My girlfriend and I have been in a relationship for over a year now. Throughout that year, I’ve learned that being in an interracial relationship means being comfortable talking about race and sometimes even joking about it. From the very first day we started dating, this has been the case.
My most fond memory of our discussions on race was our outing to the Washington National Zoo. This was back when we were in a long-distance relationship and I had just picked my girlfriend up from her long bus ride in from NYC. We got to the zoo and we were looking at the pandas. Suddenly, I see Geena point to one of the pandas and say, ‘look honey, it’s us!’ At first, I was caught off guard. But after a few seconds, I found myself laughing at my girlfriend’s comment. Contrary to my Geena’s recollection of that moment, I was amused by her joke. I realized that the Panda was a cute analogy for our relationship and I enjoyed the fact that my girlfriend felt so comfortable around me that she could tell that joke without it being an issue.
I think this is the key to being in an interracial relationship. I believe that you must be comfortable enough to poke fun at one another. This is necessary to survive the hardships that come with dating someone of another race.
I can’t count the number of times that my girlfriend and I have walked down the street and gotten stares. It happens at least once a day.
What keeps me going is the fact that my girlfriend and I can find humor in the differences in our skin color. Rather than it being a burden, it has been a source of happiness and laughter for us.