Interracial Dating

interdatingEleven years ago I had the opportunity to write about my experiences in interracial dating and being involved in a interracial relationship. I came upon the article recently and found that much of what I wrote back then is still true today.

I was a recent high school graduate when I wrote this and still pretty young and had yet to explore life. Part of me was a bit bitter, but for the most part, I still feel the same way today as I did then. I combined much of what I wrote then to how I feel now, but it is mostly unedited.

Thus begins our exploration into interracial dating.

Do black and white mix? What about brown and yellow? How about a Caucasian dating a Hmong girl? Is it acceptable? Or should races stick to dating their own race? I think we should all explore what is out there. Like Shakespeare once wrote; “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore a winged Cupid is painted blind”. In short, love is color blind.

It’s no secret that I’ve been involved in interracial relationships. It was back during my Senior year of high school that I finally realized that I was in a “interracial relationship”. We were discussing race and discrimination in a class when my teacher called on me and asked had I ever dealt with discrimination and also asked what it was like being in a interracial relationship. I had never thought of it like that—me in a interracial relationship. I just saw it as me being with someone I liked, someone I loved.

I think it takes two special people to take that step into a relationship, but it takes two extra special people to take that plunge into an interracial relationship. Back when I wrote this in 1999, I think it was much more taboo, but I honestly believe that its not frowned upon as much. I think the world is too busy trying to battle gay marriage to worry about interracial dating, but that’s whole other topic on its own.

During these stages of dating a Hmong girl in high school I found that it was difficult being a secret and unknown object of her affection. She once told me that her parents would not accept me, because I wasn’t Hmong. I couldn’t understand why. I knew the road of love was rough, but I never knew I wouldn’t be good enough.

I never went to her home. Calling her? Forbidden! It didn’t matter to me. It was her I wanted, not her parents, but they were apart of her and I wanted all of her. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Whatever it was, I was willing to accept. I wanted to go to her house and play with her little brothers and sisters like I did with my niece and nephew. I wanted to be apart of her whole life. I didn’t want to be a dirty little secret.

I wished she would have taught me more about her culture. I wish she would have taken me to the Hmong Soccer Tournaments & New Year like my friends did. I wanted to know her and understand her, her family, and the Hmong way of life. I was willing to learn, but she wasn’t willing to teach. There are lots of things I wish could have happened, but I still have no regrets.

No matter who you date, you should always be willing to let them know the whole you and what makes you who you are and that person should be willing to accept you. Love is not blind, but visionary: it sees into the very heart of its object, and sees the ‘real self’ behind and in the midst of the frailties and shortcomings of the person. Look further into the person and you will find yourself being trapped by the beauty within and forget the differences between the two of you.

It may be difficult to find someone your family deems “good enough” for you. It can make things even harder if you bring someone home that isn’t the same race as yourself. You have to prepare yourself for the challenge and know that it is worth it. Love is worth it regardless of whom that love is with.

I’ve been fortunate that my family has been so accepting of my relationship choices. I know it couldn’t have been easy on the girl I dated in high school. I’m sure she would have loved to have had me over and met the folks, but during that era, it was something that couldn’t be done. It couldn’t have been easy on her. I am much more understanding now, than I was then. I am no longer that bitter teenager of eleven years ago.

If you ever get into a relationship with person outside your race, be prepared for the possibility of rocky ride. Again, this may not be as bad now, as it was then, but there are still risks involved. Just like any relationship, let this person into your world. Show them your world and let them experience it for themselves and above all, let them know that they are welcome, because if you don’t, you will lose that person you loved to someone who bravely will.

Seek love and love will find you. It may not be who or what you expected, but its love nonetheless. It may not be today, tomorrow, or next week, but love always seems sweep you off your feet when you least expect it. Be patient though because loves likes to take its time.

I look forward to reading your comments and thoughts on this article. Do share some of your experiences, good or bad with interracial dating or dating in general. Maybe your experiences can help someone who has found this article.

You can also reach me at RyanM@hmoodle.com (Ryan Madland)

24 comments

  1. A taboo, but not anymore. I think we've come far enough in society that although some parents still shuns to see their daughter or son make this decision, I think it's more accepted nowadays than 11 years ago.

