Interracial Dating Done (W)right
by Andrea Wright
At one point in my idealistic youth, I thought, “there’s no difference dating men of different races”. I was asked to revisit this idea recently.
Of course, there are similarities: they are men and thus the majority of them need validation that they are able to protect, provide for you, and most importantly that they have completely won your heart. These are the basics.
There are differences especially if you’re African American and he’s…not.
There’s usually a period of curiosity, to be fair, that goes both ways. The media has portrayed us (African American women) in a light slightly south of positive and there’s a lot of re-education that must take place:
Yes, I enjoy water sports.
No, I’m not terrified of your dog.
No, I don’t wash my hair daily and that’s okay.
Please put your hand down, I’m not going to high-five/fist pound you with every witty observance either of us makes.
Yes, I share the ability to get angry like everyone else, however, an ‘angry Black woman’ I am not.
Anticipating questions that seem obvious to you helps offset awkward moments. Many of us are genuinely okay with the education process if in the end you've been able to teach someone something. You never know how that’s going to payoff in future generations. I like to imagine men I've dated relaying our relationship to his children and grandchildren: the one that got away, that beautiful, wise African American princess who taught me so much!
Expectations: if you choose to date someone of a different race, you may get stares and a few noises of disapproval as you walk along hand in hand with your beloved—even today, but do your best to ignore it.
Several years ago I was hanging out with a friend who happened to be white. We were enjoying a live band when the guitarist (who was white) looked and smiled in our direction during the set. My friend assumed he was flirting with her; I thought his rather cute smirk was aimed in my direction, but I kept my thoughts to myself. You can imagine the awkwardness that ensued when after the set, he walked right up to me and asked me my name.
Later, while on a date, my white guitarist and I passed several African American men and one remarked “Why is she with that white dude?” His friend simply responded, “Maybe the brothers ain’t treating her right?”
We both kind of chuckled and kept walking. While an interesting explanation, it wasn't the case. We were attracted to each other, he asked me on a date and I accepted.
I find that white and European men in particular are much more confident and bold in their pursuit of my attention. I don’t have an explanation for it, it’s just something I notice. Perhaps fodder for another time, after more research?
7 Tips for Dating a Black Woman
Interracial dating is a great opportunity to experience life through someone else’s eyes and perhaps learn something about yourself in the process. And isn't that the best part of dating? Should you embark on this journey here are a few points to consider:
1. Regardless of who you’re dating, HAVE FUN!
2. Ask questions that you want answers to.
3. Have meaningful discussions and share your experiences.
4. Listen to your mate and your inner voice, be present in the moment and just enjoy one another.
5. Remember that neither of you are the ambassadors for your races. Your opinion is just that, yours and the same goes for him.
6. Experience something you’ve never done and introduce your mate to something new.
7. Most importantly, keep an open mind and be yourself!
Andrea Wright is a digital marketing guru with an unwavering vision and determination to help the world thrive, one word at a time, one person at a time through her novels and career/life coaching practice (The Wright Path). Discover Andrea at www.thewrightpath.net. Follow her on Twitter @AWrighter247
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