Interracial Dating… (Part One)

Hi CeCe,
I’m not a PSP but I have a friend who is, and she showed me your blog. You come of as very kind and beautiful person in your blog and even us skinnies can relate to a lot of the things you say in your posts. 🙂 I really like your upbeat attitude.

I have a question: Are you and Robert of the same ethnicity? I’m Indian and I generally don’t date within my own ethnicity..like I’ve dated a lot of European guys, and you said in your blog that you don’t care about ethnicity either.

If you aren’t of the same ethnicity, are there complications that come up there? Just curious for your say on the topic.

Take Care,
 DC

Hi DC,

I know there are some skinnies like you out there who read TBGB, I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to write to me! I love hearing from readers of all sizes, so this is great. To answer your question: Robert and I are both black, but as you know I am “down with the swirl” and have dated guys of all races. If there was a passport for dating, I’d have a stamp from every country by now….

In my experience, yes there are complications that come from interracial dating, but if you’re okay with doing a little extra work its nothing you can’t get through. As we discovered in the “Size & Race” series we’ve got going, race a complex topic, so I’m going to answer your questions in three parts: Public, Private and Family.

Public: In my experience, interracial dating will give you a rude awakening that people aren’t as liberal/progressive as we assume they are. Living in NYC, I thought that the diversity of this city and being in a diverse couple would go hand in hand. Not so much…

One of the first guys I dated in the city was a blond haired, blue eyed boy who could have stepped out of the pages of Tiger Beat. One night after a movie, we were standing on the train platform being all couply/cuddly. He had his jacket open and I had my arms around his waist inside of it as we waited for the train. We were cuddling in silence, when he whispered in my ear “everyone is staring at us”. I pulled away from him, and saw all of the middle-aged white upper west siders in the 72nd street station looking down their noses at us.

A few months later, we were riding the train in the Bronx. Our train car was empty and we sat together in the far corner, my legs draped over his (clearly we were a very touchy-feely duo). A group of subway workers finishing a shift got onto our train, they were all black. They gave us a once-over glance and then one of them broke away from the group, walked to where I was sitting with my boy and said to me “take your legs off of him, right now”. In my naiveté I thought it was a train safety concern, but the look of disdain on his and his coworkers faces quickly told me that they just didn’t want to see a brown girl like me cuddled up with a white boy.

Those were pretty extreme experiences, but even the day-to-day stares that we would get when we were together was enough to drive you crazy… if we let it.

When it comes to dating outside your race, my experience is that you both have to be each others advocates and protectors. You have to advocate and protect each other and yourselves as a couple because outside opinions from the public will come out and it wont always be pretty.

Even though race isn’t important to me, I understand that it’s an issue of importance in today’s world.

The awkward parts of interracial dating can put you and your boo in difficult spots from time to time, but it can also make you a super strong couple, because in some ways it’s the two of you against the world.

Next week, we’ll discuss the “Private” element of interracial dating.

Have any of YOU dated outside your race? Had any good/bad experiences?

60 thoughts on “Interracial Dating… (Part One)”

  1. Wow so sad that we haven’t come any further than this type of behavior. Love is love and the heart don’t care what color your skin is or what’s your background. I’ve never dated outside my race but I’m open to it should love show up. I would also say that the subway worker may have been ole school like my parents thought thtat was unlady like to display such things in public 🙂

  2. lilshine7@gmail.com

    Wow so sad that we haven’t come any further than this type of behavior. Love is love and the heart don’t care what color your skin is or what’s your background. I’ve never dated outside my race but I’m open to it should love show up. I would also say that the subway worker may have been ole school like my parents thought thtat was unlady like to display such things in public 🙂

  3. I worked in NYC from 08-11. I am Black and was dating a White guy and I was surprised as the stares we would get just walking down the street together, not even being affectionate. Ridiculous. You would think people would have progressed by now especially in NYC. I grew up in Philly and didn’t have any problems, but sometimes Black guys would make comments when I would be out with a White guy. So dumb.