  2. I think nowadays most parents accept who your dating and who your with. Back then was more of being and following the culture.

    & I know that one person your talking about in your highschool year.

  3. Dating and marrying outside of the Hmong community is NOT new. For thousands of years, Hmong have had to adapt to the realities of their environments, whether it was the Chinese, the Lao, the Vietnamese, the Thai, and now Americans (from all races and ethnicities). Let's not get too hyped up about this being a novelty issue. It's an old storyline, recycled as news.

  4. Like for reals?? We are in the 21st century now?? Come on now.. is interracial relationships that bad???? I think the hmong people should at least be happy that they are all here in the US and other races do actually want to date them and get to know their culture and all. I think the hmong people are weird like that. Of course, they are going to keep their culture alive by dating other races… it's not the worlds ending if they do date other races.. what do you all think??? leave me all yo comments for sure i'd be happy to write ya'll back. Ryan, I wish you the best and are you still in your relationship?

    • Wow. Racist, much?
      Imagine saying that to a Hmong person’s face: “Hey, you should be glad other people want to date you!!!!!!!”

    • Hey that’s not right and thing is being Hmong my family still doesn’t accept interracial dating and marriages but we aren’t racist unless it’s the elders if you know what I mean. Even our own race we tend to also try to keep them a secret from our family as well. P.S offending….We aren’t weird either it’s called following tradition and it’s something you won’t able to understand. I think that’s why we aren’t allowed to date outside our race either.

  5. Sorry to hear you had to suffer so much heartache. I'm glad you came out of it in a positive light. It takes a person to actually experience it themselves to talk about it, even if it's an "old story line, recycled as news." I found this interesting regardless.

    It's hard for me to call my relationship "interracial" because I don't look at it that way. I'm very happy where I'm at, and I dare say I won't go back.

    Good luck on your journey to finding someone awesome!!

  6. I'll agree with Sam and say that this is "old news", but I think the topic is still relevant today.

    Kim, I'm no longer in the relationship with that person, but we are still friends.

    See, glad to see you are doing well and are happy. Thanks for the support!

  7. For my relationship, it has been very difficult not to realize that it's not interracial. People stare. It's all across the states that I have experienced this.. from Minnesota to Wisconsin to Ohio to New York City. It always makes me feel uncomfortable when people break their necks to stare at us. It makes me feel like we are doing something wrong. I think it will always be news. It's a clash of culture and tradition – there can be similarities at times, but there will still be a clash. I think that's the whole idea – some parents expect us to find someone who knows, respects, and can continue family tradition and culture (that includes language).

  8. ** realize that it's // interracial, not "not interracial" lol.

  9. tcmtbo,

    Maybe you're thinking too much about it?? Are you freshly dating outside your race? Maybe there's something that makes you feel uncomfortable about your realtionship?

    People are on their merry way to do things, not to come out and stare at your relationship. I think this is something you might have to learn how to accept if you've decided to date outside your race; not everyone is staring but are sometimes just more curious. BUT if you put out that vibe, people will catch on and you'll feel uncomfortable just as uncomfortable as you have. I say RELAX, enjoy who you're with, and nothing else matters.

  10. hi see. i've actually never dated a hmong guy. always been in the interracial dating scene because i was a "rebel teen".. never been uncomfortable with it, so it's not that i'm uncomfortable doing what i'm doing– i'm uncomfortable with what people might be thinking of me because from time to time, i do hear whispers and see nasty looks. glad that it's only been a few times, but i have gotten nasty comments from guys and vice versa with my hub from girls about why we're not dating our ethnicity. and to be totally honest, it's not that we're paranoid (me and my hub) — my relatives do say and ask odd things regarding the hub and the hub's relatives do say and ask odd things regarding me.. it's a fair trade, nothing disrespectful, but enough to remind us that we're an interracial couple. most of his relatives do not speak fluent english – same as mine.

  11. That’s too bad you’ve experienced that. Screw what people think of you from time to time. Be confident and they’ll zip it – “YES that’s MY good looking husband!!” It also goes to show you how caveman ignorant people are (the guys and girls that make nasty comments). I can understand some of the way you felt in those times though, I’ve been through it.
    I’ve actually grown out of the “worry about what people think” phase quite a few years back and I’m not bothered by it anymore. People are naturally curious/threatened about something they don’t understand.

