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How to Handle Disapproval of Interracial Relationships

If youre in an interracial relationship, you may be crazy about your partner but dismayed that others disapprove. Strangers stare at the two of you when you walk hand-in-hand down the street. Friends ask questions about “those people” and family members say they fear for your future mixed-race children.

So, what’s the best way to handle disapproval of your interracial relationship? Communication and boundary-setting are key.

Above all else, take the steps necessary to protect your relationship in the face of ongoing negativity.

Don’t Assume the Worst

For your own mental health, assume that most people have good intentions. If you notice eyes on you and your significant other as you walk down the street, don’t automatically assume it’s because the passersby disapprove of your interracial union. Perhaps people are staring because they consider you a particularly attractive couple. Perhaps people are staring because they applaud you for being in a mixed relationship or belong to a mixed couple themselves. It’s quite common for members of interracial couples to notice similar couples.

Think that’s being too optimistic? Consider what happened to a reader of the popular blog Racialicous.com. A black woman, the reader commented how she once encountered an interracial couple composed of a white woman and a black man. The reader recalled that the couple behaved defensively as soon as they saw her, likely because they’ve heard that black women are hostile to pairs of white women and black men.

The reader and the couple passed by without incident but a few minutes later crossed paths again. This time the couple was shocked to see her with her white date. They’d assumed the worst, when, in fact, this particular black woman was not only accepting of interracial couples but in a mixed relationship herself.

Of course, there are times when strangers on the street are openly hostile. Their eyes really do fill with hate at the sight of interracial couples. So, what should you do when you’re on the receiving end of their

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