What to Expect in a Mixed Raced Relationship

I’m mixed race – Afro-Caribbean and white, if I were to tick a box on a government form. I’ve spent most of my life in the Caribbean in a pretty comfortable middle-class background, and my boyfriend is about as middle class and white as one can get. We’re coming to terms about what it means to be a mixed-race couple in this day and age.

Mixed race couples are increasingly more common. I’m convinced that someday it will be the norm but for now, there are many rigid stereotypes and hurdles that come with being in one. So here I will lay out a few things to expect.

There will be angry people will be from both sides. I have had Black guys asking me why they aren’t “good enough” or if I just “don’t like Black guys”.  You’ll get people who think it’s the further bastardisation of a race. I’ve been referred to as a prostitute while casually walking around with my boyfriend. People assume I’m not British and I’m dating him to get that red passport. People assume that your relationship is based on something other than just enjoying each other’s company.

People fetishize your unborn children. Those who do support it, don’t necessarily support you they support a hypothetical less ‘coloured’ baby because apparently, those are “just the cutest”. People also won’t see what is wrong with this if you point out how weird it is.

People assume you aren’t a couple unless you are laying on the PDA because God forbid people who don’t look the same are attracted to each other. We have had people constantly assume we aren’t together, with one shopkeeper going as far as separately packaging for things we bought together. Men approach me whilst I’m with my boyfriend. Girls flirt with him right in front of me and don’t get the multiple, aggressive hints I drop.

People assume that at least one of you has a racially based fetish. My boyfriend has been told:

“You don’t look like the type to date a Black girl” as it’s so incredibly abnormal to think that Black is beautiful and “I have always wanted to have sex with a Black girl”, disgusting hyper-fetishisation.

There’ll be surprise at how great your English is, even if it is clear English is your first and only language. Likewise, there’ll be shock when you are first introduced to people if your partner has not specifically mentioned that you aren’t white.

Being in a mixed-race couple is pretty damn political.


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