Interracial Couples Reveal The Biggest Cultural Adjustments They Overcame[rebelmouse-image 18351636 is_animated_gif=
Cultural stereotypes, and the judgments that accompany them, still present challenges for interracial couples. But dating someone from another culture has its perks too - different food, family celebrations, holiday traditions - all help to enrich our relationships. It's not always easy, though, as people still like to judge.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
The Chinese ex was doing it right. Unopened and uneaten? Mine.[rebelmouse-image 18351637 is_animated_gif=
My ex-boyfriend of two years was Chinese, and I'm white (and Southern, while he'd lived most of his life in Chicago). We had some minor things like he would make fun of how much cheese I ate and I made fun of how much he learned to love sweet iced tea. But the one cultural norm we didn't even realize we didn't have in common was taking food home from special events. For white people, food left at the end of a wedding/event/banquet is for the host (whoever's paid for it) to dispose of/dispense how they like. In Chinese culture, mass to-go boxes are distributed and everyone takes home whatever they want. I remember being mortified at a wedding when my bf just snagged an entire, unopened box of cupcakes to take when we left. In my mind, he just stole cupcakes. What was so remarkable was that I thought he was being cheap and he thought I was being paranoid, and we never ever chalked it up to cultural norms. Learned this from a totally different (also Chinese) friend after we'd broken up.
Edit: I'm speaking of fancy or formal events specifically, not all get-togethers with food.
This seems like an easy adjustment.[rebelmouse-image 18351638 is_animated_gif=
So. Many. Hugs.
Family is family is family.[rebelmouse-image 18351639 is_animated_gif=
One I can answer!
My partner is from Zimbabwe. I'm from Scotland.
The biggest culture shock by far is how every older woman is called mbuya (gran) and every older man sekuru (grandpa). From what I understand their language (Shona) doesn't seem to have a word for aunties, uncles or cousins: everyone is just your sibling, parent, grandparent or a stranger. Makes it a nightmare to work out what the 'real' relations are.
Saying "I'm full" is a no-no in many cultures, and there's always so much food.[rebelmouse-image 18351642 is_animated_gif=
Not a current relationship but a previous one. I'm white and he's Hispanic. Meeting his family was really when the cultural differences showed. His entire family was super welcoming, immediately I was included in everything and made to feel like part of the family, that was definitely not the norm in my other relationships.
I found out that even if I'm stuffed full if his mom or aunt offered me food, I better take it. To refuse for any reason was extremely rude.
Authentic Mexican food is amazing.
We did go to a Hispanic dance club together once and I was treated like trash by everyone present because of being white, but that was the only occasion of people disapproving.
We broke up because he's a terrible person, but I still miss his family.
Celebrating for no reason? Sounds like a great adjustment.[rebelmouse-image 18351643 is_animated_gif=
My fiancée is black, I'm white/Asian. Everyone from her family is very loud but in a loving way, especially in public. So much laughing and clapping for no reason, I love it so much. My wasian family is very quiet and reserved and doesn't show much affection. Being in public and getting stared at is the biggest adjustment. Also the food. Anyone else love neckbone?
Well, this is different, and certainly an adjustment.[rebelmouse-image 18351644 is_animated_gif=
I am dating a girl whose parents are from East Boston. They call pasta "macaroni" and red sauce/pasta sauce "gravy." WTF
Doesn't seem like much adjustment is needed here, everyone is really well-rounded.[rebelmouse-image 18351645 is_animated_gif=
Meeting her family: lots of hugs, the family is important, you always compliment how beautiful the mom is and eat all of her cooking, when the dad drinks then you must drink, anytime they invite you to an event then you drop everything and go or witness their wrath.
Her meeting my family: shoes come off the second you enter the house, be prepared to gossip with the mom, constantly receive a small sentence of wisdom from the dad.
I am Vietnamese and she is Venezuelan. Both families agree we would have beautiful children.
Edit: RIP inbox. y'all some amazing people: ;)
Mothers-in-law take a lot of adjusting.[rebelmouse-image 18351647 is_animated_gif=
White male married to a black woman here. We have been together since 1988 and have a 19 yo daughter.
