Embracing the swirl: Interracial dating

Let’s just address the elephant in the room: interracial dating. It’s something, I’m sure, we’ve all either thought about or participated in ourselves. And typically I do not like to address harder issues in this lifestyle blog and prefer to stay on the lighter side of things, but it’s something that is definitely relevant in our modern world. Especially in millennial dating.

We’re approaching a society that is becoming more tolerant of other races and ethnic groups — minus the mentality in which Donald Trump and his minions live — and this then opens doors to our social circles and possible dating partners. We can culturally cross-pollenate, and it’s a beautiful thing. Meet people who don’t look like us and have intelligent conversations, be attracted to those who have a different background, truly care and show deep emotions to people who may not have the same native tongue that we were taught. Slowly, we’re becoming a more empathetic society — minus the fascists — and it will eventually take us to a happier, more compassionate society where we can hopefully appreciate each culture without looking for assimilation into “the American image.”

That being said, interracial dating is no simple bike ride. With it comes other cultural criticism from one’s own group, self-doubt, questions from the significant other and their lack of understanding your culture. It can be a huge whirlwind of headaches, as if we’re having civil rights “come together talks” decades after the 60s were supposed to accomplish that feat. Clearly not. And clearly, here we are again, having similar conversations that only switch up a bit with trending hairstyles and new idioms in ethnic vernacular.

People of any ethnic, racial, or cultural group can toss the idea of interracial dating aside. Maybe they think that it’s too much trouble to dabble in another group different from their own. Maybe it’s the thought that they would have to introduce them to their family and then meet theirs in return, which would result in a lot of unspoken questions because everyone would be too uncomfortable to ask. It’s a lot of stepping around eggshells and tiptoeing on conversations that need to be had REGARDLESS in society, but some may feel it could be a little too much pressure in their romantic lives and especially bringing it in their homes.

In turn, this could cause so many people to miss out on a decent match. Surprisingly, there are actually good human beings out in the world who could care less about what you look like, what your hair type is, or how someone called you some sort of racial slur while in kindergarten. Instead, they may love every ounce of your personality, your wit and charm, and they instead could fight for you when people do try to judge you based off of those irrelevant, prejudiced generalizations. Sometimes, I think that we hold ourselves back out of fear that we could actually enjoy something that we’re not used to.

Apart from the happy-go-lucky possibility of interracial dating, there are definitely the setbacks as well. And there are a number of them. Lots. Lots and lots. But the people who create the issues were morons from the start. Racial and ethnic identity to them is just an excuse to be an ass. Let’s be honest, they were going to be an ass anyways. It was embedded within them.

However, as a black woman (and by “black” I mean anyone who acknowledges their sub-Saharan African ancestry and society also views them on said “blackness”) I will admit that there are times when I see a white woman with a black or Hispanic man and have to do a double-take. Being as fair as I am on the rainbow spectrum, I’m hardly against interracial dating. But there’s another issue of self-hate that scratches my soul like nails on a chalkboard when I see or hear black men thinking that they have “arrived” by being with white women or very fair women (be it Latinas or Asians or even fair black women). To me, there just seems to be a psychological bump if a man cannot love a woman who looks like his mother. And many times, I’ve seen this with black men. Or maybe they think that black women have too much baggage than they’d rather deal with. Well, why do you think we have this baggage? Because the fathers of our children won’t step up? Because you can’t hold a job? Because you call me bitch when you disagree with my point-of-view? Or maybe simply because you can’t get up and wash your ass that day?

On the opposite side, whenever I see a black woman with a white man I do always wonder, Hmm…what brought her to this point? As women, we’re not the type to cheat unless men take us to a breaking point because we’re emotional (or unless we just don’t care and want sex, but that’s the minority). And we’re normally the type to be with men who are similar to our fathers. We look up to them from an early age. Everything we do has an emotional tie, and being with white men typically happens because either:
1) We’re from a mixed household and we’re already used to the multicultural Crayola box,
2) Black men pissed us off, or
3) This man really loves us and treats us better than we’ve ever been treated.

Don’t get me wrong, love is love but occasionally there are hidden meanings behind the interracial dating get-up. And it’s not fair for any party who experiences it because, rather than having a spiritual and romantic connection, the relationship is based off of some form of a racist ideology. Whether black men hate the independence of black women, black women only caring about the hair texture of their future children, white women turning the black-man-sexual-image into a fetish, white men continuing the sexual enslavement of black women, there is definitely still a dark side.

So, where do we go if we want to experience something new and put color aside while still dealing with a Donald Trump-like frame of mind among some people? It’s definitely a gamble, I will say, and I’ve played on multiple sides of the game. I dated a guy in the past I know was only interested in me simply because I was black. He tried to adopt old slang to talk to me and thought that he could discuss racial issues with me, but didn’t realize how offensive he was while posing to be “down” and mistakenly giving his theories as to why the black community was doomed. I’ve been at a point of being with a black man who told me that I would do better with white men simply because I had too much attitude and even his friends questioned how he could deal with me. At the same time, I’ve looked for men outside of my race merely because black men angered me. I felt as if they took me (and every other black woman they encountered) for granted. I felt as if they wanted to control me and competed with my professional endeavors. And honestly, I wanted to separate myself from the bullshit. And finally, I’ve been on another side where I’ve dated someone outside of my race and loved it. I just happened to meet him and it was the easiest relationship I experienced. Apart from him not understanding my ethnic background and I’d have to continually teach him things that I was culturally accustomed, he was insanely supportive. He uplifted me, told me I was beautiful nearly every day, didn’t try to confine me in his idea of what a woman was supposed to be, and he didn’t compete with me. Instead, he respected me for being the individual that I am who just so happens to be black.

It used to trouble me with dating outside of my race because I felt like the man would never understand where I was coming from. He would never offer empathy towards my situations and background, the setbacks that I or close friends or family members have been dealt simply because we look differently. Then, a friend reminded me that even black men do the same, but instead of race it’s a gender argument.

Regardless, men will be men (at least from my dating perspective). They’re all going to have insecurity issues with their masculinity, or maybe they’re still trying to find themselves in their professions. And us, women, we will also always have sort of reoccurring issues. Despite race. These concerns run across color lines. But maybe there is some cultural influence with how they reflect these issues upon the men and women we date. Who knows.

Maybe if we were in a culture-less society (what Donald Trump wants), then there would be no difference in treatment. But that’s the joy. Variety in spices and colors and scents and textures make life worth living. Otherwise, everything would be in gray and bland. And though I look amazing in gray, it would be fairly humdrum if LITERALLY EVERYTHING was gray. And maybe you like unseasoned chicken, but I don’t and will always reach for my hot sauce in case it’s a little too tasteless. Remember totalitarian societies seem as if they’re all for the good in the beginning, until collectively we realize that their mission is for deconstruction, assimilation, and no individualism (like Donald Trump).

The goal is to step outside of our comfort zones. No matter what route we choose, there will always be some form of adversary. Whether it’s dating outside of our race or maybe INNER-racial dating if we’re afraid of even the stereotypes against us or ones that we place upon ourselves. But during the course of speed-bumps and roadblocks, we might as well find what makes us happy. And that happiness could reside in the crayon that we never pick. But it could finally complete the picture that we’ve been drawing for so long.

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