Heart of Dating is so excited to share with you a HIGHLY requested episode with some highly requested guests! This week, we welcome Alexis and Brian Cole to the show to talk about interethnic dating and how to thrive in relationship with cultural differences.
Brian and Alexis Cole are a passionate couple who inspires to showcase their unique lifestyle through YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. They use each platform to talk about the different dynamics of their interracial marriage, spirituality, journey towards parenthood, and their love for travel.
Their overall goal is to advocate for unity and love by showing what two different cultures can look like when they come together.
What is your story? How did you two meet?
- Lexi and Brian met the summer before college when they were 17 and 18 years old.
- They reconnected and became friends in community through mutual friend groups.
- Lexi and Brian became best friends and started dating about a year later.
As you entered the dating relationship, what did it look like being an interracial couple?
- Lexi and Brian talked about how it wasn’t always easy.
- Brian mentioned he grew up in a church with a prominent African-American demographic.
- Brian talked about how he had to be open about learning about her culture and Lexi discussed how sometimes she simply had to be willing to teach him about her culture.
- Brian had to let his pride down and be willing to listen.
- Lexi mentioned that as an African-American woman sometimes she didn’t always feel like she wanted to have some hard conversations… but she realized there was a purpose in having them.
- Sometimes you have to walk into the uncomfortable to let God change your perspective.
What are some tips you would give to those that need to have conversations about race and culture?
- First thing is to be open for having the conversation and prepare yourself for the discomfort.
- Be open to hearing the other person and don’t get caught up in your own ideas.
- Have conversations, not arguments
- “Am I willing to admit I am wrong?”, Brian talks about how humility and willingness to change his preconceptions is critical when having an open dialogue.
- Prepare yourself for some defense and difficult moments while having these conversations.
What are some stereotypes you’ve had to deal with and how did you handle them as an interethnic couple?
- Lexi had to deal with stereotypes as an African-American woman such as getting pushback that she was looking for a white man specifically, or that she is passive because of her husband.
- Brian retiteraties that he wasn’t looking for a black wife and Lexi wasn’t looking for a white husband, they were you two people who fell in love with each other for who they are.
- Brian talks about how he often gets the stereotype was that he has a festish or only likes black girls because he married Lexi.
- Brian also mentions that a common misconception is that people assume that he now has to “act black”.
- A common stereotype is that they “see no color”, but you should see color, ethnicity, and culture and not discount them.
- They both talk about how they don’t fit the mold, so they simply share their experiences to break these stereotypes.
How did your family react to your relationship?
- Both Lexi and Brian say they were blessed in having their families accept their relationship. They personally did not have issues with this.
- Brian does say that his family did have to learn how to lay down their pride and be willing to learn more about Lexi’s culture.
- They did mention they had some pushback from extended family but from that they learned to grow their own understanding and also be ready, willing, and able to share what they’ve come to know about each other’s cultures.
What advice would you give to those who have families that don’t support their significant other of a different ethnicity, culture, or race?
- “Be able and willing to understand the difference between hatred and ignorance”
- Don’t give up on them when having these conversations as long as they are trying.
- There’s a balance. If you’re married you have to put your marriage first. Don’t let a negative family dynamic come between you and your spouse.
What is you final nugget of dating advice?
- “Have the willingness to change” is Lexi and Brian’s motto is to remind them that they can become better people and grow in their relationship.
- It’s so important to communicate with the mindset to listen and properly interpret.
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