As we stood on the tube platform, tears slowly ran down my now wife’s cheek. “What’s the matter?” I asked, confused at what had caused her to suddenly become emotional.
“I can’t be with you,” she replied.
This was the moment that I realised the guilt that consumed her for being in a relationship with a Black man.
“I met my fiancé Ben on Bumble, after moving to Pennsylvania for graduate school. I was testing the waters with dating apps and didn’t expect to actually meet someone I would want to have a relationship with. At the same time, my parents had started to look for guys for me from India. I became worried about them and told them I was talking to Ben before we even started a relationship. The way they treated me was so hurtful that I realized that my parents focus on family reputation, wealth status, career etc. wasn’t my main lens for viewing a partner. I decided to ask myself what I prioritize the most. Was it pleasing my parents/family and seeking their approval of me? Or, staying true to myself. Because I don’t fear interracial relationships, they do. I don’t fear another culture, they do. I don’t need to follow my family into fear. Once I decided to separate myself from that, I decided to move forward dating Ben and see if we are even complementary to each other. It was important to set healthy boundaries with them so I didn’t let them affect our relationship. After two-years together, we’re getting married later this year. The main thing I would share is to not let fear control us. Fear is inevitable, but sometimes we just have to do it scared. My fiancé and I are very different people and our backgrounds are polar opposites. Instead of letting the differences become a limiting factor in our relationship, we have decided to learn more about each other and allow it to build our character. It’s easy to stay in our comfort zone and only interact with people we are used to being around. We want to encourage people to build bridges between cultures, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, religions, political affiliations, etc.”