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Column: Getting through the troubles of interracial dating

College years are the ones where stuCollege years are the ones where students can possibly make lasting relationships and become a well-rounded person in culture. For some students, mixing both of those things will be a whole new type of course.

I’ve been in an interracial relationship for over two years now. I can speak from both a perspective as a minority and as someone who was scared to hear my family’s opinions of me dating out of my race.

In high school, I wasn’t really allowed to have a boyfriend. My chatty cousin, who found out through my aunt, told my whole family that I was dating. When my grandmother found out about my “first” boyfriend, I thought she would just be mad about me dating.

Instead, she questioned me for dating outside my race.

I honestly don’t know what my response was, but I can tell you that it most definitely wasn’t the right one. That was my first mistake, I didn’t tell her that my boyfriend brings out the best of me.

While it may seem disrespectful at first to tell family that who you date isn’t their choice, it’s the truth. Especially when they’ve disrespected you and your lover first. The issue doesn’t stop at who you may date.

It’s going to also affect your in-laws when your family does the most to avoid them. That happened to me when I first started dating my current boyfriend senior year.

We both did well in our academics and got invited to ceremonies often, but I would find a few missing faces where my family was, all because they knew that my boyfriend’s family would also be there.

That moment made me realize that even if I never take action, they are going to miss the most important moments in their life because of their discriminatory patterns. I ended up talking about it with my boyfriend and how I felt.

I found that the best way to handle this is to be honest with your partner and tell them what’s happening. While I never want to see my family as evil, I need to at least view their behavior as unacceptable.

I know that I would want the truth if it were me.

Do keep in mind that this is not just difficult for you, but for your minority partner also. This is a common trauma for people of color. If you’re not familiar with those issues, then it’s best to listen and learn from them at least.

I wish that I could say that my entire family isn’t prejudiced after years of me dating my boyfriend. Unfortunately, I just think that they’ve gotten better at hiding it around me.

After talking with my boyfriend about the situations I’ve been through, he knows that I’m not going to put up with the prejudice behavior anymore. I’m taking steps to call out my family because they’re not just hurting me or my boyfriend, but also themselves by having a toxic mentality.

If you’re stuck on how to handle a situation, the help of a therapist, spiritual leader or even online forums where couples face the same problems could really help.

Not having your family’s support for your relationship can suck. Just know that actual court cases protect your right to love, not your family.

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