The Truth About Interracial Relationships In 2018

The Truth About Interracial Relationships In 2018

The good, the bad, and the ugly - and what you can do about it.

It is now 2018. A mere 18 years since Alabama removed the anti-miscegenation law from its books.

ONLY 18 years.

This means that technically it was illegal to be in an interracial relationship until the year 2000 under Alabama law.

A common idea throughout American society is that interracial relationships are generally accepted and that prejudice doesn't really exist anymore.

This is a LIE.

I am a white woman married to a black man. I have been called tainted, damaged goods, and "niggums girl" to my face. We have been victims of side glances and glares, and it is automatically assumed our restaurant bills are "separate." These are things that same-race couples do not have to worry about.

I am not saying that these things happen daily, but they happen often.

Racism is wild and rampant in our society today. It is shocking how sneaky and normalized racial discrimination has become. Despite the fact that interracial relationships are on the rise (one out of every eight marriages according to, they are still seen as "different."

Gina Escandon, associate Editor at Her Campus , described it as “Race will continually be injected into their relationship because society will put a big red stamp on their foreheads that reads, 'This is different.'”

I could not have said it better myself.

What are the key differences between interracial relationships and the latter?

Let's talk about the elephant in the room: Racism

First of all, I am a white woman married to a black man. Most of the time when people think of racism and discrimination against interracial couples they think of little old grandparents and the common excuse is "they are old" or "it's just how they were raised." Whatever. We get it; you’re justifying.

But what about the black women that glare at us, viewing my husband as a ‘"sellout" and me as stealing "their" man? What about our parents? I guarantee that no parent envisions their grandchildren as mixed kids. They are either beautiful black babies, with big brown eyes and curly hair, or blonde-haired and blue-eyed.

When I told my parents that I was dating a black man, they automatically assumed it was a "phase" and that I would grow out of it. Eventually, they fell in love with him, just like I did, and he became part of the family. Now my parents adore him. But this is a hurdle we would never have had to jump had we been the same color.

You are conscious of your appearance - constantly

Things that are different or against social norms have a tendency to make people feel uncomfortable. When people are uncomfortable, they stare. I constantly wonder if there is something wrong with my outfit or if I smeared my eyeliner - but nine times out of ten it is because I am a young white woman on the arm of a black man.

The Stereotypes

People assume that because you are in an interracial relationship that you ONLY date people outside your race. However, this is (in most cases) a load of crap. The majority of people who end up in interracial relationships just happen to end up there. I had never dated a black man before my husband, and honestly, I never planned on dating him. We met, we became friends, and we fell in love. Now, four years later, we're married and starting our lives together.

I feel that this is how the majority of relationships of all types come to be. The second stereotype I want to address is that "whites in interracial relationships are rebelling." Are there white people who bring home a person of another race because they know it will drive their parents crazy? I’m sure... But it’s highly unlikely that these people would maintain a relationship with someone just to spite their parents, let alone go far enough as to get married.

People making your relationship a bigger deal than it is

We are just two people in a relationship like everyone else. We did not get together to stand up for civil rights and "stick it to the man." We did not get together to make a statement or end racism. We got together because we liked each other. Simple as that.

Malcolm X said, “I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being - neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being.”

And that folks, is the heart of it all.

Cover Image Credit: UnSplash

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Falling In Love Is Easy But Staying In Love Is Harder

You never see it coming and then unexpectedly, it all catches up, and you eventually realize that there is no turning back.

Over the years that I have dated, I have fallen in love twice and stayed in love once.

The first time it happened, I was naive, emotional, and idealistic. However, in the end, I was left extraordinarily broken and unaware. For the most part, I spent a lot of time thinking about why things did not work out how we intended. It was easy until it was not.

The second time I fell in love was quite the opposite experience I went through the first time I fell in love. I was very cautious, skeptical, and built an emotional fortress for protection. Eventually, it all came crumbling down, brick by brick, until I was back to a familiar place. All that mattered was that he and I were happy and that everything felt right.

That is what falling in love is. It is a natural high, a rush of intense emotions -- anticipation, warmth, euphoria, and fear -- that takes you by force.

You never see it coming and then unexpectedly, it all catches up, and you eventually realize that there is no turning back. When you find yourself at that sweet spot, you think to yourself, "This is where I want to be. I want to stay right here forever."

As we fall in love, our affections effortlessly motivate us.

These feelings propel us to make some of the most irrational decisions or perform unexpected romantic tasks, like staying up all night talking on the phone despite having exams or an important task you have to do the next day or doing anything to spend a day with him or her.

Emotions, especially love, passion, and happiness are our strongest motivators because we will do anything to maintain them.

However, we often fail to realize that it never lasts. What goes up must come down and sometimes, it can last for a couple of months, and sometimes it can last for a couple of years.

We are often blinded by the illusion that everything good is infinite and invincible. Once you come down and reality sinks, it gets a little tricky.

When the feelings subside, we must work twice as hard to maintain and deepen the relationships.

The emotions become less intense until they stabilize into something that is just part of your everyday life. Without the intensity, the motivation eventually fades, and that is when things start to get comfortable.

Once you are in the comfort zone, the relationship either becomes stale and unappealing, or it evolves into a two-player team depending on what you do next. If you genuinely want to stay in love, choose love -- a choice build on the foundations of communication, acceptance, and selflessness.

It means being honest with your significant other while being true to yourself and understanding that compromises are the key to all healthy relationships. It means connecting and sometimes disconnecting, but always discussing your feelings without blame, assumptions, and insults so that you will never have to go to bed sad or angry.

It means knowing that your partner will make mistakes but always speaking before reacting so that the two of you can learn and grow from the experience. It means that even when you do not feel the love at any given moment, you do not give in to the short-term emotions and will instead behave and communicate with tenderness and patience. Share your vulnerabilities and consciously decide to forgive and move on.

In the end, the effort is in the decisions you make.

Deciding on anything is not easy because it requires consciousness and careful thought, whereas emotions can master you without your consent.

Choosing love is choosing selflessness and taking a much higher road -- a task that is not easily done as we are inherently in it for ourselves.

However, if we realize that temporary is easy but forever is hard, we will consistently work for the things and people who are worth fighting for while enjoying the magic and enhancement of all the is finite.

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