In case you haven’t noticed, interracial marriages are at an all-time high. According to a recent study published on CNN.com, 1 out of 7 new marriages in the United States is interracial or interethnic. While there were 6.8% reported interracial marriages in 1980, that number jumped to 14.6% in 2008. So,what’s the reason for such a drastic leap? Apparently, interracial relationships have become more accepted over the past few decades, at least amongst Generation X. According to this study, among 18-29 year olds, about 85% accept interracial marriages.
As an African American woman engaged to a Puerto Rican male, I can’t deny that there appears to be truth to this study. Once upon a time I could never imagine myself married to anyone outside of my race. It wasn’t because I was not attracted to men from different backgrounds; it just wasn’t what I imagined for my life. I suppose it all stemmed from how I was raised. Although I was taught to embrace people from all walks of life, it almost seemed like an unspoken contract between me and my parents that I was going to marry an African American man. Growing up in a home with three strong Black male figures, my father and two older brothers, I never doubted that I would marry someone who looked just like them. Unfortunately, that’s not the way love works. We can not necessarily plan who we fall in love with, although, with today’s technology, it has actually become simple to filter out your “type”. Online dating allows you to pick and choose a partner based on everything from their height, skin color, and race. Some would find this to be a little shallow; others see it as “The heart knows what it wants!” The question is: Could the idea of going for your “type” be limiting the dating pool? Perhaps more and more young adults are noticing that choosing a life partner isn’t an easy task. Although you may have carved out a mental image of your ideal mate, true compatibility goes beyond ethnic similarities.
My fiance’ and I may come from different cultural backgrounds, but I believe I have found my soul mate. In fact, I believe it is our differences that bring such a pleasant uniqueness to our relationship. Sometimes I question if I could have the same closeness with someone of my same race. I believe the key to our successful relationship is that we don’t overlook our cultural differences, we embrace them! Perhaps, that is the explanation for this sudden rise in interracial marriage. Although it may have been the unthinkable back in our grandparent’s time, today we have the pleasure of marrying the person who best matches our personality, not our skin color.
Interracial marriage may still seem taboo for some; however, we must open our minds to these changing times. We now have the opportunity to choose a mate based on common humanity, not our race. Take advantage! By opening our hearts and minds to this new world, we allow ourselves to find happiness in some of the most unimaginable places. We must all open our eyes and learn that true love is colorblind, if you let it be.