On the face of it, one would think that when you’re dating or attracted to someone, love conquers all. But do we consciously or unconsciously eliminate people who are not from the same race or skin color as ourselves when we seek to date or are even attracted to someone?
While historically in the United States, the thought of interracial dating was taboo, the perspective gradually changed. Trends are changing and surveys have indicated that so too are people’s mindsets. While the older generation is not as opposed to it as they used to be, they may still not exactly be in favor of it. The youth though, are seen to be more open to the idea of dating crossing the boundaries of race, culture and religion.
Interracial dating has been more popular among those who have had greater exposure to individuals of different races. It could be through their neighborhood, having grown up with multicultural influences as part of a larger community. When you are constantly exposed to people of different races, you tend to integrate and even imbibe certain attitudes, which make you more open, as you mature, to exploring relationships with people outside your own race.
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If you went to a school that encouraged and incorporated different races, you may often find yourself looking beyond the color of the skin or the geographical influences of the culture, and focus on the person himself. And once you do that, you realize that after all, that is what a relationship is about. Finding someone you can relate to on a deeper level than the surface physicality.
Often, those who shy away from exploring an interracial relationship or dating someone from another race, do so either because of a deep-rooted stigma or a deep-seated need to date someone from the same race. Parental opinion or what their family or friends would think if they overstepped the norms, may also influence them.
There are also certain fears about whether he/she will be ridiculed or judged harshly for displaying this penchant to date someone from another race. Jim, a single white male in his late thirties complained that when he was dating a black woman, a few years ago, his friends often ribbed him. They thought he was indulging in some sexual fantasy of sorts and hence was drawn to her. While he says he never outwardly displayed his feelings to them, he was deeply hurt by their attitude. He genuinely liked Nicole and couldn’t figure out why his friends couldn’t look beyond the color of her skin and see the obvious intelligence and wit that he was drawn to.
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Christine, 35, says her true-blue American parents couldn’t figure out what had gotten into her when she was dating her black colleague. They didn’t bother too much about it at first, thinking it would just die a natural death. But when things begun to get serious, she was shocked to find them turn sceptical and then downright nasty. Every time she went over, they would ask her what she saw in him and why couldn’t she just date a nice all-American kind of guy (meaning white, of course!). They even began trying to fix her up with their version of the ideal guy. Until she told them, in no uncertain terms, that she really liked Steve and what they could do with their antiquated ideas.
Sometimes, couples that indulge in interracial dating don’t actively seek it. It’s just something that happens and once they get acquainted with the person within, the other meaningless details fade into obscurity. And often, when two individuals allow themselves to think beyond the narrow confines that society imposes the rewards are tremendous.
James, a British tourist found himself captivated by the traditions and culture of India on a visit there, last year. But he found himself taking back with him a lot more than just memories of the place and the people. He had found love. He met Priya at a party and was instantly drawn to her vibrancy and interest in his country. She took him around and showed him the sights, and he was treated warmly by her family too. The genuine warmth shown to a complete stranger touched him, something he had never experienced before.
If you are open to new experiences and feel the sentiments expressed by Michael Jackson when he sang ‘It don’t matter if you’re black or white’, check out the following sites which specialize in interracial dating. Alternatively, you can also search for people from a particular race using advanced search methods in most dating web sites. The challenges may be significant, but the rewards will be, too!