How should I deal with any criticism I get from those who are opposed to my being in an interracial relationship?
I think as children we all heard the expression, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” I would love to tell you that this is true and if you ignore the criticism and the remarks, they will stop. Unfortunately, telling ourselves this little saying didn’t remedy all of our hurt feelings as children and it doesn’t now. Mean comments can be some of the most hurtful things an individual can experience.
Sadly, the hushed comments and the side-eye you receive when you walk in a room with your partner of another race or culture, or when you express a desire to date someone of another race or culture, don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. A look back on events that have occurred just within just the past year shows as much as some would like to think we, as a society, are past prejudice and ignorance, we’re not. I think it hurts us even more when it comes from people who we are close to or we thought would be supportive of our happiness.
My advice to you would be to find strength and resolve within yourself. There will always be someone waiting to give their opinion about something you say or do. While you may not encounter it every day, the criticism will continue to come, and you will have to develop a thick skin to deal with it. You can’t fight or argue with everyone who has something negative to say. If you did you’d never have time to sit back and enjoy the wonderful person you have chosen to share your life with. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stick up for yourself and your beliefs. But pick your battles wisely because there are those dissenters who just want to suck you in just to hear themselves talk. Have faith and pride in yourself and the decision you have made to date the person you are with regardless of what their race or nationality may be.
As hard as this may seem, do not let these comments consume your thoughts. Other people’s issues are just that—their issues. If it’s not their relationship, then it’s not their concern. I live by the Three H’s: Am I happy? Is this healthy? Is anyone getting hurt? If you can honestly answer Yes, Yes, and No to these questions, respectively, then pay no attention to the peanut gallery and use that extra time on something more productive like snuggling up next to your boo.
I find myself caught between two guys: my ex and my current boyfriend. My ex has no real future, doesn’t work and has very little drive to do anything, but we were together for many years and I feel this unshakeable attachment to him.
My current boyfriend on the other hand is driven, educated, motivated to be the best person he can be, but because we don’t have years’ worth of memories, I keep feeling nostalgic for my ex.
I feel guilty because whenever I see my ex, some feelings do creep back up. The obvious right choice is my current boyfriend, but why do I sometimes feel pulled back to my ex? Is there something left? Can I fix him to be the man I need, or do I cut ties once and for all?
Let me start by saying this: The only person in this world that you can change is yourself. It does not matter who it is, you cannot make anyone change. They have to want to change and they have to want to change for themselves, not because someone is telling them they have to. When people change for someone else or for the wrong reasons, so many other issues arise such as resentment of the person they “changed” for, or they revert back to old ways.
Secondly, there is a difference between being in love with the idea or potential of a person being in love with who that person really is. After reading about your situation, I can say this goes for both guys you are trying to choose between. I didn’t read anything about how you feel with or about either guy, or how they treat you. In your description of each of these relationships it seemed to be focused on what each person was trying to do—not the type of heart they had.
It seems like you didn’t spend enough time healing from your last relationship before starting your new one. If your heart was completely in the relationship you are in, you wouldn’t allow your ex-boyfriend anywhere near it to “pull you back in.” A lot of times it’s easier to jump into another relationship than it is to face the feelings of hurt that come with a relationship ending. Focusing on this idea of what a man should be instead of who he actually is will leave you in an unhappy situation every time.
We need to take that time in between relationships to evaluate what happened, learn from the experience and grow. We need to ask ourselves important questions like: What went wrong? What part did I play in this? What could I have done better? What can I do differently next time? Or, what will be different about the next person I am with?
When it comes to picking a person in your current situation, I would suggest choosing yourself. Take time to get to know yourself, and in the process you will learn what you really want and need from a partner. When you know these things you will be prepared for a relationship with the right person, and not want to just land someone who looks good on paper. And trust me: One week of memories with someone who treats you the way you need to be treated, respects you and makes you a priority is worth more than a lifetime of memories with someone who you have to consistently remind of your worth.