Culture

In My Own, I’ve Learned That Interracial Relationships Won’t Work If You Run From The Hard Stuff

In a sea of olive skin and dark eyes, there’s a tuft of blonde hair with baby blues. That guy with blue eyes is my person. At every christening, wedding, or birthday party, where there’s me, there’s my boyfriend. We go together without thinking, and I feel fortunate that I’m at a point in my life where bringing my boyfriend to family events is a given.

Throughout my dating life I’ve been asked “What you don’t like Latinos?” and “Will you ever date someone who isn’t white?” by friends and family alike.

Wandy Felicita Ortiz

For those asking: I do, and I have, but not with the frequency that the people asking those questions would like.

My grandparents came to the mainland in the 1950s and my great-grandfather, though born in Puerto Rico, was still considered a citizen of Spain. In comparison, his family lineage in the U.S. goes so far back that you can trace it to the Mayflower.

Often, I get called an “Oreo,” too white-minded to be Latina, and too dark-skinned to be white. I’m conscious of our differences, but I don’t date my boyfriend to be a living educational exhibit. I refuse to be fetishized or exoticized. I am who I am.

Even so, I have a lot to learn in terms of how I project some old cultural customs, be they sexist or racist, onto people I love.

Wandy Felicita Ortiz

My boyfriend and I aren’t afraid to talk about it as a couple or as friends.

The upbringing I have had, as traditional as it is, has led me to be judgmental, private, and less open. Meanwhile, he is open to my family and my culture. Where he jumps head-first, I’m hesitant to do the same because I’m afraid to lose sight of who I am.

Comments on my being one half of an interracial couple have always made me feel like my romantic relationships aren’t my own, and that to be in one, it had to please the people around me.

Yes, I do believe that your friends and family ultimately want the best for you. And yes, Latino families are sometimes so on our cases we don’t know where we end and they begin. It’s the positive danger of coming from a culture that’s close-knit, regardless of whether or not you want it to be. But, you learn to work with and around it.

I’m sure that when my loved ones ask me these questions, they do so less out of malice, and more of concern. Maybe to them, by being with someone who doesn’t share my cultural upbringing, I’m missing out on the best parts of my heritage.

In this relationship, I do see color.

Wandy Felicita Ortiz

We are two completely different people. Racially, and in turn socioeconomically. These two things play a key role in our relationship. Our interactions consist in “we don’t do that” or “you can’t say that,” and “when you say that, you sound like,” fill in the blank.

I call him out when he says something culturally insensitive or racially charged. I tell him when his privilege is showing. He lets me know when my upbringing doesn’t allow me to express thoughts and ideas I have due to fear or being shut out by others in my Latino community.

My boyfriend was never a dance partner at a quinceanera, he has never seen a quenepa up-close, and bendiciones to the elders was a foreign concept that he’s continually being introduced to. But although he’s new to all of those things, he embraces them.

When I say that, I don’t mean that he works to be or act Latino.

I do mean that he works to see the value in these things that are foreign to him, but non-negotiable as part of my life, and in turn, our partnership.

He seeks out this understanding. He asks questions about what he can’t relate to through personal experience and admits that there’s more to the Latino community than he realizes.

Together, we are on a journey to unlearn the bad and embrace the good in both of us. It’s hard, it’s messy, and there are fights. But this is the future, one of color-conscious love that, as a result, allows the best of us to shine through.

Latinos On Twitter Share Their Most Brutal Tales Of Rejection And Some Of The Stories Will Shock You

Fierce

Latinos On Twitter Share Their Most Brutal Tales Of Rejection And Some Of The Stories Will Shock You

NBC

If there’s a universal human experience that unites all of humanity, it’s that we’ve all had to deal with rejection at some point or another. It’s impossible to live your life without shooting your shot when the time comes, whatever your shot may be. 

But unfortunately, not everyone can be successful 100% of the time. From contests to job opportunities, to romantic endeavors, all of us have been subject to discovering that not everyone thinks we’re as great as we think we are. Rejection, unfortunately, is a necessary part of life.

On Saturday, Twitter user @Eden_Eats asked her followers to share the stories of their “harshest rejection”.

Quickly, @Eden_Eats’s tweet about being epically friend-zoned got almost 4,000 retweets and almost 65,000 likes. All sorts of people responded to her post with stories one-upping each other on the various humiliating ways they’d been rejected. As people continued to share all the ways they’ve been let down, the tweet quickly started trending.

As usual, Twitter users jumped at the chance of publicly roasting themselves.

But, in all honesty, there’s something cathartic in sharing your emotional scars with the public. Misery loves company, right?

What was possibly most surprising about these tweets is all of the creative ways people came up with to tell others they’re not interested. Why couldn’t a simple “no, thanks” suffice?

The stories Twitter users shared ranged from the bad…

Ouch. It’s one thing to be rejected once. It’s an entirely different story to be rejected 14 times. 

To the ugly…

The upside to many of these stories is that the posters obviously dodged a bullet by getting out of these relationships. Even if this woman’s fiance didn’t buy a house without telling her, he was obviously not very skilled in the communication department in the first place.

To the downright horrifying.

Unfortunately, the rejections that are the most painful and linger for the longest time are the ones that happen during your childhood. When you’re young, you’re already impressionable. When you add a giant dose of rejection to the mix during your formative years, the experience can stick with you. 

Naturally, Latinos of Twitter hopped on the bandwagon to share their harshest stories of rejection.

Sometimes, sharing your painful memories makes you feel less alone. Reading stories about how everyone goes through the same crappy experiences and how so many of them overcame their previous pain is a beacon of light to many people. When you’re rejected, it can be easy to feel like you’re the most unwanted person in the world. The popularity of this topic on Twitter proved that this couldn’t be less true.

