How to navigate race while dating: 5 bits of advice from experts – The Washington Post

How to navigate race while dating: 5 bits of advice from experts – The Washington Post

When she showed her boyfriend a video of a police officer treating a black woman violently, her boyfriend didn’t think race played a role in the interaction. He noted that police can be aggressive with anyone, Shea said, and that things now aren’t as bad as they were in, say, the 1950s.

“I shut down a little bit and felt uncomfortable talking to him about it,” she said, adding that every time she would look at him, “I would think about that moment.”

Meanwhile, Shea said, her boyfriend was so “blissfully unaware” of racism in America that he didn’t realize how his statement hurt her. Eventually Shea explained to him “the differences in the degree of brutality with different races and how it’s not equal.”

Her boyfriend apologized, saying he wanted to remain open and talk about these things — and that helped, she said.

Shea and her boyfriend have been together 10 months, and this was the first time they were openly discussing race. Many couples, interracial and not, are having discussions like these. The Washington Post spoke to daters, love experts and a romance novelist about how to navigate them — and how singles can confront their biases while dating. Here are five pieces of their advice.

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