Diversity is one of the most beautiful things this world has to offer. Being around others different from you allows you to embrace yourself in a new culture, new food, new music and a new open-minded viewpoint on life. In a perfect world all interracial relationship would be viewed as an opportunity for humanity to grow into a well-rounded and accepting group. However, this is not a prefect world and differences in races are noticed. Therefore, the pleasures of dating someone outside of your race can be filled with bumps along the road. Here are three things to keep in mind when dating outside your race:

1)   You have not killed racism

In your eyes your partner may be the most loving, loyal and wonderful person you have ever encountered but not all of society will see things in this manner. You may have family members that disapprove, your friends may say racist things, you may get weird looks at the grocery store but it’s important to remain thick skinned in these situations. Be ready to communicate with your partner when they become uncomfortable if your friends and family say racial things even if they mean no harm. Be ready to stand up to your family and friends and help them understand your situation. Be ready to respond appropriately when people give you strange looks or ask inappropriate questions. It’s important to keep communication lines open with your partner and the rest of society.

2) Be open minded

It is never appropriate to stereotype different races, however it is important to acknowledge the differences. You will need to be open minded to differences in foods, music, holidays, and even religions. It is important to keep an open mind to things that may seem “strange” or “different” to you because you now have to focus on your partners happiness and comfort ability as much as your own. By choosing an interracial relationship you have decided to take the world on as a team despite your differences.

3)   Real love is more than skin deep

Yes, it is important to acknowledge that race is a factor in your relationship. It allows you to open the gates to communicate and appreciate your differences. However, it is also important to acknowledge all the things you have in common. There is a reason you selected this person despite all odds and when times get tough it is important to remember why you fell for this person. Real love is truly more than skin deep.

Don’t let society dictate your happiness. Yes, there will be challenges to dating interracially but true love conquers all.

AUTHOR: Danielle Hackett, Psychology Intern University of Central Florida