This Latino felt rejected after his online love interest ghosted him for being honest about his mental health journey.

Being vulnerable and honest upfront is the best way to weed out the people in your life who don’t belong there. 

This Latina was left confused after she acted on what ended up being mixed signals

Haven’t we all been in that situation where we were sure someone liked us and we ended up getting it all wrong? This girl is not alone. 

This Latina shared the saga of her boyfriend who left her for another woman with “bigger boobs”

We wish we could feel bad for all of these people, but some of them so obviously dodged a bullet that we’re happy for them. 

This Latina’s boyfriend moved her out of his place while she was SLEEPING.

The craziest thing about some of these stories is that the person doing the rejection is often too cowardly to tell the other person to their face.

This girl’s crush rejected her without even having to look at her.

Leave it to a middle school boy to do something like this. This boy joins the long list of men who have chosen a video game over a girl. 

Of course, some people have had their harshest rejection experiences from their career paths:

Dedicating your life to creative work is a surefire way to experience more rejection than the average person. But the beauty of rejection is, there’s always something better for you waiting on the other side. Nothing and no one should be in your life if it doesn’t want to be there. 

From Strained Family Ties To Outright Abuse, These Women Opened Up About Interracial Dating

Fierce

From Strained Family Ties To Outright Abuse, These Women Opened Up About Interracial Dating

whitemenblackwomendating / Instagram

Many of us date people from different cultures and backgrounds. We asked our FIERCE community if they had stories related to the issues they had dating someone of a different ethnicity and the responses were enlightening, hopeful and sometimes even a bit heartbreaking.

Differences can be overwhelming but interest is super key.

“For me was so difficult. I’m Mexican, raise and born in Mexico and I was dating with a Xicano man, but he never was into the Mexican culture… long story short, we broke up. Some differences were overwhelming.”

Expressing excitement over exchanging cultures goes a long way.

“My husband of 13 years is a white American while I’m Mexican American, first born generation of immigrants. He loves my heritage and appreciates my family. He gravitates toward our culture because his family doesn’t really have anything like that except being American, which is kind of boring to him. They know they are a big mix of English, Irish, and Scottish with some Dutch and German but that’s really the extent of it… he’s also learned Spanish and went with me to live in Cuernavaca for a month to study.”

The sad truth is that fear of being judged or mistreated sometimes keeps us from such fulfilling relationships.

“We don’t. We get dirty looks everywhere we go. I’m either a traitor or a thief.”

Previous interactions with other races and proper communication are vital

“I think both of us being bi-racial (myself being Ecuadorian and Irish, my bf being Black and Polish) has shown us that there are many different ways to do the same thing and that not all things are as they appear. When we run into those cultural differences, it helps to try to see the duality of the situation. Communication and respect are [key].”

You can both learn about your cultures together.

whitemenblackwomendating / Instagram

“I play him the Mexican survival guide videos. Very accurate, also lots of communication!”

Talk about the shared struggles of your cultures.

italian_stallionne / Instagram

” I’m really passionate about this topic. I’m Mexican-American & my husband is South African. Like my parents, he’s an immigrant. A white immigrant. While the differences of being a white immigrant and a Mexican one are obvious, it’s the shared struggles & similar perspectives that are worth highlighting.
One perspective that has struck me is when my husband said, “I noticed Americans don’t make eye contact. In South Africa we at least acknowledge a person by doing so….” then I sarcastically thought to myself, ‘wow, what an idea. People recognizing the existence of other human beings.” Though I am guilty of this! BUT. Why am I guilty of this? Could it be that I was raised to acknowledge others even if it meant hugging every tia & tio in the room? Or my favorite, less intimidating way of respectfully recognizing that your fellow humans are present while also respecting your boundaries: greeting a room full of strangers with a smile & a “buenos días,” as you sit quietly in an open chair at the doctors office? But we don’t do this in America, at least not where I’m from. Most of us tend to do the opposite of acknowledge each other.
So back to the point:
we navigate our cultural differences by having these kinds of dialogues; connecting the dots. Mapping out how different humans attempt to figure out this crazy world we live where a wild fascination with the color of skin & borders exist. Who are we when we let go of our country & our skin?”

Speak up but also listen and learn.

“I’m Mexican and my bf is black/puerto rican my family has knew about him before when I talked to him in high school but they never really liked the fact that we were together so they separated me from him and made me switch high schools my senior year it was hard I talked to other people the two years we lost contact but realized he’s my happiness and now I gave us another chance without my family knowing I’m still figuring out how I’m going to let everyone know Ik that some of my family will shut me out because they are really old school/ traditional Mexicans and what me to be with someone of my race and my beliefs but we love each other so we are gonna make this work.”

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

interracialkissing / Instagram

“Respect, appreciation and being open to conversation. He still thinks I’m a little crazy for wanting to one day pierce our future daughter’s ears.”

When you have kids, be sure keep your families involved.

“Been in a 10 year relationship. My husband is Asian and it’s been so hard even til now. His family has a hard time dealing with the fact that he is with a Mexican woman. We have two kids and I can count with one hand how many times they have seen my kids. I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old. My son looks completely Asian and my daughter looks mixed. Just a few days ago he asked me why me and his dad look so different and I told him we are from two different ethnicities, different parts of the world. He said he wished he was only Mexican and looked like mommy  it’s hard because my family is all he’s ever had. We try to visit his family but they always say they are busy. Being in a interracial relationship has been so hard for me. It’s been so draining they even encouraged him to cheat in the beginning of our marriage. I’m drained, don’t know how much longer I can do this for. I know this is not the case for all interracial relationships but it’s been hell for me.”