It all boils down to this: don’t limit yourself. Don’t put limits on potential friendships. Don’t put limits on love.
I’m a single guy in the market for a life partner. Many of you know that the dating scene can be tough, especially when you’re already established. I’m a single dad with full custody of my 10-year-old daughter. I have a full-time job as a college professor. I own a home. These all add complications to the mix.
I live in a town of less than 100,000 that has about a 50% non-caucasian population. Then, of course, there’s the Internet. Either way, meeting potential partners can be a challenge. So why would I want to limit myself to seeking partners of a single race?
I was married once. My first wife was Egyptian. Our cultural differences did add a little stress to the relationship, but it was mental illness that led to its demise. After my divorce, I swore I’d never date someone outside of my race again. But I’ve reconsidered. Developing interracial friendships or romantic relationships has many benefits.
You have to get out of your comfort zone: One common trait among successful people is that they’re willing to take risks. They’ll step out of their comfort zone and try new things. Striking up conversations and starting relationships with people who are different from you, will force you to step away from the familiar. When you step out of your comfort zone, a result is increased knowledge and confidence.
You learn about new cultures: How much do you know about Egyptian culture, Mexican traditions, or the politics of Southern Africa? I’ve learned a bit about all of these cultures by starting relationships with people who are different than me. Understanding a variety of cultures will make you more world-wise. You’ll have a greater potential to achieve international success.
You become more aware of intolerance: We’ve seen a lot of intolerance in the news lately. Groups of people get stereotyped. You’ve likely heard some nasty things about Muslims and Palestinians. As a college instructor, I was able to strike up friendships with several Palestinian students. The story becomes completely different when you hear about their personal experiences. You gain more empathy and understanding.
You make new friends: Recently, I met someone online who lives in my region, but who’s originally from Africa. She’s black. I don’t know how long we’ll communicate or how far the relationship will go, but if nothing else, I made a new friend. That has motivated me to learn more about the African continent. My city has a large Hispanic population. I’ve made some great friends from that culture, too. In grad school, I had a great friend from Thailand. Go ahead and mix it up!
You might find love: Why should you limit yourself when it comes to love? Love can come in mysterious ways. Your soulmate may not be the same race as you. If you automatically throw anyone who doesn’t look like you out of the pool, you might be throwing out love before you even give it a chance. That would be a shame.
It all boils down to this: don’t limit yourself. Don’t put limits on potential friendships. Don’t put limits on love. Be open to the possibility of interracial relationships. Judge potential partners by their character, not by the color of their skin.
You’ll increase your potentials. You’ll learn some new things along the way. You’ll become more understanding of others. You’ll make new friends. You might even find the love of your life.
Photo: Flickr/ Damon