In my current relationship I couldn’t have found a better man. He is so grounded and motivated, he wants to provide for his family and give them whatever they could want. He wants to do better than what he had when he was growing up.
However, for as good as I think this relationship is, many of the people close to me have concerns. Their biggest concern seems to revolve around the fact that our relationship is interracial—I’m white and he’s black. I have tried to explain to my loved ones that skin color should not matter; that what is on the inside is what matters, and some of their concerns are about more than just skin color. Because of all these conversations, I’ve thought a lot about interracial relationships, and I think common thoughts about them should be talked about.
- Interracial relationships aren’t always seen by the color of skin.
My interracial relationship is understandably very visible. But some of the same loved ones who are skeptical of our relationship are in interracial relationships—even though they don’t consider their relationship so. One loved one is white and though his wife’s skin looks white, she’s actually Puerto Rican and her grandfather was black, making their relationship by definition interracial. Also, what people fail to see is that it is just not black and white that make interracial relationships, it can also be someone of Asian descent and Spanish descent. But our current media dramatizes and focuses more on black and white
- Personal behavior should be considered more than cultural stereotypes.
Many of my loved ones tell me that there are cultural differences between my boyfriend and me that need to be considered. Of course, everyone’s background is different and certainly cultural norms play into those differences. But, it’s more important to look at individual actions and not racial or cultural stereotypes. My boyfriend’s action show me he is a good person. He has a really good job and he is committed to his son and me. His son always comes first no matter the situation. He wants to give him the best life possible and does not want him to have a need for anything. He wants his life to be better than his childhood.
I’m happy in this relationship because my boyfriend is a good man that treats me well and respects me, and I wish my loved ones would focus more on that.
- The dynamics of interracial dating can help to strengthen a relationship in today’s culture.
The fact that so much emphasis in our culture is placed on sex as bonding in relationships I believe makes it harder for people to see a relationship as getting to know one another personally. For us, being in an interracial relationship has only made our bond stronger, because not only are we sometimes fighting against the negative people in this world, we are also making a stand against the negativity in this world. Just like in dating someone of your own race, we are always learning about that person and who they are and what interests they have. My relationship has truly shown me to look outside of my world and to see it in someone else’s perspective. The things that I have noticed is that I really do have a good life and it would seem that everything had been handed to me, but actually my parents worked to achieve much of what I was given.
It has been fifty-eight years since the first interracial couple–Mildred and John Loving–got married, and at that time twenty four states had laws against people of different races marrying. At the time of their marriage, they were considered felons. After an extensive legal battle, in June of 1967, the Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional. Although such laws officially remained on the books in several states, the Lovings’ landmark victory rendered them effectively unenforceable, ensuring no interracial couple would have to endure the same treatment. This case is inspiring to me, it shows that two people who truly love one another and believe what they do, can overcome obstacles to their relationship. In 2016, why does race matter so much? If people love one another and have built a healthy relationship shouldn’t that be enough?
photo credit: Flickr/Bob Julius
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