"My grandmother is Swedish and my dad is part-Italian, so as a family we have always been open.
Nothing like this will ever affect us -- we don't need others' approval." So, like veteran couple David Bowie and Iman, can mixed-race lovebirds overcome all the obstacles to go the distance? "The core thing is being aware of those cultural differences and respecting them.
"Setting aside skin colour, when two people from different backgrounds come together, inevitably there are going to be culture clashes.
"For instance, if one partner is from a patriarchal society and the other is from a more matriarchal one, they may have opposing ideas of what's considered 'the norm' in a marriage." "I think it would be very naive to say that there is no racism in Ireland," agrees Miss Ireland Emma. [But] if you socialise with people from different races and cultures you are less likely to show hatred towards them.
Create a love contract -- an outline of the type of relationship you want to have, keeping in mind the challenges you might face.
"But be realistic -- you and your partner mightn't have a problem with being in a mixed-race relationship, but your friends might." And as for the haters? "The important thing is to know what they are and challenge where they came from. Potential vacancy for lover, theatre buddy, or one-off fling.” So goes the thoroughly unenticing personal bio of one 39 year-old man I come...
We have a solid relationship and I could see myself spending my life with him - if it wasn't for this one thing.
I don’t think the people of Northern Ireland dwell on it too much either way; most would be indifferent I’d imagine.
The marriage of a white Protestant and a white Roman Catholic is likely to be more controversial (although thankfully lesser so these days).
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Richard Bashir Otukoya has some bad relationship stories. They ripple with a hurt most of us don’t experience.