Question of the Week: “do you think it’s unnatural to exclusively desire a race other than your own?”

I received this note from “Reluctant Geek Girl,” and she needs our help.

Dear Christelyn,

I am a mid-30s single black woman from NYC.  I’ve always had a preference for white guys.  When I was younger, the number of BM crushes were minimal, as an adult, I exclusively prefer WM and have no romantic/physical interest in black men at all.

I grew up in a family that is pretty much the epitome of “pro-blacker than thou”.  The type that believed that white people were “the devil”. So as long as I could remember, my preference for white guys was a problem with certain family members and so called “friends”.  I was accused of being self-hating and a black man hater, amongst other things (I don’t hate anyone).  Not to mention, it seemed that nearly every white guy I was attracted to/crushed on didn’t seem interested in me because I was black.  I have no problems attracting black men at all (and really lovely ones who I am sure would make a good husband to a lucky woman), but I only like them as friends and nothing more.

Because of these accumulating factors, I became ashamed of my preferences, and felt like a race traitor.  So during my early 20s, I made poor dating decisions.  My boyfriends back then were either racist, or just plain DBR.  After a couple of sour relationships, I stopped dating for a very long time and decided to do some spiritual cleansing.

Now I am just getting back in the dating scene. I work a lot, so I’ve been doing online dating.  So far, I haven’t had much luck getting hits on my profile by WM – or at least ones of quality.  You’d think that it’d be easy to swirl in the Big Apple, but it seems very difficult to do so.

The friends I have now support my preferences- many of them prefer to date out of their “race” themselves.  Can’t say the same for my relatives.  Though my relatives don’t give me as much grief as before, they still strongly hint that I am pretty much barking up the wrong tree and should go to black singles events- though I’ve told them repeatedly that I am not interested.  The very relative that raised me says that my rejection of black men is unnatural and it’s like rejecting my own child.  I love her to death, but that analogy makes NO sense to me.

Though I am more comfortable with dating interracially now than I was when I was younger, I still hinder some guilt for not desiring my “own kind” – and resentment towards my relatives for guilt-tripping me with their cult-think. And it doesn’t help that I am not finding dates.  I kind of have a fear of becoming an old maid with my relatives saying “I told you so”.

So my question to you is this: how do I keep the faith in finding “Mr. Right” in a challenging environment? And do you think it’s unnatural to exclusively desire a “race” other than “your own”?

Thank you for your time and hope to hear from you,

Reluctant Geek Girl


Dear Geek Girl,

First things first: do you want to get married for fear that your family will deride you for wasting your best years chasing white guys? You also mention that you’re in your 30’s, so I know you’re hearing that biological clock bonging in your eardrums. These two reasons alone could be a contributing reason why you haven’t found the right guy. Believe me, guys smell that pressure a mile away. It’s not that any of them aren’t open to commitment, but when they feel like you want the ring and the picket fence more than you want them, then that’s a problem. But ignoring your desire and simply “not worry” is about as easy as holding your breath for ten minutes. So the key to squishing those thoughts down is to, well, get a life. I mean, get busy and start doing stuff. You’re in NYC so that shouldn’t be hard to do.

Another issue you might want to address is your online profile. It’s important that it be the absolute BEST representation of you. When you’re writing, keep it pithy. Surveys also show that men are responsive to a bit of cleavage, but keep it classy. That a look at this picture. Which one do you think gets the most male attention?

But it bears repeating. KEEP IT CLASSY.

Also make sure you have multiple pictures of you doing things that are meaningful to you. Do you have a dog? Like to hike? Ice skate?

Finally, as an adult, you have to make some decisions about your family and their influence on you. You are a grown woman, and I’m assuming you are supporting yourself. You family has no business nosing around your business. If their not going to be supportive of you and want makes you happy, then you need to limit your exposure to them.

My husband, Mike, is weighing in on this. FIRST TIME EVER, he just so happened to be sitting next to me, nagging about helping him make the salmon for dinner tonight. He says, “Change your online profile from “black” to nothing at all.” In so doing, you’ll get curious visitors, and when they see you as a person, not just a black person, you’ll get their attention.” (backs away slowly…)

He also says that you really need to put yourself out there. He thinks that white guys in general don’t think black women are interested, and can sometimes be hesitant to approach. “One thing I’ve learned is that everybody is different. So don’t be ashamed or embarrassed about what you want. At the end of the day, it’s about making yourself happy, not making others happy.”

Last thing I’d recommend is my friend Matthew Hussey’s “Get the Guy” series. It’s hugely popular, and for good reason.

Okay BB&W Crew, what say you?