Attitudes that shatter interracial relationships

Posted by Ria, 07 May 08

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When the 2006 movie ‘Something New’ hit the big screen, all pro-interracial dating writers and bloggers alike raved so much about it. It was kinda like a savior. This was a movie that was supposed to inspire people to change their attitudes towards interracial dating. Have our attitudes about interracial relationships changed since the 2006 movie? But how come it’s still so tough to date interracially?

Well, there are those of us that still want to do this interracial dating but some attitudes kill this for us. Below are things that can doom an interracial relationship as outlined by Blackvoices.com:

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TOP 13 WAYS TO DOOM AN INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIP

Being unprepared for how the families will react Alexis: When I was in the fourth grade, one of my older relatives said to me, 'I hear you have a white boyfriend.' This wasn't a boyfriend, it was just a guy I sat near in class, but my cousin couldn't see that. She asked, 'Are you losing your identity?' And when that kind of thing happens, any kind of joy of bringing someone home to be with your family is somehow tainted. Ken: Funny thing is that I think white families are more accepting because they view it as a "phase."

Not understanding of the physical and cultural differences of people of different races Jennifer: If I have to explain over and over why I'm not getting into the ocean to swim because of my hair, over and over, it's like "Enough already, don't you get it?" Ken: This might seem odd, but here's something that has stuck out to me when I've been dating interracially. With one out of every 10 black men being in jail, or damn close, it's impossible not to be familiar with the prison system and criminal culture, as a black man from a predominantly black working class neighborhood, it's strange to watch "The Wire" and have feelings of nostalgia while your significant other is watching with shock and awe.

Race is just a fetish Jennifer: It's always a tip-off if he only dates black women. Alexis: White guys who only date black women usually have a reason. Like they were raised by black servants and feel more comfortable with black people. Ken: Anyone who dates any race exclusively needs a shrink. America isn't a melting pot, it's a store with every flavor its shelves. So it's understandable to not step outside of your race because we're still a very segregated society. But only dating black chicks because you like big butts is the definition of a fetish. On the other hand, I've met Latin women who only date black men because they want to be with someone who can share their experiences as a minority in this country. They say Latin guys want them barefoot in the kitchen and aren't as accepting or appreciative of an upwardly mobile, professional woman.

Stress from Parents Alexis: People often expect that the white family won't be receptive to bringing home a partner who's black. But my stepfather had big problems with me bringing home a white man. And the weird thing is, I had been dating a black man before that and he'd treated me really badly, but even though my relationship with the white guy was much better, my stepfather started asking "What happened to that black guy you were dating?" I had to move out the house because my stepfather was harassing me about my white boyfriend. Ken: At the end of the day, it's personal and has a lot to do with gender. My pops wouldn't care what color she was, as long as I was getting some. But my mother saw it as abandoning the black woman.

Insecurity Jennifer: There can be this concern that you're disappointing your family even if you don't hear anything. Alexis: Sometimes you wonder: "Does he value me as much as he would as if I were the same race as he is?" And I wonder if I'm overvaluing a white person because of internalized racism.

Societal Pressures Jennifer: And you sometimes wonder if he's going to get tired of the putting up with the societal pressures.

Verbal attacks Alexis: "When I'm walking down the street with a white guy, black men have gotten in my face and yelled things like 'You are against the black man!' and 'White man is the devil!' It would be nice if the white guy protected me, but I'm not sure if I'd want to see him get into a fight. When that happens, you're just left in this raw space where you feel like no one understands and you don't want to be in. Ken: I don't notice, but I've been in a relationship where my girlfriend did. It's all about confidence. If you're walking with someone of the other race and someone says something negative it's because they could sense how nervous your partner is. Regardless of color, they saw that you could be disrespected with zero retaliation and did so.

Not understanding the little inequalities Alexis: Sometimes I have to go to several drugstores to find hair care products. And that's just part of being minority in the culture. But to have to tell my white boyfriend say 'Get a grip. Who cares?' makes things even worse. Ken: Racism is not an American invention. I was in St. Maarten on the beach and everyone approached my [white] girl for everything -- drinks, food, chairs. It became pretty obvious that they assumed I was an island native she was having a tryst with. I guess it's assumed black men don't travel unless is for sex tourism in Brazil.

