Guilt about dating

28-Apr-2016 08:12

None of them have been the right fit for me, but that wasn’t because they weren’t black.For us, that means learning about each other’s cultures.Even when I have expressed romantic interest in black guys, it has always been a futile effort.That was perhaps the most frustrating aspect of my well-meaning friends’ advice.

I was 19 the first time a man of color actually expressed halfhearted interest in me; he was a biracial friend who repeatedly asked me out and then repeatedly forced me to pay for these dates.

He teaches me about German beer and soccer chants; I familiarize him with my Caribbean culture and Jamaican cuisine.

Together, we like to listen to Lauryn Hill’s music and watch soul-stirring documentaries on incarceration.

Black guys have more easily understood my gripes about my hair or institutional injustice.

But I’ve long known that there is no such thing as a perfect partner. Along the way, I’ve dated white guys who wanted to learn about blackness; white guys who pretended my blackness didn’t exist; a Jewish guy who was well-meaning but politically infuriating; and a Honduran man who promptly ditched me for my best friend.

I was 19 the first time a man of color actually expressed halfhearted interest in me; he was a biracial friend who repeatedly asked me out and then repeatedly forced me to pay for these dates.He teaches me about German beer and soccer chants; I familiarize him with my Caribbean culture and Jamaican cuisine.Together, we like to listen to Lauryn Hill’s music and watch soul-stirring documentaries on incarceration.Black guys have more easily understood my gripes about my hair or institutional injustice.But I’ve long known that there is no such thing as a perfect partner. Along the way, I’ve dated white guys who wanted to learn about blackness; white guys who pretended my blackness didn’t exist; a Jewish guy who was well-meaning but politically infuriating; and a Honduran man who promptly ditched me for my best friend.But the aspect of our love that I’m most grateful for is that I’m finally loved because of my Afro-Caribbean heritage, not in spite of it.