I am not sure there were any real cultural adjustments. I have read about people in interracial relationships getting all kinds of blowback/disapproval but we've not experienced anything significant.
My MIL finds fault with virtually anything but that does not seem cultural though.
Tearing down cultural stereotypes is a necessary adjustment.[rebelmouse-image 18351648 is_animated_gif=
My ex-boyfriend is Japanese. He and his family were very very proper, clean, and etiquette. The biggest thing was they were never really satisfied with his accomplishments. Every time he did something good they would always want more from him.
Edit: One thing I forgot to mention was that I'm Hispanic, and his family had some misconceived views on Hispanic/Latino people. The sister and dad thought I was going to be some sort of drug dealer or a gang member and were scared of me at first. His mom and brother thought I was going to be loud, good at dancing, and always say something in Spanish after every sentence. They were very interesting...
Learning your partner's native language shows immense dedication, and is a really noble adjustment.[rebelmouse-image 18351649 is_animated_gif=
Learning Spanish. I married a Peruvian who speaks perfect English and so I have trouble remembering what I learn.
I like the sound of the wild Christmas.[rebelmouse-image 18351651 is_animated_gif=
My husband is Mexican and I am white. The biggest thing we genuinely notice and laugh about is how Christmas is handled.
His family - mass chaos, everyone opens presents all at the same time. There is literally trash and Christmas paper EVERYWHERE.
My family - slow, meticulous, everyone patiently waits their turn to open their gift. We legitimately have someone assigned to trash bag duty.
This happens far too often - skin color shouldn't define love.[rebelmouse-image 18351653 is_animated_gif=
It's weird getting racist side-eyes from people of the same race as me.
Whether it's interracial or sexuality, let's not judge others on how and whom they love.[rebelmouse-image 18351654 is_animated_gif=
My interracial relationship isn't an issue with most people. They normally just are disgusted because we're gay.
Hot take: visits are one thing, but having the whole family in a hospital room is really uncomfortable. It was for me.[rebelmouse-image 18351655 is_animated_gif=
I'm Hispanic, my husband is Caucasian. When someone in my family is sick, the whole family shows up. We all sit in the waiting room for a surgery, come by the house with food during a recovery. When his own father had a cardiac cath my husband didn't go with him even though he had the day off work. I went with his father and his mother and he thought it was so extra for me to go. His mentality is that I can't do anything if something goes wrong. He said if something did go wrong his mother would call him. In my family, it's a show of love, respect, and support to be at someone's sick bed, even for a routine medical procedure. His mother didn't find it strange, his sister didn't go either. It's just weird to me. When his grandma had a hip replaced he went to visit her in rehab only one time and she was there for two weeks. If it was my family, we would take shifts so she would have at least one visitor per day and one home-cooked meal.
Oh, white people...[rebelmouse-image 18351656 is_animated_gif=
Black man with a white ex here. I have plenty of these types of scenarios. My favorite is the white people who assumed we weren't together when we walked into a restaurant. My ex was absolutely incensed! I laughed because I've dealt with that ignorance on more than one occasion.
Parties for everything? Why not?![rebelmouse-image 18351658 is_animated_gif=
White trash married into a Hispanic household.
Everything is different.
They throw parties for everything. High school graduation was a huge deal, I had to convince my parents to come because I needed a ride home afterward. His family was shocked.
We don't cook when people come over. Just buy some pizza. His mom might kill me if I throw a party without cooking a bunch of homemade food.
Sleepovers, family coming over? Then it's assumed they will stay the night. Totally threw me off. Our family barely visits and when they do it's for a few hours then they're gone.
Is someone pregnant? Awesome huge parties and lots of gifts. My family? That sucks better figure out what you're gonna do.
Kids party? Lots of games n food n cake and gifts. My family, oh cool here's a t-shirt I have work so I'm gonna leave now.
A family member needs help? They're family best go help. My side? The most you'll get is a 'that sucks' there's no helping each other.
Been about 6 years now and I'm still learning.
The concept of "on time" varies greatly from culture to culture.[rebelmouse-image 18351659 is_animated_gif=
Different understanding of time.
