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After five years of my boyfriend and I dating on and off, I think my mom has come to love him almost as much as I do.It didn’t seem to matter anymore what he looked like.I met my current boyfriend the next night, and he we are, still together five years later.Still, I would never ever say that being in an interracial relationship has been easy.As a young woman of color, I can attest to the fact that many people in this world feel it is their duty — no, their God-given right — to decide what is best for me, and especially whom is best for me to date.For instance, I felt the need to defend my relationships to my mother who, like Baker’s mother, wondered when her daughter would bring home someone who looked more Michael B. My mother will resent me for saying this, but I know there is a part of her that wanted to see me settle down with someone black, someone who looked like me.But then something happened: people started talking to me, flirting even.
I looked down at my fingertips, stained deep mocha from my foundation, and felt self-conscious.While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I came across a link to a Gawker article that one of my friends reposted.In an essay entitled "The Reality of Dating White Women When You're Black," writer Ernest Baker tackles big topics like Eurocentric beauty standards, the taboo aspect of interracial relationships, and why he dates white women, among others: Why do I date white women?One of my favorite things to do was to play with his hair.He would lie with his head in my lap, and I would run my fingers through the blond strands.
I couldn't stop repeating the first part of the Clutch headline over and over again in my head. She wrote in a Huffington Post blog late last year: It is the same sharp tug of disappointment that gets me every time I see a black man with a white woman on his arm.