There are many blogs out there written by interracial couples that focus on the challenges of a culture clash in their family, or one person in the relationship adjusting to customs and the language of living in a new country.

For anyone reading this thinking that this blog will be about the cultural challenges that Alena and I face as an interracial couple: I’m sorry to disappoint you. :-)

This blog is and always will be an honest representation of our relationship, and the truth is, we fortunately haven’t had many challenges.  Of course, our generally positive situation is just a sample of one, and I’m sure other interracial couples have different experiences, depending on what kind of racial pairing they are, where they live, whether there is a language barrier, and whether they are immigrants or are 2nd or 3rd generation.  

In sharing our experience, and showing that it’s been mostly positive, we hope that it encourages singles to expand their dating circles and look to date and be in a relationship with someone based on who they are, and not reject someone based on their race.  The friends that we hang out with and people we know are open minded with dating interracially, but I'm still surprised when I read about how prevalent discrimination is by race when it comes to online dating. 

Our Background as an Interracial Couple

Alena grew up in a small town in Northeast Pennsylvania, and her family is originally from Slovenia, a Central European country with only two million people.  But she also lived in Asia for a year and appreciates Asian culture.   My family is originally from China, a country with over a billion people, and I was born and raised in the diverse city of Brooklyn, NY, where I made friends with people from all backgrounds.

We haven't had a language issue, as we both grew up speaking fluent English.  We haven't had a culture clash, as both of our families have been in the U.S. for over four decades.  We both grew up in American culture and appreciate each other’s ethnic background.  We’re an American couple who share many values and interests outside of race.  Fortunately, Alena and I have had overwhelmingly positive experiences and only a few negative experiences as an interracial couple.

The Positives Being from Different Ethnic Backgrounds

Here are some of the positives:  

• The food!  We’ve introduced each other to new favorite foods.  Alena had dim sum for the first time with me, and loves it.  Alena introduced me to Potica, a nut roll from Slovenia, and I love it.  Our family get togethers come with a mix of homemade ethnic dishes from both of our families, and it makes for a delicious meal. 
• A chance to break stereotypes.  As a rare combo of being an Asian male, White female (AMWF) couple and sharing a blog like this, we feel like we’re playing our very small part in breaking stereotypes of Asian guys not being good romantic partners or Caucasian girls not being interested in Asian guys.  Every time we go somewhere or meet new people together, we make it a little less uncommon to see AMWF couples.

• Children who have a chance to learn a second language at home.  Kids of any background can learn a second language, but if one or both parents speak a second language, there is an opportunity for the kid to grow up bilingual and get practice speaking at home.  I grew up speaking Chinese at home with my mom, and I’ll try to continue teaching our son Chinese as well.

The Only Negative We’ve Encountered Being from Different Ethnic Backgrounds

• Stares on occasion in the street.  On a rare occasion, there would be some people that would give us a surprised look on the street or do a double take – perhaps because it is uncommon to see an Asian male, White female pairing,  If that’s the case, let them stare and get use to it.

Fortunately, these reactions don't happen often in our daily lives, as we live in the Washington, DC metro area, an area where interracial couples generally have had positive experiences.  We also felt very comfortable in our travels to major American cities like New York City, San Francisco, Miami, and Philadelphia.  The only city in our travels that we didn’t feel as comfortable was in Athens, Greece, where we got stares from a good number of people who saw us in the street –and even encountered some crazy guy in passing yelling at me in Greek – but it’s likely due to the fact that there were barely any interracial couples in Athens, and we just stood out amongst the crowd.
 


Comments

Douglas
03/02/2016 10:39pm

John, thanks for sharing your & Alena's personal experiences. I can certainly echo many of the same things you have shared as I have experienced many of the same situations...

Being adopted by a white family and raised in a predominantly white culture (>90% were white where and when I grew up), I often (even today) completely forget that I'm not white. Your sharing your story gives all interracial couples hope that they can go through life a little less concerned about what others think - for this is the truth everyone needs to understand: None of us needs to worry about what others think... I'll continue to do me and if that bothers someone else - then it's really their problem...

Blessings to you & Alena. You two will always have a special place in my heart - your son has some pretty awesome parents to prepare him for life in this world!!

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John
03/03/2016 9:54am

Thanks for the kind words, Douglas- it means a lot to us. That's the big goal of our blog...at the end, we don't want people to worry about what other's think... just be the best version of themselves.

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07/12/2016 9:17pm

I have recently heard of the rare phenomenon of the Asian male - White female combo from a video shown to me by a friend. Apparently, that stereotype was influenced by the media as far back as the 1980's I think. Though, I wasn't aware that there are still racial discrimination occurring in online dating sites. I do agree that it's better to decide to be in a relationship with someone based on their character and not on their race. It's good that you aim to break stereotypes, and help people open their minds to greater possibilities.

Tiffany
03/03/2016 5:55am

Much love to you and Alena. I am so happy that you two found each other. I hope that the sincerity of your relationship will encourage others to let love be the guide and not hatred towards skin color.

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John
03/03/2016 9:56am

Thanks Tiffany! Exactly, the main thing we would like readers to take away is: "we hope that it encourages singles to expand their dating circles and look to date and be in a relationship with someone based on who they are, and not reject someone based on their race."

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Drew
03/03/2016 6:29am

Great post! Katherine and I don't experience a lot of social friction here or in NJ but it does exist. All we can do is be ourselves, proud of our spouses and secure knowing the haters are a dwindling minority.

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John
03/03/2016 9:57am

The haters are out there, but it is a dwindling minority! :-)

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Nancy
03/03/2016 8:58am

Hey John...love your stories and writing (as always), and just miss seeing you in person. My only complaint is that I haven't yet met Alena!! ;-) And I need to know the egg custard thing in the photo on the table...

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John
03/03/2016 9:59am

Thanks Nancy- miss you as well! Oh, yeah, the egg custard thing is like Chinese crème brulee to me :) Alena found some good recipes online to make them too.

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John
03/03/2016 3:02pm

The egg custard thing, or egg tart, is called 'daan tat' in Cantonese. You can find it in a Chinese restaurant that serves dim sum.

03/03/2016 2:15pm

Love getting to know you better this way😊

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Alena and John
03/04/2016 7:28am

:) Thanks for reading! Check out more blogs on our proposal, wedding, and baby coming soon!

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04/17/2016 6:24am

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A
05/27/2016 1:44am

Sorry but I think it's disgusting and weird to see you two in a picture together. The first thing that I thought when I saw your picture was "That Asian guy is UGLY as hell and she's too hot for him." Also, I thought "Why is she with him? He's shorter than she is and he's ugly." You both look like a mismatched couple.

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Tiffany
05/27/2016 3:20am

Dear Mr. A, I am unsure if you are joking or not. In fact, I cannot imagine what joke you are making about this couple. I happen to know the couple and find your comments to be offensive and factually incorrect. You are not sorry for what you wrote so there was no point in saying sorry. I am not sorry for what I am about to say about you. Your comments reflect a serious bigotry problem that exists deep within you and you need to conduct some deep introspection to work through your personal issues. Are you a pop belly white guy who is jealous to see an Asian guy with a beautiful white woman? Too bad. This couple fell in love and there's not a damn thing you can say to change that. In fact, you come across as bitter for your comments.

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06/01/2016 2:50am

Thanks for sharing your experience. I like it.

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I think gene pool would win for a semi race marriages.

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