5 things I’ve learned from my interracial relationship

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This world is diverse.

The international boundaries are shrinking and so are most people’s xenophobic tendencies. Come on, people are people and it is completely fascinating to be able to sit with anyone of a completely different background, isn’t it? 

Everyone has their own life story to tell regardless of where one came from. I have my own list of specifics for an ideal partner, and more often than not, I like the ones with the multicultural views and have seen the world I failed to see for myself (at least for the time being). I like the idea of getting a glimpse of the unknown or unfamiliar things.

Needless to say, my relationship is an eye-opener. Of course, there are difficult times like when we miss a cultural nuance or get frustrated explaining culturally-specific things. But, overall, it is really interesting to get to see the world from a different perspective.

Here are the things I’ve learned from our interracial relationship:

1. It’s just the same as being with any other human
I mean, of course, you will surely have that experience of saying things that are inappropriate as at some point but you are with someone who feels and sees things like most normal people do. In fact, even if you were raised on the different sides of the world, you probably have many more things in common than not. Just like meeting someone from the same city, you will learn about each other’s quirks yet are still attracted to each other, or know about each other’s past but work to build something together. He or she might be a foreigner, but it’s still just another human, right?

2. Everyone is more than just their race
Damn all these stereotypes. People do not fit into a single definition. We are all individuals and it’s crazy to assume one’s motivations, desires  or struggles without hearing it from them. Just like when people say oh, he is a German, he must be really strict or serious, blah, blah. And we would smile coz we know for sure I am the one that fits the frame of being strict and that he is more goofy than I am.

3. Love can’t conquer all
Growing up in different cultures meant you both have your set of beliefs, priorities, and individual dreams to fulfill. When relationships like ours would tumble, people start to ask, “Wasn’t it love that pulled them together, and isn’t it a priority after all?” I had a colleague who was in a relationship with a guy who, months after flying back to his home country, broke up with her and told her everything was just too much to bear and that he didn’t like to turn his life plans upside down. They were in love, but there were integral parts of one’s identify that must be shared in order to build a family. It can be done (and lucky are the ones who have taken the leap successfully), but for some, it’s just too much of who they are to give up.

4. There will be a whole new set of things to learn
We all  have our varying traditions which is fascinating to me. I remember discussing food with my husband (then, my boyfriend) and asked him, completely curious, “What do Germans eat with all their meals if not rice? Bread? Potatoes?” Or by the time he gave me a confused look upon seeing some people eat by hand. There was also the time when we were dating on the beach and he blamed the flipflops for his feet full of sand while bursting in laughter realizing how I can walk  (or run) on it flawlessly. Wouldn’t that be exciting that there is something new to learn always?

5. Self-awareness is as essential as your strong communication
This is true of any relationship but more so when there are differing communication styles. Since you both can’t magically understand each other’s life experiences, there is a need to understand where you both were coming from. Here is where explaining comes in. Talk about your first jobs, your struggles, everything! You should be aware of how different you both are to see the causes of your issues, and find out if you truly have a future with someone of a different culture. While being yourself, always be open, understanding, and respectful.

 

Interracial relationship, just like any other, has a lot of lessons to offer. No specific type of relationship can be rightfully labelled as “easy” but when you are with someone from a different country, the nuances of his or her culture can certainly add difficulty. For some, the obstacles will be too great to overcome.

No matter how different you are from each other, married or not, enough communication, commitment, understanding, and of course, luck can help you forge a beautiful relationship. You see, Cupid’s arrow has no bias. ❤

 

 What about you? Are you married or in a relationship with someone outside of your culture? How was it like? What are the fun and the struggles?

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Top 5 Things Pinoys Say About Marrying a White Guy (or any foreigner)

 

top 5 things.jpgThose staring eyes and some judgmental glimpses can tip you off your “who gives a shit” mode, really. You stroll around the mall, or wait for the taxi like you usually do but people just can’t stop turning around trying to check you out from head to toe. Perhaps because you are standing right next to your Caucasian (or foreign) boyfriend (or husband), you automatically becomes an unwilling specimen for public assessment.

