9 Things That Happened While I Dated Outside My Race
In a country as diverse as the U.S., there are millions of couples who come from different cultural backgrounds. While dating a gringo or a European guy might present some challenges, it can also be a very enriching experience. This is my personal experience of the good and not-so-good of dating a Dutch man.
You get to try authentic food from a country you’re not familiar with.
Although I’ll never eat raw herring again, I’m sure going to miss the stroopwafel supply (two thin waffles stuck together with a layer of sweet syrup) his mom used to send on a regular basis. Spread some arequipe on top and you have your own Ducth-Colombian culinary deliciousness.
If you have kids, chances are they’ll grow up bilingual.
Or even trilingual! My ex speaks Dutch and English. I speak español and English. At two years old, that kid would’ve already had a huge advantage over other job candidates.
Traveling becomes more attainable.
I had traveled to a bunch of countries in South America (hola, raíces latinas) while he had been more inclined to visit Europe. Together, we explored both of our home countries and opened ourselves to checking out other places in between.
There is always something new to learn.
I got to learn so much about his food and culture and on the flipside, I *tried* to teach him some salsa moves.
Language can be a bridge or a barrier.
While dating someone who speaks a different language can be all fun and exciting (bebés bilingües!) It can also be a drag. My ex didn’t understand much Spanish, and his lack of interest in learning made most get-togethers with my friends (mostly first generation immigrants who speak primarily Spanish) a little uncomfortable.
Yeah, I’m gonna say it: interracial couples look GOODDD together.
CREDIT: SANTIBLOG/ PINTEREST
Before you get your panties in a bunch, I’m not saying non-interracial couples don’t look good together. But speaking from experience, my ex was pale, while I have the coloring of my Afro-Colombian mom. Can you say sabor? I often felt like the protagonist of a United Colors of Benetton ad.
And that’s probably why you get a ton of looks.
People would stare in disapproval as if they had the slightest right to criticize our relationship.
And when people get real bold, they ask things like “How does your mom feel about you dating a white dude?”
We met on a dating website and the thought of him being a white, educated guy from Holland didn’t cross my mind. I saw an intelligent, well-spoken, down-to-earth, attractive guy. But for most people, friends and strangers alike, our relationship had the stain of complication, discrimination and disapproval. “How does your mom feel about you dating a white dude?” was a question I was asked, uninvited, on plenty of occasions.
I heard many of different versions of “Hey sister, how can you be dating a white dude when there’s plenty of fine brothers out there?” He got asked if he hated his race so much he needed to “go black.” Even some of those who “supported” our relationship insisted I wasn’t black, but “tanned,” like that made our relationship more acceptable somehow. We got to experience racism on a deep level.
But in the end, it’s not the haters who are in the relationship. It’s you.
*Disclaimer: Not me in the picture, just another adorable mixed couple.*
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