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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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.
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Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

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It's Time For Romance Movies To Start Portraying Love And Relationships More Accurately

It's 2019, get with the times.

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Currently, on TV and in the movies, many romance movies have the same storyline. If it's on Hallmark, two people fall in love and complete some kind of mission. If it's in the movies two people date/fall in love, something causes them to break up, then they get back together and everyone lives happily ever after.

The problem is that all of these plots are seriously unrealistic.

All of these movies and TV shows just inaccurately portray how a relationship works in real life. A real relationship takes a lot of work, time, and effort. Not everything is candy canes, unicorns, and comes so easily. There are so many other factors that people have to think about.

I really got into watching these romantic type movies when I started watching PG-13 movies. I would watch them and picture all my relationships going this way. But these movies painted the wrong picture of relationships. I'm not saying my boyfriend is a bad boyfriend at all, he is wonderful! But we both have learned it takes a lot of work, time, effort, and communication. These are things very few romance movies teach us.

Also, everyone expects things from their significant others from what they see in these movies. I was one of those people, but then real life hit. There are bills, jobs, and time management that you have to consider. This doesn't mean that my boyfriend and I don't go out, but we have to choose wisely for what we do and when we do it! We have also found fun things to do at home in place of going out in order to save money.

I understand that many people like to watch these programs and enjoy them. But there needs to be a change to accurately portray a relationship. Personally, I think this is why many young people's relationships don't last - they have watched this easy relationship develop and stay in a movie and they haven't seen what it is like in real life.

So, to those who produce these types of movies and shows, it's time that you start making things more realistic.

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