Interracial dating may seem common, but in the USA, only 17% of married couples are interracial. In the UK, the ONS figures show that interracial couples account for only 7% of all relationships. This means that although there are more interracial couples on YouTube than ever before and high profile interracial marriages like Harry and Meghan’s, these are exceptions rather than the norm. So, if you are ‘down with the Swirl’ and looking for your next cross cultural partner, then you need to read this blog post. We’ll explain the do’s, dont’s and show you how you can find the one!
What is interracial dating?
Interracial dating occurs when each person involved belongs to a different race, or racialsed ethnicity. The opposite of interracial dating is called intraracial dating.
Can I have a racial preference when dating?
You can definitely have a racial preference when it comes to dating. However if you only ever want to exclusively date one specific race then it’s worth considering why. Does your racial preference align with any common tropes associated with people outside of your race? If so, then we would encourage you to explore why you feel this way. There’s a difference between thinking someone is attractive as an individual and desiring them because of the attributes which seem to be linked to their skin colour.
Interracial dating advice: The Do’s
Do be open to learning new things
If it’s your first time dating somebody from a different race, it’s important to be aware that there will most probably be lots of cultural differences. These differences can lead to many enlightening, and insightful conversations. However both sides have to be receptive to learning about the other person’s culture. Educate your companion on your culture and traditions, especially on things that are meaningful to you and your family. Research each other’s history and traditions. Food is big in all cultures to trade stories about funny food memories, or your favourite recipes. During this information sharing phase it can seem overwhelming with their being so much to take in. However, over time, you will realise that you have more in common than not. Especially if your relationship is built upon strong values, shared goals, and common interests.
Do explore lots of “what if?” scenario’s
Dating somebody of a different race can present a wide range of challenges that you may have never experienced before. Your social circles could be completely different. Your families may not approve of the relationship. More commonly, you may be subject to stares in the street, or comments for the public depending on where you live. This can be the case for heterosexual interracial couples, and homosexual interracial couples. To counter this, try to explore lots of “What if?” scenarios to make sure that you are both on the same page should an uncomfortable situation arise. For example, try asking your partner “What would you do if a random man made a rude remark as he walked past us holding hands?”. Consider their response, reply with your own thoughts, and if they don’t match up try to discover why. You and your partner do not need to have identical approaches, but you must be able to understand them.
Do discuss race
Many interracial couples shy away from important topics like racism. However, it’s important to address race early on in a relationship. Whether you are ‘colour-blind’ or not, racism does still exist in our world. There may be subtle instances of racism that a white partner may not fully recognise. This could be because they are not aware of the signs, or because it happens in an unfamiliar context. Therefore discussing the potential challenges, and explaining any issues that have occurred previously, you should be able to understand each other much better.
Interracial dating advice: The Don’ts
Don’t let your partner hide you from their family and friends
It’s a major red flag if your partner is hiding you from their family. Whilst your boyfriend or girlfriend may have reservations about introducing you to their family, if they see a future with you long term, they will make sure that they do whatever it takes to get their family on side. Beyond race, there could be additional factors playing a role such as religion, sexuality, and geography, however your partner should explain this all to you from the outset. As for friends, there should be no reason for your partner to hide you from their friends. If the friends are genuine, they will be supportive and embrace you with open arms.
Don’t be your partner’s fetish
If anyone approaches you saying, “it has always been my fantasy to date someone like you,” they are just seeking to experiment. You deserve more than being someone’s trial run. There is a difference between someone who has never dated interracially but is interested in you, and someone just looking to experiment. If somebody like this messages you on a dating app, or dating website, block them, immediately, as quickly as you can! After several dates, or during a relationship, you may discover that your partner has a fetish for race play. In practice this often presents as people of colour role playing as slaves. This could be another alarming sign that means your partner could desire you for your race, rather than you as an individual.
Don’t forget to find your cheerleaders
Dating can be difficult and relationships can be a challenge. So, when the going gets tough it’s important to reach out to your cheerleaders. These are the people that support you, support your relationship and want to see you both happy. Identify who these people are, and reach out to them in times of need. They will be the ones to uplift you and encourage you to keep going.
Interracial dating sites
There are several interracial dating sites online. However we would always recommend starting with one of the major players first e.g. eharmony, or Match. This is because the quality of the profiles are higher, there are typically more members, and the matchmaking algorithms are more effective. This results in more long-term relationships, and many happy marriages!
The eharmony membership pool is extremely diverse because it’s one of the biggest dating sites in the world. Scientific matchmaking is used to connect people with their perfect match. Every day, you’ll see profiles of other members in your eharmony inbox. These are the people the site thinks are a good fit for you. Membership starts from $29.90 a month.
Match has facilitated more first dates, relationships, and marriages than any other dating site. In an internal survey, a third of Match users reported having started a relationship lasting longer than four months thanks to the dating site. Once a profile has been created, you’ll be able to browse profiles, as well as being sent potential matches directly. Match also runs several singles events each year in various cities. Membership starts from $20.99 a Month.
Interracialdating.com is an interracial dating website for people based in the United States (US) only. There are thousands of single men and women from all over the (US) who are registered members and who already have posted personal ads which you can scroll through to find love. Unlike other dating sites which require users to pay to use some of the functionality e.g. send messages, on interractialdating.com this is free.
Swirlr is a dedicated interracial dating site that launched in 2003. There are black, white, and asian singles from all over the world on Swirlr. However, matches are not given to members like with other dating websites. This means that you will have to manually scroll through various profiles and actively reach out to anybody that you like. Membership is free, but to have access to the full range of features, a paid membership will be required.
Interracial dating can be a challenge, but nothing worth having is easy. Use the tips and dating sites in this blog post to find your happily ever after.