What Interracial Dating Taught Me

What Interracial Dating Taught Me

If a person makes you happy, then no one else's opinion matters.
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Ever since I can remember, I have always been the only African American. I went to a predominantly white private school from Pre-K to fifth grade, participated in predominantly white sports and activities, and even lived in a predominately white neighborhood. So, it became natural that I started to like guys outside of my race.

My brother who is 8 years older than I am, has always dated interracially so I never thought anything of it when I started. My parents are absolutely amazing, and are very accepting. Growing up, I was used to being around white people, so I never thought dating them would be a problem.

When I entered high school, I had an on-again, off-again boyfriend who was African American who I was madly in love with (it was just the hormones). When we finally called it quits, I started seeing this really cute guy (he was not at all African American). Not only was he cute, but he was also smart and could make me laugh, which is the best way to earn brownie points.

The first time we went out, we went for ice cream (he won brownie points for that, too). There were senior citizens there when we walked in, and I politely smiled and continued to go to the register. As we got our order and sat down, I had a really weird feeling. When I looked around, I realized that they were all looking in my direction so I assumed that there was ice cream on my face. I wiped my face so many times, I could feel my skin getting dry. Anyway, even after I wiped my face, we were still getting looks, so I then thought it was because he was talking to loud so I told him to quiet down. But we were still getting looks. I had come up with so many excuses as to why they were looking at us: a wardrobe malfunction, something in my teeth, or my hair was messed up. I checked for all of those, but it wasn’t that. When I was finishing up my ice cream, I wiped ice cream off his face with a napkin and that’s when I saw what they saw: our skin color. I automatically remembered my best friend telling me a story about her family’s disapproval of her dating interracially and I knew that’s what they were looking at. The uncomfortable feeling I had was being judged for dating interracially.

After that date, I became more aware of the places we went, and the looks we got, which made me very self-conscious and insecure. I was constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure no one was looking at us, that it made me no longer want to go out. Over time, I talked to him less and less, and soon we weren’t talking at all. It was like a cycle, I would talk to guys outside of my race and really like them, but then I became self-conscious and eventually stopped talking to them.

It took about three more cycles for me to realize that those strangers in the ice cream shop had been dictating my life and I had been letting them. I was so worried about what others were thinking that it was getting in the way of my own happiness. Although my realization was amazing and changed my life, it came a little too late, and I lost some amazing people. Even though it’s good to please others, it should never get in the way of your happiness. Interracial dating taught me that if a person makes you happy, then no one else's opinion matters.

Cover Image Credit: Contemporaryfamilies.org

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13 Reasons Why Being Single Is The Best Time Of Your Life

Who needs someone else when you have you?
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I got lunch with an old friend recently, and while we were talking, she brought up how she had just broken up with her boyfriend and was currently trying to get back into the dating game. She talked about how she didn't like being single and was practically trying everything she could to start seeing people: going on tinder, reaching out to old guys who had been interested in her while she was in a relationship, etc.

It got to a point in our conversation when I simply looked at her and asked why she wanted to be in a relationship so bad.

She stared at me, obviously confused by my question, and continued on about how good dating feels and how being alone is one of the worst feelings she's ever felt.

To be fair with her, she had just broken up with her boyfriend - but even so, I've noticed some friends who have long been single, they are always actively trying to date someone new or get into a relationship.

But why?

I just started dating someone, but when I was single, I loved every second it.

Sure, there are moments when you see other people who are in relationships on Instagram, and you get a little lonely and jealous - but being single is just as good as being in a relationship.

In fact, I believe everyone needs to be single for a decent amount of time in their adult lives in order to figure out who the fuck they are.

So, here are some reasons why I believe you should appreciate being single while you still can.

1. Relationships can be stressful

Whatever you see from those couples on Instagram or your friends in relationships, you're honestly seeing just the surface. Relationships are a lot of work and require time and effort to keep them alive and afloat. Also, fighting can be the absolute worst.

2. You can do whatever you want whenever you want

When you're single, you don't have no boyfriend or girlfriend telling you what to do or when to meet them. You can go on vacation by yourself and not even worry about inviting your significant other. Want to go to New York for a weekend getaway, go ahead? You ain't got no one telling you otherwise.

3. You learn how to fully take care of yourself

Being by yourself forces you to learn skills that allow you to grow and take care of yourself. Don't know how to cook? You don't need to rely on your significant other. Simply pick up a cookbook and start teaching yourself. Aren't super happy? Watch a few episodes of The Office and laugh your ass off!

4. You gain a new perspective on everything

When you're by yourself, you see things that are often hard to see when you're in a relationship. For instance, it can be hard to see that a relationship is toxic while you're in it, but on the outside, it's a lot easier to see the red flags.

