Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first.
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Let me preface by saying that I’m not an expert about this topic and I’m writing this based only on my own experience. I have never dated anyone outside my race before the 7-year relationship I had with an Arab guy. I remember telling my mom when I was younger that I’m never gonna date a foreigner but I did and the relationship went pretty serious and splendid actually, but then I guess, some good things just never last.
Each of us has an idea of what love is but it isn’t always as easy at it seems, is it? Sure, any relationship have its own challenges to face, however, though an interracial relationship can be just as rewarding, it comes with additional baggage. While the magic works for some, it may be a little bit complicated for the others. And whether it works or it doesn’t, there’s always something to learn from it.
1. Families can end it all.
Sad but true. It’s not that he didn’t stand up for me but well, I guess, there’s nothing more I could do at that time but to let him go because arrangements were made on certain things already here and there so yes, families can end it all. There were haunting regrets at first of course why we didn’t try harder, why I didn’t do this or why I didn’t do that but eventually, I’ve realized there’s nothing more I can really do about it anymore, really. They’re family and I can’t and I don’t want to fight them. Blood after all is still thicker than water.
2. Each and everyone is a lot more than their race.
Every culture has its own intricacies and nuances and yes, it’s not always easy accepting these things. It’s important to keep an attitude where no one culture is better than the other. It’s important to remember that you both are unique individuals and that cultural differences shouldn’t define your relationship. To belong to different races means that we have different experiences and different things to learn from and about. We should learn to accept and appreciate each other alongside our cultural differences. We can always be ourselves so it’s important to be honest about your views and opinions about everything. Moreover, it’s important to always listen to what the other has to say. There’s so much to learn and gain from listening to each other. I became more aware of things this way.
3. It’s not just about sex.
While sex can be an important part of many relationships, I still believe that it shouldn’t be regarded as a primary reason for a relationship to work. I know a lot of people who link love and sex together but the truth is, sex doesn’t mean the person loves you. And how someone performs sexually should not be based on what race they are from.
4. Love doesn’t/can’t conquer all.
I guess this notion has duped us for quite too long. It’s just not true. True enough we were madly in love with each other but there were times that we’d also fight. We’d make up and feel like our love for each other makes us solve our issues but when I look at it more, none of our issues were actually resolved. We’d fight about the same thing after some time. Eventually, this somehow contributed to the breakup. If we don’t get to work our asses off for a relationship to work, it will definitely fall apart. We shouldn’t depend on love alone because love won’t save us all the time. Love is necessary. It’s a strong force but it’s not enough.
5. You only have to answer for each other.
Many people including my friends and family have something to say about our relationship but how we feel about each other and how we decide to progress in our relationship should always and should only be decided by no one else but the both of us. Easier said than done but once I’ve learned that the more I let others interfere and decide for me, it ruins the relationship. It’s essential to make a commitment to deal with problems as a couple and don’t let others’ opinions matter. Who I’m dating is no one’s business but my own. It taught me a great deal that when it comes to who I’m dating or who I become involved with is solely my own business and no one else’s. I don’t feel the need to explain to anyone why I dated an Arab guy for that matter.
6. It’s not always easy.
Well, if you haven’t realized it yet, it isn’t always easy maintaining and making a relationship work. And I find this harder when I dated someone outside my race. I needed to learn to understand and be familiar with my partner, his body language or even the way he talks. I also learned to compromise. And it takes a lot of patience. I’ve lost count of how many stereotypes and insults I’ve seen with regards to interracial couples and one of the worst in my case was when someone commented that I’m dating this Arab guy for his money. I’ve always believed that a man is not a financial plan. I can finance myself, thank you very much and so I’ve mastered long enough to just ignore such comments.
7. It’s not that big a deal.
For some, questions like what their parents will think or feel about the relationship is a big factor, but not all. I’ve been asked this question a hundred times and sure it was something my parents, my brothers and I didn’t quite agree on at some point in the beginning but then again, they’ve never quite agree to every guy I’ve dated before. Haha! 😁 So at the end of the day, dating someone outside your race need not to be a big deal, really. It’s just a normal relationship in most ways.
Every relationship is different and race wasn’t really an issue for us at that time. When it did, it ruined us, unfortunately. I’ve learned lessons the hard way but there’s nothing I’d ever regret. We were just two people who loved each other… then. I’m still glad it happened.
Happy day, homo sapiens! 🙂
In everyone’s life there are people who stay and people who go and people who are taken against their will.
~Karen Joy Fowler