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Friends and family members may express varied reactions when you tell them you're in an interracial relationship.More traditional members of your family may be offended by you dating someone of a different race; even your peers can have prejudices, stereotypical opinions or anger toward this person.While television is of course not the only influence on youth, scholar Carolyn A.Stroman states, “This medium has been described as a source of vicarious socialization that competes with other socializing agents to provide role models and information that affect children’s attitudes, beliefs and behavior.” It is thus likely that adolescents in interracial relationships may be positively affected by seeing their lives mirrored positively onscreen.If your family disapproves of your relationship, dating experts suggest asking them why.Your family's disapproval may be based on a number of reasons, excluding racial concerns.A recent hate crime against a white teen and her black boyfriend in North Carolina served as a reminder that people in interracial relationships, especially adolescents, still experience prejudice.Historically, interracial couples have faced numerous attacks, sometimes even from their own government. In 2005, social scientists Elizabeth Vaquera and Grace Kao published the article “Private and Public Displays of Affection Among Interracial and Intra-Racial Adolescent Couples.” Their “findings suggest that interracial couples are less likely than intra-racial couples to exhibit public and private displays of affection.” They hypothesize that part of this disparity comes from a desire to avoid negative responses: We demonstrate that youth involved in romantic interracial relationships may be using some of the techniques proposed by this theory to avoid stigmatization when in public, such as avoiding letting others know about their partner, not introducing him or her to their parents, or not holding hands in public.

Interracial relationships have increased significantly in both number and visibility, however, since 2005, when Vaquera and Kao published their paper. By 2017, the Pew Research Center found that the number rose to 10 percent, with 11 million interracial marriages in total.Disappointment can be the toughest reaction you deal with from those closest to you because dating someone of a different race could lower their opinion of you. Your family can come to appreciate and even celebrate the differences between themselves and your partner.However, make sure your family doesn't treat your partner like he is representative of the entire race.Your interracial romance may also disappoint your friends and family. Dating someone of a different race can give your family and friends the opportunity to learn about these cultures from a first-person perspective.They may have negative opinions of your significant other's ethnic group or believe future marriage to that person will bring disgrace upon your family. Partaking of different foods, beliefs and traditions, even in small doses, can change opinions and broaden the perspectives of your loved ones.

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