Swirling with Christelyn Karazin

The art of attraction isn't just about colour or creed, it's about chemistry and a whole bunch of other things. Swirling author Christelyn Karazon discusses.

Girl asks, "How can I get my family to accept my black boyfriend?"

Posted by Christelyn, 10 Jun

I recently got a letter from a young woman distraught over her family’s lack of support of her interracial relationship. She contends that her parents are so obsessed with the color of his skin that they can’t bother to learn of the content of his character. This, unfortunately, can happen with interracial couples of all combinations, which is why we dedicated a whole chapter to this in my book, Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed.

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Here are a few tactics you can implement when dealing with family disapproval.

* Be Firm; Be Loving. Tell your loved ones in no uncertain terms that this is the person that you love and want to be in a relationship with. Tell them you love them, but the matter is not up for discussion.

* Humanize Your Loved One. It’s a lot easier to object to the thought of dating outside of your race when it’s a nameless, faceless entity. It’s a very different thing when you begin to get to know a person as an individual, and not some preconceived stereotype.Try to find opportunities to mention your partner in everyday conversation. For example, “Greg is so funny sometimes. He knows I love gardening sent me a bouquet of seed packets at work for our anniversary.” Don’t force it. Just let it come naturally.

* Be a united front. Make sure you communicate with your partner what you’re feeling and the challenges you’re facing with family. Strategies together the best ways of overcoming—or perhaps avoiding—uncomfortable situations.

Christelyn Karazin is the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed. She's also the co-host of "Swirlr" the first multiracial, multicultural dating show, and publishes the blog, Beyond Black & White.

2 responses to "Girl asks, "How can I get my family to accept my black boyfriend?""

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  1.   WTNoelle says:
    Posted: 06 Jan 16

    I wish I had read and applied this earlier. I had the opposite challenge. I met a guy, and after a few months started dating, which was a surprise to me. I (black) had never been really interested in Irish (white) guys, but we had so much in common and had the same goals in life. So he won me over. He tried to woo my family with visits and thoughtful gifts. The women seemed to soften, but the men appeared to be unmoved. They picked at everything about him. My family was nonplussed at best, and blatantly rude at worst. We got engaged, and things escalated. I love my family and hated all the pressure and silent wars. i haven't brought home anyone else since. Now they ask why I am not married *sarcastic laugh*

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  2.   dave_74 says:
    Posted: 26 Jun 14

    My advise is don't surprise them, especially at huge family events such as Thanksgiving. Emphasize how wonderful your partner is and go into the details BEFORE you mention skin color. Then bring up the skin color IF you think that it might be an issue, even in the slightest. Finally introduce him to your family after they have heard lots of good things about him. If however, they can't get past the skin color and that is the only obstacle your family has, then I would say, move on and go ahead and make your own (and better) family.

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