From Strained Family Ties To Outright Abuse, These Women Opened Up About Interracial Dating
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.
“I play him the Mexican survival guide videos. Very accurate, also lots of communication!”
Talk about the shared struggles of your cultures.
” 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.”
“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.”