So, I’ve purposely not written too much on this because it was just a part of my life (a very important part), but a part I like to very selectively share about. No one wants relationship vomit in their inbox…but today’s the day for a little taste.
So if you didn’t know, I got a bae.
And if you can’t tell, he’s brown. And one day I might write out our story, because those of you who know us know it’s been a ride. But today I’ve been working on balancing and constructing a fun and insightful list into what it’s like to be in an interracial relationship. If you’ve noticed, there’s not a ton of interracial couples around, and people ask us about it a lot.
So let’s gets started.
1. Just like any good thing, it’s rewarding but it’s hard. I don’t say this to elevate, complain, or attention seek. But trying to mend two cultures into a thriving relationship that most people don’t even notice they have a head start on is hard. I love Camilo, but I often hate the reality of what it is for us to date. I hate that if a cop ever sees me in the car with Cam and less than a smile on my face I could be putting him in danger. I really hate that I am inevitably feeding into the narrative that black men don’t value black women. Even in writing this, I’ll probably make 12 people upset in one way or another, I hate that man. But when you didn’t grow up in the same place, weren’t raised with the same cultural norms, and are treated two completely different ways by America herself, things can get sticky…But hey, it’s all in the magic.
2. Dating isn’t advocacy. While some may feel differently, we didn’t sign up on the “different race donor list” when looking for a significant other. YES we do want to leverage what we’ve been given as a vehicle for encouragement and understanding, especially in a world where it seems like no one who’s different can get along…much less be in love. BUT that wasn’t why we started dating each other. The order of that is really important.
3. You will never take a selfie that is properly lit for the both of you. It simply can’t be done. 🙂
4. Dating someone of a different race than you does not make you woke. Being woke makes you woke. Another way to say this is, caring for one black person, does not mean you care about or understand black people, or Hispanic people, or people of a different class, or people who have been hurt because of how they look. One well dressed black boy who can speak clearly is not the exception, and the white readers have got to get over the idea that getting in with one person who’s different from us somehow earns us a gold star.
5. Someone of a different race is not your key to being cooler or what you need to make cute kids. This might sound silly but you would be surprised at how many people see it like this. These motivations for dating make your significant other more a utility and less of a person, and that mentality gets reallly messy reallly fast. My alternate title to this one was “Black people aren’t your next pair of sneakers.” In the realm of pop culture and relevance, African Americans are consistently creative geniuses, musical artists, and culture setters. A lot of people our age want to be black in one way or another (peep cultural appropriation)-all that to say is, if you’re going to date someone who isn’t like you, you’ve got to know who you are. And you’ve got to make sure you aren’t dating to satisfy something in you that feels like a shortage.
A silly but good example of how Cam and I have learned to balance this is with music. We might have to strong arm it for the aux cord, but we spend a lot of time showing each other what kinds of music we know and like-because I totally listen to white girl music and I totally make him listen to white girl music. So yea, equality. Bam.
Pt. 2 coming atcha on dealing with family, friends, and lots more fun 😉