5 Tips to Help You Overcome the Challenges of Being In An Interracial Relationship

Alright guys, this one was hard for me to write. But I felt like I had to. I had to so that I can provide a voice for anyone else out there that understands what racism and inequality feels like through the lens of a partner. I’m talking about interracial relationships. Now let me preface this by saying that I do not want to talk or focus on politics and/or current events that have been happening. While yes the negative energy and constant disputes that fill up my social media feed daily urged me to finally speak up about something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a long time, I’m not here to have a debate. I don’t want to talk about who is right, who is wrong. I want to shine light on things from a different perspective. I want to speak on behalf of all the people out there that have had to deal with these issues indirectly by way of their relationships.

Until recently, I was in a long-term relationship with a wonderful man. He’s black, and I’m white. For those of who you know me well, I genuinely don’t see color. Okay, okay, sooo cliché, I know! But seriously. I just don’t get the whole racism thing. I can’t relate, and I’ve never been able to. But as I had assumed at the beginning of our relationship, dating him wasn’t a cake walk. And not because of the quality of his character, but because of the color of his skin. We had tons of people who supported it and didn’t think twice. But we received hesitation by others. I felt the personal sting of racism first hand, yet I knew better than to even begin to understand what it felt like for him. Nonetheless, it can be hard being the white girlfriend dating a black man in a world where hate and racism come so freely.

I’ve always yearned to be able to connect with women in similar situations as mine. But the more I searched for blog posts like this one, the more I realized how little is out there. If I touch home to even just one person with this post, I’ll be happy. I just want anyone out there that feels the struggle of interracial relationships first hand to know that I hear you! I got you. I’ll be a voice for the both of us.

So today I’m highlighting 5 simple, yet important tips from yours truly that will help you face the challenges of being in an interracial relationship:

1)      Don’t take it personal

Again, the topic of racism in society today can very quickly turn into a pretty nasty debate. People can be extremely passionate, on both sides. Try not to let the frustrations get the best of you and your relationship. There’s always going to be someone out there that doesn’t agree with your walk of life. Whether it be because of your political views, the fact that you work in healthcare, your religious/spiritual beliefs, the color of your hair, how you drive on the highway in the rain, or the skin color of your partner. People just don’t always agree, we know this. So try your hardest not to take a personal jab when someone expresses that they don’t agree with your relationship. They don’t agree with your “type” of relationship, not yours specifically. Just agree to disagree and move on. I promise it will make things better for both you and your relationship. Like Dita Von Teese once said, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches”.

"You can be the ripest juiciest peach in the world and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches." Dita Von Teese

2)      Speak up, with class

While you shouldn’t take the judgement of your relationship personal, you also shouldn’t stay silent. Speak up for what you believe. But with class. This is something I had to learn the hard way. I struggled with this at the beginning of my relationship. I was a loose canon, so to speak. I remember feeling the rage radiating up my body anytime I would feel those judgmental eyes while out with my boyfriend in public. It infuriated me so much that these people felt the need to single us out without even knowing our first names. And boy, those looks of disgust truly hurt. My mama bear switch would get turned on so fast. I was ready to defend. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve yelled “What?! You’ve never seen an interracial couple before?! It’s the 21st century!” to complete strangers. But over time I realized that this really didn’t solve anything. I felt guilty afterwards. It felt like I was returning the judgement that they so freely passed on to me, which is exactly what shouldn’t happen. Stand up for your loved one, always. It’s vital if you are in an interracial relationship, for both partners. But stand up for them with a smile. Be confident in knowing that this is completely normal. We are all people that should respect one another until we have reason to feel otherwise. Sometimes it can feel like walking a fine line between standing up for your man/woman and totally judging the shit out of people who don’t understand your love for one another. When you are feeling discouraged by it all, remember how far we have come. Interracial relationships are more prevalent now than they have ever been before. There’s a mural in the neighborhood that I live in Austin that reads “ Love is the question, love is the answer”. I picture this mural in my mind anytime I let the presence of racism/inequality/hatred in America get me down. Can you imagine if we all just focused on that statement?

Image result for clarksville austin mural

3)      Be willing to break the chain

This can be a challenge, but I feel it is something that must be understood for people engaging in interracial relationships. If you think you won’t have hardships brought on to you by society, regardless of each other’s race, you may be wrong. Speaking from my own experience, I truly believe that people’s hesitation towards the interracial thing stems from how they were raised to perceive it. How they were brought up to view society’s’ melting pot of mixed culture, race, religion, you name it. Again, I’m not pointing fingers or saying that anyone’s view point on this matter is necessarily wrong. But if you are in relations with someone of a different race than your own, and you truly love that person, you believe in this. You believe interracial relationships are just as accepting, or should be at least, as relationships between two people of the same race. Would you support your child in a similar situation? Do you stand up for your fellow interracial couple friends? If so, maybe it’s time to break the chain. You aren’t arguing with anyone. You aren’t even disagreeing with anyone. You are merely deciding to be vocal about the fact that you have a different perspective on this whole thing, one that may differ from friends and family alike. Don’t be afraid of this. It’s no one’s fault, not theirs or yours. The only thing constant in life is change. You deserve to believe in what you believe in, and quite honestly, you should stand firm in that. Love is blind despite the world’s attempt to give it eyes.