Edit: to be clear she is latina and I am white. Doesn't make me mad, it's just a difference in culture. It's an adjustment I have to make.
It takes a lot of courage to stand up to white supremacy. Sounds like the stepdad needs the adjustment.[rebelmouse-image 18351660 is_animated_gif=
I'm black and I'm currently dating a white guy. His stepdad is a white supremacist, so going to his house always feels a little awkward.
Expanding your taste in food is one of the best ways to experience other cultures.[rebelmouse-image 18349417 is_animated_gif=
When I'm in a relationship I tend to eat less Asian foods to accommodate their tastes. I'm Asian-American and grew up eating a variety of foods. It was hard to adjust in the beginning because the people I tend to date (primarily small-town White-Americans) have a limited food palette.
Right now my current S/O has a very wide range of palette which I'm super duper grateful for. We've eaten a large array of ethnic foods compared to my previous relationships, but just not Asian dishes yet lol. Mostly due to us not traveling out of the city, where it primarily dominated by Thai, to the suburbs where there different facets of Chinese cuisines.
It's fascinating that dancing never caught on as part of American culture. But it's never too late to try![rebelmouse-image 18351661 is_animated_gif=
I'm a boring white American and my fiance is Puerto Rican. Everyone dances, and dances well, except for me of course.
Some people keep their homes in such disarray that it's frightening.
Have you ever walked into a home and felt the need to run?
What people do in their homes is their business.
You decorate, color, and destroy it as you see fit.
However, it's our choice not to visit.
Redditor 3L3M3NT4LP4ND4 wanted to hear about the yuck factor we've all come across at the dwellings of others.
"What's the grossest thing you've ever seen at a strangers house?"
There are just some things that can't be unseen. Especially on other people's houses.
"A thick sheet of mold under the fridge. So thick I thought it was a rug."
"I used to work for a furniture company doing deliveries, and sometimes repos. As a rule of thumb, if you're doing a repo, the house you're about to go in is usually nasty as all hell. The one that sticks out in my memory was no exception. It was more of a compound of two or three trap dens, rotten saggy floors, roof falling in. Just f**king nasty. We had to repossess a stove they had bought maybe a month before."
"And in that short time it had become caked with grease and infested with roaches. When we got it back to the store the manager told us to put it out back, as in outside cause he didn't want the store to become infested. A week or two later a couple that refurbished old appliances came and bought it for twenty dollars."
"I’m a hospice nurse who works inside peoples homes. I have seen many many gross and disturbing things inside people's homes; hoarders, mold from flooding, floor missing etc. the worst thing I can remember was this patient who had around 10 dogs. The home was a hoarder house (not that unusual for my line of work)."
"However there was dog pee and crap all over the floor. The only path to walk through with all the clutter in the house was covered with animal feces. We would dress in full PPE (shoe covers, gowns, mask) every time we went in. The patient was very obese and his wife couldn’t care for him properly."
"He would be so saturated in urine that his waste would drip on the flooring around his hospital bed. Eventually APS got him out of the house. It was awful. I have smelled MANY terrible things but I struggled not to vomit when In this house caring for him."
"My younger sister would babysit for the couple next door. One evening, she asked if I could babysit for her instead, because she couldn't handle it. I was stupid, so I said fine. They had roaches everywhere. Kitchen. Bathroom. Living room. My sister wouldn't even sit on the couch - she sat on an ottoman in the center of the room, as did I. We only did that a few times before we weren't 'available' anymore."
Poor Petscats GIFGiphy
"Animal hoarders house. You could smell cat pee from the sidewalk and when she opened the door the smell was like a physical punch in the face. Piles of poop everywhere. I ended up anonymously reporting her to animal control."
We should never involve the fur babies in our mess.
EverywhereClean House Cleaning GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"I went to visit a friend whose house I had never been to before. We were outside on the patio, I asked to go in to use the toilet, she was reluctant. Every dish, pot, and pan in the kitchen was dirty and filled with water. Not just on the counters, on the floors all over the place. It looked like it had been that way a while."
