Austin, TX Man Asks, “Am I the Black Woman’s Second Choice?”

First, thanks to all the men who have been writing me lately. I’m glad you’re listening and observing. Gap, meet bridge.

Embarrassed young man

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”
—————
J, you’ve asked a very important question and I really need to for you to listen to my answer and really take it in. It’s important in the case of non-black men dating black women to understand the historical context and barriers that lead you to ask this question. In most cases, it’s not that black women are looking to white men as a second choice or backup plan. Most never knew you were even a choice in the first place.
J, you said yourself, “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.” Well guess what? A lot, I mean, A LOT of black women thought (and still think) that a Slavic/German man like yourself would ever consider them as potential mates.
You have to understand the conditioning that goes on in black communities that discourage black women from expanding their dating options. Literally from birth, many black women are told that only black men will love them, because their dark skin and kinky hair is unpalatable to men outside the black community. They are told that white men are often only interested in them as a fetish, and while they will sleep with you, they’ll never marry you let alone take you out in public. Black women are also taught through the media that women who don’t look like them are more beautiful, desirable, and marriageable.
And that’s why this site exists. And that’s why I wrote Swirling. What you are witnessing, J, is a massive re-education and awakening by many black women, who might have been taught one thing, but are witnessing in real time, a very different reality. They’re seeing women who look just like them happily dating and married to non-black men, and this at first causes cognitive dissonance, and then curiosity, and then excitement to learn that the very men whom they were taught were off limits are a viable dating option for them.
As a woman married 12 years to a Slavic/German man just like yourself, I have to be honest, I thought at one point my husband would be black. Not because I applied some magical thinking to the black phallus, just because I was basically taught that it was the thing to do. But after dating and subsequently marrying my husband, I can say with certainty that if my husband would be run over by a truck tomorrow, I know my first preference would be a man that looked (and acted) similar to my hubby. Preferences are fluid, based on personal experience and emotions that are attached to those experiences.
Of course there are many, many black women who have stated on this blog that white men have ALWAYS been their preference, and non-black men who have said the same. But many of us have evolved from the exciting discovery that a group of people whom we thought were off limits to us dig us just as much as we dig them.
J, now go forth and swirl. ;-)
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The Man Myth
271 comments
Heidi49
Heidi49

Young man.  I have dated outside my race off and on since I was 14 years old. I dated who was attractive to me. I looked for liked minded values and outlooks on life. Are there women out there who have been raised by family to look for men of color is they are black of course, but does that mean that is what they will fall in love with? Not necessarily so. As times change and people change, we understand that you should not settle regardless of race. You find who works for you, if she happens to be black that is great, if she has happens to be white, well that is fine too. We need to stop placing color as at the forefront of what we say and do. 

Jeffrey_Baril
Jeffrey_Baril

I have dated Black women exclusively my entire life without exception. It has never been a requirement that she prefers to date outside her race, or harbored some secret attraction to us over the years, or even likes White men! 


To get caught up in a debate over who is superior sounds a little racist to me... and counterproductive. These days, women are looking for the "total package"... that is my focus... and that is what gives me confidence. 


I'm Okay being her "first"... perhaps I could be her "last"? LOL 


Jeffrey in Philadelphia

Beautifulgirl
Beautifulgirl

Hi "J." Politely, white men are not a backup plan - not for me and many, many other beautiful women of color. I like and prefer Caucasian men. Christelyn made a great point: African-American women did not even know they were a choice for Caucasian men. I live on the Westside of Los Angeles and would love to find a very noble, gentleman ! of very high standards and quality. It's not impossible (!!) and I'm still waiting. Women of color who genuinely want to be with and marry a Caucasian man exists. If you have the courage, walk up to a lady of interest and ask her. Girls like myself are still awaiting - like in old time - for the man to approach them. I will not settle, and request the qualities and characteristics that I already possess. Thank you.

