I have been in an interracial relationship for over seven years. I am a 26-year-old Indian American woman from New Jersey, and my husband is a 27-year-old African American man from a small town in Arkansas. In pictures and on paper, we could not appear to be any more different. But in reality, we are incredibly in sync with each other. Being in a relationship with someone who differs from you is very educational. So here’s how interracial relationships help give you a better perspective:
1. You appreciate a different culture.
I grew up Hindu. My parents immigrated to the United States in the 1980s. My husband grew up Baptist, and his parents are African American from the deep south. As you can assume, we didn’t grow up on the same advice. Our family structure, parents’ careers, and even our genetics are wildly different, and so are our backgrounds, ancestors, and beliefs.
One of my favorite parts about being with my husband is learning about his heritage and the traditions he grew up with. Learning, valuing, and understanding where another individual comes from is essential to appreciate them. Being able to mesh our cultures and belief systems has been the most significant part of our relationship. Due to that, we’ve become more understanding and accepting of people who live very different lives than us. It has also given us a raw perspective on the world and made us realize that it is truly possible to live in harmony.
2. You see places you usually would never see.
Being in an interracial relationship has allowed my husband and me to see places we would have never thought about visiting. I’ve been able to travel to India with my husband and introduce him to my extended family. We have visited Hindu temples and explored my motherland together.
On the other hand, my husband has shown me the real south of the United States. Staying in Arkansas and meeting my husband’s family has changed my outlook on that region. He has shown me what it’s like to attend church on Sundays and what rich history lies in our southern states. What’s more, we even took a trip to Africa because we wanted to explore the culture further and see the ties African Americans have to the continent. We have exchanged cultures and opened each other’s eyes to our ethnic groups’ issues. These are life-changing experiences that make you appreciate people that are different from you.
3. You become more open-minded.
There are so many new things I have tried because I’m in an interracial relationship. I have become more comfortable with putting myself out there and experiencing things, and honestly, it has been fun. My appreciation for different food, music, films, books, clothing, and more has inevitably opened my mind. I have found a new respect for various interests, and I believe it has made me understand society much more.
Sharing your interests and hobbies with your significant other becomes a part of your daily life. Over time, you get insight into another culture in a unique way that makes you treasure the human race as a whole. The perspective gained from being in an interracial relationship allows you to understand better where an individual is coming from. It feels like you can actually see the world through their eyes which is invaluable.
4. You aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo.
I’m not saying that interracial relationships are the only way to achieve the things I mentioned above. However, I encourage you not to limit yourself when it comes to love. Don’t just write people off because they aren’t the same race as you. Also, never exclude someone from your dating pool because you’re scared of how your family and/or society may treat you. Yes, interracial relationships are more challenging, and there is a lot more crap you have to deal with. However, ultimately this is how the world advances — through the exchange of value and different beliefs and ideas coming together. We need more people uniting races, ethnicities, and belief systems. It will only unite us more.
As a young woman in an interracial marriage, I live my life constantly going against the grain by just being in a happy relationship. But this has given me a different way of looking at life. It made me open my eyes and become unafraid to question the stereotypical way of living. After all, challenging norms and society is how change and progress occur.
Featured image via Jasmine Carter on Pexels