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On occasion, it even creeps into the news, like this story.

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Today, government cares considerably less about who you love, regardless of their race or gender, which works out for interracial couples like Pippa Tshabalala, who is white. The couple met and started dating a month after the 1994 elections.

"I can count the number of times we've experienced discrimination on one hand," Pippa says, describing their 23 years together.

Not because he’s a Chinese man, or because our relationship is “unique” or different.

Thirty-five years ago, the New York Times published an article about Ian Whitely and his wife Sherrin, who lived in the then-nothern Transvaal.

It’s true — the sight of a foreign woman and Chinese boyfriend or Chinese husband is much rarer than its counterpart, the foreign man and Chinese woman.

If you go to any major city in China, you will invariably run into the foreign man-Chinese woman pairings in any major tourist or shopping destination; not so with foreign women and Chinese men.The prime minister said in a letter that he "regretted" Whitley could not reclassify himself as he was "obviously white", but that he and Sherrin would be able to return home on their South African passports and live without fear of persecution or prosecution.Things have changed a lot in the 50 years since the Whiteleys first met.It’s easy to gauge this reality on the website Candle for Love (CFL), devoted to helping US Americans bring their loved ones over from China.CFL is like a tidal wave of American men in love with Chinese women, with only a rare American woman/Chinese husband surfacing to break the monotony. Several years ago, when my husband enrolled in a New Oriental class in Shanghai for GRE prep, the instructor warned all of the Chinese men: “If you’re going to study abroad, prepare for four lonely years.” The underlying message was, don’t expect to fall in love — but be pleasantly surprised if it happens.Their love story made international news because it was sanctioned by then-prime minister P. Botha himself and had found its way past the strict race laws of the time. At the time, their relationship violated at least three laws: the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act; the Immorality Act; and the Group Areas Act, simply because of their different skin colour.