January 17th, 2011
Dating Latinos Doesn’t Make Me Racist

On more than one occasion, during my seemingly eternal quest for love, I’ve been accused by friends and acquaintances of being “racist” for trying to date Latinos. In all fairness, part of this is totally my fault and the result of my whining and chiflazón. Yet, there’s also I believe a misunderstanding about what motivates me and other people like me, who are interested primarily in dating other Latinos.

First and foremost, let me say that I have dated mostly pochos like me, but I’ve also dated Cubans, white men, and Asian men, finally coming to the conclusion that all men on this planet are idiots when they are in their 20s. Some of my complaints, which I’ve heard other Latinas share, too, about trying to date Latinos include:  They want to get married too soon, or they’re divorced with kids young, they’re too short, as you become more educated there are less Latinos around you, they’re scared of educated/professional women and I’m sure the list could go on.

As I’ve shared these sentiments with friends and acquaintances, often the reaction I get is, “Why do you have to date only Latinos? You should date a white guy.” Well, as I mentioned, I have and what bothers me about the tone of the question is that it always tries to put me on the defensive. I have good reasons to date Latinos and here they are.

A big part of who I am as a cultural being is a pocha. I’ve dated men from Mexico and it’s just not the same as being pocho, there’s so much cultural connotation and experience wrapped up into being, as they say, ni de allá ni de acá, that it’s hard to share that with someone who’s never been exposed to it (or isn’t interested in being exposed to it).

Part of that is language. When I tell someone they are being chiflado, I want them to understand! If I have to explain to them repeatedly every single time I use a pocho word what it means, it defeats the purpose of using those words in the first place. What about food? I have a pretty Mexican repertoire when it comes to food, but also the way I decorate my home, the way I expect my family life to function, the way relationships function (my grandfather called my güelita “gordis,” something that would be super offensive in English) and lots more. I don’t think wanting to continue the way of life in which I was born and raised is legitimately racist, but I know that none of these explanations will suffice to convince some people of that. Ultimately, I’m totally fine with that.

Because, I also know many couples who come from different cultures that manage to make life work. So what if someone doesn’t understand the concept of “a la tiznada,” as long as we speak the language of respect and love, right?

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD

6 thoughts on “Dating Latinos Doesn’t Make Me Racist

  1. Pingback: The Flip-Side: Can Newbie Insiders Be Trusted? | Bicultural Mom

  2. When I was still dating, I remember dating men who were as you put it, just like me. I also remember hearing girlfriends say things like “I will only date a good Christian man” or “I will only date a man who was raised in my culture”.

    What is wrong with a good man?

    It sounds like fear…of experiencing life outside of all that you know and living there with the person you love. You are not willing to incorporate or meet a man who could potentially be the man of your dream but lives outside that comfort zone.

    You limit yourself, don’t you see? Furthermore, if a man loves you, he will learn whatever you have to teach but you have to be equally loving to learn what he has to teach you!

    It isn’t about being racist as much as it is about being afraid and unwilling to compromise which is what love is all about.

    Maybe once you learn that, you won’t have to date any longer!

  3. Pingback: What’s a Pocho? | NewsTaco

  4. Mi Nana me dijo que no iba estar contenta hasta encontrar alguien quien entendia lo gringa y tambien la mexicana de mi. Tarde en encontrarlo pero si se presento. A todas mis Tias- quiens no entendian porque no me habia casado a lo 18 o porque me recibi de la universidad y todo lo demas que he hecho gracias a las oportunidades para mi generacion de mujueres, les tenia una respuesta: “Mas vale sola que mal accompan/ada.”!.. La idioma es respeto y un sentido de humor-de alli nacio el amor y comprension, aunque hablamos en ingles y espan/ol.

  5. Interesting prospective. That whole thing about men being scared of educated/professional women is nothing es nada mas puro pedo. I have heard that some many times it just happened the ones who are interested in educated/professional women don’t fall neatly into that check list who our dream person should look like and be. Personally, I have always looked for a professional/educated woman because that is the way it was in my family, from my mother to my aunts. I think it is fair to say, we are all idiots in our 20s.

    Like you, I have dated all kinds of women, the older I get, I too am interested in dating Latinas for the same reason you expressed. One thing that bothers me it just seems Latinos tend to be more pressured to be more white or choose gringos over Latinos than any other minority, where it comes to dating, hiring or voting. So far, I have yet to experience someone telling me I should date someone other a Latina. Personally, it just happens to be that that way because like you said, the more educated you get, there are less Latinos around you in class and in the work place.

    As for short guys, lets remember another pocho phrase – chiquito pero picoso

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