Dating outside of your culture - what's the big deal?
I recently wrote a post for .Ghana and just wanted to share it with you guys. Thoughts and comments welcome of course!
A friend of mine recently asked the question “Saadiya, would you date a white guy or a guy who wasn't Nigerian?” If I had been asked this question a couple of years ago I would have, without a doubt, answered with a confident ‘no!’. Surely dating outside of your culture could only lead to confusion, arguments and unnecessary hassle. Why put yourself through that when you can find someone who understands you and your culture from the get go?
Fast forward a couple of years, and this question has really stumped me. Would I date a guy outside of my race or culture? And I don’t just mean black and white or African and Jamaican. There is a whole spectrum of matches here; Black and Asian, Chinese and White, Nigerian and Ghanaian, Egyptian and Indian... er, you get the idea! How would it work... in the long run of course – the ultimate goal for any two people in a relationship is marriage, and a long-lasting one at that, right? Dating outside of your culture or race is an issue I am sure, many of us have faced. We could be here for hours discussing the pros and cons of the situation but this is something that has been playing on my mind for a while now. The reason for this is, after graduating from University, I now think dating a guy outside of my culture would not be as big an issue as I once thought. I am not opposed to the idea. But, I think it depends on the person. I have met some people from all sorts of walks of life who have understood me a whole lot better than people I have met that are of the same race, culture and heritage as myself. So, just like all things, you just can’t generalise I guess. If the relationship is serious, then you're not just thinking about yourself anymore. It’s the impact it will have on your future children and those around you; family, friends and colleagues. People will always try to find a way to make your relationship their business for whatever reason. It simply is not though! I say simply, because it is... well, it should be. When families get involved, it seems like the issue is out of your hands entirely! While I understand that, especially in African or Asian homes, marrying outside of your culture seems to be the road less traveled down.
I wanted to get a wider perspective on this issue so I asked a couple of my friends the same question, and the results I found was just as varied as I had expected, but also quite positive. Everyone played the middle ground – ‘they would… for the right person’ and that is the key; find the right person. I find it comical how people have ‘checklists’ when it comes to potential partners – it's something that can only restrict you, especially when you're young. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to have standards to keep by when dating, but there can be certain things that can also be compromised on. Besides, people are complex; they can’t be listed, checked off and placed in boxes.
Interracial couples or marriages can work, for the right person, and if both sides are willing to respect and compromise. I think that is what it all comes down to eventually. There should be nothing wrong with dating interracial, as long as the other person can truly understand, respect and compromise on important issues. Believe it or not, people are capable of doing this.
So I go back to my original question; would I date a guy outside of my culture or race? I would, for the right person. But they better be worth it!