|Blogs > rm_nick_kirlos > The lightness of being|
I have noticed a considerable amount of tension in some communities concerning interracial dating, which means people of varying cultural backgrounds having relationships together. This struck to me as odd at first. The vision I had in my head symbolized the most accepting of all atmospheres, complete with the most accepting people-a utopia of sorts. It was a blow when I found out that people are sometimes so closed-minded.
The first time I ever was excluded from someone's list of dating possibilities based upon my cultural backgrounds was about 5 years ago. I was just out of school, and wanted to celebrate it with someone special-a girlfriend! Being that I was only 23, I didn't have access to many girls. There was no place that I could meet girls like myself, so I started to meet them online (as do many young people). I talked to one girl for three days. We had a lot in common, but once we exchanged pictures she had an immediate problem. She said that she only dated other white guys. That hurt a lot and it was the first time that I ever felt like I wasn't good enough for someone to be with because of the color of my skin.
Why is interracial dating sometimes a problem in communities? I have noticed that a lot of people, exclude themselves, both intentionally and without realizing it, from others simply based on cultural backgrounds. This offers the person a sense of familiarity-and while being used to your surroundings is more comfortable-even this type of racial segregation is still wrong.
I've always been open to dating any one that I wanted to, regardless of race. I always say that I love everyone. That is totally true when it concerns not putting up any barriers between others and myself based on culture lines.
Many people think that people from different cultures have nothing in common and, therefore, can't foster a healthy and loving relationship. This is an untrue assumption. While the partners may not have experienced certain things that come along with being the same color as their partner, as long as they are understanding and caring, there should be no problem. People in society are prone to closing themselves off from others based on their fear of what they don't fully understand. While it is normal to be afraid of what you don't understand, people are still people no matter what their race. Interracial relationships have the same ups and downs as any other relationship.
Dating outside or dating inside your race is a personal decision, often influenced by your community and the lifestyles of those around you. If you come from a family that is very open like mine, the question of dating outside your race isn't a question at all. If you've come from a family that advocates same-race dating, then it might take you a while after opening yourself to that option before you decide if dating a person of a different race is what you want personally.
I always see the person before I focus on their skin color. This doesn't mean that I am "color-blind." Being color-blind doesn't make you more culturally aware, in fact it makes you more culturally unaware. You have to see the beauty of someone's culture in order to respect it. I was taught to judge the person before their race. You never really know what you might have in common with someone. If everyone did this, I think the world would be an easier place to live in.
If you are in an interracial relationship, just remember that your relationship is about "you and her/him" not "them and us." I see many parallels in interracial relationships of all types in the way they are viewed by society. By accepting all differences in relationships, whether race, age or sexual orientation, we can lessen the oppression of all "non-traditional" relationships.
Sitting on a bus holding hands with your girlfriend, and being obviously of two different races could get you a really funny reaction from the bystanders. Instead of letting the looks bother you, live for yourself and don't spend time caring what other people think about you. By doing this you might just open yourself up to discover wonderful people with new perspectives and in turn learn more about yourself.