Dating & Marrying Ethnic Men

What Actually Constitutes “Swirling”?

For some black women who are dating out exclusively or who maintain the interest of keeping their swirling options open, there are a couple of schools of thought as to what “swirling” actually means. For some, it means you’re dating a non-black man. For others, you’re dating a white man. What this means is that dating any other ethnic group that is not-black but also not-white inexplicably does not exist or “does not count.”


This “does not count” line of thinking confuses me. One explanation I’ve seen is the idea that it’s safe to date a non-black man so long as he’s not white. This seems to grossly underestimate cross-cultural and ethnic relations and issues, such as racism, which is absolutely not exclusive to black/white relationships. Bigotry is a global phenomenon: How much sense does it make to pretend that there are issues that a black woman will not have to deal with if she elects to pair with a non-white rainbeau?

Another is that for black women, being paired with white men is far more common, at least in the United States. And since this pairing is more dominant, it’s safe to assume you’re speaking to white men or to women who date them exclusively all the time.

Who started this “doesn’t count as swirling if the man isn’t white” thinking? And more importantly, what does that say about the people who attempt to make this distinction between white swirling and non-white swirling (that the latter doesn’t matter and or doesn’t exist apparently)?

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