Too much fascination with the other culture Ken: When I was an undergrad in college, I often met women who had never been so close to a black person, and I mean like within five feet. Relationships like those are basically walks on the wild side that end abruptly after everyone's got what they came for.

Feeling like a fish out of water Jennifer: Any time you're out with friends and they're all white, and you're always in the minority, that tends to get awkward over time. Ken: If you work in corporate America you're used to being the only black person in the room. Why would you want that to carry over to your personal life?

Making fun of the other person's culture Alexis: I had a boyfriend who thought it was alright to make fun of hip-hop all the time. In this culture, if white people don't understand something about another person's culture, they think it's alight to make fun it. Ken: That's just a no-no. But making fun of hip-hop isn't making fun of me. Not all of us are rappers.

Reacting badly to racial tension Alexis: Whenever I walk down the street with a white guy I get stares, and when a guy gets angry about the tension and is always being defensive, it's annoying. Ken: It's never a problem until you make it one. But reacting badly is just making everyone aware of your insecurities.

Getting Over the Problems Alexis: The answer is to stay focused on all of the things you have in common. Jennifer: You're not always going to do the right thing. If you're committed to the relationship, and can laugh some of it off, then you can talk through those times when a person doesn't do the thing you hoped he or she would.

Some article tried to turn this into a racial loyalty thing of black men vs black women. And what she concluded is that “black men are not trying to carry the entire survival of the black race on their backs᾿. Should this be about who is making ‘sacrifices’ for the black community?

What do you think?

27 responses to "Attitudes that shatter interracial relationships"

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  1.   DJ says:
    Posted: 25 Jul 08

    If you are a man and you date the wrong woman. Once you feel the devil is bitting your ass, color will be the last thing on your mind. There is nothing that beats a good and loving partner. And knows how to cook too. Who cares whether she is from Mars or Venus?

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  2. Posted: 24 Jul 08

    Im in agreement with VT. I am in chat a lot I watch as so many men yell out "Well I love black women!" and vice versa with women. To me it is appauling. I am stevie wonder when it comes to finding my mate. Do you really think somebody sat when your were born "RIVAS YOUR SOULMATE WILL BE A BROWNSKIN GIRL". I dont think so. Love is blind thats why we cant find our true one to be with. We even meet them and dont realize it. So my opinion of this article RUBBISH!!!!!!! Keep on Keepin on!!

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  3.   vt33 says:
    Posted: 23 Jul 08

    What is shattering is, when women start to date outside their race, for this reason they "want to be treated better. I think that choosing partners for that reason is why a lot of interracial partnerships don't work or "shatter". You can be treated bad by any race you date it just depends on the man and how much "dog em" he posses. Yet the question really should be, are people choosing partners just because of race, and does that play a role, in the making or breaking of a relationship. Adovocate and Jeans makes a very good point. Love is Color Blind, but as long as we have articles like this, it will never be. It will just continue to point out, black women and white men, and black men and white women whats wrong with that picture. Time to move forward past this folks, every country surrounds us, and has views and issues like us, have moved on. Call U-Haul and pack and storage this article. Ciao! NO JIBBERISH REPLYS (I'm serious)

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  4.   lovemyjeans says:
    Posted: 23 Jul 08

    Alan you bring up an interesting point regarding Black women who say they only date white men. And visa versa, of course. It really made me pause and think. Does that mean if you were the exact same person but just a different color they wouldn't date you? I don't date exclusively one race. My interest lies in a man's character, intelligence, and personality. Color isn't on the list because I wouldn't want to miss out on the "man of my dreams" due to race.

