First, thanks to all the men who have been writing me lately. I’m glad you’re listening and observing. Gap, meet bridge.
I got this letter from a reader yesterday and it’s so important I moved it to the front of the queue. An Austin, Texas man is concerned that all the interest he’s receiving from black women is because black-on-black dating and marriage basically sucks.
Christelyn,I read your site all the time now and truly appreciate the insight that you provide into a controversial subject. I’ve been troubled by an aspect of interracial dating now for quite a while now, and I’m turning to you because I trust you opinion on these matters because you seem like a thoughtful person and you’ve walked the walk yourself.I’m a 35 year-old white man living in Austin, TX, and I’ve dated black women sporadically since I moved here three years ago. I had never dated a black woman before I moved to Austin, and I was stunned when a black female coworker called me “handsome” in my first month on my new job. It never occurred to me that black women would even have the slightest interest in white guys, especially a Slavic/German (read: ultra white) guy like me. Since then there have been more than a few black women who have checked me out, started conversations, and generally flirted with me. It’s all totally new to me, but I’ve rolled with it under the theory that black women are women and they all just want men in their lives, black or not.I grew up in Houston and encountered very few interracial couples or signs that black women were interested in being with anyone other than black men. During my life there I felt like black women considered white men to be something of a joke. Houston has a huge black population, so I don’t think there’s a lot of motivation for black women to date interracially. It actually seems to me that a major reason that black women in Austin seek to date white men is that their prospects for finding black men are limited given the local dearth of black men. This has been something that has bothered me about having a relationship with black women. I get the sneaking feeling that they would be happier with a black man. One woman I dated even went so far as to admit that, “Of course everyone would like to be with someone of their own race,” oddly overlooking the fact that I was dating interracially by choice. Many of the things I’ve seen and read on interracial dating have emphasized the idea that black women are starting to date interracially because there aren’t enough high-achieving, commitment-minded black men to go around. I don’t want to be anyone’s backup plan, and I certainly don’t want to find out 5 years into a relationship that my girlfriend shot for Blair Underwood and settled for me.This brings me to my question: do black women really want to be with white men, or are we just the backup plan when they can’t find a marriageable black man? Please be honest! It’s better to admit the truth than to have a bunch of unhappy people foundering in relationships of convenience. I’m not a beggar in the dating market, and I have other options. I don’t have to date black women because white and Hispanic women don’t want me. I date them because I want to, and the ones I’ve dated have been beautiful, fit, desirable women. I want to be with a woman who wants to be with me as badly as I want to be with her, and I won’t settle for less.Many thanks,“J”