3 Myths About Failed Interracial & Intercultural Relationships | Speaking of China

27 Responses

  1. marghini
    marghini July 6, 2015 at 8:05 am | | Reply

    Great post as usual Jocelyn!

    A lot of people think they have the right to comment on other couples, but truth is they rarely actually know what goes on between two intimate people. Humans love to gossip (including myself sometimes!) but when it comes about stating hard truths about someone else’s marriage.. well we should definitely refrain ourselves.

    I notice most of the people commenting on interracial couples are the ones who have never been in such a relationship before. I think deep down a lot people are curious and fascinated by the idea of interracial dating, especially the ones who never experienced it. So it could also be a “sour grapes” kind of reaction.

    1. Rdm
      Rdm July 6, 2015 at 11:03 pm | | Reply

      I second that.

  2. Maria Deng
    Maria Deng July 6, 2015 at 8:14 am | | Reply

    Love reading about this Jocelyn. I don’t think it has anything to do with race or culture, it’s the individual person. This can happen in any relationship, not just one where there is an intercultural mix.

  3. R Zhao
    R Zhao July 6, 2015 at 8:57 am | | Reply

    As you admit, there is evidence of higher divorce rates among interracial and intercultural marriages. Frankly, this doesn’t surprise me. I think such couples often face more challenges than people who come from the same race and background. While your relationship with Jon may be strong as ever, I have faced a lot of hardship in my own marriage and I do think much of it stems from the fact we are from different cultures and countries. Of course, every relationship is unique as is each person in the relationship. My experience can’t speak for yours, nor can yours for mine.

    I do think we (in cross-culturally relationships) have to be honest with ourselves about how much we are willing to compromise in order to have a harmonious relationship. Also, how good are we at communicating? Anyways, I think many of the challenges I have faced with my husband come down to these two issues: compromise and communication.

    With that aside, I fully agree that you love who you love. I also think that if a relationship doesn’t work, it’s usually due to a variety of factors. In most cases, we can’t just blame it on one issue.

    1. Dan
      Dan July 7, 2015 at 8:04 am | | Reply

      I do think it is very difficult to be in China for an intercultural relationship. Most other couples have formed oversees.In your case, culture would have played far more important role.

  4. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary
    Constance - Foreign Sanctuary July 6, 2015 at 10:06 am | | Reply

    Jocelyn, it seems like we were kind of in tune with each other today with regards to our posts. My husband and I came up with a list of things that can make a marriage work and believe it or not, most don’t have to do with being an interracial couple.

    Personally, I think love can’t be planned or there are no set guidelines. It just happens.

  5. Autumn
    Autumn July 6, 2015 at 10:11 am | | Reply

    This is a tough one, because the worst stressors in my relationship with my Chinese-American guy are HIS CHINESE PARENTS. If they think we should do something, they listen to no arguments to the contrary. They find it inconceivable that we would not do exactly what they say, whether it’s using an electric blanket in the frigid temperatures of Los Angeles, investing in real estate, or having a (boy) baby ASAP.

    And this is an issue I would not have with the parents of a white dude from a background like mine. We might have all kinds of other issues, though, and I’m not trading in Awesome Andy just because his parents make me nuts.

    We just have to make sure we maintain a distance of 3,000 miles from Andy’s parents for 11 months out of the year. 🙂

    1. marghini
      marghini July 7, 2015 at 9:47 am | | Reply

      I second that Autumn: distance is the key. Anything above 1000 km should be enough to make sure they don’t visit too often.

      Other than that.. I frankly just learned how to ignore them. My bf developed this ability to pretend to second his parents and then just do whatever he wants. That is an ability that has to be learned.

      They may find it inconceivable that you would not do exactly what they say: well let them be shocked and go ahead.

      For people like us a lot of times is a matter of principle: we have to argue, prove them wrong, have the last word. That is not the right strategy with unreasonable Chinese parents.

  6. Nicki Chen
    Nicki Chen July 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm | | Reply

    We all have conscious or unconscious preferences, even within our own race and culture. I’m sure we can put together the stereotype of the kind of person we would or wouldn’t like to have a close relationship with–A NASCAR fan or an opera enthusiast, a high school drop-out or a college graduate, someone who likes to read or dance or play video games, an ambitious or kind or serious person. I suspect many of the items on the list would be much more important than race. My Chinese husband and I were married for almost thirty-one years. We had our disagreements, but they were seldom related to race and culture.

  7. Traveller at heart
    Traveller at heart July 6, 2015 at 6:40 pm | | Reply

    I agree with Nicki Chen (line 1 -3).

    Race and culture have never played a part in my relationships. I favour quality over quantity on any day. I rather be in a short term, meaningful relationship than to be in a long term, relationship from hell. At least with the former, it would enable me to grow and develop.

  8. AG
    AG July 7, 2015 at 4:09 am | | Reply

    Jocelyn, this is for you.



    There is scientific evidence about Chinese genes in ashkenazi Jews. This might explain a lot of observation regarding Jews and Chinese.

  9. Dan
    Dan July 7, 2015 at 8:13 am | | Reply

    I found culture plays a big role in interracial relationships. Even if you are a Chinese American born and raised in the US, your cultural capital is different from a white girl. It is much easier to overlook those differences if you are more assimilated. But I know they exist in a deeper level. Those differences can cause difficulties. But if you are really into someone, you will overcome and learn from each other. Those differences add a dimension to your relationship you might not face with someone similar to your cultural background.
    In the end, it is what you have gained counts. If you find someone beautiful and kind, it really does not matter because it is such a small price to pay for someone you loves/loved. I think it is fair.

