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Surprising news about Latinos and interracial dating

by Adriana Villavicencio

Young Latinos have the highest rate of interracial relationships, more than double the percentage of African Americans and almost three times more than whites. This makes sense considering we fall into different racial categories. Remember last year’s Census?

At the same time, Latinos show the lowest level of support for interracial marriages, which means that we may do it but we meet a lot of resistance along the way. Some of our very own Being Latino contributors have shared their personal stories over prejudice against Latino-Black love (even by Black Latinos), shock at dating a white guy (pobre Gringros), and criticism over dating anyone who isn’t Latino (even if he’s Prince Charming).

As a Latina who has been in two long interracial relationships, I am not unfamiliar with some of the challenges and surprises of interracial dating. Knowing that everyone’s experience is unique and every relationship is a universe, I am also the last one to narrow it down to a list of quick and dirty tips. But if I had to give any advice on how to navigate the complex ride of an interracial romance, it would be this:

DON’T Take it Personal: Some people will respond to your relationship with dirty looks, snide comments behind your back, or rude comments to your face. Some of your friends and family will support you, some will come around with time, and some never will. Don’t take it personally because it’s not about you.

DO Expect Respect: While not everyone will be on board, you should not have to tolerate any disrespect hurled at you or your partner. If that means asking your favorite aunt to apologize for her rude comment or setting your friend straight for saying something ignorant, then so be it. They don’t have to like that you’re dating who you’re dating, but they must know you expect at least the same amount of respect you show to the weirdos they bring around.

DON’T Be Someone You’re Not: In the first stage of interracial relationships, you become acutely aware of differences between you and your partner and across racial groups. Some people are tempted to minimize these differences by taking on aspects of another group. I’ve seen people change the way they dress, act, and talk in response to feeling different. It doesn’t look like they’re blending in; it just looks like they’re trying too hard to be someone they’re not. You’re exactly who your partner fell in love with; just be you.

DO Share Your Worlds: At the same time, dating someone from a different background can expose us to the richness of their world and provides you the opportunity to do the same. They may cook you foods you never tasted, while you take them salsa dancing every week. Even beyond superficial differences, sharing will expand the way you see the world, other people, spirituality, and love. Inviting each other to join in what you admire about your own culture and cultural perspectives will solidify your bond and make your relationship a source of inspiration.

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To learn more about Adriana,
visit
www.theradicalideas.com.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and Space.com, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit www.theradicalideas.com.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

Comments

  1. eileenrivera says:

    I have a cousin who is a physician. She is married to a physician. They have two children and have settled in Florida. Why haven’t I seen her in forty years? Because her father was here and he never accepted her husband because he is a black Puerto Rican.
    Thank goodness that those prejudices died with that generation!

  2. My (Irish-Italian-Portuguese) husband earned respect from my side of the family by being willing to learn to dance salsa, kick ass in dominoes, and even throw out a few choice phrases in Spanish. He is so open to learning about our Latin culture–that’s one of the things we love about him!

  3. Adriana,

    Excellent post educating people on how to break stereotypes including suggestions on how people need to educate and/or correct others.

    I was brought on my dad’s part of the family where choosing someone from another race was not acceptable. It is funny that most of my cousins that where the worried one’s when we where kids are or where married outside of their race.

    I guess being latino we are so diverse we are always interracial dating.

    So far This has been the best post I have read here on Being Latino… Keep up the good work!

  4. Troy Cortez says:

    You can’t lump Latino and white relationships into the same bucket as Latino and black relationships. A lot more Latinos are OK with the former than the latter.

  5. Eric J. Cortes says:

    Great article. I love the solid advice you give.

  6. Adriana says:

    Wow, what a shame…to miss out on family and grandchildren!

  7. Adriana says:

    Love it! Openness is an endearing quality. :) Plus, who doesn’t respect a non-Latino trying to learn salsa?

  8. Adriana says:

    Thank you so much for the positive feedback. I am truly moved by your comment.

  9. Adriana says:

    I hear you…they are different in many ways. But the internal/relational struggles are not necessarily easier with one or the other.

  10. Adriana says:

    Thanks! Much appreciated.

  11. Adriana says:

    Thank you! Much appreciated.

  12. I was very impressed honestly with the way your structured a great post. :)

  13. My mom is Puerto Rican and my dad was Italian and they were married so I guess this is an example of the interracial thing. But in all honesty Italians share alot of the same values/culture that Latinos have so it wasn’t that stretch of the imagination for me to see my parents coming together.

  14. Adriana Villavicencio says:

    I also think the “interacialness” depends on how the outside world views the couple. If they appear to be of the same background/culture, then they may not meet resistance.

  15. GabrielaLaVela says:

    #2 is key. My husband and I will not tolerate any disrespect to one or the other. If someone tries, they learn real quick, it’s all or nothing. Considering our skill sets, people behave pretty darn quick.

  16. Adriana Villavicencio says:

    Good for you!

  17. No matter how we hide it up, the world would always gives something to criticize about inter racial… However, i do believe that what matters most is the mutual understanding that parties would have in there state of relationship.

  18. Adriana Villavicencio says:

    Very true. There has clearly been a big shift among the young, so maybe the world is evolving, albeit slowly.

  19. when will you update again your blog? can you do a post about ”inter racial dating”? thanks!

  20. Hi I know how we date and chat online because I visited one online dating site which gives great service and I suppose now it is going to give gold membership also.

    I got to know pretty good things on this site. I have found same kind a site relevant to the topic.. Please, go through… http://www.adultsinglesdating.co.uk

  21. There will always be some criticism towards interracial dating. If you’re a Latino in a interracial dating relationship, just remember that East Indians and the Arab world frown upon interracial dating even more. Western society is more open to this concept.

  22. After reading this article and peoples’ comments on here. I feel a little less stress about giving this cute Colombian(Cali, Colombia{Yes, he is here legally. He gave me his green card to study) guy I met a couple of days ago. He keep saying how beautiful I am and that he really wants to get to know me more, but I just been soo skeptical about it. I come from a very diverse family/heritages(Black, German, Native American, French, Creole, & Italian{& get this I live in the south, Louisiana south}), my family is so diverse that we have Whites, Bolivians, Puerto Ricans, and Asians married into our family(On both sides). My problem is I have not experience racism(@ least not to my face) and I really don’t want to have to face any(which one day I know I will, or have already an didn’t even notice it) when it comes to my love for men outside of my race. I know that my family will be accepting of it, but will his be accepting of our relationship(If we decide to go further) is what’s really bothering me. I was raised to love everyone of all colors, religions, nationalities, skin colors, sexualities, & etc, but I know that everyone in this world was not raised the way I was, with freedom of acceptance. So, like I stated earlier this blog has really eased a part this burden off of me. It seems that this generation of Hispanics or general are more open to new things. So, I think I am going to go ahead and give Jose(The Colombian’s guy) a chance and see what happens. If prejudice arise(Which probabyly will, I am praying doesn’t) I will just have to bite the bullet and deal with it. Thanks soo much for writing a blog on this Ms.Adriana. :-p

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