"I went to a friends house so he could do some work on my car. After he was finished (hours later) I really needed to pee so I asked if I could use his restroom prior to driving home. He seemed hesitant at first but finally said yes. I regret ever asking... they were a full on HOARDER family."
"There was barely enough room to walk in the front door to the bathroom and once in the bathroom literally just the toilet bowl was visible. I pretended to pee and hightailed it out of there and peed at the gas station up the street."
"Went to a friend of a friend's house who had a young, friendly and very excitable pit bull. Sat down on the couch, dog jumps up onto the cushion next to me and unleashes a TORRENT of pee, soaking the other cushion. Before I can do anything he shoos the dog off the couch, flips the cushion and hands me a beer like nothing happened. Needless to say I got up, chugged that beer and bounced within about 2 minutes."
"A buck rag Used for child discipline. A very old-fashioned thing, but still used in parts of the US. You just pop the lid and hold it under the child's nose. It stinks. Easily bought from goat farmers online, apparently. It gets the smell from male goats. I was at my girlfriend's house at 16 and didn't believe her dad really owned one, so she showed me when he wasn't looking."
"A disgusting rag that clearly used to be white, but was thoroughly yellowed/greyish and discoloured and slick-looking. Double-sealed inside 2 glass jars. I almost smelled it out of curiosity (though she urged me not to) but got cold feet when I pulled it out of the drawer... even without opening the jars I sensed something smelled slightly... funky. I'm not sure if I was imagining it or if it was really that strong but I didn't want to experience it any more than that."
infested...Excited The Muppet Show GIF by Muppet WikiGiphy
"Went to a friends house who had huge a** rats sitting on the shelves in closets when you opened them lol... place was infested with them and they didn’t even care slightly."
People really need to clean a little. Just a little...
Who hasn't, every now and again, witnessed someone doing something, or behaving a certain way and thought "that's so f*cked up", or something to that extent?
And yet, off-putting as it was to us, and one assumes many others, we will often witness these things happen over and over again.
Leading one to assume that, "f*cked up" as it is, these off-putting behaviors or things are largely accepted in modern society.
Or, everyone simply chooses to ignore it.
Redditor xk543x was curious to hear what tasteless, or inappropriate things people tend to notice, but look the other way, leading them to ask:
"What is something f*cked up that we just ignore?"
Your body is your temple.
"Everyone’s poor eating and sleeping habits."- macaronsforeveryone
Can NOT be ignored.
"Slavery is still a thing."- Pbjabsandwich-
"Child slave labor to make some of the developed countries' goods I'd imagine."- Akira282
Why people don't feel inclined to smile.
"How much dental work costs and the fact that dental insurance covers next to nothing."- OkCat9433Bryan Cranston Seinfeld GIF by HULUGiphy
End the stigma
"As in the regular kind."
"We are overworked and don't have enough time these days to ourselves and our loved ones."- Jackster22
Who can afford to live ANYWHERE?!
"The living cost not being even near matched to the majority of peoples incomes, in the UK anyways."
"The government have advised people that they should use things like gas and electric as sparingly as possible this coming winter if they want to still afford their bills and other necessities."
"Food, petrol, clothes, rent etc."- princessr444overdue relapse records GIF by Red FangGiphy
"Children dying of hunger."- laperuana
Information traveling at the speed of light... but at what cost?
"The internet's impact on society."
"Most people prefer to go with the grain on common behavior or opinions due to natural human herd mentality, and independent thinking not being very common."
"The problem is the internet gives rise to destructive, toxic, harmful, discriminatory, illogical, and ignorant cultures and ideologies."
"The majority of people who spend lots of time on social media will take influence from social media to fit in without even thinking about what they’re doing, or reflecting on whether what they’re are viewing is good, bad, true, or false."- nsfwcontentthrowaway
Do you know where that came from?
"How everything is made."
"Plastic leagues beyond what our recycling could ever offset, illegally sourced components and materials mined at the expense of local ecosystems."
"Child and essentially slave-labor."
"The list keeps rolling, but I just buy them because I like how the shoes look and I can afford it."- Rip3456·
Some might be genuinely unaware of these things, while others might choose to ignore them.