    In the best way to say it, I’m always proud to not be afraid of my relationship and I think you can agree that you and your husband made the best decision for the both of you. Good luck!!

    Cheers

  12. Hi, See – "People are naturally curious/threatened about something they don’t understand." I agree with that. And you're absolutely right – I shouldn't be afraid of the negative things people think of my relationship. :)

  13. i love to date asian women because they are classy, i also love to date european women-`.

  14. REVISED VERSION…

    KIM

    Yes it’s the 21st century, yes Hmongs are happy to be in the land presently known as The United States of America in the North American continent that the white people stole from the Native Americans so the answer is yes we like all the other foreigners are happy being is the U.S. just as you are, but no we’re not weird-there are educated and non educated there are open minded and non open minded people in this world not just Hmongs so don’t shoot your mouth out because like every other race out there THERE ARE Black parents that would hate it if their child dated a white person and ESPECIALLY WHITE PARENTS THAT WOULD CONDEMN IT IF THEY COULD THEIR CHILD DATING A BLACK PERSON and so forth so if a few Hmong parents have their ideas and opinions set not all Hmong people think that way so don’t say false things about a culture and people that you don’t know especially if you’re not Hmong yourself-AND SEEMS THAT YOU'RE NOT OF ASIAN ETHNICITY BECAUSE UNLIKE YOU PEOPLE IN THE WEST HERE, PEOPLE FROM THE EAST ARE HUMBLE TO OTHERS AND OPEN MINDED OF OTHERS AND RESPECTS OUR ELDERS WHICH YOU KNOW NOTHING OF. No offense and Thank you…oh and

    (come on don’t tell me in your life you have ever laughed at a racist joke due to putting another race down because you feel that your race is superior to theres and don’t tell me racism doesn’t exist because you don’t know how it is living in this country til you have lived a day in the shoes of a Black person so don’t tell me racism is dead and dead to the white race because it’s not, as the great French author Benjamin said that this generation has already closed their eyes to racism because slavery didn’t happen in their life time though it’s ONLY BEEN less than 50 years ago and this young generation will in the near future segregate another race as the whites did because they don’t want to admit that racism exist right now. Does the world muslim ring any bells.)

  15. I've also been wondering a lot about this topic, since my parents don't like the idea of it. Although I am dating a person outside of my race now, my parents are angry that I am. Should race matter when it comes to love or emotions? I don't understand why it's so important to date people of your own race. I get it that if you date people inside your own race then you'd have the same faith, religion, belief, etc. but should it matter? If it's someone I really like, I don't think it should matter but my parents don't seem to care. If parents don't like the idea, should you still pursue it even though it goes against them?

  16. I am so glad I came upon this. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am currently dating someone of a different race and class background. My parents have always taught me to respect and be open to differences, but they do not support my relationship. It is very difficult when your family refuses to accept someone you love, but I am hopeful that through love and understanding we can set an example for them and others. I get frustrated at the reality that people will judge us regardless, but will stay positive and believe in love.

  17. I’m dating a girl that’s a different race. My parents won’t accept it at all and they told me to break up with her or else they will show no support for our future….. My parents are really strict on the old traditions. But I really do love her a lot….. And I know that she loves me too. I really hope that I can make my parents understand one day without breaking their heart….

