If having a conversation about race in your interracial relationship makes you feel uncomfortable, then perhaps it’s time to have that talk.
Read Time: 3 Minutes
As an African American woman who openly dates all races, I am no stranger to discussing culturally sensitive subjects with my partner. The anxieties of miscommunication, judgment, and disagreements make it feel more comfortable to leave the topic of race uncharted. After all, no one wants to say the wrong thing and spark a debate. On top of that, if not done thoughtfully, it can leave an intense feeling over a once resilient relationship.
Nevertheless, it’ll take facing the discomfort to alleviate the silence that draws when injustices spark national outcry. Merely hoping that your partner agrees with your views on the wrongs of African American citizens is not enough. Finding time for dialogue with your partner on this topic allows you a peak into their feels about equality.
How do you share your cultural perspectives with your partner? Do you do it in casual dialogue? Does it go unspoken until an event encourages you to share your feelings and views? It is common to feel that the people we have a connection with have the same opinions as we do. However, when it comes to highly sensitive subjects, assumptions aren’t a sturdy foundation. Enjoying a thoughtful discussion before a high-pressured event, much like the injustice of George Floyd, can help alleviate some of the raw energy in a race-focused conversation.
In America, I grew up learning all there is to know about white history. Which, by the way, overshadows the history of people of color. So, it is fair to believe that our partners have also been bought up in the same educational system. Our culture, as an African American, is our history, and that history is seldomly a national discussion. Never hearing these dialogues leaves us feeling uninformed on how to have them. When you decide to discuss race with your partner, there are multiple routes you can take. You can make it a lighthearted approach, or you can go headfirst into a straight-forward dialogue. It would help if you intentionally chose the tone of the conversation, so it feels like a discussion rather than an interrogation.
Cultural and racial talks don’t have to be hard. You can turn on a classic black film and enjoy popcorn and commentary. Or you can whip out the game, Black Card Revoked, and test your partner’s awareness of the culture. If you are looking for more intellectual dialogue, you can grab a book and dissect it together. You can even swing the conversation in during a moment that it can be easily discussed.
Just because you connect with someone doesn’t mean your views will always be cohesive. Neglecting the chances to have this necessary dialogue, can create a highly sensitive environment. So, when a time comes that allows our cultural history to be driven into a discussion, please take it. Engaging in these talks will help you understand more about each other and while educating one another on your roots.
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