It’s been more than fifty years since the landmark Loving v. Virginia case invalidated laws banning interracial marriage in the U.S.
These days, interracial relationships are incredibly common. According to Pew research, about 17 percent of new marriages and 20 percent of cohabiting relationships are interracial or interethnic. And about one-quarter of Americans have a close relative in an interracial marriage.
The numbers of interracial unions may be rising, but couples in the relationships still encounter a lot of questions ― and some of them are straight-up rude. Below, interracial couples share 10 questions and misconceptions they’re sick of hearing.
1. “You don’t date within your own race?”
“I get asked this question frequently from other members of my community and it frustrates me. Yes, I have dated black men and I’ve dated other minorities as well. I don’t have a preference when it comes to the color of my partner’s skin; I looked more for compatibility and personality when I was single ― something I wish other people would take the time to learn. All that matters at the end of the day is that you and your partner see eye-to-eye on most of the important issues in this life. I know race can affect people’s opinions on those topics, but for us ― and probably for others in most interracial relationships ― it never becomes a big problem.” ― Vladimir Sabajo, who lives in New York City and runs the YouTube channel VladixDean with his partner Dean Carter
2. “Is your home life different because of your differences?”
“We’re not your average heteronormative couple, but we still interact with each other in almost the same manner. We have shared interests, we share cleaning responsibilities around the house, and we even have the occasional disagreement just like any two people living in close quarters. The fact that we are both men and are both from different racial backgrounds does not affect our daily life as much as most people assume. For instance, we both hold steady jobs but many people assume that because I’m white and feminine, that Vladimir takes care of me financially. It’s a mindset that is rooted in both misogyny and racism: It’s based on the idea that black skin equates to hypermasculinity and that white skin equates to fragility. This kind of thinking dehumanizes both parties and creates unnecessary stereotypes that can be damaging to relationships.” ― Dean Carter
3. “Wow, you look so exotic.”
“Do you really need to double take every time we hold hands? We don’t feel like we look that shocking, and we’re certainly not interesting enough to be gawked at in public. The stunned staring is really unnecessary, and honestly pretty disturbing when you’re on the receiving end of it. We’re not on display, we’re just a couple.” ― Ariana Offray, who lives in Los Angeles, California and runs the YouTube channel Ariana Raw with her partner Hannah Glover
4. “Are the cultural differences a problem?”
“Cultural differences aren’t a negative thing. We’ve found that they’ve made our relationship stronger and helped us grow as individuals. They haven’t torn us apart.” ―Bethany Struble, who lives in Los Angeles California with her partner Peter Adrian Sudarso and runs the YouTube channel Bethany Struble Vlogs
5. “What do you have in common?”
“We’re of different races but one of the main reasons we get on so well as a couple is because of how similar we are. We have similar values, mindsets and interests. If anything, being in an interracial relationship actually shows you how likeminded you are to someone of a different race.” ― Kimmy Kimani, who lives in the U.K. and runs the YouTube channel James and Kimmy with her partner James Alexander Hobbs
6. “Do you want kids who look like you?”
“People (even within our own families sometimes) ask us if we will adopt babies that ‘looks like us.′ Thing is, we are already an ‘unconventional’ family and we are aware that our family will look different anyway. Hence we do not care for the ethnicity of our children. They will be loved and welcomed like any other child would be in any other family.” ― David Levesque, who lives in Toronto, Canada and runs the YouTube channel HueDavid with his husband Huey Tran
7. “Are you going to have babies? Mixed babies always look cute.”
“Yes, our kids will be cute if we so chose to have them but that’s because all babies are cute. Our baby being ‘mixed’ doesn’t make them any cuter than someone else’s child.” ―Harsh Patel, who lives in New Jersey and runs the YouTube channel Harsh and Des with his partner DesTynee Covington
8. “You’re married to a white man. Does he make more money than you? ”
“First off, thanks for assuming that I would marry a man based off his income. Second, do you think a man of another race is not capable of making a lot of money? Third, do you think white men are so undesirable that the only way I’d be interested was if they were wealthy? This is by far the worst question I’ve been asked about being in an interracial marriage because it’s loaded with not only one but many insults. I married this man because I love him...end of story.” ―Jackie Iadonisi, who lives in Los Angeles with her husband Nick Iadonisi and runs the YouTube channel Jackie’s Adventures
9. “Don’t you deal with so much prejudice?”
“Yes, we live in a globalized world now, but not everyone is open to the idea that two different worlds could come together in the name of love. This is hard, but we don’t take it personally when other family members need a moment to digest our relationship. We’ve learned that some might be overly joyed and fascinated by an interracial couple, while others might take longer to accept or have their prejudices dissolved.” ― Henrik Stenberg, who lives in Sweden and runs the YouTube channel Henrik and Rachel with his partner Rachel Otieno
10. “Isn’t it so hard dealing with different backgrounds?”
“At the end of the day, our differences are not a big a deal. We are in a relationship, just like everyone else. It’s really no different. In some ways, it’s harder and in some ways, easier, but that’s mostly because of who we are as people, not necessarily what backgrounds we come from. The same way you may not like being stared at and questioned about your lifestyle (or personal life), neither do we. We do understand that we stand out visually, but at the same time, realize we are people doing people stuff...just like you. It might not be that exciting or exotic to hear but really, it’s the truth.” ― Wendy Joseph, who lives in New Jersey with her partner Daniel Hennessey and runs the YouTube Channel Wendy’s Curls