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Interracial Relationships – an Overview of Issues

Interracial marriages and relationships have become increasingly accepted and encouraged by society. Since the 1967 legalization of interracial marriage, the number of mixed race marriages has more or less doubled with each passing decade. There are currently over 1.6 million interracial marriages in the United States and that figure is forecasted to continue rising. For the most part, relationships between races are no different than the interactions between people of the same race. There are however, certain issues such as faith, cultural traditions and racism that can cause tension and discomfort in the relationship.

Over 70% of American society has no problem with mixed race relationships, thus proving that people are starting to overcome racial stereotypes. Over 40% of Americans have already dated someone of another ethnicity and are pioneering a revolution in the dating scene. Many high school and college students are dating interracially, which is helping to increase awareness of mixed race relationships. Unfortunately, many of these relationships go unnoticed because the couples feel that either friends or family will not approve. Secret mixed race romances often occur because the parents are strict and forbid or discourage dating outside of one’s culture. Parents are often the perpetrators of stereotypes and racism. Many parents force their children to date within their culture, in order to avoid betraying their own cultural roots.

Successful relationships often result in marriage, and the wedding plans themselves can be a major struggle. Some couples choose to avoid cultural tradition altogether, some choose to have two separate weddings in order to celebrate both traditions properly, and some try to compromise by combining cultural customs and creating their own. When preparing for interracial weddings, many of the parents feel that their cultural traditions are being denied and can cause problems. Including the families in the decision making process is a great way to keep everyone communicating and feeling happy.

Once married, mixed race couples face more decisions concerning holiday traditions, religious worship and children. It is important to talk about where holidays will take place and which traditions they will choose to celebrate. Many couples choose to worship either separately or they will find a different faith that suits them both. Issues concerning children, and how they will be raised both in faith and cultural are also major concerns for mixed race parents. The mixed race children should also be taught how to deal with racism.

Almost all interracial families encounter racism in some shape or form. Many of these families will benefit from dealing with tough problems, like racism and will experience improved family strength and problem solving abilities. While there are many issues faced by those in interracial relationships, the friendships and romances are often worthwhile and fulfilling.

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