The Black and White of Dating

There was once a time when a black man and a white woman could not be seen walking down the street holding hands. I know this because I heard the stories told by my white grandmother and black grandfather. And this wasn’t too long ago. We’re talking 35/40 plus years ago. And forget about the 60’s. My grandparents were lucky, they lived in the north, where, let’s be honest, race relations were a little different than the south.

I grew up with my grandparents in Maryland in what many would call a middle/upper class neighborhood. As the only grandchild, I had a lot of wonderful opportunities. Travel, education, hobbies; many things which shaped the person I am today. One of those things was the chance to be around a variety of cultures and social backgrounds. My grandmother is Irish and at times I was the only little tan person at mass. (Mass by the way highly boring compared to my southern family and our southern Baptist church) The advantage was that I was exposed to so many different people, with different views and different cultures. However, I spent most of my life in areas that were mainly white.

With that said, most of my friends were white as well as most of the guys I dated. My first crush, a gorgeous tanned and blonde lifeguard named Tristan, was my lustly love in the summer of 1990. I remember going to the pool everyday, just to see him. NOTE- As a black woman I would later realize that my going to said pool everyday would have a not some pleasant effect on my hair. I should have noticed then, how strange it was that I was the ONLY black person there on a regular basis, but that was the beauty about living with my grandparents. They taught me that we are all born different races, colors, and nationalities and that there is nothing wrong with us all being able to live and love together.

Now this may come to a shock to some of you, but my first “boyfriend” was black. Sixth grade, named Donnie, it lasted until 8th period. In my life I have dated two other black men, the rest have all been white. The common question I get is why? My joke answer is that I date white men to improve my credit score. But to be honest, I date the men I feel most comfortable with. I date the men who are most attracted to me and in most cases I date then men with the most common background as myself. My annoyance however, comes from white men and their random stereotypical ideas of black women.

Not that I mind being most white mens first, I have to laugh when I get what is usually the first question asked on every date I have ever been on with a white guy who has NEVER dated a sista. “So I heard that black women (insert racial, sexual, dating stereotype here) that true?” I can never understand why it is the common theory that we do things soooo differently than women of other races. Now, I will say, some of those theories are true, but I have to wonder where these dating rumors come from. I am almost prepared for one guy to say to me  “I hear that black women like to be dressed up as maids while they have sex. Is that true?” Why of course it is.

The point is, every woman, regardless of her race is different. Yes, you can make general views based on race, but at the end of the day, we are women. We have certain strong desires, certain things that make us wonderful and others that make us a little crazy. But I will say, stepping out of your own race to date another is not only an interesting social experience, but it may open you up for wonderful relationships and different viewpoints that you might never have discovered. Besides, how cute are mixed babies?


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