But these all remain very real problems.
Next time we become aware of something like this, rather than just thinking "that's so f*cked up", maybe we can take some time to research how we can help?
Every little bit counts.
When looking at a resume, it's easy to understand how prospective employers will assume someone is very intelligent based on their education and past experience.
But one shouldn't only assume someone's intelligence based on what they read.
More often than not, one can tell rather quickly that someone possesses above-average intelligence, based on how they speak, how they behave, or other telling details.
Redditor PadWanKenobi was curious to hear what people felt were the tell tale signs they were in the company of a possible genius, leading them to ask:
"What’s a sign of extremely high intelligence?"
"Ability to intuitively and quickly understand complex systems and how lots of parts relate in a coherent whole."
"Like I work with some people who just keep tons of concepts in their head and easily integrate new information into their understanding of those concepts."
"They immediately know what questions they should be asking to better understand."
"And these are things they're currently working on, not like things they spent time studying in school over years."
"They just have a very strong ability to synthesize new information into their understanding."
"I sit in meetings distracted and confused having forgotten what we talked about in the previous meetings, and these folks just consistently have a solid handle on everything."- Ok-Control-787
Innate Problem Solvers
"They know when not to solve a problem."
"This took me a while to understand but the smartest people I know do this."
"It could be a really simple thing like ignoring emails from people asking for help."
"The supervisor or boss might have a quick and easy solution for the situation but instead of just handing it to the person that asked they let them figure it out on their own."
"They know who they can do this with and when to do it."
"If they did that with all of their underlings it would just create a mess."
"Another example that I can think of is planned chaos."
"Some people can predict exactly where things will go wrong and they could fix it before it creates a problem."
"They don't because nobody ever notices what's going on in the background when things are working perfectly."
"Once things fails then everybody notices and if you are the one person that fixed it you become the hero."
"They can also use then chaos to reach a goal they couldn't get before if things were working correctly."
"There's many examples of this in every day life that I didn't see before until I realized what was happening."- atapesGiphy
You know what they say about people with small hands
"If your hand is smaller than your face."- FallofTheKnight
The all knowing glow.
"When someone asks you a question and you push your glasses up while light comes out of it and covers your eyes for some reason."- JonEregor
Those giveaway behavioral quirks
"Wearing glasses and saying things like 'ah yes', and 'I see' while you pensively rub your chin."- iuytrefdgh436yujhe2Thinking Reaction GIF by ABC TV + IVIEWGiphy
"When they explain something they make the people around them feel smarter, not dumber."- redkat85
Being one step ahead.
"The capacity to understand complex things, see patterns where regular people don't."- Ostepop234
"They have this tendency to make you go 'Ohhh, why didn't I think of that?' when listening to them talk."- did_it_forthelulzWhy Didnt I Think Of That Cillian Murphy GIFGiphy
An endless love of learning
"A passion for knowledge and expanding understanding of complex concepts."
"The plumber can be just as insightful as the scholar."- KatatoniK94
Of course, one shouldn't always be fooled by what they see.
As many people are masters at appearing much smarter than they are.
In fact, one important sign of super intelligence is being able to separate those who appear smart, from those who actually are.
With each passing year of a marriage, couples will often discover that while they don't love each other any less than they once did, that spark their relationship used to carry has faded.
This will often lead these couples to look for ways to spice things up a bit.
Among the more popular experiments is inviting a third member to their bedroom.
Enticing as this prospect is, however, it's also easy to be intimidated by the reality of it, or even the mere suggestion of it.
"Men, what advice do you have for men whose wives want to bring a third into the bedroom?"
Make sure you want to do it.
"You need to be completely honest with yourself, ask if this is something you want and could live with."- Dame87
Proceed with caution
"It’s like frolicking in a mine field."
"You both better be SUPER into the idea, you can’t have one person who’s reluctantly agreed to go along with it."
"And established rules."
"A threesome sounds like fun and games until you’re watching your partner make faces and sounds that you only thought were for you in your most intimate moments together, and a burning jealousy comes out of nowhere and breaks your heart."
