5 Things Only Interracial Couples Deal With

I’ve always dated Latino men, particularly mixed Puerto Ricans. My current boyfriend is actually half-Puerto Rican and half-Vietnamese. For this cien por ciento Dominicana, that was quite a change! My siblings and many of my cousins are also down with the swirl, dating African-American men and women and even gringos and gringas. You’d think my family would get used to the diversity, but some still throw a judgmental side eye in our direction.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg; many interracial couples are still confronted with the ignorance of others on a daily basis. Here are five issues interracial couples will understand: 

MORE: 21 Racist Things Latinos Hear Every Day

1. Interracial Couples: Nanny

Being confused as the nanny.

You fell in love with a white man, so your bebe is pale-skinned con los ojos azules. And everyone assumes you’re the nanny! You constantly reassure mothers on the playground that, yes, you are indeed the mother and, no, you do not offer babysitting services. 

2. Interracial Couples: Confused

Nasty or confused stares.

It doesn’t matter how much progress we’ve made regarding race relationships, there will always be someone who disapproves of your interracial union. And they will stare — rudely. Some may look at you and your partner with disgust. Some may even utter nasty words under their breath about how Latinas are taking over and “stealing their men.” In this case, breathe. You can’t change stupid, and you shouldn’t waste your time on ugly. 

3. Interracial Couples: Dirtying The Race

Accusations of ‘dirtying the race.’

If you’re a light-skinned Latina who fell in love with a dark-skinned man, your family may just reprimand you for ‘dirtying the race.’ I’ve heard this all of my life: how that primas kids will have nappy hair because she married an African-American man; how her man is so dark her kids will be blue-black — in other words, ugly; how they’ll forget the Spanish language all together. Unfortunately, this mentality is prominent in our communities, especially among traditional Latinos. 

4. Interracial Couples: Lightening The Race

Talks of ‘lightening the race.’

On the flip side, if you get with a white boy, your family will praise you! Some Latinos believe that it’s essential to ‘lighten the race,’ and encourage family members to date the gringo from work or the Chino from college because he has pelo bueno. It stems from self-hatred and being ashamed of our blackness and/or the native roots that some Latinos refuse to accept. So, when you walk into a family reunion with your light-skinned man, you just might hear a gaggle of tias giggling with glee. 

5. Interracial Couples: Hate Men

You must hate the men from your culture.

If you’re not dating a fellow Mexican or a fellow Cuban, you must hate your culture, right? Wrong. Yet, some people will assume you do. They’ll shame you for not marrying within your culture. You really can’t win. That’s why you should follow your heart. No matter what his culture or skin-color, ignore the naysayers. Fall in love with the man or woman that treats you like a reina.