Eleven 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 [email protected] (Ryan Madland)