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  5. Posted: 22 Jul 08

    The 21st century is a lot different than the 1970s. I was raised at a time then you weren't "supposed to" date outside of your race or your religion. I was a nice Jewish boy and was expected to marry a nice Jewish girl. Working closely with a woman, who was Black, and the executor of an estate where I was the attorney, nature just took its course and we fell in love over inheritance tax returns! At the time you didn't see many mixed couples and that uneasiness is the main reason why that relationship didn't go to marriage. Today inter-racial dating is not an issue. I've found that the Black relatives & friends of my partner are much more relaxed than the White friends and family. Perhaps there are cultural reasons for this but I can't really but my head into another culture. When I meet Black women that say they'll ONLY date a White man I have a problem. That tells me that they're first seeing me as White and not seeing me as ME. I don't chase after Black women, I just don't want race to be a wall that stops me from meeting Ms. Right. Unfortuantely the internet is as segregated as the Old South and there are dating sites only for Blacks, only for Jews, only for Christians, etc. this site gives us an oportunity to meet potential partners not avialable online elsewhere. Alan

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  6.   Aurorin says:
    Posted: 16 Jul 08

    I suspect many will disagree, but I think that this is a great topic! I enjoyed reading every response. It's not, however, a pleasant topic because none of us likes to have someone question our reasons for interracial dating. As a Black, college educated woman with a Ph D, I have felt a significant amount of pressure to keep my "race" in mind. I have felt that it is acceptable for me to date Latinos, but never a white man or an Asian man because it is assumed that these men would be the ones most likely to exploit me. Also, having so much education, I believe, that many Blacks feel that I represent all Black people and choosing to date outside my ethnic group is interpreted as an affront to the Black men who are also college educated. I questioned my own motives, at first, but then realized that I am a good person and that I am not doing anything wrong. I don't believe that having a white husband will somehow improve my status in society. I don't think that I am better than Black men. Like everyone else here, I just enjoy my interracial experiences. My family has never really cared one way or another, as I come from a multicultural family. However, my mother used to give me a very hard time about dating white men. I finally stood up to her, and now she supports me, knowing that I would not humiliate myself for any man. As far as my reception in public... I don't look for people staring and now, I wouldn't care if they did. It took me a long time to realize that I am right to pursue happiness anyway I please (I once chose to date a white man in secret), but I can certainly relate to those who are nervous about anticipating problems from family, friends, and strangers. I have seen people be openly hostile to interracial couples! In the end, I think of my interracial dating, as someone before mentioned, as a lifestyle. It is part of who I am and I may face ridicule, but it will no longer keep me from being myself.

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  7.   reporter says:
    Posted: 12 Jul 08

    My experience has been that when white and black people date the tension is higher,not so much if asans date blacks, whites date spanish, etc.that taboo thing comes into play a lot. I believe it stems from slaverey.I personally don't care about race, having someone in your life who loves you, can be trusted and has compassion for people is a great gift. Whatever color the package comes in. So believe for the right one to be in your life, treat them the way you want to be treated and the sky is the limit...Just be happy. The movie something new had some good nuggets ane the guy is a really hottie

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  8.   kem says:
    Posted: 29 Jun 08

    I am an African-American women who dates a Swedish (white) man. I say that if you are fortunate enough to find healthy love in this life, embrace it. At the end of the day it is your life. If happiness is your goal then color should be the last thing you are thinking about when determining whether or not a person is a good mate. It is unfortunate that in black communities in US, loyalty from black women is expected even when happiness is sacrificed. I know too many black women who are treated with total disrespect from black men and they would rather put up with that horrible behavior than to explore the option of interaccial dating. Most of them feel that if a black man can't appreciate their natural beauty, how can a white man appreciate them. This type of thinking has resulted in lonliness and unhappiness for many of my friends and family members.

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  9.   Member says:
    Posted: 23 Jun 08

    I live in a small town, that in its self should tell you how mixed dating is seen. But, even after the rude looks and pointing the relationship is still rocky because of the black men in this area seems to think of themself as a "gods gift" kind of thing. I have dated 8 blackmen and they all have this attitude. You not only are socially unacceptable but,you look STUPID for putting up with it all. I feel as if I have lived through a nitemare with a moral to it.