  4. chickey920@aol.com

    I worked in NYC from 08-11. I am Black and was dating a White guy and I was surprised as the stares we would get just walking down the street together, not even being affectionate. Ridiculous. You would think people would have progressed by now especially in NYC. I grew up in Philly and didn’t have any problems, but sometimes Black guys would make comments when I would be out with a White guy. So dumb.

  5. A few times in the past I’ve come to realize the person I was dating didn’t consider me long term material because I wasn’t the race their family expected them to end up with. It made me a perfectly acceptable “for now” woman but that was all. I’m betting you are addressing that in part three though.

  6. carlyrenea@aol.com

    A few times in the past I’ve come to realize the person I was dating didn’t consider me long term material because I wasn’t the race their family expected them to end up with. It made me a perfectly acceptable “for now” woman but that was all. I’m betting you are addressing that in part three though.

  7. I dated a Native guy for a while (I’m caucasian) and a couple times older white ladies told us we made a cute couple. I wasn’t so sure that was a race-related comment, but my boyfriend at the time was positive it was. And my brother’s fiance is Chinese and they have experienced staring when in smaller towns. It is a strange feeling, but like you said, you just make sure you’re secure in yourselves and your relationship, and you move on. I can’t believe people still care about that.

  8. red_headed_virgo@hotmail.com

    I dated a Native guy for a while (I’m caucasian) and a couple times older white ladies told us we made a cute couple. I wasn’t so sure that was a race-related comment, but my boyfriend at the time was positive it was. And my brother’s fiance is Chinese and they have experienced staring when in smaller towns. It is a strange feeling, but like you said, you just make sure you’re secure in yourselves and your relationship, and you move on. I can’t believe people still care about that.

  9. I am actually a east Indian woman. I not only dated but married a Caucasian/Hispanic mix man. I generally never really dated any Indian men myself. In my experience me and my husband do get a lot of stares and sometimes people don’t even realize we are together. However, most people have never said anything to me directly and if they do it is more about being curious I got questions like,” how did your parents feel about you not marrying an Indian man.” In the end I am very lucky woman my husband has a lot of patience and understanding of the difference in our cultural backgrounds. We even had an Indian wedding in the end it always comes back to the understanding and love that we base our relationship on an we get through any cultural differences. As for my family it has not been a problem my husband attends family events regularly it has been truly an amazing experience.

  10. lovihiggin@gmail.com

    I am actually a east Indian woman. I not only dated but married a Caucasian/Hispanic mix man. I generally never really dated any Indian men myself. In my experience me and my husband do get a lot of stares and sometimes people don’t even realize we are together. However, most people have never said anything to me directly and if they do it is more about being curious I got questions like,” how did your parents feel about you not marrying an Indian man.” In the end I am very lucky woman my husband has a lot of patience and understanding of the difference in our cultural backgrounds. We even had an Indian wedding in the end it always comes back to the understanding and love that we base our relationship on an we get through any cultural differences. As for my family it has not been a problem my husband attends family events regularly it has been truly an amazing experience.

  11. When I think of NYC, I think of it as being very progressive with all its diversity. I admit, I do want to stare at IR couples, (especially if it’s a black woman with another race man), but it’s out of curiosity and not contempt.

  12. When I think of NYC, I think of it as being very progressive with all its diversity. I admit, I do want to stare at IR couples, (especially if it’s a black woman with another race man), but it’s out of curiosity and not contempt.

  13. Um, wow. I would have reported those MTA workers! Who the hell do they think they are, I’m actually shocked you didn’t have a retort to what they demanded of you.

    My current guy is an Italian/Puerto Rican mix, he looks more on the caucasian side so I’ve never experienced any of this. I do wonder if gender plays an even bigger role though. Just from online dating experience, I get tons and tons of messages from black men. Not to mention the catcalls I get in my neighborhood. If I would date a black man, I’m sure I wouldn’t hear anything of it, except from black women. Whereas with you, it seems the reverse is true. Black men were commenting on the fact that you were dating a white man. While this isn’t a 100% hard and fast rule, I do find that same sex onlookers of the significant other’s race are more often than not going to be upset with the pairing. I guess it’s a racial purity thing and also a subconscious kick to their ego. One of their own has gone outside of their own race meaning that they find fault with their own kind (even though that’s not a true thing.

