It didn’t become legal until 1967 (Loving v Virginia) to marry someone outside of your race. The law was against miscegenation (sexual relations or marriage between people of different races). Even though it has been legal for quite some time, it is sometimes ingrained in us not to date outside of our race. Sometimes this discouragement comes in the form of off-color comments by family or friends. Other times it is more direct ways.
In California, race wasn’t an issue and my friends and boyfriends spanned the rainbow. Louisiana was different thought, race is/was/will be an issue. It was almost like stepping back in time. There aren’t any interracial relationships in my family and I was supposed to find me a strong black man. It was discouraged to be different. You can “date” but don’t bring that person home, right?
Being in the south affected my own beliefs for a while and I even remember telling my son growing up he better never bring home a white girl (funny how life turns out). He was too young to date, much less decide what race his future girlfriend would be. Emmett Till came to mind when I thought of it. Even now I do know of cases where people have gotten caught up from “changing lanes”.
When I decided to stop being one sided and limiting my dating pool, it became an issue. I actually stopped talking to my family for a few months because I thought it was ridiculous, none of their business, and disrespectful. There was a lot of “maid” and “come up missing” comments, it was a bit too much for me. My family was worried about how I was going to raise my son to be a strong black man if I wasn’t married to one. Surprise though, that is actually what I accomplished!
Fast forward to the present, my husband is obviously not black and I obviously am. Both of our families for the most part are accepting of this, the ones who aren’t, keep it to themselves. The public is another issue and can’t seem to help but do a double take, most of the time we ignore it. The other times, well I’m not always ladylike. I think people are used to seeing a black man and white woman versus the other way around. So yes, it causes people of all ages and races to stare.
He is just who he is and I am just me. Our relationship works for us. If people are uncomfortable with our hand holding or PDA, that really is their issue. Yes our household is different than other people, none of that have to do with race. We laugh, we work together to make our relationship work, but most of all we are supportive of each other. We both talk to my son about race issues (yes, we discuss that too).
When people ask me what is it like to date a white man, I look at them weird. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. People need to stop listening and believing stereotypes. People are people, there is truly good and bad in every race. There is strong and weak in every race. There is even swag and no swag in every race (lol).
Regardless of race, my husband treats me like a queen. Regardless of race, I treat him like a king. Regardless of race, our children are royalty!
You do have to be strong, be able to deal with the stares, dumb comments, and questions. If you aren’t strong enough to do that, then don’t do it! Interracial dating may not be for you.
Have that uncomfortable talk first. (Have you ever dated outside your race? How does your family feel? Etc)
Do talk about race issues. (It is important to know how open/closed minded the other person is)
Don’t change who you are. (You don’t have to act a certain way to be with someone of another race. It is disrespectful and phony)
Learn from the relationship/dating experience. (There are some cultural differences that we can all learn from, yes you might have to discuss hair)
Stop caring what people think. (You are responsible for your own happiness, not others)
Peace and Love