Camden14
Camden14

OMG...I love Austin. I live for Gourdough's, Franklin BBQ and Torchy's Tacos. Ok, enough of my food road trip. I applaud you "J" for being interested enough to educate yourself on dating a black woman. I think Christelyn gave you a very frank and honest answer which should help. Fortunately for me, I was raised in a very diverse culture since my family was military. So, I've always been attracted to men of different races since I can remember. Good luck to you. :o)

michellesimon200
michellesimon200

Its true that for many of us, we never thought black men were an options. On the other hand, because of our history and things said to us all our lives by family, we guestionthe intetest that we get from white men. I have always wondered if they like me fo me or where they just looking to have some fun with a black girl. I move here from the islands at age 16, and from the age of 14, i have always been attracted to white men but becausr of and friends, i never acted on that attraction. Now that im ready to date white men, i have no clue how to go about it.

angelface47
angelface47

Justme65

I live in Northern Cal. So we are sort of neighbors in a way.

angelface47
angelface47

Nofakenamesimmatt, why should this gentleman move to San Diego, if you don't mind me asking?

SavageTango
SavageTango

Interesting read.  Speaking specifically as a resident of Houston who exclusively Swirls, I can't say I've encountered what this gentleman has.  If anything, I have a difficult time keeping up as there is a VERY LARGE pool of open minded, enthusiastic, and available Ladies from which to choose.  

I wish him the best, but maybe the problem lies elsewhere.


JCNme
JCNme

As usual...great answer Chris! And as for J, there are plenty of black women that prefer white men over any other race. I'm Ethiopian and we are typically known to only date within our race but there are still some out there (myself being one of them) that prefer white men over their own and any other race.  I'm just saying don’t think that all black women only prefer black men because that's sooo not true. So if you’re reading this, good luck to you and hope you find that special lady you’re searching for!! J

WorldTravelingChic
WorldTravelingChic

Like most things in life, there's no pat answer to this question. There are Black women who will see non-Black men as an option now that they've figured out their promised Black Knight is an unlikely prospect. Then, there are those of us who've been swirling since we were 6, when we chased the cute blonde boy around the playground during recess. (That wasn't just me, right?) :)

It's so interesting to me that people can grow up in the same area and have totally different experiences. I grew up in southeast Houston. Most of my friends - black, white, Hispanic - dated all across the ethnic spectrum. We lived in mixed neighborhoods and went to school together. Interracial couples are nothing new in my neck of the woods, esp. with my White/Hispanic female and Black male friends. Most of my Black female friends have always been attracted to non-Black men but had trouble finding the non-Black men who were into Black women enough to date and marry them.

As far as I can tell, the stats published about interracial couplings hold as true in H-town as they do in any large city. You just have to find the pockets of people who are like-minded and willing to do whatever the heck they want, regardless of what the mainstream tried to make them believe. I grew up in that pocket in Houston. Now, I'm trying to find it in Denver!

lumiereleclaire
lumiereleclaire

Oops, I started dating whites after all the BM at my college were not interested in me.  Lucky, for me, though, I got hooked on dating whites because they treated me with so much respect and dignity.  Hey, J, my husband is German, like you. I hope you do not give up, and find that special BW who will put you first and love you for the great man that you are.  I have been married to my German hubby, 29 years, and I consider myself the luckiest woman in the world.

ElLagoJeff
ElLagoJeff

@Jeffrey_Baril 

" It has never been a requirement that she prefers to date outside her race, or harbored some secret attraction to us over the years, or even likes White men!"

So you date BW who *don't* like WM?  Have another beer...

angelface47
angelface47

@Beautifulgirl

I totally agree with you, and we are all waiting.

Justme65
Justme65

@angelface47 

I used to live in Sacramento, but I think you guys, as well as the rest of the country, view us in SoCal as weirdoes.  We ARE neighbors.  Cali rocks!!!  But, once you get outside L.A., it's different.  I also think that NoCal tries to differentiate themselves from SoCal.  No battles with me, but what do you think about the various regions of our state?

