***Guest post by Olyvia of Hello Olyvia***
Hey guys! It’s almost Friday, woot woot. Get excited! Okay, so many people ask me questions about what it’s like to be in an “interracial relationship.”I really hate that term. What is this, the 50s? For the most part, we are just a normal couple. However, there are some obstacles we face that others wouldn’t.
Before dating my boyfriend, I had been alone for a while. The struggles of interracial relationships were long forgotten. I was shocked all over when we got together and I had to deal with the stare again. It sounds dramatic, but that’s because it is. People give us death stares, evil eyes, eyes bulging with disbelief, looks of disapproval, and looks of straight up disgust. You name it, we get it. For me, it’s the worst thing we deal with because it’s so constant. Wherever we go I can look up at any given time and see someone staring at us.
If people aren’t staring, it’s because they assume we aren’t together. It’s honestly confusing because we are usually engaging in some form of PDA. It’s just weird when I’m standing in line, extremely close to him or sometimes kissing him, yet the cashiers try to ring us up at different registers. “Oh, y’all are together?” Um, yes actually. I am here with the man I’ve been kissing for like, five minutes. One cashier was petty and tried to ring us up separately after we walked up to her register together. I guess she didn’t approve.
But if you think that’s awkward, it gets worse. Nothing gets more uncomfortable than restaurants. Once my boyfriend, his family, and I went to eat together. I went inside while everyone else parked and asked for a table for eight. Eventually, everyone else came inside and sat with me while we waited. The hostess asked if they were a part of the table of 8 and they said yes, but somehow she ended up confused. I’m not sure how. No one else had 8 people with them.
Our table was finally ready, so she came over and notified my boyfriend’s mom. She got up, and we followed her, but the hostess jumped in front of me as we were walking to the table. “Sorry, ma’am. It’s going to be a few more minutes for yours,” she said. My boyfriend explained to her that we were together. I wanted to explain that even if we were separate, I had gotten there first. Theoretically, this was my table. She turned into a tomato and ran away before I could say anything.
For the most part, I can forget about the strangers who diss me in public. I’m no stranger to racists and I don’t know them or care about their opinion. It’s more difficult when people I know personally insult me because of my choices. I have been told I hate myself and other black people because I’m not with a black guy. Apparently, I have internalized racism that I need to work on. I should get a reality check because nobody can love and understand me like a black man could. Black love is stronger than any other!
I understand where these comments come from (Except black love being stronger – seriously?). There are many people who date interracially for negative reasons. I also get that my boyfriend won’t understand every black issue. What upsets me is that people who know me won’t have a conversation with me about it. They do what the strangers in the street do and assume these things. If they would just open their minds and ask me a question, I would be glad to resolve any confusion.
I don’t have any ulterior motives when it comes to interracial dating. I don’t do it because it’s a fetish, nor do I want “cute mixed babies.” I don’t want babies at all! I do it because I don’t believe in limiting myself to a group of people who look like me. I’ve never bought into the idea that because someone looks like me they will relate to or love me more than someone who doesn’t. Since I kept my mind and heart open, I was able to find my soul mate. That is the real point of any type of dating, interracial or not.
So, now you’ve got the inside scoop on what we colorful couples deal with. You might be wondering why we even choose to go through this. It’s a valid question. Most people don’t like being ostracized. But the way I see it, I have two options. I can let ignorance and pettiness stop me from dating who I want or I can suck it up and choose my happiness over conformity. Clearly, I chose the second option. I will always be satisfied knowing I followed my heart.
There is another silver lining to all the conflict. You may have heard the Bible verse “adversity builds character,” and it’s true. The trouble we face as a couple makes us closer. We comfort each other and build resilience together. If we were the same race, we wouldn’t need to do these things. We wouldn’t have the same bond either. I wouldn’t choose any other experience.
Between the two of us, our race doesn’t matter at all. I will admit I do love admiring his tiny, pale nose that is so different from mine. I love when he marvels at my hair and how it shrinks and stretches. But ultimately, these things are only physical. The connection in our relationship is much deeper than that. To answer “what it’s like” dating him, I can only say it’s blissful. My heart is so full knowing that there is someone who can look past our worldly differences and only see my soul.