7 Things I Learned Dating A Latino

For the first time in my life, I’m dating someone who isn’t also white, like myself.  While I brought a ton of apprehensions to the relationship (feel free to read about them here), there was one thing I never thought would matter: the fact that he is Latino, born in Mexico, and naturalized to be a resident of this fine country.
Family Matters
Before I met my Latino-lover, I had never dated a person who was close to their family. One of my exes didn’t speak to his family at all. There are pro’s and con’s to everything, but for awhile, the influence my lover’s family had on his life bothered me. But once I accepted it, and accepted them for who they are, things have been much more smooth sailing. No family is perfect, and every family has drama, this I know from my own family, but the love his parents and siblings have for each other is unbreakable. They stand up for each other in ways I never thought possible, and are incredibly protective of him. That matters to me, especially since this is a man I’m planning on starting a family with. It also makes it impossible for them to accept me, because we’ve only been dating eight months. They want commitment for their son, and I’ve accepted that it’ll take me about ten years before my motives are no longer questioned. But ease up mi familia, I’m in this for the long haul.
Don’t Be Afraid of Spicy 
There’s nothing mild about him, from the sex to the food, everything about him is spicy. I grew up in a small town, in one of the whitest neighborhoods in America. Spicy didn’t exist. When I went to Jack ‘n the Box, I would order the tacos, but without the hot sauce they put on it. Thanks to my Latino-lover, I have ventured outside of my mild box. I have tried all sorts of spicy food, and have discovered that stomach-aches aside, it’s actually really good. Not too long ago, I ordered something incredibly spicy, and gave him a taste of it, and he even said it was too spicy for him.#winning

One of the starkest contrasts I’ve noticed is the commitment the Latino community places on their faith. While both of my parents are Catholic, it wasn’t until I was in high school that I attended my first mass. That’s entirely different for my Latino-lover. He not only wears a rosary around his neck almost all the time (which makes for interesting Christmas dinner conversation when my family said “there’s no way he is wearing a rosary” and he pulls it out) but he attends church regularly. Sure, there are complications surrounding the fact that he’s gay, and the Catholic church is just now kinda-sorta accepting it, but it’s probably the most beautiful thing to walk in on my boyfriend kneeling next to the bed, praying. 

I Know More Spanish Than I Thought 
I grew up in Arizona, but studied French for eight years. I’ve been to France, and spoken French to French people. I did not study Spanish, because I’m probably not the smartest person in the world. That being said, I know a ton more Spanish than I thought. When my boyfriend, who speaks it fluently (actually, he speaks it better than English, but I generally refrain from correcting his English grammar to keep the relationship calm) is on the phone with his family, I understand key words. I can pick up on sentences, and if push came to shove, I can curse you out in Spanish. I now also understand the struggles of not understanding a language at all, because I’ve never felt more out of place, than in a room full of his Latino family members, and everyone speaking Spanish, and me struggling to keep up.  

This State Is Really, Seriously, Racist
I have heard it before in the news, and in the lawsuits against Arizona’s SB1070 (which, for the record, I opposed long before I fell in love with a Latino), but this state is racist. I have never seen so many people turn heads or frown whenever they see me with a Latino. I have also never been told “You can do some much better than dating one of them” before, that is, until I started dating a Latino. (Irony is, considering the white guys I’ve dated before, I have done so much better than them now). Racial profiling is a real concern now and that’s just sad.

Babies, Lots and Lots of Babies

When my boyfriend and I got on the topic of children, I said I would be happy with twins, or maybe three kids. He said seven. Considering he has somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 aunts and uncles and countless first cousins (I have one), that number is relatively low for him. I’m opening up to the idea of having a huge family, but it most certainly took some getting used to.
Passions Run Deep

Making love to my boyfriend is probably the greatest thing in the world, because it isn’t about sex. And it isn’t about who’s doing what. It’s a full mind and body effort, where you feel the passions run deep. He knows all the spots to hits, and is incredibly passionate about making love. When I used the f-word as a euphemism to us having sex, he requested that I call it what it really is, “making love” – call me a sentimental at heart, but that sort of thing is really amazing. It’s not just sex, it’s so much more.

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