Hiya! I hope you all are doing well and staying safe! I wanted to do this post to talk about my experiences being in an interracial relationship and give you an insight on what we deal with. On Instagram, I asked for some questions that you’d like to me to talk about in relation to interracial relationships, thank you for sending in questions!
It’s 2020 and we’re still faced with stares, people being uncomfortable with interracial relationships and questioning why people date outside of their race. I think it’s so important to me to call this out and say that these attitudes are not okay and share our experiences over the past couple years.
Question 1 – Where are you and your partner from?
I was born in North London, England and my mum is from Zambia and my dad is from Ghana. My boyfriend, Connor, was born in South London, his family is from England, Scotland and Myanmar.
Question 2 – Do you and your boyfriend talk about race and your cultures?
Yes, it’s who we are and how we grew up, of course we have to talk about it when we’re getting to know each other especially in the talking phase of our relationship. Even now a couple years in, we talk about race, our culture and racial issues in our society – it’s not a conversation that ever goes away.
Question 3 – Have you dated outside your race before, if so is it harder/different?
I have during my school years and so has Connor, we both went to schools in London which were quite racially diverse. I wouldn’t say that it’s easier to date within your own race at all, you still have the same typical relationship and compatibility worries to overcome. In our relationship we do have some different worries as well – like for example when we think to travel, my thoughts are “are we going to be faced with stares/comments from the locals”. There are some places that I know are completely ruled out for us to travel to together – which is absolutely disgusting.
Question 4 – What were your family’s reactions?
My parents are completely accepting of our relationship, right from the beginning before they even met him – they knew he made me happy and honestly primarily all my family want is for me to be happy. When they did meet Connor, got to know his personality, morals and aspirations for life they liked him even more! Truthfully I was a little worried when I was meeting Connor’s family for the first time, I don’t believe it was nerves thinking that they wouldn’t accept their son dating a black girl – I think it was general anxiety from wanting my boyfriend’s family to like me. Of course the little voice of doubt in your head makes you question “what if they don’t accept me?” but right from our first meeting I felt accepted into the family.
Question 5 – Do you experience looks or comments from white or black people in public?
I’ve noticed stares but not had people make any comments, when I asked Connor he said that he hadn’t noticed people staring as much as I do. With the stares I notice it more from white people than black people, especially when we’re out of London. One time I remember being on the London underground and we were sitting together, holding hands and there was an old white lady sitting across and glaring at us for our whole journey. Thankfully we’ve never had any experiences of people commenting or coming up to us to say things – I already know that this would get us both very angry if this did happen.
It’s not nice to think that people stare at us together and look down on us or think we shouldn’t be together. I do hope that I’m misinterpreting some of the stares and they’re looking at us and thinking that we’re a cute couple and look good together or staring at me (often the only black girl there) and are thinking damnnn she looks good!
Question 6 – Do we worry about people’s reactions and stereotypes?
Nope! I don’t live my life wanting to please others so I’m most definitely not worried about other people’s reactions to us loving each other, holding hands in public or posting pictures of us on social media. Like I mentioned in the question before, of course its not nice to think about people not accepting us but I don’t want other people’s reactions to stop me from living my life.
I had to google some of the stereotypes and myths about interracial relationships particularly with black women dating white men and this came up – “black women date white men to climb up the social ladder”. I actually couldn’t believe it, like some people actually think this. Nope! I’m not with Connor to climb up any social ladders, I have love in my life and connected with his soul and personality not social status. It’s actually crazy to have to announce that – I’m an independent woman, I don’t need anyone to climb social ladders!
Question 7 – Do you find culture differences frustrating – do you have clashes?
No we actually have a lot in common – we grew up with similar values, we have a lot more similarities than differences. The only clash we may have is merging our two cultures together when we get married, African weddings are different in their traditions. But we will get to that issue of combining our cultures by the time we’re looking and planning to get married – let’s not worry about that now!
Question 8 – Have you ever worried about introducing Connor to an African lifestyle?
Honestly at first I did, I worried if he’d fully understand my culture and be willing to try new things. But after inviting him over to my family home and watching him embrace my culture, try and love my mum’s traditional Zambian food, all my worries went away. He’s open to doing new things, learning more about culture and I am too! When introducing Connor to my culture and him asking questions, it actually allowed me to learn more about things in my culture that I really knew very little about.
Thank you for reading and sending in your questions, if you have any more questions I’m willing to answer them!