Endless Bliss | Happy Lifestyle Blog: Love is (Color) Blind.

Love is (Color) Blind.



Growing up with a father in the Air Force was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. As hard as it was to pack up all my things and move to a whole new city (or country) every 3 1/2 years, leaving behind my friends, classmates, and sometimes even my pets, I'm so grateful for the childhood that my dad provided for me. Moving around a lot exposed me to different ways of life, different cultures, and the vast variety of people that live in our world. 

When it came to love, skin color was never a question for me. It was all about having a good heart, a kind demeanor, being caring, respectful, and trustworthy. When I thought of the man I would one day marry, skin color was never something that I factored in, which is why I don't understand how interracial couples are something that some people still frown upon. 

Because I'm interracial myself with a Filipino mom and a black dad, I never saw a problem with people of different races dating or getting married. I was so lucky that I had the upbringing that I did, because my dad allowed me to think for myself, be independent, form my own opinions, and not judge people by outward appearance. People are judged by so many things - the amount of money they make, their families, their jobs, who their friends are, their spouse - why does your skin color need to be another thing added to the list?

I have a friend named Nina, and we have so much in common, including us both being in interracial relationships. Nina and her boyfriend, Pai, live in Tennessee. 



Huffington post published this article, highlighting questions that interracial couples are often asked. We decided to shed light on the issue and answer a few of these questions ourselves. 

How does your family feel about your partner’s race?
Jon: Overall, my family has been very supportive of my interracial relationship. Coming from southern Louisiana I was exposed to a lot of racism, and unfortunately, some of my extended family was involved. The fortunate thing is that my immediate family and most of my extended family in Louisiana support my choices and believe that I know what is best for me.

Tiffany: Being bi-racial myself, I was lucky to grow up in a family that was very understanding when it came to race. My parents may have questioned my choice in guys a time or two, but race was never an issue.

Nina: My parents have always been more concerned about the condition of the heart of the guy I’m dating.  My dad has always said, “You can bring home a tattooed man, but as long as he loves Jesus more than anything, that’s what I care about.” My youngest brothers love pointing out that Pai is “brown,” but I think they are just more mesmerized by him than anything.  I do have some extended family members who don’t necessarily approve.  That was kind of tough emotionally, but everyone in my family treats him with respect and kindness, and that’s what’s most important to me.

Pai: My immediate family has always been supportive to whomever I chose to date so they love Nina.  Sometimes I wonder if they like her more than me.  My extended family has always been supportive as well.  I even find out from Nina that they friend request her on social media without my knowledge.  We were raised that it doesn’t matter what color you are.  In my church at Zimbabwe and from the international school I went to, there were a lot of cultures, so I’ve grown up not seeing race as a potential factor for a life partner. 

DO PEOPLE STARE AT YOU WHEN YOU GO ON DATES?
Nina: When Pai and I first started going out, we went on a run through our town once.  We walked about a mile after our run and were holding hands.  I was hyper aware of the fact that everyone passing us in our small Southern town was staring at us.  But in that moment I decided being with him was more important than people staring at us.  Since then, I’ve not really noticed it because I choose not to pay attention.  And if they are staring, it’s probably because we’re a really adorable couple.

Pai: Yes. But I’ve learned to ignore it, and the older I get, the more comfortable I am in my skin and I always embrace opportunity to hold Nina’s hand in public because it’s not only a statement of how much I love her but also a statement of the beauty of culture and how love isn’t defined by the color of our skin.

Tiffany: We get looks at some places we go, because we do live in north Louisiana. The south is very traditional when it comes to things like religion, sexuality, and race, and people and situations that don’t fit the norm (regardless of the fact that it’s the 21st century) are likely to attract attention. This is something that I’ve dealt with all of my life, so for the most part, I’ve gotten used to it. With Jon, I know I was the first black (or half black) person that he had ever dated, so I think the adjustment was a little different for him. I’m not saying that everywhere we go we’re like a walking billboard, because we’re not. We’ve gotten stares before, but it’s not a constant thing, and I can’t think of an instance where people have been openly rude about it, but it does happen, and we do notice.

