Women in Interracial Relationships Share the Most Frustrating Comments They Receive

It’s 2018, and we’re happy to say interracial relationships are far more accepted than they once were. But let’s be honest: Members of mixed-race pairings are definitely still vulnerable to ignorant, invasive and often infuriating comments and questions. I spoke to a group of women who are all in interracial relationships to hear about the most frustrating comments they receive – and what they’d like everyone to know about their relationships.

 

Jamie Dunmore, 36:

“The most frustrating thing I’ve heard about the relationship with my husband is that my husband is with me for the appearance of ‘marrying up.’ As if my husband wouldn’t have married me if I were another race or that my husband isn’t good enough as he is and he needs to marry someone to elevate his social status,” said Dunmore, a white woman whose husband is black. “We also hear the same about our kids. That because I am white and my husband and I are ‘good parents,’ our kids will never have to worry about being discriminated against. What I wish that people would understand is that my husband and I are together because we fell in love, just like most people do. I didn’t ‘have a thing for black guys’ and he wasn’t looking for a white girl to make his life easier. It has nothing to do with race or social status. We love each other and we make each other better every day. Being in this relationship and having children can be hard, especially in today’s climate, but we operate like every other family.”

 

Rosie Tran, 34:

“[I’ve heard people say] that I am racist against Asian men because I am Asian and have dated outside my race. (Even though I have dated Asian men in the past). [I’ve also heard] that I hate myself because I am not with an Asian man. I have heard that I am trying to erase my Asian heritage. People assume that I am submissive or that I am leeching off of him. (I actually make more money than him and I am a very LOUD and vocal person. My hubby is more – self admittedly – submissive),” said Tran, who is married to a white man. “I wish people would understand that we are in a VERY loving and healthy relationship. I have been in toxic relationships before and ours is nothing but love, growth, and mutual respect. Also, I wish a lot of people would look at themselves. Usually when anyone has an issue with us, it’s more about their own issues than anything we did. It’s very sad.”

 

Source: @songofstyle

 

Krystal Runkis, 27:

“The most frustrating comment I get is how my fiancee is only in our relationship so he can get his Green Card (he is an American citizen and was born here.) I also get comments from my family about ‘being with a Spic’, how Hispanic men are controlling or abusive, and that ‘he has to be running drugs or be in a gang’ just because he is Hispanic,” said Runkis. “A lot of his friends (and some of his family members) are surprised that I speak fluent Spanish. They make comments about me all of the time (thinking that I don’t understand them) and it is frustrating to hear that I am more or less ‘worthy’ to be in a relationship with him because I am not Hispanic…There are a few more I don’t care to mention because they are far worse.”

 

Jessica Serna, 23

“[I’m] always hearing how cute our babies are going to look, [which] starts to get annoying. Especially when people are so quick to romanticize our relationship without being open to an interracial relationship themselves. Also, I want to adopt so it’s super awkward,” Serna, who is half-white, half-Latina and married to a man from Zambia, said. “Another annoying thing is people telling me their parents would not be cool with them dating a black man or that it’s just not for them. I just wish people would be more open to them without creating a fetish out of having an interracial relationship.”

 

Kaelin Sanchez, 23:

“The most frustrating comments I’ve previously received are backhanded microaggressions on the Indian stereotype. Some friends would jokingly say things along the lines of, ‘You like curry, huh?’ or, ‘Do you guys watch a lot of Bollywood?’ Though we have not faced any blunt racist comments (yet), these microaggressions can build up in one’s mind. It’s upsetting to tell my significant other the microaggressions said to me; people assume who he is before even meeting him,” said Sanchez, a Filipina-Mexican woman whose boyfriend was born and raised in India. “He’s mentioned that he’s faced comments along the same lines, such as ‘I heard Latinas are crazy.’ I wish people knew that our relationship is not defined by where we are born or how we are raised individually. People should understand that it’s about what we learn from each other through our experiences. To be in an interracial relationship, it definitely takes an open mind. I and my significant other are two very different people, raised in two very different countries.  We work and learn from of each other’s’ experiences to strive to be the best version of ourselves. I’ve learned more about the Indian culture being with my S.O., and he’s learned more about the Philippines and Mexico. Learning a new culture first hand really opens your world to an entire new perspective.”

