Love Is Where You Find It: On The Challenges, Beauty, And Fulfillment Of Interracial Love And Relationships.

“Nobody, no man no woman, is precisely who they think they are. Love is where you find it”

This is a line from a 1987 James Baldwin television interview with Mavis Nicholson where Baldwin condenses in under two minutes the gravity and depth of love and interracial love in particular. Love and relationships can be difficult. It seems more so in a self-love culture with a deep mentality of “What’s in it for me.” Relationships it seems are approached moreover as business transactions. Interracial relationships can see the dynamics and challenges of love and relationships in even more pronounced ways.

First and foremost I am writing this from my own experience and viewpoint. My experience may be similar to some but is unique to me and my life experiences. I do not believe in generalizations or blanket statements. Also, I am writing from the perspective of a white man dating, having relationships, and living with black women. There are difficulties that are almost universal in every relationship. Those faced in interracial relationships are more distinct.

One is crossing that proverbial bridge to someone who is from a different race: to explore options and get outside the bubble encapsulating ourselves. We are curious and inquisitive by nature as humans. Dating outside one’s race, specifically in a black/white relationship, is becoming more visible but still contains inherent obstacles to overcome. For some, it’s a huge jump. Many have little experience or social interactions with another race in social settings. So from jump, one is entering not only in an interaction with this new person but their family, friends, and community. In some respects it can be overwhelming.

Being taken seriously by the person you are interested in or being approached has many bumps in the road and most of them are unnecessary. For example, preconceived notions based on stereotypes such as a certain fetishizing that white men have towards black women.

Another is the myth of the hyper-sexualized black female portrayed in American culture that has warped many white male minds. The “I would fuck a black woman but I wouldn’t date her” by white males is not just vile but it exists. For black women having to navigate through this mentality, and ascertain if a white man is genuine in his interest, is unfortunately going to be a given. Yes, we are drawn to and look for certain physical characteristics. We have preferences: height, body size, hair, no hair, skin tone, etc. But when appreciating someone’s beauty becomes weird and creepy is when it’s the driving force and motivator, ignoring all of a person's human qualities and characteristics, relegating another person to an object or thing.

When dating turns into relationships one is encountering more contact with friends and especially with their partner’s family. For some bringing home someone from the opposite race to meet mom and dad is monumental and problematic. Just as the race issue in general not much progress has been made  in interracial dating. Some of this thinking, in regards to acceptance, is rooted in: upbringing, miseducation, isolation, and racism.

For me interracial dating has been very natural: it is a good fit for me personally. Over the last five years aside from one date I have only dated black women. I have dated, had long term relationships, and married white women. But, black women have become and are my preference. I have had my share of rough dating and relationship experiences dating outside my race. But the relationships were not affected by any racial aspect with the black women I have been with. They are just the universal life lessons we encounter in dating and relationships, regardless of race.

I’ve never lived in a bubble socially or culturally. Life is about growth and experience not creating a self-imposed prison. For me, my experience has been that black folks are more accepting than any of the races and it has led to an even greater appreciation for black women. In my viewpoint black women have been carrying this country on their backs since they were brought here. They consistently have to do more and be more to achieve in this country. That’s were my appreciation comes from. And I do, again my viewpoint, find that black women are physically the most beautiful women on the planet as well.

I do see color and the unique physical differences and I embrace it. I have had more positive, loving, and supportive relationships with black women. Within the last two and a half years I have loved two women that have had a profound effect on me.

One shared a home with me for over a year somehow tolerating me and my “special” moments. She taught me the importance of patience and being mindful. She blessed me with an unselfish love. The other woman, though turbulent at times, took me to an intensity and a world possible that I had never imagined. She taught me the importance of taking life one day at a time and wearing the covering of humility. They forced me to be my best by supporting my dreams and showering me with love. Always encouraging and challenging me to be a better human being. In return I loved them fully. Encouraging them to grow and fully supporting their thoughts and ambitions. In my viewpoint they share traits of communication, grace, style, and strength that does have an exclusiveness in black woman. I thank them for their love. It is the shine of that inner beauty and physical beauty that makes black women my comfort zone.

Note: I think this post will allow me to write in future blogs on the variety of black/white and female/male makeups and the perspective of their particular experiences.

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  • Really interesting and brave!

  • In reply to Judy Marcus:

    Thanks Judy for taking the time to read this post. This has been a great experience here at ChicagoNow. It's been about growing to become a better writer, having a supportive platform to do it on, and learning the benefits of social media in getting your work out there.
    I was curious as to what you felt was brave about the post? Thanks again, i appreciate you.

  • Hi Matthew,
    I write a blog for Chicagonow too, on black-white issues. I am in the process of writing my second book on black women who are dating, married to, or divorced from white men. Would you consider being interviewed for my book? My blog is titled, Issues in Black and White.
    Very interesting and honest insights in your blog today.

  • In reply to CherylJ:

    Hey Cheryl,
    It was interesting when I seen your reply because I was visiting your blog as I was writing this post. I'm glad you were able to take something away from this post. It is STILL a taboo and divisive isssue. Just look at the racist nonsense surrounding Serena Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian. So damn petty in my view. I am flattered by your request concerning your new book: count me in! Feel free to email me: to further that discussion.
    Thanks again Cheryl. I appreciate you.

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