YOU'RE DATING A BLACK GIRL. AREN'T YOU WORRIED ABOUT WHEN YOU GET MARRIED?
Jon: It seems like the mere mention of dating Tiffany sparks concerns about my future thoughts of marriage. Usually it’s from people who have no real standing with me at all. I’ve learned that old people will generally speak what’s on their mind and since I used to associate with a lot of senior adults, I was often asked if I intended to marry Tiffany. When I said “yes,” they were shocked that a southern white boy would be doing such a thing. They would ask questions like “how do you plan on getting loans?” or “what if her family comes to town?” One of my favorite questions was “does it bother you that your kids are going to become thugs?” The truth is that no, I’m not worried about when we get married. Not even a little bit.

WOULDN'T IT BE EASIER TO JUST DATE YOUR OWN RACE?
Jon: I don’t know if dating another race makes anything easier or harder, not in regard to the actual relationship at least. I mean, I can understand this question when immediate family is preaching to you that you shouldn’t take other races, but that isn’t the case here. I have dated many white girls. I have also dated a Mexican and an Asian. I wouldn’t say any of those were easier than any of the others. The fact is, no relationship is easy regardless of race.

Nina: I’m sure it would be easier, but I’ve dated white guys before too and those relationships haven’t necessarily been smooth sailing either.  What relationship is easy?  There are a lot of differences between Pai and myself, and while we don’t always agree on everything, we learn how to communicate with each other through our differences.  For instance, to me food is a celebration.  I love to eat and talk about it a lot.  For Pai, food is food, and he eats a couple times a day, and that’s that.

Pai: Yes and no.  It would be easier to date someone from my own culture because we’d hold the same cultural values and share a similar upbringing. But since I was raised in America as well, I have the privilege of being a third culture kid, meaning that with two cultures infused in my life, it’s difficult picking one culture over the other.  And I think that despite what race you are, you are always going to encounter difficulties because you’re never going to find someone who is an exact replication of yourself. 

For even more answers to some of these frequently asked questions, be sure to check out Nina's post here

What are your thoughts on interracial relationships?

68 comments :

  1. I LOVE this post. Just love it. Great use of everybody's POV.

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  2. Tiffany, you did a fabulous job with this topic. It's great that you shared the POV of those who can speak from experience. We have a number of interracial couples in our family and are fine with it. It's sometimes hard to believe this is 2014 and some things are still an issue in our society.
    My family is very 'blended' in many ways, not just interracial. We have big age differences as well. Believe it or not, folks judge couples with big age differences. I tend to be a little sensitive on that topic as well. What I have learned most of all is that we don't really need anyone's acceptance to be happy. It would make some things a little bit easier to have acceptance but we are happy without it and in fact hold the philosophy that THEY are the one's who are missing out.

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  3. This is so fantastic. I'm so happy for you and Jon, Tiffany! You're absolutely right - it's about so much more than the color of your skin. SO much more. You guys seem like you are on an absolutely magical path of love, and I can't wait to see what else is in store for you two.
    Interracial relationships all the way!


    lovelovelove,
    Erica
    cominguprosestheblog.com

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  4. such a great post! I live in California where most people tend to not care much about race or interracial relationships, but I can see how living in the south would be more difficult. I'm Italian Irish and my boyfriend is Mexican/Native American and German. We're not necessarily an "interracial relationship," but I think we have tons of cultural differences. Either way, no matter if it's a relationship with differing cultures or colors, it doesn't matter. As you said, every relationship poses it's difficulties. I think the best thing is to value your love, cherish your similarities, and grow through and appreciate your differences.

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  5. Great post! I am in an interracial relationship too (I'm white/hispanic and my bf is Chinese), but I must say, I've never gotten an odd question about it or ever noticed anyone staring at me when I'm with him. We live in Atlanta. The only time I ever think about it is when I think about us having kids. They are going to be so freakin cute :) My BFF of 15 years is Irish and her bf is Jamaican. They have the most gorgeous daughter. Blending ethnicities really creates such unique beauty and I would love to be a part of that one day. I loved reading your thoughts - thanks for sharing!

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  6. MOMentous Mom; PerfectionistOctober 1, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Great Post! I think this is a very important topic that needs to be discussed more. I see nothing wrong with an interracial relationship. In my personal opinion they are no different than one of the same race. The only hurdles might be different cultural ideals but you can both be white and be different religions and have the same issue. I hope in the near future this is not such a big deal.