Those stares? I don’t really get it. Have you ever got that uncomfortable feeling?

I bet my fellow Pinays who are on the same boat can attest to the same. Though I generally find it funny, my humanity says it is okay to be pissed or to fight back when I feel violated in any way. Seems to me like being hand in hand with the love of your life (who happens to be a person outside of your race, and this isn’t really your fault) can trigger some attention.

When friends and I see a fellow Pinay with a foreigner strolling around here, of course we look, and that is mostly out of admiration or utmost disbelief (if you know what I am saying. 😉  But, to stare and give a meaningful and  demeaning look is another story.

Yep, we are aware of the points and the possible reasons by which you have your beliefs anchored, but do not compartmentalized all of us in a single, concrete category. This isn’t fair, and you don’t want to hear what we want to say.

Being in a happy relationship and living in a quite judgmental culture can be stressful and challenging. Don’t get me wrong, I never fall short of my self-assurance and confidence but things can just get to you too.

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Here’s the top 5 stupid things Pinoys say about marrying a white guy (or any foreigner for that matter) on this side of the planet:

1) You are only looking for a visa (Escape from hellhole)

When I say hellhole, it doesn’t just mean the corrupt society. Of course, this is an obvious reason many would choose to go somewhere else for a better opportunity, and the Philippines isn’t the only country that suffers this. Anyhow, you could hear people telling you that soon you will leave and go skiing in the Alps or maybe in Colorado or wherever the dollars or Euros keep flowing like water in a river. This river will surely become longer than the Amazon as it will go across continents to fund the “poor” family. And with this, “You are a lucky girl” reverberates often.

2) No local guy likes you (You are ugly as a cursed doll)

Another thing they might associate with you dating or marrying  a white guy (or anyone outside your race) is that you are ugly or quite unacceptable for local men. That no local guy will take you seriously or see you walk towards the altar coz you are “just isn’t worth it”.

This is especially true as a good number of Pinays who marry foreign men have kids out of wedlock.How can this happen?” you might ask. Some local guys will capitalize on the woman’s fragile heart, and after he succeeded in pushing her to “prove her love” to him and she got pregnant, she is left to herself. What a perfect setting to find a girl with a virginity ring!

3) The guy is a sex tourist (A loser in his country)

Okay, let us admit it, many guys we see here dressed quite lousy. How many of us have seen a much older guy in his near-rag- state T-shirt and shorts paired with sneakers with a pair of socks reaching the mid-calf walking hand in hand with a girl just past her teenage years? I bet we’ve seen countless, right?

Now, don’t let this be the mascot of everyone else. Decent white (foreign) men are even ashamed of this too. Not all foreign guys who fly here are out to hunt for a 3-month casual sex partner (though many actually are, too), and not all local women who date these guys are leftovers.

4) You do it for the money (A lazy girl looking for a sugar daddy) doraemon__money_eyes_by_ladywinterwind-d5a28tw.png

There might be countless stories of a foreign guy so deeply in love that he lost his sense of reality because the “exotic-looking” tanned Pinay just two-timed him. And because he couldn’t find a girl back home, he will settle for the one who showed him love, though not the genuine one. Women who do this are great local entrepreneurs; earning money by capitalizing on their continuously depreciating asset (if it really is). I would like to say that if he is a loser or a sex tourist and she is an entrepreneur, then it is but fair if their paths had crossed. Sad enough for those who are caught in such a parasitic exercise though they actually offer genuine affection.

You attract what you exude. A decent person would almost always find someone who is the same; and you know what goes for those who aren’t. This is not rocket science.

5) If he doesn’t give in to financial favors asked, he is frugal or selfish (He must feed the village)

The white guy (foreigner) is rich (and if he doesn’t give a dime, he is too frugal, or worse, selfish). Of course, we’ve all heard this story. When you are dating a foreign guy or maybe married to one, most people would think you have your pockets full of cash coz you hang around with a walking ATM. When you go out to eat and the guy pays for this, some people will find this as “taking advantage”, and not gentlemanliness.