“Another thing I wish people knew about my relationship is that I don’t have a ‘type’. I didn’t specifically look for an interracial relationship,” Sanchez continued. “For instance, I hear all the time of people saying things like, ‘He only dates Asians,’ or, ‘She has chocolate fever.’ Relationships just happen, and it’s about having a connection with someone on an emotional level, not about who they have dated in the past or who you think they’ll date in the future.”

 

 

Annabelle Needles, 31:

“My husband and I live in Denver but we travel often, and this past year have been RVing around the United States. When we were planning our trip, we posted an honest question to one of the full-time RV groups we’re both a part of — we wanted to know if there were any parts of the country where we might expect negative reactions for being interracial. The comments on the post were completely surprising to us: Many were dismissive, some confrontational, some accusing us of being trolls and race-baiting. The small minority gave us valuable feedback and validated our concerns,” said Needles, who is of Irish descent and married to a Filipino man. “Thankfully, we have tremendously supportive families and friends so we’d never encountered that type of intense reactions to our relationship like we saw that day on the internet! You’re never going to see a whole person if you reduce them to a stereotype. This should come as a shock to no one, but we are more alike than different. When it comes to the important stuff, we were on the same page before we met. We approach learning about each other’s culture as an adventure, not an inconvenience, and that’s made our relationship all the richer.

 

Jen Biswas, 33:

“Now that we have children, the most frustrating comments I receive as an interracial couple are related to them. When my husband is not around I get asked if they’re adopted, or most often, ‘Where do their dark features come from?’ My husband is Indian and [I have] blonde hair and green eyes, and my kids look more like him than me,” Biswas shared. “I wish more people knew that it is an honor to be able to celebrate my husband’s Indian heritage and traditions! I love being able to incorporate his culture into our lives and into the lives of our children.”

 

Allison Hayhurst, 31:

“I don’t know if I would categorize any of the comments we receive about our relationship as frustrating. As far as our relationship goes, my family has been incredibly supportive, but my parents are also an interracial couple. I don’t think my husband and I think of ourselves as being an interracial couple much. We do encounter interesting moments though when someone makes a stereotypical Asian joke around me and he has expressed feeling odd about how he reacts to those. If I laugh, is it okay for him to laugh? Should he speak up? I often joke though that he is so incredibly British and hates to cause a fuss so he should just keep the conversation flowing. We recently went to an all-Asian female stand-up comedy night where most of the comedians joked about being with a white man,” said Hayhurst, a Chinese-American woman who is married to a British man. “As the child of an interracial couple, I received a lot of frustrating comments growing up. I often had other kids telling me that I had to be adopted because there was no way the woman I called “Mom” was actually my mother. My mom also has some great stories of her Chinese mother-in-law teaching her how to cook because there was no way a white woman would be able [to] feed her first-born Chinese son.”

 

 

Lisa Alemi, 33

“The most frustrating comments I receive are: ‘What’s his name?’, ‘I hope he is not a Muslim?’, ‘He must be rich. You lucked out.’, [and] ‘Does he speak English?’” Alemi said of her Persian husband.  “Our relationship is no different than any other typical American relationship. While we had very different childhoods due to cultural differences, we share similar passions, love to laugh, and enjoy raising our child to be a smart, friendly, well-rounded human beings.  We definitely have differences in our relationship that we work through, but those are no different than if we were both of the same ethnicity. Most of the challenges that we deal with are the same as any couple no matter their ethnicity: communication, short term and long term goals, making time for each other.  We’ve learned that communication is key for us to understand each other’s expectations. The thing I enjoy most about being in an interracial marriage is that we are constantly learning about each other’s culture: the food, the traditions, and more.”

