Interracial dating is more socially acceptable in the UK now than it has been in the past, but differing cultural values and attitudes can still cause problems in relationships.
Interracial dating can also cause problems with family members with conventional ideas.
In cultures with a tradition of arranged marriages interracial dating may be totally unacceptable, and you can expect hostility if family members think your choice of date brings shame on the family. In other cases, the values attached to certain religions and cultures can cause problems for both you and your family.
Issues regarding the place of women in society or the role of men and women in life can often cause problems. Non-Muslim women who date Muslims are constantly warned of the danger of oppression and white women dating black African men are warned that their partners may expect them take on all domestic responsibilities. In many cultures wives come under the domination of parents from another family.
Interracial dating, no matter how similar you appear to be, can be more of a challenge than other relationships. Even couples from similar backgrounds with similar interests who come from different countries can have difficulties. Who makes the effort to speak the other person's language? Whose country do you live in? If you have children what religion would they be? What language would they learn?
The role of the family in a relationship can also be a cause of argument. In some cultures family, ritual and extended kinship if highly important, in others couples are left alone to find their own way. Having what you see as your partner's interfering family always on your case may only be a sign of their cultural need to get involved and assist where they see fit. You've got to be clear on how you feel about these things or they only get worse.
However, love can find a way and if you're dating someone outside your culture, race or religion it's possible to iron out the kinks and make things work if you're both willing to respect each other and compromise a little. Being sensitive to things your partner may hold significance is very important.
Talking things through, right from the start, is vital. Being realistic about your values and expectations, and honest about incompatibilities will save you a lot of hassle and heartbreak in the long run. If there are some absolute principles or values that you live by or cultural values that you find important you've got to talk about them.
You need to tread carefully if you think your interracial dating is going to cause conflict with your family or friends. Building up a positive image of your new date before introducing him or her to your family may help ease the tension. Once your family has accepted them it's up to you to make things work. However, relationships are difficult enough to begin with; if throwing in an interracial spanner seems too much of a struggle you may have to listen to your head rather than your heart.