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In addition to their racial differences, there could also be meaningful cultural differences stemming from their unique backgrounds and the histories they’ve each inherited.
For instance, the partner who identifies as Black may feel a connection to Puerto Rican culture, and the partner who identifies as White might relate to Spanish culture.
All couples benefit from social approval of their relationship, but this is arguably even more vital for partners in interracial relationships, as they have to contend with social bias, a problem that monoracial couples don’t have to face.
Regrettably, it’s not possible to guarantee that an interracial couple will be surrounded with supporters of their bond when they get together.
Relationships are the bedrock of a gratifying, healthy, well-lived life.
They’re also intricate and personal, as two people co-create their own unique little world over time, with norms, practices, habits, understandings, and a history that are theirs alone.
And although this is true of all relationships, for the purpose of this discussion, let’s focus on romantic relationships.
At times in this blog, we’ll zero in on that lively, ever-changing space where partners interact and influence each other.
According to the psychological literature, race refers to “social identification attached to physical traits such as skin and hair color.” And culture reflects, “shared meanings, beliefs, and traditions that arise as a group shares common history and experiences that give particular interpretations of the world.” So although race and culture are frequently treated as one and the same, they’re actually distinct.
Let’s consider an interracial couple in which one partner identifies as Black and the other partner identifies as White.
But this isn’t the only space that deserves attention, as couples are nested in a complex social and cultural environment that impacts them too.
That’s why sometimes we’ll move outward and aim our attention at the broader spheres where relationships reside.
This piece is intended to build on that earlier blog by focusing on interracial couples, who make up 17 percent of all married couples in the United States.