ErikaBlaze
ErikaBlaze

@WorldTravelingChic "Then, there are those of us who've been swirling since we were 6, when we chased the cute blonde boy around the playground during recess. (That wasn't just me, right?) :)..." I thought I was the only one. 6 was the age for me too. :)

cjdimplez
cjdimplez

@Lady A  That is my Man right there!!!!  I need some ice water now!

Jeffrey_Baril
Jeffrey_Baril

@ElLagoJeff @Jeffrey_Baril


I don't ask Black women if they "like" White men, because I don't care! 


When a Black woman dates me or another White guy, she is not suddenly "co-signing" her approval over everything that is White... is she? 


I have dated many Black women who have negative views on White guys... like how insecure and possessive they are, how poor they dress, how boring they are, how dull the sex is... 


So, to me, it says a lot when a Black woman chooses me. I know that I was unique and special... and not that they "like" White men, and any White guy would do. 


~Jeffrey in Philadelphia 

ElLagoJeff
ElLagoJeff

@angelface47 I think the attitude of simply waiting for Mr. Right is part of what's keeping BW and WM apart.  BW seem to be expecting some over-the-top hard sell that most WM aren't likely to give, especially given the history of mistrust between the two groups.  You're probably going to have to give more cues to the men who catch your eye, perhaps more than you're comfortable giving.

angelface47
angelface47

Justme65

I am originally from Texas and I have only lived in Oakland and Antioch. I have been to different cities in Cali but LA is way too busy for me. I visited San Diego once and it calm there, even though I was there for a short time. Love San Francisco but I always get lost there. Next year I am going to try and visit more cities in Cali. But I don't think people in San Diego are weirdos, not at all.

SavageTango
SavageTango

@Justme65 


From what I gather in reading his experience, it sounds like he didn't really consider interracial dating to be much of an option here in Houston as compared to his experience in Austin.  Swirling resident of Houston that I am, I gotta say I haven't encountered what he did as far as his description of Houston went, specifically this part right here...

"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."

I gotta say I really don't see this.  I've encountered the exact opposite, in fact I'm approached quite often by black women.  Maybe I trigger the Swirl version of "gaydar", whatever ya wanna call it.  Is there a term for that? If not, we really gotta take care of that!

So anyway, maybe he was getting this vibe from Ladies due to how he carried ( or didn't carry) himself, or maybe he just didn't come across as a Swirl friendly kinda guy, or maybe...and I've seen this before, The Sisters may have intimidated him a little.  The reason I say this is because, speaking from my own personal preferences, Black Women have a charm, style, flair and charisma about themselves that I find irresistible.  

What can I say?  She is the bright and shining light and I am the weak and fluttering moth..heh heh.

Some guys see this and they either step back a little, or God forbid, try to channel their inner Vanilla Ice Swag thing and come across as, well...I think we know what I'm sayin here!  


So, long answer to your short question, when I say maybe the problem lies elsewhere I'm insinuating that perhaps the problem was self imposed rather than the city he lived in. 

ElLagoJeff
ElLagoJeff

@Jeffrey_Baril @ElLagoJeff 

Ok, but this begs the question, why do you want to date people who have a low opinion of you and/or guys of your race?  It sounds like you're trying to prove something, i.e. how special you are that a BW chose you when she generally thinks that WM are unattractive.


My point is that you can't truly love a specific individual when you detest the race in general.  That's like a racist white guy saying he loves Beyonce but can't stand black people.

angelface47
angelface47

ElLagoJeff

I am not personally waiting on Mr. Right, I let God do that for me. And it does not matter what color or culture, as long as he comes from the current human race. I'm not picky but I won't settle for less either.

Justme65
Justme65

@angelface47 

Lol!  Wasn't thinking that.  San Diego is calm because there a lot or retirees from what I understand.  Not a place to swirl, for sure.  San Francisco? Too much for me.  LA is sooooo busy too, so I live in an area outside of the city.

So why did you leave Texas, if it's so great, like everyone says?