    1. R Zhao
      R Zhao July 7, 2015 at 8:44 am | | Reply

      Thank you Dan. This was beautifully said. Reading the other comments, I was starting to wonder if I was the only one who finds that culture plays a significant role in some of the challenges I face in my relationship.

  10. Dan
    Dan July 7, 2015 at 8:54 am | | Reply

    Thanks. There are some advantages of being 1.5 generation. 🙂

    @R Zhao
    Not everyone has to confront those differences like you do every day.

  11. MM
    MM July 7, 2015 at 4:43 pm | | Reply

    @R Zhao

    I agree with you, I think race and Culture does play a part in any interracial relationship whether it’s coming internally from the 2 people involved or externally from other people being involved.

    Some of these differences aren’t “in your face” such as being confronted by a racist grandfather. Things such as deciding where to live ( which country) how to raise children, who is raising the children (is the mother the main child rarer), the roles of men and women in the household/outside of the household, how you see each other, how you talk to each other etc can have a major significance in any relationship.

    Only when you go through each life experience and come out the other end “successfully” (well at leat together as a whole united unit ) can you say that race and culture doesn’t play a part in “our relationship”. However if someone has to change to “ keep the peace” or if you have the attitude “it really doesn’t matter” because “we have each other and our love will get us through” or “he/she/they will change and see it’s the best way ” then you could be in for a shock.

    1. R Zhao
      R Zhao July 7, 2015 at 5:30 pm | | Reply


      You said a lot of what I was thinking. I didn’t really want to go there and sound like I was getting on a high horse. But marriage is a long road and we don’t really know how we are going to get through all our different experiences until we actually get through them.

      Earlier in my relationship with my husband, I probably could have said that cultural differences didn’t play much of a role in our relationship. There were some difficulties due to the language barrier, but other than that any real troubles were due to personality/temperment.

      Since we got custody of my husband’s daughter, started a business (that eventually failed), and had a child together, a whole other side of our relationship was revealed. We have very different ideas of how to run a business and rear children and I would say they are primarily due to culture. Chinese people and Americans generally have very different approaches to these things.

      And why is this even a bad thing? Why can’t we admit that sometimes it is hard? I understand not wanting to hear your relationship is doomed because it’s cross-cultural/race, but it seems strange to me to claim that cultural issues don’t or can’t crop up.

    2. BAP Blogger
      BAP Blogger July 8, 2015 at 11:22 pm | | Reply

      I agree.

      1. BAP Blogger
        BAP Blogger July 8, 2015 at 11:23 pm | | Reply

        That is, it plays a part whether or not it is acknolwedged.

  12. Monica
    Monica July 8, 2015 at 6:54 am | | Reply

    I agree with Marghini, most people saying things like that are just curious or just like to talk because they’ve never experienced it. I don’t think these are really myths just because they haven’t happened to you. I dated a few Korean guys who all broke my heart before I met my fiance (who is Korean) and I definitely told myself never to date another one, but look what happened. I didn’t say I wouldn’t date Asian men, but I felt that the power structure most Koreans grow up with wouldn’t work because I didn’t want to be a submissive younger woman. I’m glad I didn’t stick to my word because a great thing came out of it, but at the time I was just heartbroken and wanted to console myself.

    Lots of people ask me about my relationship but mostly none of it is about us being AMWF. Most of it is about us working together as two different human beings to come together as a couple to find understanding. People are just curious. Let them be. Not everyone is going to respond the way you think they should, but they don’t have the experiences you have. You also don’t know their whole story, so although it’s easy to say, “Everyone is judging our relationship!” I think it’s good to step back and realize that our confidence and our lives don’t hinge on other people’s expectations or concerns.

  13. David
    David July 8, 2015 at 12:34 pm | | Reply

    If you are a AMWF couple down south (places such as Nashville, Charleston, Birmingham or even Dallas) racism is so bad that there is a high chance you may not only get divorced but may even end up shot dead…There are one million Dylan Roofs to take his place. Check it out…higher AMWF divorce rates in Nashville or Charleston than say in Seattle or even LA!

  14. truth
    truth July 9, 2015 at 9:28 pm | | Reply

    The real reason for AMWF rarity is present in follow youtube interview.


    Now you understand why there are more black men/white women couples. Let us face it. Women of low IQ only follow their impulse instead of future orientation. White women with Asian males tend to be type of strong future orientation/high IQ/high income types. Trying to date working class, middle class women is wrong approach.

    David’s focus on racism for relationship issue is missing the main target.

    Size matters.

  15. David
    David July 20, 2015 at 11:15 am | | Reply

    Another story that proves that if you are an IR couple you are better of living outside the US


  16. Ray
    Ray January 22, 2017 at 12:02 am | | Reply

    I am in an intercultural relationship. I’m a Chinese guy she’s Russian. It’s now f***ed up.

  17. Ray
    Ray January 22, 2017 at 12:03 am | | Reply

    Somehow we are estranged from each other.

  18. Ray
    Ray January 22, 2017 at 12:04 am | | Reply

    Please help. Immediate assistance required.

  19. Ray
    Ray January 22, 2017 at 12:06 am | | Reply

    You know I thought it would turn out fine but it didn’t. I am bitterly disappointed.
    Chinese guy Russian female

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