HOUSTON It s a sign of the times. A recent Pew study shows that interracial couples are at an all-time high. In fact, one in 12 new marriages in 2010 was between couples of different races. That number has more than doubled since 1980.

Despite this upswing, many black and white couples still feel judged.

Mandy Love and Jason Walsh are engaged. It was never easy for her in society, especially at home. Her parents never gave her boyfriend the time of day.

They caused a lot of pain from the beginning. They didn t even care to meet him, Love said. They were worried about people being hard on us and society being hard on us because we re an interracial couple.

Despite their story, a recent Pew study shows 83 percent of Americans approve of dating between blacks and whites. That s up from 48 percent in 1987. Hispanics and Asians have the largest percentage of those who marry outside of their race.

Kryse Trinh and Alvarado Segova both feel pressure to date someone of the same ethnicity.

My dad has said to me, if it was his choice he would want me dating an Asian man, Trinh said.

They make the statement that There are plenty of black women out there, why aren t you with a black woman, and my response is, I date a beautiful woman, Segova said.

But race matters less in society, especially here in Texas.

Whites in Texas are more likely to inter-marry than the nation as a whole. I think Houston, and Texas certainly, are probably ahead of the curve in thinking that is what a family looks like or this is a really good thing that will diversify our city, said Jenifer Bratter of Rice University s Sociology Department.

It took two years of dating and proving himself, but Walsh is now part of the family.

I didn t look at it as a bad thing. I looked at it as I m going to show them who I am and how I treat their daughter, Walsh said.

Love s parents have recently apologized and welcomed him into the family.

I m just thankful that it s now much easier for us and that he s a great person and he s gonna take great care of me and we love each other, she said.

Here s more on the Pew study. Of those surveyed, 43 percent said more interracial marriage is a change for the better in society. Forty-four percent said it didn t matter and 11 percent said it was a change for the worse.

By the way, Love and Walsh are getting married this year on May 12!
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