 

Larisha Campbell, 32

“The most frustrating comments would be around people assuming that there’s something wrong with us choosing each other,” Campbell, a white woman who is engaged to a Jamaican-American man, said. “I’ve been condescendingly asked ‘Oh, so do you only date black men?’ and my fiance has been asked, ‘Why would you choose her and not a black woman?’ I wish more people knew that we are together because we were both attracted to each other and from there we built a relationship based on love. We knew each other for years before we dated and we just happened to be in the right place at the right time when we got together finally. We never got together because we thought there was something better with each other’s race, but just love.”

 

Are you part of an interracial couple? What’s your experience been like?

  • Elizabeth

    I’m in an interracial relationship and I love it. I’m always learning new things and he is def the love of my life … but his father is not happy that I am not from where he is from. It’s really hard.

  • My bf and I have been going strong for over 2 years. He is bi-racial and shares different perspectives on life and society that if anything make me more aware and mindful. At the core we share the same values which is what really matters.

  • LC

    I am in one and no-one has ever made any strange statements (to my face that is). Our families were more concerned with whether or not we were good people versus what race we were. We are open minded enough to understand the challenges that each side has experience. I am also able to talk to him about privilege and what it means in these times (he is white, I am black) and married for 10 years. In this day and age along with where we live, interracial relationships seem more the norm than not so our kids don’t think that they are any different.

  • JKaps

    My husband is white and I’m biracial (my mom is white my dad is black) and people assume I married him for his money or to increase my social status. Or the one that really annoys me is that he somehow rescued me from the ghetto. My husband’s parents are Polish immigrants and my parents are both medical professionals. Yes, he’s successful now, but he was unemployed for a year before we got married. It gets under my skin from time to time.

  • JD

    My mother is Chinese and my father Italian, they were married in 1973…for the most part, Im sure things were a lot worse back then but they ALWAYS taught me that you have to ignore it. Apparently I look different (?) And am regularly asked “What ARE you?”…or once “…so your father brought your mother home from the war?”…people are just ignorant and all you can do is laugh, otherwise it’s going to be a very long road. Besides, why be so concerned with what others think??

  • Rebecca

    I’m really glad to see an article on this. I’ve been in an interracial relationship for years – I’m white and he’s Vietnamese. A white female / asian male relationship is apparently one of the most uncommon. What I’ve found shocking is how often people, both strangers AND close friends/family, feel comfortable saying “good for you… personally I don’t find asian men attractive.” You would think by now I have a good response, but I usually end up dumbfounded. Anyone else run into similar comments? How do you handle?

    • P

      I am white and my boyfriend of several years is Jamaican – I constantly get the “good for you!” comment, often followed by how they could never be with a black man or find them attractive but [something along the lines of how they’ve never tried one, as if people of other races are new foods they haven’t tried or something…]
      I am also usually dumbfounded and have yet to come up with a good response!

  • Lauren

    I’m white, my SO is Pakistani, and the most frustrating thing for me is my peers / family not trying to understand his culture. They always come up with malicious (and untrue) reasons as to why they’re more involved in his decision-making than they’re used to, or why his family interacts with each other the way they do. He’s about to move out of the US and I’m tired of answering “why don’t you just get married so he can stay?” It’s not that simple in his culture!

  • Devinne Stevens

    When my parents met my ex (who’s a Korean adoptee), they seemed to really like him. But afterward, my mom asked me, “Don’t you want your kids to look like you?” That was really hurtful, especially coming from my family.

  • Anna

    My husband is Italian and I’m Indian. We just had our first baby and my baby looks identical to my husband, which I love! Because our son is white I often get mistaken for the nanny/babysitter. I even was told that when my son starts school, most people will assume I’m the second wife.

  • Krizia

    I’m Latina and my boyfriend is North African/Muslim… I identify so much with everyone here… The first reaction of our families was that we wouldn’t last, five years and a half later my family love him and say that he’s the best man with the kindest heart they’ve ever met and his family loves me too. But I still get a lot of ignorant comments against him saying stuff about his “race” and for being a Muslim.

  • Wendy In The City

    Great article! would have been nice to see maybe one woman of color speaking on her experience in a interracial relationship. Also i feel there is a difference in how society deals if you are in a onesided interracial relationship vs two minoirites say (black & hispi or thai/ black