I have been noticing an influx of stories on interracial dating (U.S. far from an interracial melting pot – CNN, Interracial Marriages on the Rise for Blacks – Essence, Interracial Marriage At Its Highest Point In History? – MadamNoire) which leads me to believe that people are finally starting to realize that there are many more options available in the dating pool if you widen your net. I’m not sure why it has taken this long, but I certainly believe that it’s a topic worth exploring.
If you have read my previous articles before, you will have found that I have been happily married to a Puerto Rican man for 9 years. My reasons for dating outside my race can best be understood if you are familiar with my upbringing.
I learned at a very early age that Hispanics and Latinos were very similar to African-Americans. We face the same injustice, have similar struggles and family values, appreciate similar music, enjoy the same sports, and for some, like the same food. And when it came to choosing friends, my choices were limitless.
In my friendship pack there was Dorothy (African-American), Angie (White), and Nena (Hispanic). We dated Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian because no one told us we couldn’t. I mean, if a guy was cute, who cared if he was White! The guy was cute! But in the African-American culture, our men and women are put down for finding love without boundaries. Why is that?
Often times, people stay within their race because of fear or ignorance. I have heard many a black woman say, “what if we’re not compatible? How can I be sure that he will understand my culture? Does he even know what being ‘black’ means?” This is not a racial issue. This is a people issue. Some black people don’t even understand basic black people issues!
I understand that people have their preferences. Some want a tall, athletic, African-American man, and that’s great! But if you’re putting your love life on hold because you can’t find that exact man, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Not only are you limiting yourself, you are limiting another persons ability to love you! Think about that for a second…
The most important qualities that you should want in a mate transcend racial boundaries. All that should matter is if s/he loves you, respects you,values you, and honors you and your relationship. The rest are extras; added perks. This is something every person is capable of.
I have to be honest with you, I never think about the fact that my husband is Latino. All I see is love, passion, appreciation, and admiration. Don’t you want that too? Open the door and choose: Are you in or are you out?
Interracial Marriages on the Rise for Blacks
Celebrity matchmaker and founder of matchmaking agency, Shawn Mackenzi Agency, and host of Love's Playground.