It’s taught me to truly appreciate the phrase “Love knows no bounds” – A few years ago I would have been a bit unsettled by the idea of a high schooler dating a college student, and interracial love in general would have been hard to understand. But I’ve learned that those ethnic and physical differences evaporate when whatever you have is real, and it’s shaped the way I form my standards around people in both a romantic and friendly sense. Everyone has a soul, and each soul is settled in a different outer shell. It’s truly what’s inside that matters, and it’s what should matter.
The physical aspect – I don’t mean this to be shallow…but let’s just say I didn’t know how much I loved blue eyes until I got to stare into his. I’m Indian…everyone I know has brown eyes or hazel at the most. He’s different and I have the honor of slowly falling in love with all those differences.
It will not be easy, but you will become stronger as a result – This doesn’t apply to everyone, but it sure does in my case. I come from a more conservative family where interracial relationships are highly taboo’d. To my parents, the plan was always to set me up with an Indian guy from an Indian family who is aiming for a career in engineering, medicine, or law. It’s such a struggle to get approval for a trip to the mall with him and friends, or going to a school dance. It leads to so many fights and sleepless nights. His family is much more welcoming and open, and that eases the burden quite some. I know so many people out there have similar stories, and many of you are lucky enough not to have such difficulties at home. So why haven’t I just given it up? Because I know how I feel and that’s not going to change no matter how hard things get. I’m learning to take rejection and disappointment, and come out of long nights with as much of a smile as I can muster. The shitty situation has made me a stronger person as a result.
Both people will have a shit ton of compromising to do – When two cultures intertwine, there are different levels of comfort with different scenarios. And that requires some sacrifice and restrain on both sides of the equation. That is the case with any two people who form a relationship, it’s true, but it is different when one person has grown up their entire life surrounded by certain ideals, and surrounded by friends who all follow those ideals, while the other person is the exact opposite. Learning to find a middle ground can be a lot of work, but it has taught me and my boyfriend to have control. Our priority is making sure the other person feels comfortable and secure, and we have learned to make small changes to accommodate that.
The Cultural Immersion is absolutely wonderful – Let’s end this on a positive note. This happens in a number of ways…I want to focus on just a few though. I think my favorite is the language crossover. As time has continued, my S/O has gotten better at pronouncing Indian names, and that includes mine. He deals with my Bollywood craze and often inquires about cultural aspects like food and holidays. In return, I’ve been exposed to parts of American culture like football and cooking that I really didn’t know much about in the past. The fact that the both of us have opened our minds, and filled them with an inexplicable urge to know more about each other’s backgrounds, is a very astonishing thing.
Hope some of you learned something today, or could relate in any way! Feel free to comment with questions, comments, happy thoughts, stories, etc.
– Ro ♡