Dear Readers of My UnDocumented Life blog,
While looking for a partner, we all hope that they have few skeletons in the closet. At the very least we hope to be acquainted with said skeletons. Well what if said skeleton is your immigration status? Welcome to the wonderful and complex world of dating while undocumented. As much as we would like to put our best foot forward as undocumented young adults, organizers, students, and potential partners, we all know reality is full of gray areas. So let’s talk about it! My Undocumented Life is calling for submissions* for a series called Dating While Undocumented.
Scroll down to the end of this post to read over the submissions we have received
It is our hope to start a much needed conversation, start a few support groups and also brighten the experience with more chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate and sharing messy dating experiences? Judge me by my feelings, my love of chocolate but not by my lack of papers! Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges– members of the My UnDocumented Life blog team. The winner will receive a box of Chococurb!
The My UnDocumented Life blog team
*Submissions can be in the form of original narrative, video, artwork, comics, photographs, or any other form of creative expression. Works can be in English and/or Spanish. Submissions from undocumented people and allies are both welcomed. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your submission. In your e-mail, please include your name as you would like it to appear online (e.g. a pseudonym or real name). If using real name, please include a short bio (3-5 sentences) and picture of yourself that will be published along with your post.
By DANIELLE ODIAMAR
I remember the first time I knew I loved my boyfriend. I had just kicked my foot hard onto the breaks of my car to avoid slamming into a small sedan that had cut me off. With equal force I punched the horn and shouted something I’d never say to that person’s face. Quickly remembering that the man I had been dating for less than three months was sitting next to me, I glanced over and shrugged with a weak smile. “I have a bad temper when I get stressed out,” I offered meekly.
His lips were flat but his eyes were bright and amused. I have always loved how expressive his eyes are. After starring at me for what felt like forever, he laughed and said “If that’s who you are, that’s OK. I want to know every side of you.”
It wasn’t love in the way I feel it now, almost five years later, but it was a signal to me that he wanted to truly know me and the realization that I felt the same. Looking back, his immigration status was something I knew all along. He barely spoke English when we first met. Luckily, a few months earlier I decided to start preparing for my upcoming semester abroad in Madrid by brushing up on my Spanish. Timing really is everything.
Over the next few months and years his status would become more and more a topic of our conversations:
Words by Yanina Angelini Arismendi
By YANINA ANGELINI ARISMENDI
He swept into my life on a summer day. Or maybe I into his.
We never called it dating. We “just met and became inseparable ever since, and that’s it.”
What we do not mention is that inseparable is a subjective word when you are a single mom living in Fredericksburg Virginia and he lives in Washington, DC. We spent as many weekends together as possible, spoke on the phone every night like teenagers and we were super corny in social media. Like many sensible adults our age in long distance relationships, we low-key kept an open minded relationship.
It was easy to lie to him. I lied to everyone about my legal status at that point in time.
By JENNIFER S.
The relationship I had before I got married obviously did not work out. We were a match in some ways. I wanted to be a triathlete and he was one. We were both horribly immature, sometimes we had similar humor. I thought he was really funny. We were also both horribly anxious that might be all we had in common. By then I had a long standing relationship with Lexapro and a licensed therapist so my issues were under control-ish. He would show up at my door sometimes at ungodly hours and want to fall asleep next to me. I would never know why but I must have given him some measure of comfort, at least more sleep. We weren’t perfect and in many ways we were the perfect storm. I thought maybe our mutual issues with anxiety would ally us against it but it was the opposite. I want to stress that this was just the relationship part of us.
What might interest you and our readers was that he worked for a company that provided a service for the government. He was not a government employee but the government had cleared him to do their work. He once told me that in order to obtain such clearance; his friends and family were interviewed.
So what are the chances an intelligent, neurotic, triathlete would date one our 11 million? I don’t know.
Categories: Dating While Undocumented