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  7. I love your views on this topic! I'm also from a small southern town (although I do date a guy that is the same race as myself) I'm always trying to open my friends and families minds to see that they're missing out on knowing amazing people, such as the four of y'all, when they close their minds and "frown" upon people's choices.
    I loved the quote "you can bring home a tattooed guy, as long as he loves Jesus", y'all all seem to have amazing, supportive parents. I wish everyone that decided to live an un-traditional lifestyle had that same support.
    Thanks for the great post!
    xoxo, SS
    www.TheSouthernStylista.blogspot.com

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  8. Lets face it, you have the perfect skin tone and color with your background. It's parental investment for me, I don't want my kids to burn in the summer like I have all my life. Just kidding. Thank you for collaborating with me! It's great that you were raised as well to see that love is love no matter what the person looks like.

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  9. I don't know what people problem in interracial relationships. I say love who every you want to love. Such a great post.

    I'm Hosting BBCA(Blogging for breast cancer awareness). I hope you will join in. Read more about it on my blog. http://amyfashionblog52.blogspot.de/2014/09/wiww-bbca-announcement.html

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  10. I had to laugh out loud at some of the ridiculous things people have said to y'all--it's the 21st century, people! I would never, ever dream of being so rude to people who are 1) obviously in love, and 2) minding their own business happily. I am so glad that all of you have found someone who completes you, regardless of your skin color. Love is so much more than the outward appearance! :)

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  11. I love this post! I'm continually amazed at how ridiculous and sometimes downright rude people can be (often without even realizing it!). I'm glad that you don't let the things they say affect you!

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  12. This is such a great post, Tiffany! Although my boyfriend and I are not in an interracial relationship ourselves, I am all for it! I am in total support of them one because I grew up in LA, one of the most diverse places in the country, and two, because I think it's so beautiful to see two different people from two very different backgrounds come together. My boyfriend and I have also said to each other that even if we were to break up and be single someday, we definitely would be super open to an interracial relationship if it were to happen that way (it just so happens that we're both Filipino, haha!). Great post!

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  13. Great post! I am also in an interracial relationship. My husband is caucasian and I'm hispanic :) race has never been as issue. I love learning where my husband is from and I love teaching and feeding him foods that are from my own culture.

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  14. This is a wonderful post! I never even thought about it when I dated someone who was a different race than me, just because I was never taught to think in those terms. I didn't think about an interracial relationship as a thing until someone told me that I would have beautiful "mulatto" babies with this guy. It's crazy to think that people still think in terms of race, but I"m glad to see that you don't let those (ignorant) things bother you!

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  15. I can just see Jon answering these questions. And while they are questions that I'm sure many people hear in interracial relationships, his response about the senior people cracked me up. I had no idea he had ever been asked all of that by them.

    To say my race was never an issue in any of my relationships would be a lie, considering I'm the Hispanic who dated white Southern Baptist guys whose families weren't quite open to the idea. That one guy (you know lol) wait a year after his family expressed "concern" to even tell me it was the reason why he broke up with me the first time. I think hearing that would have saved me the next year and half of our breakups. I mean if he let his feelings about our relationship change so quickly because of his family's "concerns" over something that had absolutely nothing to do with how I treated him, how would our relationship ever really have worked? Some people, ya know. Lol

    Love you and Jon to pieces!

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  16. What a well-written post :) I'm also in an interracial relationship, although where I live it has never once been an issue. Crazy how different things can be just a few states over.

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  17. Such a beautiful post :)

    http://neatly-packaged.com/

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  18. One thing I love about children is that they don't know race. That's something that is taught and I am here to say that I don't plan to teach my son the differences. Because we are all the same.

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  19. Great post! I've been there. Mostly out of town and out of state. But maybe they're just staring because we're so awesome!

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  20. I like that theory. Clearly they're staring cause we're a freaking cute couple!

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  21. I love that too! I hate that adult influence is what teaches people to view other races differently. That's amazing that you plan to teach your son to cut out the negative differentiation.

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  22. Thank you, Natalie! That's great that where you live, interracial couples don't seem to be an issue. I would love to move somewhere full of interracial and gay couples where everyone is just happy and in love!

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  23. Oh yes, I definitely know that guy haha. I feel like our situations are similar in a lot of ways, and I think that has to do a lot with location of course. I'm so happy that you're my friend and have always accepted my relationship with Jon! You're the best! Love you!

