Question of the Week

QOTW: Shy Guy in His 20’s Never Dated…Ever!


Dear Mrs. Karazin,

I recently alighted upon your blog and Youtube channel have since been consuming both almost religiously. It is a salve on my anxieties that an authority like yourself has created a safe, supportive space for discussing interracial* relationships. You’re an inspiration.

I am a History Ph.D candidate currently at a graduate program in Chicago (my plan is to eventually teach at the university level). Needless to say, the opportunities for dating black women are abundant here in the Windy City, so that’s not the problem.

However, I am in my 20s and have never once dated in my entire life—I have never been in a romantic relationship and for a long time strenuously denied to myself the possibility I could even be in one. Part of this is attributable to my solitary, bookish disposition, but moreover I simply chose not to put in the time or effort out of a preemptive fear of heartbreak. So I arrive at this point with a deficit in even the basic rudiments of courtship, on top of my general social awkwardness.

A further potential complication presents itself in my academic path. I am admittedly old-fashioned in the sense that I wouldn’t enter into a relationship without the clear expectation that marriage should ideally be the end-goal (otherwise I would just be wasting the other person’s time). But my career trajectory is such that, even after receiving my doctorate in six years’ time, it could very well be years before I even make it onto the tenure track—and in the meantime the nature of adjunct teaching will likely entail a lot of moving. All of which leaves me ill-equipped to support a partner, much less start a family with her.

You understand my trepidation. Even before negotiating the special terrain of interracial dating, I lack any familiarity with relationships altogether. Shakespeare’s sonnets alone won’t provide enough insight, I think. What would be your advice for overcoming my fear of being exposed as inexperienced and clueless? As as a newcomer to Chicago’s South Side without a personal network, are online means the realistic option for meeting people? And in any event, should I wait to establish myself more securely as a prospective partner before I undertake any of this?

With all my reservations, I still dream of finding a beautiful, kind-hearted and intellectually challenging lady with whom to share the rest of my life. I eagerly await whatever guidance you can offer for starting off on the right foot.

I love your work and look forward to more in the future.


Here’s my take…

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