WorldTravelingChic
WorldTravelingChic

@SavageTango @Justme65 Thank you for standing up for Houston! I grew up there as well and I have a TON of friends who swirl in all directions. I agree, though, that The Woodlands is where I'd settle if I went back. I hung out with friends up there the last time I was home and definitely noticed some interest from the men. :)


With that being said, some of my black girlfriends prefer black men. They tend to be the ones who limit themselves to the black community. The ones who value diversity, build intercultural relationships and hang out in mixed groups, though? Yeah, they have no trouble.

Justme65
Justme65

@SavageTango @Justme65 

Houston vs. Austin, I can’t speak on. But, I feel you on everything else you said.   Can you tell me about how the “open carry” gun laws in some Southern states, make either of those cities in Texas especially attractive to BW trying to move there?


cjdimplez
cjdimplez

@SavageTango @Justme65  Why haven't I met someone like you here in Houston?  What area of the city are you located because it is clear that it must be in certain areas.  :)  I might have to learn more about this "swirl vibe"....LOL 

ElLagoJeff
ElLagoJeff

@angelface47  To each his own.  I just believe that people have to be proactive in finding love, and especially so with all the barriers to hurdle in IR relationships.  I'm finding out just how hard it is, especially from the man's perspective.

angelface47
angelface47

Well, I was under age when my mom decided she wanted to move to Cali and I never had the heart to move back because I am close to my mom. But I got back and visit when I can. I have family in Dallas, Houston, Texarkana and Louisiana. If it was not so humid I would move back but my kids would not like it there.

SavageTango
SavageTango

@WorldTravelingChic @SavageTango @Justme65 The Woodlands is a great place to be right now.  They are expanding all over the place, especially along The Waterway.  I'm tellin ya, even a guy like me can put on a nice dress shirt, go to one of MANY wine bars, order a glass of chardonnay out on the patio and get mistaken for a gentleman of refined taste and sophistication.  


It's that part where I make eye contact, swirl my glass, casually stroll over and say,  "Sup girl"  where things tend to go downhill for me ;-)

SavageTango
SavageTango

@Justme65 @SavageTango


Heh...open carry.   I will say this, them city boys don't quite do it like they do out in the western states like Oregon, Idaho and Montana with a real pistol all holstered up on your hip.  These open carry guys here in Texas just go around packin rifles lookin all Elmer Fudd simply because they can.  I think its more of a gun awareness political statement than anything else.  Besides ya gotta get tired walking around with those heavy rifles and nothing to really do with them besides say you have the constitutional right to do it.


As far as moving to Texas, may I suggest The Woodlands for no other reason than because I live there!!  Actually, Houston is awesome.  I'm originally from Seattle but I love Houston!  Normally I tell people,


"OK, here's the deal.  Houston is the 4th largest city in the country. There's nearly 6 million people in the metropolitan area and you will find a lot of whatever you happen to be looking for, whatever that may be.  There's good parts, there's not so good parts but all in all its great.  The cost of living is pretty low and there's a lot of opportunity out there.  Austin is good as well, their motto is "Keep Austin Weird".  The University of Texas is there, but its more a "college city" than a "college town."   Its got a lot of live music and a pretty relaxed vibe there. It tends to attract a lot of educated and open minded people and they take a lot of pride in being in a class all by themselves here in Texas."

I do hope that helped answer any questions or clarified a few things for you.  I'm biased, but I don't care!!!  Ya can't go wrong moving to Texas, and you'd do rather well moving to Austin or Houston.

SavageTango
SavageTango

@cjdimplez @SavageTango @Justme65


i live in The Woodlands / North Spring area but I haven't seen any roadside signs declaring, 
"Y'all have entered Swirlin Territory" 

Maybe I need to go to Home Depot and get on that.