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  24. I'm glad you think so, Zoe! It's crazy how you can think what you're doing is totally normal, and then someone points something out to you, and you're like "what?" A lot of the things I notice about myself and my relationship (both positive and negative) are things that people have said to me, but then I realize that my opinion is the one that counts. No one else is living my life or in my relationship, besides Jon, so I'm working on silencing the negativity!

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  25. I think being in interracial relationships helps you learn so much about different cultures and different ways of life. We all have to live in this world together, and what better way to learn about it than by falling in love? My boyfriend and I had completely different upbringings, and even after nearly 4 years together, we're still learning about each other and differences. It definitely keeps the relationship exciting!

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  26. That's so wonderful! I never thought of race being a factor as to whether you should be or not be attracted to and/or date someone. It's great that you and your boyfriend are open to love, no matter what race (but I am definitely voting for y'all to stay together forever, and I don't even know him haha). I would love to live in L.A. where there's such a diverse culture.

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  27. I'm so happy you enjoyed the post, Farrah! I'm lucky that I haven't dealt with too many things where race has been a major issue, but during the major conversations with others where it has come up, it can be hard to deal with. I'm just lucky that I know Jon will be there for me no matter what!

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  28. I think your second point is so perfect! When it comes to love and relationships, everyone's is different, and I don't go around poking my nose into everyone else's relationships, and I don't think other people should do that to me either. It's so great to find people who support interracial love. I am a big supporter of all love! I definitely agree that outward appearance usually isn't a factor when it comes to love.

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  29. I don't understand either! I agree - love is love, and no one should be ashamed of who they fall in love with. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and thank you for sharing that. I'll definitely be checking it out!

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  30. Oh stahhhhhp. You're so sweet. This was the best collaboration ever (though I'm obviously biased), I'm so happy we got such a great response from the posts!

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  31. I am so lucky to have a family that supports my decisions when it comes to love. They all adore my boyfriend, and most of the family that I've met of my boyfriend's likes me. That's great that you're working to help the people in your life become more open-minded.

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  32. Thank you so much for saying that! I agree that interracial relationships shouldn't be viewed any differently. We are all people and have to live in this world together, and what makes our world so beautiful is that it's filled with so many different cultures. I can see how religious differences could be an issue. One thing that has always been important to me is that my significant other and I have to agree on the big issues, and I'm lucky that Jon and I do, and we're both open-minded when it comes to religion and other major topics as well.

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  33. That's great that you've never gotten any odd questions or stares with your interracial relationship (you and your boyfriend are so cute together, by the way!). Maybe I need to move to Atlanta haha. I agree that blending ethnicities is so beautiful! I'm excited to see what my children with Jon will look like. They'll be a mix of black, Filipino, and white!

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  34. I hear that California is the place to go when it comes to interracial relationships! The south is definitely its own animal when it comes to everything - relationships, religion, even food haha. When it comes to love, being a different race shouldn't be a reason not to date someone, and I agree that appreciating your differences is the key.

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  35. As a preference towards darker skin fellas, I'm lucky enough to have parents that grew up traditionally in China to be "Westernized" and open minded since immigrating to Canada. They've accepted the fact that I won't be marrying a Chinese and have always been attracted towards darker skin guys (or Caucasians). Their only main concern is interacting with my SO/future in laws because their English isn't the greatest but they can still hold small conversations. I've been stared at by Chinese people when I go on dates with people outside my race, haha. It doesn't bother me but I wish they wouldn't judge silently and just accept the fact that interracial couples are popping up everywhere now!

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  36. I imagine the only thing easier about dating someone your own race is that you wouldn't have to deal with ridiculous questions! You guys are both very adorable couples :)

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  37. Love this post! you all are adorable!!!

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  38. I've only ever been in interracial relationships. Racism is still alive and well today, whether it comes out of hatred or misguided concern-- but ya'll are totally right in that love's gonna trump it. <3 Every time.

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  39. It's great that your parents are supportive and understand that you most likely won't marry a Chinese man. My parents and Jon's parents are so very different, but they've only met each other once. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out at our wedding haha. It's so crazy that people stare! I agree that they should just judge silently or talk about it after they leave the restaurant.

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  40. Thanks so much, Mariel! I'm happy you enjoyed the post.

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  41. As they say, love conquers all! It's good to know you understand where I'm coming from. I'm really hoping as times pass, people continue to become more open-minded. In other places, interracial relationships aren't odd at all, and I hope it becomes more prevalent in the south.

