Being in an interracial relationship is very exciting. There are so many different experiences that the two of you share that you feel like you’re on a constant quest for knowledge. You learn about the beautiful aspects of one another’s culture.
You begin to see that although you do have quite a
few things that are different, that those differences are really not as high
pitched as society would have you believe. In fact, you quickly discover that
almost all cultures live the same way. We all experience success, failure,
heartache and depression on the same levels. You learn that sometimes society
likes to be more about the comfort of others than the reality of life.
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But there is one aspect of interracial relationships that people rarely talk about.
If you’re in an interracial relationship you wear the security guard uniform more often than you want to admit. You are constantly on alert. You’re not necessarily looking for negativity within your partner but you’re on alert to ensure that the smooth flow of learning continues without offense or hurt feelings. You have to be. If you really care for a person the last thing you want to do is hurt them over some stuff you subconsciously learned from your racist uncle when you were 5. It’s just good to always be truthful about your past, your exposure and how those teachings could subconsciously creep out and affect your interracial relationship. So, you are constantly on alert and vigilant; mindful of those prejudices that you subconsciously learned and are trying to dispose of. And while most people in interracial relationships won’t admit it, there is an alertness that you develop to make sure your partner doesn’t bring any of their subconscious junk into your life either.
But you also need to be honest. You can get tired of always waving the interracial flag. Sometimes you just want to argue without the filters. If your lover is behaving like an idiot, you want the ability to call him or her an idiot without them (or sometimes you) searching for the racial overtones within the delivery of the insult.
Sometimes if you hear a song on
the radio you just want the ability to sing the words as they were intended (I’m
thinking hip hop) without having the interracial police lock you up for
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And what about going out in public? I don’t care who you are or what type of interracial relationship you’re in, you’re going to think about public perception every single time you go out. Oh, I know there are those that say, “I could care less about what others think”, but that type of comment is almost always a lie. You’re in an interracial relationship so that in itself means you HAVE to think about what others think. Not because you want a poll taken about their approval, but instead you do have to worry about safety. Somebody might trip and say or do something to bring emotional or bodily harm to the person you care about. That is a whole new set of rules that you have to deal with.
So what can you do to relax yourself? What can you do to take some of the pins and needles out of your day to day and actually enjoy your interracial relationship? How can you lower your guard?
Here are 5 Ways Interracial Couples Can Minimize Stress:
1. Be honest about the burnout: The best thing interracial couples can do to minimize the fatigue they will eventually feel is to speak honestly to one another about it. Don’t just start by complaining to your mate.
That can come
off as nagging or being unhappy with the decision you’ve made. Instead,
talk about the moments in which you feel the least amount of stress. Accentuate
the positive aspects. But always be honest.
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2. Set rules in the house: Failure to communicate is the cause of almost all relationship problems. It doesn’t matter what race you are. So have a burn free zone. Iron out all of your rules and then apply those rules. For instance, set a “complaint day” to air out all of your grievances. But make it fun. Give bonuses for guessing the grievance. The key is to talk and eliminate stress. Interracial couples need to understand that although they are of different ethnicities they are in the same battle together.
3. Eliminate those things that make you stressed: If you know your mom is going to give your husband a hard time, avoid going there for a little while. Now I’m not telling you to go to visit your mom and leave your man at home. No. You need to present a unified front. But your mate will love and appreciate you more for seeing things through his lens and attempting to alleviate that stress.
4. Connect with like-minded individuals: It may be helpful to meet other interracial couples and vibe about what problems they encounter. Although your mate is your best partner and is going through the struggle with you, you’d be surprised at how much stress you can take off of your mind just by hearing the struggles of others.
You and your mate are not alone. Sometimes it’s helpful for the both of you connect with other interracial couples to remember that.
5. Exercise: Getting back to the basics always helps with burnout. Going to the gym and doing a couple of miles on the treadmill will definitely relieve the stress you feel.If a gym isn’t available you and your mate can jog around the neighborhood or burn some calories in the bedroom. Hey, sometimes you gotta use what you got….