Not sure if you're familiar with Chayns Night Club on NW 1960, but its a place where you can catch The Swirl Vibe up close and personal. Its got classy dudes there, too...well, except on the nights when I decide to show up, but aside from that you'll run into decent guys there.



angelface47
angelface47

@ElLangoJeff

I agree with being proactive the in finding love and of course it won't be easy, but what is these days. Truly think if people would stop using race and colour as an obstacle of getting to know anyone it wouldn't be so hard to find love. But people make it hard, so it will always be hard, because love knows no colour. But then again that's only my opinion.

ElLagoJeff
ElLagoJeff

@SavageTango @WorldTravelingChic @Justme65  The Woodlands is about the whitest community in the entire Houston area.  Doesn't exactly seem like the Mecca of interracial dating to me.  I work and play all over Houston proper (downtown, midtown, Galleria area), and I don't see very many IR couples at all.  BW/WM couples are especially rare in my experience.

Justme65
Justme65

@SavageTango @Justme65 


Lol! Yep, trying to regain their manhood after the political disasters/situations that have had to be corrected in the last seven years.   “Carrying around a big scary gun is the only way I can feel like a man anymore.”   Lol!I would rather stay far away from those types.   The majority of them can’t wrap their minds around how the country is changing, so they need their guns to ensure life will be like the old days.   Stand your Ground laws in these states pretty much ensures you can kill a black person and not suffer consequences, if the person is white.

"Keep Austin Weird".  

I love it.   Sounds like SoCal, but most of us aren’t weird (in our minds), and if that is what some think about us outside L.A., so be it.   I’ll tell you one thing, California pays high wages because everything costs more to live here.   When I retire in 10-20 years, I can’t afford to do it in Cali, so I will have to take my fat retirement compensation to live in a low cost state, or work til I die to keep up with the cost in Cali.

Austin sounds like a place I can do.   Things have to change in Texas though, let’s start with the Governor.   Texas is on its way to becoming a politically “purple” state.   That state’s current political control is something I can’t get with.


Justme65
Justme65


Lol!Yep, trying to regain their manhood after the political disasters/situations that have had to be corrected in the last seven years.“Carrying around a big scary gun is the only way I can feel like a man anymore.”Lol!I would rather stay far away from those types.The majority of them can’t wrap their minds around how the country is changing, so they need their guns to ensure life will be like the old days.Stand your Ground laws in these states pretty much ensures you can kill a black person and not suffer consequences, if the person is white.


"Keep Austin Weird".  


I love it.Sounds like SoCal, but most of us aren’t weird (in our minds), and if that is what some think about us outside L.A., so be it.I’ll tell you one thing, California pays high wages because everything costs more to live here.When I retire in 10-20 years, I can’t afford to do it in Cali, so I will have to take my fat retirement compensation to live in a low cost state, or work til I die to keep up with the cost in Cali.


Austin sounds like a place I can do.Things have to change in Texas though, let’s start with the Governor.Texas is on its way to becoming a politically “purple” state.That state’s current political control is something I can’t get with.


cjdimplez
cjdimplez

@SavageTango @cjdimplez @Justme65  I didn't see any either.  I knew there was another reason I should have stayed in the area.  But I let a little thing like a long commute persuade me to move closer to the medical center.  I guess I have to visit my family more often now in the area.  Although I'm not big on the club scene I may check out Chayns and the like.  Thanks!

SavageTango
SavageTango

@ElLagoJeff @SavageTango @WorldTravelingChic @Justme65 You ever see BW/WM couples shopping at The Galleria?  Heh heh...we get A LOT of interesting looks. Everyone assumes I'm shoppin with my Ebony Sugar Baby.  Even other BW give her that little nod of tacit approval.

As for The Woodlands, yeah residentially it is indeed Wonder Bread White, but a lot of available Ladies enjoy what Market Street and The Waterway have to offer. 

FutureLobbyist
FutureLobbyist

@SavageTango @ElLagoJeff @WorldTravelingChic @Justme65


Yes thank you for representing Houston! I live in the Galleria area myself, & I've had no problems attracting men from different races or ethnicities. I've seen more BW/WM couples in more of the upscale restaurants like Arturo's or Truluck's.  I think it's a great city to swirl!

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