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  42. Hi Tiffiany,
    Wow!! I love this article and your blog!! What a beautifully written blog post and I love your heart!!! Love should be colored blind.
    Blessings to you and your sweetheart!!!
    And thanks for stopping by my blog :-)
    Mikki

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  43. Thanks so much, Mikki! You're so sweet. I'm happy that you liked this post. It was fun to write and collaborate with other people who know exactly where I'm coming from.

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  44. I love taht you two did this! As I said on Nina's, while Iman looks white I get a lot of questions about Iman (mostly about his religion and what language his name is) because he is Persian. Some people say the most outrageous things

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  45. It was so fun collaborating together on this post. I love that girl haha. People really do say the craziest things sometimes.

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  46. What a really awesome blog post girl. It was so eye opening for me to read, as I grew up in a small town with barely any friends that weren't of my race (!!!)

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  47. I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Rachael!

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  48. Love the format you used for this post!! I had no idea you grew up a Military Brat too. :) My dad is retired Air Force!

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  49. Thanks so much! I had so much fun collaborating with Nina and our boyfriends. I love how this post turned out and all the great responses. And yes! My dad is retired Air Force too. He retired after 20 years.

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  50. Love this post. Interracial Love is beautiful and we need more of it!

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  51. This post is so powerful. I read it when I first found your blog, and reading it again gave me goosebumps. Good for yall. I know it isn't easy being in the deep South.

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  52. Thanks so much! I completely agree!

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  53. Thanks so much, Emily! It definitely makes a huge difference living in the south.

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  54. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the post. I'm in an interracial relationship (granted, I live in Northern California) and this is just such an excellent, powerful, and important read.

    xo,
    Marissa
    www.makinitwithmarissa.com

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  55. Thank you for reading it! I love hearing stories about interracial couples, so I was excited to finally share my own story.

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  56. Great read Tiffany. I'm a black woman dating a white man in Florida and the reactions I got from friends and family initially caught me off guard. I never expected it to be an issue but some did have some unflattering things to say initially. My family is from Texas and Arkansas so just based on their generational experiences they don't have the best view about white people in general. Most friends are curious about the differences. Older family members were genuinely not pleased. I think the experience has taught my family to be a bit more tolerant and to let go of some of their stereotypes about white people. Now they are totally accepting. His family has never once shown any opposition to our relationship. I'm sure most people might assume it would have been the other way around. I want my son to grow up being able to love without color.

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  57. I actually had the opposite experience, and I've had that experience ever since I moved further down south. Before, it was a non-issue. People are definitely stuck in their traditional ways in the south, but I know in other parts of the country (and world), it's more widely accepted. That's great that you were able to open your family's eyes and help them let go of the stereotypes. This is definitely a lesson I want to teach my children - to love people for what's inside and not judge by outward appearance and skin color.

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  58. It is so silly to me that people even care if a couple is bi racial. It does matter. At all. I wonder how my parents would have reacted if I had dated someone not white. I have no idea

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  59. I always thought it was crazy too! It's weird how people perceive things differently in different areas of the same country! My family has always been so open about it, and never even bat an eye at me dating different races, but my some of my exes's families have definitely had some trouble with me. I'm glad I was able to rise above it. In the end, it wasn't about what other people thought about me. I'm much happier now, and I'm lucky that most of Jon's family accepts us and our relationship!

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  60. Thank you so much, Erica! You're so sweet. Love is definitely about so much more than race and outward appearances in general. I'm really excited for us to grow together and see what lies ahead!

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  61. Thank you, Erica! I'm so happy you enjoyed reading it!

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  62. Thank you so much, Shirley! It was really interesting sharing all of our perspectives, because we all have such different backgrounds. That's wonderful that you have a family full of interracial relationships! It's my hope that many other families will be the same way in the future. I totally agree with what you said - you don't need anyone's acceptance to be happy. When it comes to relationships, dating, marriage, love, etc., the only ones that matter are the ones in that relationship, and no one's else opinion should count because they don't get a vote; they're not in the relationship. So happy you've been able to silence those that put you down and be happy in love!

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  63. Thank you so much! I loved being able to combine all of our points of view because we all have very different backgrounds.

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  64. What a great post! Something that all people should read.. Thanks for sharing.

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  65. Tommie Elizabeth DooleyJuly 9, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    LOVE! Great post!

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