I receive emails from people around the globe.
Fans write to express how much they enjoy the blog; foes, not so much.
Whether you love it or you hate it, I enjoy hearing from you.
Today's post (edited to protect the writer's anonymity) features a question I often receive:
Hey Michelle, how are you?....I'm writing because I recently broke up with my on & off again boyfriend of 8 yrs (long story..lol) I love your site because I have recently become open minded to dating outside of my race but I'm nervous and not really sure what to do since I've been kinda off the market for some time. I was looking thru the pics on your Facebook page and even liking some of them. Now my friends are asking me why! I guess I'm just looking for some advise or words to get me out there to explore. I know I'm probably rambling & not making sense but I guess I just need to talk to someone like minded....hope to hear from ya soon.
This was my response:
Hi there, and thanks for writing!
The first thing I would recommend is that you get yourself a copy of the book Swirling by Christelyn D. Karazin and Janice Roshalle Littlejohn (it's on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble). The book contains tons of GREAT tips and covers the main tenets of IR dating from start to finish - it even lists the parts of the country that are the most open.
I have to tell you to be prepared for the backlash. One of the things I've observed in my studies is that for some strange reason, Black Women have been saddled with "maintaining the race," and labeled as being a "race traitor" when they decide to date out - yet Black men date/marry out at a rate that is over 2 to 1 of the rate of Black women! It seems to be ok for THEM to do it but not us - go figure. Statistics also show that Black women have the lowest rates of interracial marriage. You have to really decide in your mind that this is YOUR life and YOUR choice, and ultimately your FIRST loyalties are to God and yourself.
Get Rid of Your Negativity
Don't allow anyone's negativity to hold you back. What a lot of Black women don't realize is that while they are waiting/looking/checking for "Nothing But a Black Man" (NBABM), so are THOUSANDS of OTHER Black women - realistically speaking, how many Black men do you think there are to go around??? And not only that, many of the "good" Black men are not checking for Black women - they're interested in women of other races. This reduces the pool of available Black men even further. If you're in that NBABM mindset, the numerical odds are that you will either (1) wind up alone, or (2) wind up sharing a man. Men of other races outnumber Black men, which gives you ample more men to choose from if you just OPEN your mind and EXPAND your options. You don't need EVERY quality non-Black man to like/want you - guess what? You only need ONE.
Shake Everyone Else's Negativity
Don't allow the negative feelings friends/relatives to hold you back, either. Women really do tend to sometimes have that "crab in a bucket" mentality. They're alone, and (1) afraid to reach out to other races, or (2) either trying to "sister soldier" for Black men who are paying them no attention. Many of them will take a "How dare you" approach, because in reality you are leaving them behind. Why should ALL of you be alone??? Let them call you a sell out if they want to. When you think about it, what do you really want? You want a good man who shares many of your values, and will love you for you. Well, men like that come in more than one color. And for the women who say, "I want a Black man because he can understand/share my struggle," my response is this: Are you SO shallow that a man of only ONE ethnicity can relate to you??? Really?? If a non-Black man doesn't know your struggle, how ‘bout you educate him - and be educated by him in return? What's wrong with that?
The Opportunity Has Probably Already Presented Itself!
With that being said, I'll bet if you think about it, you've already been "hit on" by men of other races. Please know that they often tend to be much more subtle in their approach than Black men. Many White men are a bit hesitant/reluctant to step to a Black woman, not because they're not interested, but rather because they're not sure how she will receive their advances. Unfortunately, because of some of the reasons I listed above, many Black women react in strongly negative ways to White men's advances, so it makes non-Black men somewhat timid. Plus, they tend to not be as aggressive and "in your face" as Black men are (think about it; a lot of Black men tend to think they have a RIGHT to approach you, and also think that you should automatically be responsive. SMH).
Why You Need to Make it a Great Experience - For Both of You
If a White man (or other non-Black man) compliments you, attempts to strike up a conversation with you, etc., most of the time it's because he's interested. Even if you're not interested (for whatever reason), please still be nice, because you don't want to spoil it for the next Black woman he wants to approach. Leave him with the thought and impression that Black women are friendly and approachable, not hateful and mean. Not only will it help him, it will also help to crush the negative Black women stereotypes out there. Let me also say that unless you have a VERY good reason for not being interested, give the man a chance - you really never know!
Some Practical Tips
I suggest you examine your hobbies and interests, and start from there. Go online and check out Meet Up groups in your area. It's a quick, easy, and usually free way to meet new people and expand your circle. Change some of the places you frequent - go to museums, libraries, etc., where people interested in the arts and culture usually frequent. I even suggest you investigate the events at your local Whole Foods Market!
Smile, Smile, SMILE!
I cannot stress enough how important it is to SMILE, be open, be FRIENDLY and APPROACHABLE. Be observant; it's easy to start conversations over the simplest of things. Of course you still have to vet ANY man, regardless of race. Keep your standards high and don't take any crap - the same way you would not from a Black man. Confidence is attractive, period - and men love confident women. I'm sure you maintain a neat and attractive appearance; that's a given for a man of ANY race. (Interestingly, what you'll find is that Black men are often FAR more critical of our looks than non-Black men are. We're exotic to them, and the things that Black men tend to rag on - natural hair, skin tone, etc., non-Black men are DRAWN to and LOVE. Again, go figure!)
I have much more I can say - all of that is just for starters. Feel free to ask away, and bounce things off me!
Join in the Fray: What advice can you share?
Copyright © 2013 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl, All rights reserved.