People are always curious about relationships. It’s understandable. We read and talk about celebrity relationships every day; but sometimes, should you really say anything? As a young woman in an interracial relationship, I am very familiar with awkward situations where you kind of just wish someone hadn’t opened their mouth. So, here is a list of things interracial couples are sick of hearing.
1. “Of course he/she is with a (insert race here) guy/girl”.
I’ve heard it a million times. The question is… What does it even mean? How do you come to the conclusion of, “Of course they are” or “It isn’t surprising”? This is problematic for so many reasons. 1) You are making a quick assumption about someone based on what? And why is who they love a bad thing? 2) Isn’t this question usually the setup for discrimination between different types of interracial couples? Yes. Yes, it is.
2. “What do your parents think?”
That I’m in a happy and healthy relationship, thank you for asking. People probably don’t even realize when they do it, but asking this question is a big no. For starters, it isn’t really your place to ask. Also, there’s the fact that you don’t know what someone’s background or family situation is like. This could be a touchy subject for them. Maybe their family doesn’t approve or maybe they do, but asking and bringing it up when it isn’t your place to do so? It’s a no on all fronts.
3. “Your own race isn’t attractive to you?”
Um… That’s not at all what that means. Dating someone of a different race doesn’t mean that I automatically think that all people of my race are unattractive or not good enough for me. Accusing someone of being discriminatory because of who they date is insane especially because by doing so you’re being discriminatory yourself by putting them in this box and insinuating that they have to date people within their own race.
4. “So you want to be (insert race here) or something?”
Being in a relationship with someone of a different race does not mean that I don’t love myself or my race. And it most definitely does not mean that I would rather be something or someone else. Making that generalization in your head is one thing, but actually being gutsy enough to ask someone that? I can’t imagine it.
5. “Isn’t it weird to be the only ___ at their family events?”
No. What is weird is that you’re asking me this. Nothing is weird unless you make it weird. I get that some people have curiosities, but that is not an okay thing to ask. Again, it might be a sensitive topic with someone; you never know what the situation is or how the relationship between the families works. Maybe something is awkward, but asking is not the right thing to do.
6. “Good for you! It’s so great that you don’t see color!
No… We are aware that we are different races; we acknowledge it as a part of our relationship, but it’s not a big deal. Having different skin colors and different cultures doesn’t make us any less human and any less capable of feeling love for each other. I promise the “I don’t see color” thing does more harm than good.
7. “Oh! I love Scandal! Do you watch it?”
Okay. This is more of a personal scenario for me, but really? Can we get rid of the instinct to try to relate by mentioning the only television or celebrity interracial couple that you know? I think everyone would appreciate it so much more if people would stop trying to show that they are “relatable” or “in the know” and just accept a fact and move on.
While it isn't a crime to have general human curiosity, sometimes we aren't aware when we overstep our boundaries. So, the next time you find yourself around an interracial couple, try to make sure you are respectful with your questions and comments.
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