5. Girls night is every night

Treat yourself. Sometimes your girlfriends need a little TLC as well, and sometimes that can be swept under the rug by a relationship. But when you're single, take advantage of the endless nights of fun, wine, and girl talk.

6. No settling

I've noticed a lot of people get into relationships with people who aren't quite right for them, simply because they are afraid of being alone. When you're by yourself, you start to learn what you truly desire in a significant other, and it makes it easier for when you are eventually in a relationship to find those red flags.

7. Shaving is completely optional

You can be as hairy as your heart desires, because no one's going to see except for you. No need to spend half an hour in the shower trying to get those smooth legs - unless you really want that for you.

8. One less distraction

Whether from your career or any other life goals, a relationship taking up so much time that it can ultimately just end up being a distraction for getting you to wherever you want to inevitably get. That's one of the reasons more and more people are settling down with a significant other later on in their lives - so they can be established in their careers enough to be able to focus on those relationships fully.

9. More time for activities that actually interest you

Another thing you can spend your time on besides a relationship is doing things you actually enjoy. I was in a relationship for almost two years, and at the end of it, I realized I completely forgot my love of writing. Since then, I've started writing for the Odyssey and loving every second of it - because now I have the time and energy for it.

10. You can build on the other friendships in your life

With all this extra time, you can truly focus on building all of your friendships with everyone (or at least some of those) around you.

11. No jealousy

Being with someone romantically always has the possibility of bringing the green monster into play. Jealousy is a gross feeling that no one wants to feel, and when you see your boyfriend talking to that girl he told you not to worry about, it doesn't feel good when that jealousy starts growing.

12. No guilt

If you end up going a little crazy on a night out or eating a few extra cookies, there's no one that can make you feel guilty for doing any of it! Feel free to make out with as many people as you want on the dancefloor. Go ahead and finish the cookie jar. Treat yo'self!

13. After enough time, you realize you don't need a relationship to be happy

At the end of the day, relationships can take away from your own self-care and love, and it can be easy to forget that you can be as happy single as you are in a relationship. Being single is some of the best times of your life where you can be free and do as you please. You are as happy as you make it.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Fight For What You Love

It's Worth the Battle
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I don’t give up easily. Don’t get me wrong, I will not let anyone walk all over me, but I will not give up on you if I see some potential in you. It’s always good to have a little faith. The best kind of faith, however, is when you see the good in someone that they don’t even see in themselves.

You carry a lot of broken parts, but I love them all. I love every ounce of baggage on your shoulder's, and every flaw that you hate about yourself. But for some reason, you don’t see in yourself what I see in you.

Who did that to you? Who made you feel so undesirable and hard to love? Maybe she told you that you’d never find love again once she left you, but little did she know, I came along and found more love in you than she ever could.

I love how easy it is to talk to you. I love that you take the time to talk to me and learn about me. I love the new things you helped me discover about myself. I love the adventures. I love everything about you.

Our lives have become so entangled that I could not imagine one without you. You are the closest thing to me. There is just something about you that is so captivating –so intriguing. Maybe it’s the way you dance or smile or laugh or even say my name. That is why you are my first pick. I will never stop choosing you, regardless if you chose someone other than me.

In my life, I have never been the girl to pick off the petals of a flower saying, “he loves me, he loves me not.” Instead, it has been “he loves me, kind of, he loves me not enough.” With you, it’s different. Our hearts opened up, and this has been a different kind of love –one that I’ve never felt before.

I lost you once. I will not lose you again. Nothing could have ever prepared me for the way my heart shattered when I lost you the first time. I will never let it happen again.

We are at war…not with each other, but with our hearts. Should we be together, or are we better off as friends? That is the question that we are faced with every single day. Sometimes I think I can’t handle this. Sometimes I wish that I could forget about all of these emotions, and feel nothing towards you at all. I’m fooling myself.

If you want my honest opinion, we are blind if we think that we could remain friends and fight off the love that we have for each other. There is absolutely nothing in this world that can keep me away from you. I will fight for you until the day my heart stops beating.

People have always said, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it was never meant to be.” I have a hard time wholeheartedly believing in this statement because sometimes you’re not supposed to just let things go with such great ease. Sometimes it’s your job to fight for what you love in order for it to stay. Because sometimes it could be the man of your dreams who is slightly misguided, a little insecure and doesn’t love himself nearly as much as you love him. So don’t let him go, dammit. Fight. And fight hard, and if in the end it was a lost battle, then you can dust yourself off and set him free. Because if after fighting tooth and nail with your entire heart for him, he still chooses to walk away, then and only then was it never meant to be. But if he stays, God if he stays, then you will be the luckiest person on this planet and you hold on tight to him and never think about letting him go.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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