Recently my Filipina friend went on and on about how white men love to date Asian women. She exclusively dates white guys and fully believes in the cultural fetish typically called "yellow fever" that has been written about extensively. It made me wonder if the same could be said about white guys who date Latinas? In today's day and age when biracial and multicultural relationships are so common, why is this kind of discussion about people dating outside their race still a thing?
A recent search on the topic led me to this interesting online discussion prompted by the question: "Why is it that there are so many white guys with Latina girlfriends but not many white girls with Latino boyfriends?" Many people, mostly men, responded and it got interesting to say the least.
"Latino culture tends to encourage a 'Macho' view of relationships," said one. "There is often a sense of ownership and inherent superiority on the part of males towards females even in the loosest of relationships."
One white man said the reason he doesn't date white women is because of their "diva" attitude. "A Hispanic woman treats a man like he is a king and by her doing so, I treat her like she is my queen."
Vivala's own Managing Editor Eugenia Miranda has dated Latinos and non-Latinos, and is now married to a non-Latino Jewish-American.
"I moved to the United States when I was two years old, so I grew up like any other suburban kid in this country," Miranda says. "While I am very proud of my Argentine and Nicaraguan backgrounds — the history, the language, the food, the traditions — at the end of the day I see the world through an American lens. But whenever I feel like it, I can slip on my Argentine or Nica lens — especially since I speak fluent Spanish — and understand the way other cultures are."
She says she appreciates that her husband is more of a feminist than her, because for Miranda, it goes beyond cultural differences and has to do more with values.
"I think you can be of a completely different race, grow up worlds apart, or be from opposite cultures and still make it work if you have the same beliefs in what you hold to be important or sacred in life," Miranda says. "If you have the same values, you will overcome your challenges."
Although their differences aren't difficult for her to navigate, when it comes to her family, it's a different story. "Eric is Jewish, and my extended family just has no idea what that even means," Miranda says. "The biggest adjustment has been teaching them what Judaism is. While planning our wedding, I’ve had to field so many questions about traditions."
A 2012 Pew Research report found that about 15 percent of all new marriages in the United States between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another have doubled since 1980. Among all newlyweds in 2010, 9 percent of whites, 17 percent of blacks, 26 percent of Hispanics and 28 percent of Asians married outside of their cultures. Another interesting finding in that report is that blacks and Latinos who marry whites "tend to have higher educational attainment than do those who married within their own racial or ethnic group."
My attraction to non-Latinos mainly came down to lifestyle and preference. Dating Latinos, for me, felt too familial. I love new experiences and learning about how other people live, which is why I am marrying a non-Latino. Every day is a mystery. We have commonalities on an emotional and creative level, but when it comes to our day-to-day, it feels like everything is a new adventure.
One of the many reasons I love our bi-racial dynamic is that I love sharing my pride for Mexican food, music, culture. It makes me even more proud of my roots and history because I teach him about it and incorporate it into our daily life. It's all new to him and each day is filled with the joy of discovery. I feel like there's a richness to his life that he would not have if he weren't with me, and vice versa.
Cindy Rodriguez says that one of the main attractions to dating non-Latinos was learning about diverse backgrounds and interests. "I think my seriously independent, gender-equality attitude, and sassy self is a bit too much for the Latino men I have met," Rodriguez says.
So, if you see a white guy with a Latina, recognize that it's more than likely two people who have invested themselves in learning about someone who is completely different from them and who want to discover another culture.