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  10.   Jasmine says:
    Posted: 30 May 08

    Wow I stopped at some point I still like and crave white guys. This was pretty boring and I disagree but it helped me realize what I am gunna be getting myself into.

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  11.   mossimo36 says:
    Posted: 20 May 08

    Great stories one and all! If only others would try to walk in someone else's shoes before they speak. The haters that is

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  12.   xeltron says:
    Posted: 15 May 08

    This is real life and i honestly don't believe movies often portray life in a truthful way. I've never seen the movie and probably never will......i know how it's always been in the real world and i don't care if a movie validates/ridicules my way of life

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  13.   raven3658 says:
    Posted: 14 May 08

    I must say as someone with a caribbean background I had no problem dating outside the race. We do not have the same race issues as in America. However, living in America, I wouldn't say I avoided it, but I never thought about it until I met my husband. He spent a year trying to make me fall in love with him. In fact, I didn't even realized he was interested in me until others around us started pointing it out to me. To make a long story short, we are separated now but it was the best 10 years of my life. We have beautiful boy/girl twins and i will never regret meeting him. My family loved and welcomed him, his family loved and welcomed me. They would spend time in our home and we in theirs...I didn't feel black or white I felt like a woman in love and anyone who didn't like it...tough luck.

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  14.   Anointed27 says:
    Posted: 13 May 08

    I agree with Minx100... this is an American issue not interacial issue.. stop listening to the judgesment of others... follow your heart! Black , White, Green or purple who cares LOVE has no colors God Bless All of you and leave it to him.

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  15.   lilo4love says:
    Posted: 09 May 08

    Minx100 I agree. It is indeed obvious that the American situation is unique and coloured by a lot of diverse factors.

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  16.   tmderm says:
    Posted: 09 May 08

    CORRECTION PLEASE... I meant to say I was not raised to distrust, dislike, or look down on those whom are different.

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  17.   tmderm says:
    Posted: 09 May 08

    It has been my experience that most of these experiences seem to happen more in the concentrated urban cities. I was raise in rural small town Iowa. This tension just didn't exist because the there was no opportunity for it to occur. The closest city of any size was Omaha. Now I have lived in cities in the heartland and have come to the conclusion that because I was not exposed to the negative stereotypes and did not have bad experiences growing up I don't judge people by those measures. I was raised to distrust, dislike, or look down on those who are different. My first real interactions with people of different backgrounds were in college. These people were open, entertaining, and challenging. I respected those who respected me, ignored those who didn't, and have continued to enjoy the company of those around me. Now having lived in the Chicago area for six years I have been exposed more than ever to the cosmopolitan nature of this city. It is a mixing pot of all that is the best and worst in our country and world. It is the differences and working through them that makes us strong, whether that is in a relationship, friendship, or work. Is there those who have issues with interracial dating, yes. it is their problem. As for me, it does not matter what your ethnicity is just who the person is truly..Isn't that what is important?

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  18.   Minx100 says:
    Posted: 08 May 08

    I've read several blogs, not just this one about the problems people face and I just dont get it !! I'm in the UK, I spent 15 years in London, and u wouldn't get a second look in the street, interacial relationships are so common no one cares !! Is it so different in the USA?

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  19. Posted: 08 May 08

    I know this article is from Blackvoices.com but it would be interesting to read quotes from the same discussions with White, Latino, or Asian people (since it seems all 3 of the speakers were Black, and it is about interracial dating). I'm not mixed, but I guess a lot of people think I look like I am, so I face the same discrimination you did 7under. From other Black people for the most part, really. I speak properly (Catholic Schools), most of my friends are white (Catholic Schools), and it's really hard to date either race... For some reason, and maybe it's just because I'm young and many young people are immature and ignorant about interracial dating, but a lot of Black females (mostly dark-skinned females b/c of that whole light-skinned/dark-skinned tension) would get mad at a guy when they'd see him with me (Black guys that is), thinking that I'm mixed, and "why does he have to date that mixed/white-washed girl?" On the other hand, Black men will get mad when they see me with a White or Asian man (but never Latino, funny how it's "ok" to some in that case), saying things like, "she must be lost in life," or, "she ain't ready for a real man," (whatever that's supposed to mean). Of course there's been that mother who doesn't want her son dating a Black girl, but I've actually come across that far less in my experience. I OFTEN GET Black men saying comments to me or "getting in my face" about dating a non-black man, and realistically it happens quite often where I live. I also have family members that dislike my interracial relationships, but I've never once cared. In the end, you just have to be with WHOEVER makes you happy, and not let other peoples' ignorance and prejudice determine your happiness. If someone's not strong enough to do that, then they probably shouldn't be dating outside of their race in the first place, because they'll never be able to deal with societal pressures.

