When Kristin met Will, she knew they were going to have something special.
“It was pretty much serious from the start.”
Even though their relationship was wonderful, Kristin was nervous about telling her parents about her new boyfriend.
“He was the first black guy I had ever dated–not because he was black, but because we liked each other and were attracted to each other,” she says.
She knew that her mom and step-dad would be caught off guard, but one of Kristin’s biggest concerns was telling her grandmother. “For two years she knew all about him, but didn’t know he was black.”
Her grandmother has always been supportive of everything she had done with her life had been really proud of all she had accomplished. Kristin was her only grandchild and she didn’t want to disappoint her grandma. Part of Kristin believed that she would be accepting of her relationship, but she knew that at 85, her grandma’s view of the world was quite a bit different than her own.
Kristen knows that she is really bad about not wanting to talk about controversial things or deal with confrontation. “I let issues grow until they are something that I can’t manage alone. In the end, the things that usually seem to be such a big deal turn out to be nothing. Sometimes the worrying is worse than the actual event.”
Through this experience, Kristin learned that despite generational gaps and differences in life outlooks, everyone understands what it means to be in love. She shouldn’t have agonized over telling Granny for two and a half years; instead she should have bitten the bullet and dealt with it.
Her one regret is that she could have been more open about things, as a family and as couple.
If you have problems with confrontation, Kristen offers these 4 things to keep in mind.
1. It’s okay to be afraid. Ask for help.
2. Consider other people’s life experiences.
3. Give it time.
4. Do it sooner rather than later.
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MORE TIPS & TOOLS
We’ve Come a Long Way
Did you know that interracial marriage was legalized only 40 years ago? Visit Loving Day, where free and open love is celebrated.
A Lifelong Commitment
You said I do, but what if you realize that’s harder than it sounds? Find advice at Marriage Builders.
Story of a Secret
Learn more about “Secret Daughter,” a PBS documentary that tells the story of a mixed race girl and the mom who gave her up.
Filed under: relationships | Tagged: acceptance, bi-racial families, dating, dealing with family, handling tough issues, interracial relationships, Kristin, love, prejudice, race, relationships, romance, tolerance, Will |