By Abina George
I was so fortunate to meet another awesome blogger, Deanna Stilwell. Both of us happen to be in interracial couples. We decided to answer some questions so that people can better understand how and why we both ended up dating outside our race and tell our interracial stories.
How did you meet your significant other?
I am so ashamed of myself. We haven’t even admitted this to our families, so it’s been an overused tale. We tell everyone that we met in a coffee shop while the truth of the matter is that we met online. We are a product of online dating even though we both had negative experiences with the site we used and the people we contacted online. We traded numbers with the assumption that we wouldn’t date. I wasn’t interested, and he quickly picked up on that, but we enjoyed texting each other. 9 MONTHS LATER he asked me if I wanted to meet and I finally agreed. Yes, I was truly hard to get and super patient. It turned out to be a good thing for us because we had formed a friendship from talking so much.
What is the biggest struggle each of you thinks is caused by being in an interracial relationship?
We have been discussing the issues that our interracial relationship has caused, and we literally cannot think of a thing. I’m Black and my boyfriend is White and Mexican. He looks completely White and has fair skin so there is a lot of visual differences between us. The biggest difference my boyfriend noticed is how proud we are of our Black heritage and what other Black people have accomplished. My family is just more communal about success.
I feel like I blend completely well with his family. There is, however, one cultural difference that is more regional than racial. During my first visit with them, I learned that many children in the area learn how to ride bulls by starting on sheep. The number of childhood photos of children hanging on the side of a poor, unsuspecting sheep, was completely shocking.
What is something that you’d like others to know about interracial relationships?
There are so many factors that need to be considered when it comes to dating and interracial dating is no different. If someone’s personality, lifestyle, and character don’t fit, the relationship will be difficult. Overall, there are things that people need to adjust to in every relationship. There are some cultural things that might seem different but there are also personal things that couples must adjust to. It just depends on each person’s threshold for new things and how important creating a future with a person is.
What is one of the worst things you’ve experienced because of your interracial relationship?
My boyfriend and I look like a White and Black interracial relationship and we live in the South. The present-day south is not nearly as bad as it was before the civil rights movement but there are people who clearly disapprove of “race mixing”. Many people think I’m not very intelligent because of my race and suggest that White people should not marry a race below them.
I once had a friend whose father hated me because I was Black. He would not let her come and visit me because he attributed every stereotype to me. He was appalled that my boyfriend, although mixed himself, would stoop to dating me and was very upset that his family did not rebuke me. In his mind, Black people were the lowest of all races and should be avoided at all costs. My ethnicity should not be that important, but my personal accomplishments and intelligence was ignored and only my skin tone was considered.
I clearly see that my boyfriend is different than me racially, but our similarities far outweigh any cultural differences we may have. Since we both grew up around all sorts of different people, there is really nothing much culturally different between us. We are both just two adults with a goofy sense of humor and an interracial love that brings us together.
Be sure to read Abina’s blog to see her take on interracial dating
Also be sure to check out my response to the same questions on Abina’s blog here.