  18. Look people, it’s 2013. We’re the new generation that should lead by example by showing how to love & be fair to others regardless of their backgrounds. A great way to go for the prosperity of humanity. I understand some families are quite traditional, so they apply great pressure against interracial dating on their kids, but ultimately it’s UR life, future, & happiness. Get some courage/grow a backbone & stand up for yourselves, for UR love, while taking the advice / lectures of your love ones into considerations, too. Don’t just ignore everything your parents tell you. Use your common sense & best judgments. What I mean is if your parents are hating on your lover simply b/c he/she is another race, then hear them out but stay w/ your lover. Now, if they say don’t be w/ that person b/c he/she is of another race & beats you up, does drugs, cheats, & don’t help you w/ your kids & in building a better future for the both of you then listen to your family. But, ultimately the decision is only yours. Everyone has a journey in life & they have to learn things on their own, sometimes the hard way, too. So tired of stereotypes regarding interracial dating. I’ve heard from arrogant & ignorant jackasses that Hmong women dates outside of their race b/c they can’t get Hmong men. I’ve only dated outside my race for the past many years now & I say this is BS b/c I grew up dating mostly Hmong guys & now I have a like for other flavors of men. My families are quite mixed & we grew up w/ numerous races, so we don’t have much of these issues. But being around some ignorant relatives I still hear remarks. Just zone them out! ** I certainly agree w/ See. Listen to her, she knows what she talking about. Screw what people think & say b/c in the end, it’s just you & your lover & your kids (if you both wants some). If there’s a will then there’s a way to make your parents/family like the one you’re with, unless there are legitimate reasons why they don’t like that person. God bless, good luck, & do what’s right for yourself.

  19. U know hmong that date out of their race are not mention in their family history or events. Young hmong says screw the family but when they get older they understand their situation. They still want to be accepted. It is hard for the family to relate because if your love don’t understand their responibilities
    then they are worthless to the family. Do they know how to kill a pig chickens cook rich etc. These a little things but essential to being accepted. Imagine not knowing how to help the family at feast, useless. You can say goto the store.but this is not store event. These are times when you as a hmong have second thoughts. Mainly it is the example that Ryan sets that hmong family are scare of for their daughters, being used by a different race. I am sure she probably move on to black dude and ryan probably wouldn’t accept that she did that too. I can say these things because my whole famliy is interracial. I hate it when my sisters or brothers and aunts and uncles complain about their loves or problems or divorces unstable lives no one wants to hear that. It’s mainly about culutral differences.

  20. I’m a hmong girl dating a caucasian guy and it’s not easy honestly. Especially when his family has always been so accepting of me while my family is constantly telling me to break up with him. We get looks, I hear people talking about us behind our backs, and I get called names like ‘White-lover’ or ‘asian-slut’– we’ve come so close to breaking up a few times just because of this, but we still are fighting strong to keep our relationship. I understand how the Hmong parents must feel, to be born in a century when discrimination was strong and we were all looked down upon– but times change and I think Hmong parents should learn to understand that and just be happy for their kids. We should all be able to embrace the many different cultures in the U.S. That’s what’s so wonderful about living here.

  21. I am 32 years old now and single. When I was younger, I always dreamed about dating American women. It never happened because for one I was very shy, and also because my parents told me never to date Americans. I never understood why, and they never told me either. But as I grew older, after experiencing discrimination myself by white people I understood why. That’s one reason Hmong parents won’t allow their kids to date white people. I apologize if I sound racist and discriminatory. But you have to understand, when Hmongs first arrived in the US between the 80’s and 90’s white people discriminated against Hmong people. My parents told me some white people spit into their faces and called them names. Another reason is because, in this culture people are very self centered and selfish. In comparison, Hmong people are family oriented. I am the only son and one of the younger child in my family, and I take are of my whole family with whatever they need. I put my family first before my own needs. Who does that in American culture? I apologize if I sounded disrespectful, but these are some of the reasons why Hmong parents don’t want their kids marrying outside of their own race. It has nothing to do with our races, but the differences in our cultures and us being discriminated against. That’s why it’s so important to learn about other cultures.

  22. That is understandable, but I date a Hmong man and his parents upon first interaction told him that I would have his kids, go on welfare and make him pay child support. So there is a racist/discriminatory nature in what you said. Many American cultures (mine being African-American) are family oriented. But I’ve realized that the Hmong take it to another level as a sign of respect and community. I think that what people should realize is that if your Hmong son/daughter dates/marries another race, understand that the cultures are different. And if you’ve raised your child well, the culture will continue IF they want it to. Also, 3 years being in this relationship I have found the MOST racist comments came from the OG’S and family members towards me as a Black woman, but not to the Caucasian in-law. You have to understand that not every Hmong family is the same. And you can’t ignore/dismiss someone’s experience because it has never happened to you before. People do stare, people are shocked and most people are wondering how that relationship even works. Hmong culture in general is pretty strict, and SOMETIMES (depending on the family) it’s “conform to my culture or leave”. It’s reality.

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