  14. jlv1117@yahoo.com

    Um, wow. I would have reported those MTA workers! Who the hell do they think they are, I’m actually shocked you didn’t have a retort to what they demanded of you.

    My current guy is an Italian/Puerto Rican mix, he looks more on the caucasian side so I’ve never experienced any of this. I do wonder if gender plays an even bigger role though. Just from online dating experience, I get tons and tons of messages from black men. Not to mention the catcalls I get in my neighborhood. If I would date a black man, I’m sure I wouldn’t hear anything of it, except from black women. Whereas with you, it seems the reverse is true. Black men were commenting on the fact that you were dating a white man. While this isn’t a 100% hard and fast rule, I do find that same sex onlookers of the significant other’s race are more often than not going to be upset with the pairing. I guess it’s a racial purity thing and also a subconscious kick to their ego. One of their own has gone outside of their own race meaning that they find fault with their own kind (even though that’s not a true thing.

  15. I’m redhead and while I had an Asian bf for 3 years I noticed the worst looks from Asian girls. We lived just outside DC, and still… Otherwise I suppose this combination doesn’t “shock” people too much. Who knows. I’ve been on dates with lots of guys of other races. I think it’s definitely true that people look longer, but I hope the day will come when we finally just don’t care.

    However, I also got looks from anyone and everyone when I was with my redheaded boyfriend for 6 years…like people don’t even try to hide their staring. Plus, friends openly and frequently made fun of us for both having red hair and being together. Brother / sister this and that, when, in all seriousness, our actual hair colors (and facial features) couldn’t have been more different even though they were both technically shades of red (mine is a dull brown-blonde red and his is a flaming copper). Do we make fun of two brunettes with the exact same shade of brown being together? You could say I’m being too sensitive, but at some point it gets to be too much. Look around and you’ll see it’s politically incorrect to make fun of most people, but no one thinks twice about redhead jokes. Yeah, I’m just a little bitter. It’s funny…but it also isn’t.

  16. carolinesays1@gmail.com

    I’m redhead and while I had an Asian bf for 3 years I noticed the worst looks from Asian girls. We lived just outside DC, and still… Otherwise I suppose this combination doesn’t “shock” people too much. Who knows. I’ve been on dates with lots of guys of other races. I think it’s definitely true that people look longer, but I hope the day will come when we finally just don’t care.

    However, I also got looks from anyone and everyone when I was with my redheaded boyfriend for 6 years…like people don’t even try to hide their staring. Plus, friends openly and frequently made fun of us for both having red hair and being together. Brother / sister this and that, when, in all seriousness, our actual hair colors (and facial features) couldn’t have been more different even though they were both technically shades of red (mine is a dull brown-blonde red and his is a flaming copper). Do we make fun of two brunettes with the exact same shade of brown being together? You could say I’m being too sensitive, but at some point it gets to be too much. Look around and you’ll see it’s politically incorrect to make fun of most people, but no one thinks twice about redhead jokes. Yeah, I’m just a little bitter. It’s funny…but it also isn’t.

  17. Most people’s dating histories are homogeneous because we live in a segregated society, a fact some of us retroactively justify by pretending we actually know enough people from other backgrounds to pass that kind of judgment made above. And an element of living in segregated worlds is that we look for partners that possess the kind of social capital we’re looking for, whether its wavy light-skinned girls or whatever.

  18. cthares@11thhoursearch.com

    Most people’s dating histories are homogeneous because we live in a segregated society, a fact some of us retroactively justify by pretending we actually know enough people from other backgrounds to pass that kind of judgment made above. And an element of living in segregated worlds is that we look for partners that possess the kind of social capital we’re looking for, whether its wavy light-skinned girls or whatever.

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