Oh, yes, the longest money river in the world, right? How about the cost of living in his country or his monthly income and expenses? He doesn’t eat, yeah?

People, doesn’t matter which race, have their own bills to pay. When a foreign guy flies in, he, of course, will spend a lot of money for this. This doesn’t mean, however, that he is rich. Majority of the guys will have to save up to the last penny for the entire year or two to purchase a ticket. These are hard-earned cash. And yes, the Philippines isn’t a cheap place to travel (check out how much money the foreign guys can save travelling somewhere else in SE Asia).

If you go knocking on his girlfriend’s or wife’s door, asking for money and expecting to receive something to bet on the afternoon gamble by the neighborhood, you are bound for a disappointment, so forget about this.

Money do not grow on trees, much more from white (foreign) guys. How many women who marry for the money ended up jumping from one marriage to another trying to cash on all of them?

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How much patience do you have for upfront stupidity? I bet we all have very different approaches to facing this, and that our humility is definitely that of humanity. You know, we also get tired of being unjustly judged.

I have experienced some stares a couple of times. I would shrug it off often except when the two middle-aged women in a restaurant were staring at me like I am a corpse called back to life. I stared back with a questioning eyebrow, and off they went to a different table.

Are you in a relationship with someone from a different race?

What stereotypes must you face?

How do you deal with it?

Romance Meets Reality 2: Dealing with Distance

 

Hello everyone!dealing with distance It has been a while, and it seems like the forced hiatus had been longer than expected. 🙂 I was caught in the middle of a mountain of workload; at the kindergarten, graduate school and everything in between. (winks)

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I may had been on a little break from the blogging world, but that doesn’t mean I ran out of the things to write about. 🙂 In fact, I had been asked a bunch of questions, both personally and through private messages. A lot of my friends asked me questions like, “how do you deal with being apart from Chris?” I guess this is something I would love to write about as a comeback post. 🙂

So, how do we deal with being apart?

When we started our relationship over a year ago, we kinda know what challenges come with it, and distance being one of the major issues. Of course, personally, I was afraid and nervous but I know it is worth the risk. The time away from each other can be daunting and are likely to get tough at times, but taking it from a different perspective meant it would be something that would positively impact our relationship.

First, it makes us appreciate “US”. They said you will not truly appreciate a thing until it is out of reach. Yep, for us, being physically out of reach which is temporary. It makes the shared laughter and the holding hands even more meaningful. Gives more weight to the simple actions like rushing to the kitchen and bringing a glass of water coz one of you just had hiccup or was choked by his/her saliva :D. It makes sense of the simplest things we may take for granted.Yep, missing the one you love can be quite a healthy exercise. It makes you look at being together again at a totally different heights.

Second, it helps us grow more independent while having each other’s back. How is that possible then, people may ask us. Being apart is not a perfectly bad state. Instead, it provides more leeway for lovers to get enough “me time” and pursue their individual goals. We wish to grow as individuals and members of our “little powerhouse team”. We can both accomplish our career goals and celebrate each other’s success. Yep, we see our individual strengths as a pillar for a stable relationship. Believe me, when you are truly in love with someone you can’t be with every single day, the days you get to spend together are the happiest you can have.

Third, we learned that being in a relationship is staying together by choice. Though you may be separated physically, it is the hearts that stay close, never leaving and despite the thousand miles in between, keep coming back for each other.  The distance helps water the love to grow even more stronger. Think about blushing after he/she said something from the other side of the world. Also, contemplate on the commitment you are making by creating a home in the heart of another person so far away when there are a lot of people offering the same near you.

Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Sprinkle this with distance and time zones, and you get to see how long distance relationships are not for the faint-hearted ones.

How about you? What are the challenges you had being apart?

Thanks for dropping by.  Keep the love alive ❤