Wow! It’s Wednesday! But What About (Black) Love

CH and I on our first big vacation. It rained the entire time we were in Hawaii, and we still had a great time. One of the many events that told me he was the one.

One brief somewhat sunny moment for CH and I on our first big vacation to Hawaii. It was unseasonably cold and rained the entire time we were there, yet we still had a TON of fun. One of many signs that he was 'the one."

So I talked yesterday about how the media and some bloggers love this story of how BW-WM relationships come to be: Black woman starts off dating within her race. Discovers that there are no “good” black men. Decides to marry a white man b/c of this dearth.

That wasn’t the case with me, but I did used to be one of those sisters that didn’t date outside of her race. In fact, I didn’t go on a date with a white guy until I was 24, and I didn’t seriously date one until I was 25. When I look back on it, I can barely remember why I thought it would be so wrong to date a white guy, even though for the majority of my dating years I held this to be true.

I remember feeling angry whenever I read about what white slave owners did to black female slaves and vowing that I’d never get mixed up with a white guy. Also, I was raised in a mostly black community, and I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of my fellow black girls that dated white boys growing up. It just wasn’t done. But mostly I had an image of what my life would be like and it had Cosby Show — not that sidekick couple from The Jeffersons — written all over it.

I’ve mostly California to thank for changing my mind on this subject. Let me tell you, for whatever reason, I have always attracted mostly nice guys. There is something about me that assholes just do not like. I never understood why, but I seriously could not get a bad boy if my life depended on it. This was fortunate, b/c I have little tolerance for bad boys and the feeling was deeply mutual.

However, when I got to California, it wasn’t just nice black guys showing an interest, it was also nice white guys. Really nice white guys. This had been the case while I was abroad in Japan, too, but it was really, really the case in California. So I maintain that it wasn’t a lack of black guys in my dating pool that convinced me to finally start dating outside of my race but a surplus of white guys. It also didn’t hurt that my militant feelings surrounding BW-WM relationships were starting to fade as college got further away.

With little to no fanfare, I gauged the California situation and just changed my mind. Go figure. Really I consider it a growing up of sorts.

Yet I don’t agree with IR supporters who insist that black women must widen their dating pool, because there is something wrong with black men in general. I know black men in strong marriages with black women and black men in strong IR marriages and black men who have no business having children or getting married until they do some work on themselves. But I’m sure every woman of every race could state the same about the men within her race. And I don’t think it serves anyone to encourage interracial relationships by putting members of your own race down. Trust me, black men have not cornered the bad marriage material market.

I think putting any kind of external caveat on love is a really bad idea. And though I understand that many black people feel that they won’t truly be understood by a person outside of their race, I would encourage everyone to be open to love in whatever form it arrives. There’s a difference between someone who gets you politically and someone who gets you emotionally. IMO political understanding can be taught and worked out. Racial differences can be embraced and explored. Emotional understanding and complete acceptance is the tough one.

So to my fellow women, I say if someone comes along who has the possibility of “getting you” in this way, if you have the same level of ambition, similar goals, and you turn him or her down because they don’t fit into the the image of who you would want to be with, then I question whether you yourself are really open to or ready for love.

Here’s what I know for sure, love is a quality game. There is a severely limited number of people on this earth who will love you, support you in the way you need to be supported, and with whom you are going to want to spend the rest of your life. If that person comes along, hold on to her or him. No matter what. At the end of the day, I don’t believe in Black Love, I only believe in True Love, because it’s a beautiful thing and so incredibly hard to find.

But let’s talk about this further. I wonder how our other readers in IR relationships came to start dating outside of their race. Was it a particular person or event that made you change your mind or have you always been an open-minded dater? Also, feel free to disagree with me if you’re a proponent of Black Love. Either way…

100% Love,