How do you handle polarizing conversations with your significant other who is not black? I’m in an interracial relationship and I love the love we have for one another. But a hot topic is sometimes he does not understand my stance or viewpoints on political/societal issues as a black woman. How do you approach these conversations so you’re still being respectful but getting your point across? I worry this can be problematic down the line in our future.
I asked myself this question constantly while on The Bachelorette because I knew there was a possibility I would be with someone that was outside of my race. I knew it was important to set boundaries and know my deal breakers when it comes to hot topics regarding political/societal issues prior to progressing the relationship. These conversations are important not just for the foundation of your relationship but also for the future of your relationship as you have children and as you present yourself as a couple to the world. In my experience, you have to have a level of understanding, deep communication, and be on one accord.
In light of everything that is going on in the world, these are conversations that do come up in a relationship. You shouldn’t feel as if you cannot have these discussions with your significant other. You said the key word in your question, which is “respectful”. The approach with your significant other should be honest, empathetic, patient, respectful, and understanding.
You can be vocal and understand that you may have to explain certain things because your significant other is not the same race as you. And that is okay. I think it is so important to understand where your significant other is coming from when asking questions. It shows that they care, want to learn, and want to grow. The way you respond and the education you provide them is key. You would rather them seek knowledge from you than be ignorant and ignore certain issues that are important to who you are and what you stand for.
During Quarantine, Bryan and I have movie night pretty much every night. The other night we watched the movie, Just Mercy (highly recommended). The movie deals with racism and the injustices Blacks endure with the criminal justice system specifically in the South. I was extremely emotional after the movie, and although Bryan understood why I was visibly upset, he wanted to understand exactly the source of tears by asking questions about the movie, the characters, racism, and the South. I really appreciated him wanting to understand my emotion and how that movie affected me. The fact he took the time to understand is all I needed.
All relationships take work but an interracial one takes a different level of understanding to be successful. It sounds like that love is there between the two of you and as long as you BOTH put in the work then you don’t have to worry about this issue being problematic for you in the future.
How did you get through the vulnerability while in the initial phases of building your platform and venturing into new careers? I’m graduating with my masters and currently building a business; I’m so nervous to put myself and my services out there.
Dear Bob the Builder:
Have you heard the saying, “If your dreams do not scare you, then they are not big enough?” I simply woke up one day and asked myself the question, “Whose life are you living?” A question you would think that at the age of 31, I would know the answer. But I did not; and the irony is that I was raised to be independent and to develop my own thoughts and mindset but with the underlying tone of “this is how you should do it.” It was as if I was looking at my life through the looking glass, watching myself go through the motions I was groomed to execute. I was aiming to please even if I lost myself in the process. On the outside I was cool, calm, and collected but inside I was trapped and drowning within my own inner turmoil. I was the caged bird too afraid to scream for help or use the key I possessed to set myself free. Until the day, I decided to look fear in the face and punch it. With this realization, I caught flight and set my caged bird free and I booked a one-way ticket to Bachelor nation and did not look back.
Now, would I suggest being that dramatic while venturing into a new career? Not at all. The point is that I allowed fear to control me for years. That fear debilitated me. Don’t let it do the same to you. It’s okay to be scared; but do not let that fear control you…let it motivate you to work hard to achieve your desires. You have to take risks! And even if those risks do not turn out the way you desire, it’s never a failure if you learn from them.
~ Honestly, Rach
How should newly weds manage finance? Given that divorce is at all time high in America and around the world, how do couples safely have conversation about finances and protecting each other/each other's finances without the subject affecting marriage dynamics or becoming an issue considering that finance is one of the causes of divorce.
Dear Money Maker:
I grew up in a household where my parents shared the same bank, checking, and savings accounts. There was no individuality when it came to finances so I always thought that is exactly how I was supposed to manage finances in my household. As I grew older, I realized that the dynamic of my parents’ relationship was going to be different from mine. My mom was 22 years old when she married my father. I was older when I married and therefore had spent years establishing my career independently from my future significant other. I knew going into marriage that I wanted to keep some finances separate but also manage finances together as we were building a future.
I will admit that this was one of the hardest conversations Bryan and I had prior to marriage. I am very private with my finances and entered into that conversation with trepidation. I knew it was necessary but to be completely honest I was a little prideful and selfish in sharing my finances. When you enter into a marriage it is not “I” but “we” but I was still holding onto the “I” when it came to my finances because I had been living in that space for so long. I had to realize that the goal is not to snoop into my finances or have an uncomfortable conversation. The goal is to build a stable, financial structure for your family’s future. I think in the same way that someone will tell you not to completely lose yourself in a relationship and make sure you have some separate friends, hobbies, and interests; that same line of thinking can be applied to finances. You can contribute financially to a relationship and joint account(s), but also have your own separately. It is of upmost importance that although you may keep certain finances separate, you have to be honest with your significant other about the separate finances you do have. There should not be any secrets when it comes to your finances.