The world is in a very strange and scary place right now. During times like these relationships with your loved ones, and your significant others, become extremely important, but also rather difficult. A specific type of relationship that has always been difficult in our world, but even more so now, are interracial relationships. Fortunately, as a black woman currently taking part in interracial dating during this pandemic and making it work, I have a few strategies you can use to be successful in interracial dating in the post COVID-19 world.
Now, this may seem like an obvious one, as every relationship relies on communication to an extent, but communication is vital in an interracial relationship. The partners of an interracial relationship, as much as we may hate to admit, will have very different life experiences. This includes those experiences before and during the relationship. I can attest, as I’m sure many people of color can, that even just walking down the street holding hands with a white s/o can be stressful. People shoot you dirty looks, cross the street, and give many other subtle signals that they disapprove of what you’re doing. Your white man or woman may not notice these things, as many white people do not, as they have the privilege of not having to. Communication is important so that white men can understand what their black women counterparts are experiencing on the daily and vice versa. Communication is also important as with COVID-19 hanging around there will either a large increase of time spent together or a large decrease, so you must keep in touch and communicate often so both of you are aware of the other’s feelings.
It is going to be very difficult to communicate if there is no interest to do so. This is targeted mainly to the white men and women who are taking part in interracial dating. Black women as well as black men have a very different understanding and style of living in the world than their white counterparts due to a large imbalance in privilege. It is your job, as a white person dating a person of color to take an interest in what the world is like for their black spouse. Ask them about what struggles they have, ask them what mistakes of privilege you may have made and what you can do to help. With COVID-19 preventing many exciting outings, now is a great time to ask all of the questions you may have skipped before, or explain things your spouse might not quite understand.
Embrace Your Culture
With this pandemic now is the time to explore each other in deeper ways. Instead of arguing about what movie to watch, ask your spouse about their culture. What movies do they feel would you understand them better as black women or men? What music are they interested in sharing with you from their childhood or family? Of course, as all black women and men are sure to feel that they are surrounded by white culture (specifically white men culture) constantly, many white men and women have roots into deeper, more specific cultures. Use COVID-19’s forceful closing of your front door as an opportunity to explore your spouse’s culture in new ways. You will quickly find that you both not only have a better understanding of another, but also will be closer than you ever been.
Speak Up in the Bedroom
If you are lucky enough to be quarantined with your spouse, an activity you may find yourself partaking in much more often (if you are into that sort of thing) is sex. Before COVID-19 there may have been a lot of responsibilities (work, school, etc.) minimizing the amount of time in the bedroom. However, for most of us there is all the time in the world and discussing with your partner what sexual fantasies or activities you want to try is a great way to reduce stress and keep any relationship healthy, including interracial ones.
The world might be a scary place right now, but your relationship does not have to be scary too. Interracial dating can be difficult in any state of the world, let alone this current one. Speak up to your spouse. White men, black men, white women, and black women, the most important thing is to care about each other. Communicate, take an interest, embrace your respective culture, and speak up! Your relationship will thank you for it.