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  20.   7under says:
    Posted: 08 May 08

    I come from a mixed family, white mom black dad. I came up in the 60's and 70's and thought that we were all the same. I found out that was only true for my family and a few others or close family friends. I was surprised when I went to college in San Francisco that so many people of color had a hard time with me dating across the color line. Many of the brothas on my block had real issues with it to the piont where I was shot just for dating someone who looked like my mom. So, then I wanted to date only black women and found there that I was not mean enough, or ghetto enough, or I spoke to well, or for some not black enough. That is so weird. In the white community I'm to black and in the black community I'm not black enough. I just happy that I got my college degree never been to jail and most of my black male friends we all have buddies who have been in the system, but we're still standing. I think I was given a gift being mixed, I can walk in both worlds and F___ those who have isusse's with me being able to do that. Many of us are happy to be able to share our culture with others maybe in doing so will open some minds to what is possible.

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  21.   Sharon says:
    Posted: 08 May 08

    WOW...I almost fell asleep during that one...talk about over kill... Ria, you write really well...but sometimes you miss the other side of the coin. Perhaps you should have a guest speaker/writer...? Southern smiles, Sharon

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  22.   lilo4love says:
    Posted: 08 May 08

    "Not understanding the little inequalities Alexis: Sometimes I have to go to several drugstores to find hair care products." This indeed has been a challenge for me, but it had nothing to do with dating interracially. So i will agree with the rest, it is mostly for beginners. Rasta.

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  23.   mossimo36 says:
    Posted: 08 May 08

    Interesting article, but it seems geared for those who have never dated interracially or are looking for excuses not to try it.

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  24. Posted: 08 May 08

    the biggest problem i have with interracial dating is, the ones that are weak. i do not allow my family to dictate any part of my life. and if they can not handle or except who i date, thats their problem and i will remove myself from them. so they miss out not me. and for the people in this world that criticize, complain, ridicule, etc. let it be their problem. if you are discriminated against, dont cower, STAND UP. the only way things will change is if we stop giving in to the majority of the socital pressures. its the same as the south changing its attitude.. it took the north to beat them and end slavery. so lets finish the job. lets stop drawing lines and giving in to misconceptions. a mixed baby is still a baby. but it has the best of everything. the heritage of it's mom and the heritage of its dad. i dont see anything wrong with watering down the ethnicities. that is one way to erase the "color" lines and start seeing that we are ALL HUMAN BEINGS no matter what color.

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  25.   Nandi says:
    Posted: 08 May 08

    Talk about over analyzing a situation to death.....Please, this is 2008.... Anyone who needs a "how to manual" to mingle and date others of another culture/race/ethnic...Whatever... Should just stick with what they are most comfortable with.... Perhaps it would not be so much "racial tension" if folks would not buy into as much...Like walking down the street and some black guy got in my face, because I was with a white guy...please...Realistically, how often does that really happens and I wouldn't care...... I wouldn't want to date a white guy and all his talks about is how not to offend me (that is offensive in itself)...Obviously, not that comfortable with our new found relationship. I talk to all people the same, there is no mystery of secret codes to my conversations.

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  26.   jake2793 says:
    Posted: 07 May 08

    interesting opinions although i dont agree

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  27.   Jade74 says:
    Posted: 07 May 08

    Good reading and links.Thanks.

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