minimum. If your parents are unwilling to accept you dating outside your race, it’s okay to be angry or frustrated. However, it is critical to keep the conversation civil. Be patient and refrain from yelling, name-calling, or violence.
If you notice your temper rising, take a slow three-second inhale through your nose and a five-second exhale through your mouth. This simple breathing exercise will assist you in relaxing.
It’s sometimes best to be patient and give your parents time to process the news that you’re dating someone of a different race. If you believe the conversation is not productive, please excuse yourself or end it politely. You can always revisit the subject with your parents later. “I’m going to excuse myself from this conversation for the time being.” We may be able to resume at a later date.”
3. Don’t let your family make you feel bad about yourself. “What will people think of me if you’re in an interracial relationship?” your parents might wonder. They may also suggest that you should only date people of your own race, or that you are doing something wrong by dating someone of a different race. Stand up to these insinuations and antiquated attitudes by reminding them of the many wonderful people of all races. Explain that the most important thing to look for in a partner is how the person acts and treats you.
For example, you could say, “I know and love my partner, and they take good care of me.” These are critical considerations. My partner’s race, on the other hand, is not.”
Don’t let your parents use other people’s (or their own) attitudes to make you feel bad about your relationship. If they are concerned that their friends or neighbours will judge them because of your dating habits, suggest that they cut ties with those people.
Assure your parents that your interracial relationship is not meant to offend them and is not an act of rebellion. “My relationship is only meant to enrich my life and the life of my partner,” you say. It is not intended to be a slight against you.”
Creative Commons License