#mixedcouple #interracialcupid  #interracialdating #weloveinterracial…

4)      Never let race define your relationship

It’s a small part of your complex union. It isn’t the sole defining purpose of your relationship. It’s a small part. Similar to two people coming from different upbringings, differing religious beliefs, political stand points, views on healthcare, involvement with family, etc. Most people have deal breakers when it comes to relationships. Race may be one of them for some people. Obviously it’s not for you and your partner, but drop it at that. Be proud to be in an interracial relationship, but don’t parade it around too much. It’s not the core reason for the connection between you and your partner. It’s a minor detail. Even though it may be a big deal to other people it, isn’t to you. So don’t let it be. There are more important aspects to a relationship. Like whether or not he’s into sports as much as you are—deal breaker if he ain’t! Does he like to travel? Can I tell that he treats his family with respect? Does he genuinely value the importance of education? And please tell me he’s capable of devouring an entire pizza every now and then just for the hell of it. These are just some of the things I think about when contemplating characteristics I seek in another person. Oh, and he’s black/brown/yellow/purple on top of everything else? Dope. You know what they say… sometimes opposites attract   If you’re like me, you never allow race to determine who you date. So don’t allow race to define who you are as a couple.

Image result for love sees no color

5)      Come from a place of love, not malice

One of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes reads “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. To fight back with hatred out of anger is counter intuitive, people. Racism exists on ALL sides. While, like I said, I’m not going to get political on this, it’s important that we remember that the inequality that we see portrayed in this society is multi-factorial. It doesn’t stem from one group of people, one race. We can spend our entire lives trying to uncover “who came first, the chicken or the egg”, but for what? The past is the past, history is history. What truly matters is NOW. How are we treating each other today?  Like I mentioned earlier, remember that not everyone is going to agree with you. And regardless of how that makes you feel emotionally, try to be content with that. The best thing we can do for interracial relationships and the push for racial equality is to lead by example. When two people of opposite races come together as one, they are portraying that love trumps race. That they would rather love someone for who they are, not what they are. Even in the face of adversity? Absolutely. It shouldn’t be a competition on who is right and who is wrong when it comes to the subject of racism. If I lash back with a closed off, irate attitude towards someone who feels the need to judge me for being in an interracial relationship, than I am expressing a message completely opposite of what I intend to. That love is love, regardless of color. People are people, regardless of color. And like  MLK once said, “returning hate for hate multiples hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”

So there you have it my loves. I hope this helped bring a sense of hope and optimism to anyone who is exhausted from the feeling of opposition. Again, we have come a LONG way. At the end of the day we love who we love, and that’s how it should be. In a world that can appear to thrive off of hate and separation, always do your best to find the silver lining ❤

xoxo, HG

Image may contain: 1 person

Advertisements

18 things that suddenly become important for every girl in her mid to late 20’s

As a lady transitions into her later 20’s, her age isn’t the only thing that changes. Her priorities adjust as well. One day the only thing that seems to matter may be bottle service, and the next day it’s botox. The saying “you’re becoming a woman” makes more sense now than it did when we got it constantly thrown at us through that god awful puberty stage. I truly believe aging gracefully can feel like a full time job. But thankfully, us girls have each other to joke with as it happens.

So I decided to put a list together (go figure, right?!). Highlighting the things that every girl in her mid to late 20’s begins to care about during this time time in her life. Ladies, do you feel me on this one?!

1. Brunch

Call me cliche, but a good Sunday brunch gets every girl in her happy place. Why has it taken me so long to figure out the magic of what a carafe of mimosas and french toast can do!? Was it because I was often hungover in my early 20’s? Or just broke? Maybe I should start a Sunday Funday fund, because a nice refreshing brunch is just too good for any of you to miss out on, ladies.

2. Credit score

Five years ago the only thing I could have told you about my credit score was that it existed. And now I have this lingering number staring at me in the face, dictating some of my biggest life purchases and decisions. What is this, George Orwell’s 1984 theory?! Giving us all some arbitrary number. Please don’t hold my irresponsible college days against me foreverrrrrr.