"I’m not saying it’s automatically a bad idea and I know people do polyamory successfully, but dear god be careful."- coleosis1414
Make sure you're an active participant
"I had an ex that was adamant that she wanted to be a swinger or whatever."
"The one time I decided to roll with it, I hit it off immediately with the other dude's girlfriend and had a blast hanging out with her all night."
"The other dude was a total creep, though."
"Also, my ex could not handle the fact that someone else was giving me the slightest bit of attention."
"So, needless to say, that didn't go anywhere."
"Turns out she didn't want to be a swinger, she just wanted to have sex with other people behind my back, which she had no problems whatsoever with."- Ted_Denslow
Look out for ulterior motives
"Just remember that if you bring this up and your husband is against it, that could be the beginning of the end of your marriage."
"For a lot of people their partner saying 'I am seriously considering having sex with other people and I'm checking with you if it is ok', is a deal breaker."- gamerplays
Consider a test run?
"Go to a bar together separately."
"Watch them flirt/interact with someone else."
"If you get jealous, it's probably a bad idea to bring in a third."
"If it turns you on, go for it."- SinSlayer
Query people with experience.
"It’s something my wife and I have talked about."
"We both agreed that opening the Pandora’s box is not the way we want our relationship to go."
"While it sounds fun, we have seen way to many relationships derailed because of it."- DarthDujo
Consider going whole hog.
"Bring a 4th."- xxemrgmi
Evaluate your relationship first.
"Make sure you and your partner are secure in your own relationship before having another person join."
"Have boundaries, and no secrets."
"From my experience it doesn't usually work out in the end."- Thick-Procedure455
"Don't do it."
"For a long time, my ex harbored a fantasy of watching me have sex with another woman."
"Hey, who knows why any of us are wired the way we are?"
"After contemplating the idea together for a while, we decided to approach one of her more attractive co-workers, who had made a series of flattering comments along the lines of "you're so lucky" and "he's so good-looking'."
"She enthusiastically agreed."
"Our first meet-up was of course awkward, but the second, third and following were pretty good."
"In fact they got progressively hotter, as we all got more comfortable with each other's boundaries, erotic likes and dislikes."
"However, over a few months these occasional kinky weekends transitioned into the co-worker asking more frequently and aggressively to be invited over."
"We tried to explain that we had intended these threesomes to be rare and exotic highlights in our sex life, not regular occurrences, but she didn't take the message to heart and instead became increasingly insistent, bordering on smothering."
"After being turned down one Friday, that night she unexpectedly showed up at our door anyway, carrying a weekend bag and wearing nothing but a raincoat, stay-ups and heels."
"While that was quite a sight, it definitely creeped us out, as it made us finally realize the whole arrangement was descending into 'play Misty for me' territory."
"My ex and I agreed that her unexpected and unwelcome appearance signaled the end of future three-ways, at least until we were able to cool our own selves down, reassess, and perhaps later find a less demanding and insistent third."
"Things subsequently got very sticky at work for my wife, as her co-worker, with whom she had to interact closely, strongly resented being permabanned, and kept demanding to know 'what she'd done that was so awful'."
"Coworker eventually asked to be transferred to another office, but by the time that process was over and done, the discomfort / guilt / pressure / confusion my ex was suffering both at home and at work had begun to take its psychological toll."
"I must confess it didn't help that our own sex life was simultaneously going through a rough patch."
"Long story short, we ended our decade-long relationship less than a year after breaking off the threesomes, chiefly due to trust issues and growing sexual incompatibility, both perhaps triggered by our experimentation."
"Ever since, I've regretted agreeing to that first three-way."
"If I hadn't been so damned eager to take a bite of forbidden fruit, we might have kept our relationship intact."
"But I guess this can also be put down as what sometimes happens when you ignore that old advice, 'don't sh*t where you sleep'."- theartfulcodger
When venturing into the unknown, it's always wise to gain some first hand experience, to hear a variety of pros and cons of what you're possibly getting yourself into.
That way, deciding whether or not it's for you will become increasingly clear.
It's also important to remember, that it is always ok to say "no".