So, we’ve all heard it. “Look, look, look. There she go. Why does she have to take OUR men? Doesn’t she have enough of her own to choose from?” …. “Oh no she didn’t go and get her a white man. What? Black men weren’t good enough?” Or some variation thereof. (If you’re saying “I never have” right now, you’re lying to yourself.) So, what? What’s the big deal? Well, let’s get down to it. As a product of an interracial relationship you might find what I have to say disturbing, and you might find it makes a lot more sense than you thought. So give it a chance.
I’ve been asked many times why I choose not to date white guys—and yes, it is a personal choice. My number two answer is that I am flat out just not as physically attracted to them as I am men of color. Hate if you want to, but it’s the downright truth. However, what’s most important is my number one answer: I just don’t feel white men can truly relate to what I deal with on a daily basis. There is a huge difference between sympathy, empathy, and understanding. What I, personally, need most is someone who understands; someone I can say, “Baby, you know what happened” to and not have to say another word; someone that realizes my challenges in life are above and beyond. For me, this means a person of color (usually black).
BUT, I understand the statements, “Oh, no she didn’t.” “Oh, yes he did.” “Has he lost his mind?” Given the history of race in this country and the unconscious ways in which racial, ethnic, gender, and other stereotypes manifest themselves (and I’m taking this as a given, so if you don’t like this statement you should stop reading now), is it any wonder that black men and women have these thoughts? Because it shouldn’t be.
Black men: Sometimes when you date outside your race we wonder if you really share the deepest bond with your woman, you just find something genuinely wrong with the sistas, or if you have a self-hate towards your race.
Black women: Sometimes when you date outside your race we wonder if you think black men aren’t good enough because they’re not educated enough or don’t know how to treat women, or if you really just had that many bad experiences.
Are all of these thoughts wrong? Yes. Are all of these thoughts warranted? Yes. We could go on for days on both sides of the aisle, but what it really comes down to is this: we all need to let it go. That doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t have those thoughts or reactions when we see an interracial couple. It also doesn’t mean that the first thing that should come to my (or your) mind is race. Trust me, nothing makes me smile like seeing a lovely black couple walking down the street. I also get a special feeling inside when I see two people interact that I can tell were MADE for each other, regardless of their race (like my parents).
Bottom line, you might be limiting yourself. Your idea of whom you’re meant to be with may be the complete opposite of what you have in mind. That doesn’t mean you can’t hold out for what you want, it just means that you need to keep things in perspective. If you can’t find what you’re looking for (or it’s not finding you) maybe you need to start looking in new places. That said, be up for the challenge. Recognize that society still hasn’t grasped the concept 100%. Your relationship will take more time and effort to keep afloat, but if it’s worth holding on to, the work won’t feel like work.
The final message: be happy. If someone you meet makes you the happiest woman or man on Earth, are you going to put it to an end because they don’t fit what you had in mind? Happiness is not easily found, and not easily kept. Cherish it.