When you choose to go public with your relationship, there are some trade-offs. Here’s a look at how they work out for the really romantically inclined
Interracial Dating: Do You Hide Your True Self While Dating?
Don’t think about it so much
Interracial dating is potentially a whole new way of matching. There’s a whole other type of dating you can look for if you don’t want to be going public with your relationship, too.
How did you find out you were both interracial? Photograph: Getty Images
Remember there’s a formula for both of you
The wonderful thing about online dating sites is they help you both identify your pool of like-minded soulmates. So you don’t have to worry about dating people who you didn’t meet in real life (or don’t really like) or meeting up with people whose ideas you disagree with. Meeting someone of the same race as you, or the same background, or the same job type is one of the easiest ways to find your soulmate.
There is no guarantee I’ll find a good mate in the US: black people have become a lot more tolerant of interracial dating over the last three decades. Photograph: Getty Images
I go with my own guide
Are there any cognitive biases we might do to disguise our true selves to protect ourselves from potential discrimination? If we like something, we tend to gravitate towards more positive stereotypes. If we like something vaguely disturbing, we tend to gravitate towards more negative stereotypes. Although race does not make all subjects disagreeable, it can generate strong impressions that make it a tough place to make new friends.
Explore other experiences and perspectives that aren’t available within the race lens that you likely date from. For me, this would mean checking out the art scene, locally and internationally. I’ve met a number of interesting black people through this reading and I’m always impressed.
If you’re worried about how you’re treating others, it’s easy to focus on yourself. Experiment and see if you’re a good example for others. Photograph: Getty Images
Some people have already done that for me
In the lead-up to people meeting me through a dating site, one person made me feel welcome despite not being black. After spending time with that person, and because I’m an introvert, we talked a lot about the subjects we find ourselves in common with, finding that we had lots in common about our day-to-day experiences.
I talked about your own experiences. I talked about mine, but as someone who couldn’t tell you about myself without a lot of resources. I talked about my reactions to other people, but I never told my date about them.
I didn’t take him out to lunch or have a romantic dinner, which would be the normal way to introduce a new person. My date was wonderful with me and I’m happy that he was willing to invest time with me. I had decided that I’d liked him as a person rather than looking at any of my looks or anything or anybody about him.
You don’t always have to stick to the race thing
Here’s a fun little experiment. A friend of mine once said “why let imperfections define you?”
He used to read Anne Lamott’s travel books. He’d see in them things he had learned and things he wished he had known. He started learning about travel and traveling, and my friend is now travelling a lot more than he was. This means that we were both asking different questions about these things.
Thanks for letting me be candid about my own hopes and fears on my own dating site, as well as my mates and whatever I do
I do have one suggestion for anyone looking to step into real-world friendship or love: be open. It’s easy to worry about things you can’t control and hard to notice if you are feeling pain or rejection. Be honest about what you hope for and what is bringing you pain. People who are honest about their feelings are likelier to hear it when you say things about them. Being up front about your hopes and fears – however lofty or low – will bring you a lot of comfort.
Read the whole article, here.