A fan of the BB&W Crew reached out to me this week, and I’m highlighting her question but not revealing her name to keep her confidence. Take a long read. See if you recognize yourself, or someone you know.
I should start off by saying you dont know me, but I hope you write me back. I have read your articles on interracial dating and marriage and read your own story. In fact, when I feel confused and unsure about my own interracial relationship, I reread your story to reassure myself of my own decisions. I am a 27 year old black woman set to marry a white man this June—-I am petrified. I love him, that much I know but I am terrified of the unknown. My doubts stem from my own dating history. I have always only dated black men. I love black men. So I was just as surprised as anyone when I finally gave this white man who had become my best friend, a chance to be my boyfriend. Perhaps it it his difference from the black men I have dated that gives me cause for pause. He is not as confident, not as aggressive, not as charming as the black men I typically have dated. Instead he is quiet and laid back. He has no issue with me taking the lead. Sometimes I enjoy the difference, other times I find it disconcerting. Am I making any sense? I guess part of me is worried about getting married and then wondering if I will always “miss” being with a black man. I wonder if I am making a mistake. He has all of the qualities(most, anyway) that I have ever wanted in a man, but he just doesnt have that “presence”, that alpha male presence that all of the black men I dated had. If I had my choice, I would marry a black man. That is the truth. But the man I am with now treats me better than any of the men before him did. The fact is I am not sure I could find another man like him that loves me the way he does. I also realize I had to start making different and better dating decisions if I did not want to end up in the same unhealthy relationships I was in before and that is why I gave the man I am with now, a chance. So I guess I write to you for your own perspective, insight and advice. Did you have any of these feelings when you married? If so, how did you cope with them and do you have any advice for me? Thank you so much for your time.
Here’s how I replied:
First, congratulations on finding a man who loves and cherishes you and wants to spend the rest of his life making you happy.
Second, and this may sound harsh, you might want to dump him. Why? No one, I mean, NO ONE wants to be someone’s second choice. Can you just imagine if YOUR MAN would say what you’ve said to me? “Well, I really, really want a white woman, but since I can’t find a decent one, I’ll just settle for you.” Would you marry a guy who would say that? I hope not.
I do, however, empathize with your fear. The day after I got married, I was like, WTF did I just do??? lol But that’s natural. After all the fairy tale stuff is over, the reality sets in–this man is YOUR HUSBAND. And it’s like…whoa. I’m a little different in that I didn’t still pine for black men after I met my husband–I’d had enough of them to know that swagger and drama and all things associated with so-called “black culture” didn’t excite me. What excited me about my relationship with my husband (this is our 9-year anniversary month) was that I was marrying a QUALITY, HARD WORKING, FAMILY MAN. His color was of no concern to me. I chose character above color, and I have never, ever, once, regretted it.
My fear came from wondering how difficult our relationship might be received by outsiders, but that was fleeting. Once we forged our lives together and made our family, I became less and less concerned about other people. You know why? Because those people judging your relationship are probably miserable as hell, and they want you to be too. Happy people don’t chastise others. Only haters do that. I am so, so, happy (in general, maybe not always day to day, because life is tough sometimes) and grateful for my husband and my family. And surprisingly, we’ve never experienced any outright distain from others, knock on wood.
That said, if you really, really want a black man, then you need to be honest with your partner, because it’s not fair to him. If color matters more to you than character, I’m sorry, but you deserve whatever you get. I mean that as lovingly as I can possibly be.
Good luck and love,