Grace is a Singaporean Chinese who experienced interracial dating with a Malay Muslim for 5 years. It wasn’t easy with many challenges faced during the relationship, but it is an experience that she’s willing to share with other singles who are looking for love, as well as interracial couples.
“..you realize that even though in Singapore it’s tough, it doesn’t mean it’s not possible.”
Grace met her ex-boyfriend when they were in school. At the beginning, Grace didn’t think that that there was any chemistry between them, as she felt like his personality was a little weird and too extroverted for her liking. As time passed, she started to feel comfortable around him, and they shared similar values as well, which is how their interracial relationship began.
“My friends came off as surprised because they didn’t expect it, although we were from the same class. My family…they took a while to accept due to the religion”
However, when Grace’s family got to meet her then-boyfriend, they saw how good of a person he is, and more importantly, he took good care of her.
“He’s someone who is able to speak well, carry himself well, and he takes care of me quite well.”
Eventually, they were able to accept him.
In an interracial relationship, both parties learn how to respect each other’s culture, beliefs, values and traditions. In Grace’s situation, she respected the fact that he has to fast and also his dietary preferences such as being unable to eat pork.
When it comes to being in the public’s eyes, it’s can be challenging – people would stare or do a double-take when they see her holding hands with her then-boyfriend.
“They tend to think oh so this is a Chinese, dating a Malay, they would think why is this happening. My neighbor would say, “Oh is this your friend?” And I would say “No, this is actually my boyfriend” then they were like “oh ok..”
Based on the data released by the Department of Statistics in 2017 in Singapore, about one in five marriages (21.5%) are inter-ethnic, nearly a three-fold increase from 7.6 per cent in 1990. Therefore, interracial relationship may actually become a norm in Singapore’s society in the future.
“It’s really to constantly remind ourselves, why are you together with this person? Is it because of their race, their skin color? Does the language that the person speak really matters? Or do you really like him or her because of their personality, values or characteristics? So constantly remind yourself why you are together, at the same time, let them know, all these things are really secondary. Because if you are together with someone with the same race or religion, but with a totally different set of personalities, would you even be together with this person? There may be many out there, but there would never be the same person of the same kind, with this exact personality.”
Hope this story has opened your mind, so that you’re not confined to the limits of ethnicity and religion when it comes to choosing a partner. The most important thing is that you are happy when you’re with them.
If you’re looking for a partner, Lunch Actually is the perfect place to start your dating journey. As Asia’s largest dating agency, Lunch Actually offers premium dating services for singles who are seriously looking for love. Here’s a tip: if you’re okay with interracial dating, you’ll have a wider option within our pool of members.
Have fun dating, and good luck!