3. Quality time spent with friends/loved ones

By about 25, I think it’s safe to say that most girls have filtered out the acquaintances. Don’t get me wrong. I love to run into an old friend that I haven’t seen in years. But the days of “dude we totally have to bring that one girl because she knows all of the hook-ups” are long gone. I’m talking full blown, tipsy on Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka, laughing until the mascara starts running, making fun of who your friends dated in high school, type of quality time. I live for that shit.

4. Benefits

Because there is nothing I would rather talk about than 401K’s, health insurance, and disability. Yeah freaking right. I would rather eat cold ramen than discuss all things responsible. However, it is nice when you know that if something happened to you, SOMEONE would care enough to pull you out of it. Finances are alright, I guess.

5. Good TV shows

Netflix, Hulu, HBO. Hell, even Top Chef has me committed in a way that is probably considered unhealthy. Who else are you gonna eat dinner with on a Monday night? Plus, your TV shows encourage you to stay home and wear pajamas. And you’re only getting older, so you wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

6. Healthy-looking skin

If your energy level doesn’t remind you of the fact that you’re aging, your skip will help by drawing distinct lines in places all over your face. Thanks mother nature, you SOB. The closer I get to 30, the more valuable face masks and spa treatments become. No one is ever going to argue with “it’s great for my skin”. We can’t all be Brooke freaking Shields.

7. Anything DIY

Whether it be to save money, or to work on perfecting those domestic lady ways. Pinterest has begun to feel like a distant relative, the older I get. Nobody hates the bitch that gives homemade rose salve and photograph coasters for Christmas.

8. Vacation and weekends

Time off is SACRED. While it’s all very nice to transition into adulthood and the wonders of work life, it can be way too overwhelming sometimes. That’s why every girl needs a cute little agenda, to mark all upcoming events using pens of varying colors. You know, to always have something to look forward to it. Don’t lie ladies.

9. Chemistry in a relationship

I think most girls would agree that they have figured out what they are really looking for in a relationship by the time they hit their mid to late 20’s. All of the materialistic things don’t seem to matter as much anymore. Yeah, it may be cool if he drives a Range Rover. But if he can’t spend time with me without judging the fact that I like to use cheetos to make a walrus face, then honestly what’s the point?!

10. A good cry

A good, ugly ass cry. One of those cries that you end up counting as your work out of the day. Don’t hold it in, y’all. The struggle is real, and sometimes the best thing to do is cry about it.

11. Your routine

Practice makes perfect. There’s a reason that book club is always on Tuesday nights. And there’s a reason that rent is due the 1st of every month. There is most definitely a reason every girl acts bat shit crazy the week she gets called in for jury duty. Don’t intrude on my daily regimen. My inner Kate Spade lady feelings might take things a little personal.

12. Self discipline when it comes to diet and exercise

Jillian Michaels is a freak of nature. Of course we all want to look that good. And some of us might even end up looking that good. But it sure as hell is not going to happen overnight. Blood. Sweat. Tears. Withdrawals from pizza. I think that’s why the Instagram gods have given us those few friends that document every accomplished pound loss. For constant motivation, of course.

13. Standards

Because you are now old enough to know how important it is to have self-respect. Sure, you may have days where you feel like scum at the bottom of the ocean. But you’re in this little thing called life whether you like it or not, so you might as well be your biggest advocate. From relationships. To being treated equally at work. To only accepting friend requests from people who will actually entertain your news feed. Keep that shit 100. Not only with yourself, but everyone else.

14. Random dance parties

Because life. This is obvious, am I wrong?!

15. Good parking situations

Valet. Uber. Or even just parking that is really close to where you are going. I’m not trying to get in a hike before dinner. Momma can only wear these stilettos for so long.

16. Beauty sleep

It takes a lot to look this good. Also, pants are not required while you’re sleeping. And naps have hands down been the most underrated pastime since Kindergarten.

17. Knowing which alcoholic drinks will get you “sophisticated drunk”

One that gets the job done with no consequences. Now that the days of “let’s get stupid and drunk eat an entire pizza” are over, ones choice of drink is very important. Am I wrong?! You know. Like you can have a shot or two, but not after midnight. And it’s okay if you want to drink vodka, but do so with tonic or soda, not Dr. Pepper. Oh, and not the cheapest vodka they’ve got.

18. Understanding what Amy Poehler was getting at when she said “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do”

Because we don’t have to worry about impressing Regina George anymore. You are who you are. You’ve made it this far, so it’s pretty safe to say that most of your best and worst traits won’t change much. But that’s what makes you memorable. So twerk if you want to. Overreact if you want to. Complain about your age if you want to. As long as you lay your head on your pillow every night knowing that you are as much a hott mess as the next girl, we’re all better off.

Do your thang ladies!

xoxo, H