Dating & Relationships The Journey

Selling Out For Love

Life creeps up on you pretty past; one moment you’re a 17-year-old boy with no worries in the world and the next moment you’re a 37-year-old Black man trying not to offend people with your mere presence. I’ve often wondered how I’ve managed to make it this long without my mind splintering from societal expectations and societal stereotypes of a black man misunderstood.  To the dismay of many people who’ve disliked me over my life span here I stand alive and well; staring down another pivotal crossroads in my life.

It’s true that I’ve come upon many other pivotal moments in my life and made decisions to better my life and in some worsened my life.  And this is probably not a really great transition but as I mentioned I’m 37 and I’ve only seriously dated Black women for the majority of my adult life. This revelation is not shocking I know; seeing how most people still only date within their race but the reason this is a pivotal moment for me is because for the first time ever; I’m dating outside of my race.

When I was a teenager living in a predominantly white county in Virginia called Gloucester I found myself attracted to White girls and I say girls because that’s what they are when under the age of eighteen.  The truth is; to a certain extent we’re surely products of our environments; meaning we like what we see, converse a certain way, and dress in certain fashions based on the environment we live in or grew up in and so most of my friends were white in 1992.   When my mom moved my younger sister and I to Essex County, Virginia a couple of years later when I was in the 7th grade it was more of a mixture of demographics but heavily Black American.

As to be expected because of the environment; I now found myself attracted to black girls and my friends were now black as well with the occasional white person sprinkled in. This would remain the case from 14-19 years of age and  in my early 20’s I did date (and I use the word date loosely) many different races. Did I have sex with white women and Asian women in my early 20’s? Absolutely! But did I date any of those women seriously? Not really and not because I was worried about what other people would think but more so because I had began to believe in the idea of having a strong black family. That’s what I desired most; so even though I had quite the sexual appetite for all sorts of women; the only women that I tried to establish a real connection with was a black woman.

Some of you are probably waiting for the “but” or negative commentary that typically comes with articles written by black men when discussing black women. There is no but and there is no negative commentary towards black women in this article. I absolutely love and adore Black women. In fact, if you listen to any of my All Tea No Shade Podcast episodes I’m very defensive for black women and will go to my death-bed uplifting black women.  This is not a piece speaking down on black women or mixed women who identify as black.

This is an article about me finally seriously dating outside of my race for the first time in my life and my legitimate concern that the black community (specifically black women) will think and say that I’m turning my back on black women. Will they care about all of the years prior that I dedicated to black women? Will they care about all the struggles I’ve had in my dating life when dating black women? I don’t know but if social media is the barometer of what to expect when a black man dates anyone that isn’t a black woman then the answer to that question isn’t pretty.

At what point does one do something different in order to try to get a different result?  How much soul-searching, self-reflecting and self improving can one do before they realize that maybe it’s time to move in a different direction? Does it make sense to do the same thing at the detriment of a life goal?  These are but a small sample size of questions that not only I’ve been asking myself but what I encourage anyone reading this to consider as well.

Many don’t know the work you’ve put in prior to end result or even to your current moment. All they see is where you’ve ended and most often ignore everything prior. I’ve been seriously and exclusively dating black women for 17 years and ending up with the same result. This result has been a reflection of myself and a reflection of black women. Neither party (at least in my circumstance) are innocent as to why I haven’t been able to find love.  Let me also say that I completely understand that not all black women are the same and I’m by no means lumping all black women into the same box. So even though I’m making a generalized statement regarding black women, understand that I don’t mean all of you as I’ve clearly not dated all black women.

With that said, I don’t appear to be the type of good black man who good black women want. Look; I get it and I always tell people that “just because you’re a good person and they’re a good person doesn’t mean that you’re good together.” Truthfully speaking though; I sometimes wonder if black people are causing our own relationship struggles because we can’t get out of our own way with the type of beliefs we have regarding love. And not to alienate any other ethnicity I’m convinced all of you have similar struggles as well.

Case in point; I recently went on 5 dates the last 2 months and 4 of the 5 were with black women. Four of the women cut me off or lost interest in me once I told them I wasn’t Christian. It didn’t matter that I was a good ass man who would support them and uplift them. Their belief that I had to be a Christian in order to be marriageable was a deal breaker for them. For the last 6 years I stayed away from dating Christian women because too often in the past I ran into this problem but because of the ever-changing dating landscape and me wanting to give myself the best chance at love, I decided to give it another try in 2018. So far? I’ve yielded the same results.

If finding love, if finding a healthy relationship, and if wanting to find a life partner is  one of the goals in your life;  then you owe it to yourself to date different in order to get different results. It’s on you and it’s on me to stop doing the same thing expecting a different result. So, knowing this; the 5th woman who I went on a date with recently is a Hispanic woman; Dominican to be exact and her mother is Black Dominican. I won’t lie and tell you that I’ve never considered dating a woman of Latino descent because the truth is I’ve always had an affinity for Latino women. However; for whatever reason the opportunity never presented itself until recently and the fact that she didn’t discard of me when she found out I wasn’t Christian was encouraging and we’ve had a great connection so far.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I believe that Black People and Hispanic People are damn near identical except in language and skin complexion; so for me; dating a Dominican woman is no different from dating a Black woman especially if she’s versed in black culture. This is me dating outside of my race for the first time in 17 years and even though I see no difference I understand that many do see a difference.  It does bother me some that if it does so happen to work out with the beautiful Dominican woman; that many will try to cast me aside as not caring about Black women and Black culture but love has no color.

My black skin doesn’t disappear because I’m now dating outside of my race, my love for black women doesn’t stop because I found someone who isn’t black to love me for me (if that happens) but I know there will be some black people out there that will call me a “sell out”.  In truth; that shouldn’t matter to me but it does in the sense that it discredits all of the tears, stress, arguments, time, hard work and years spent compromising  prior to that change. It discredits all of the years spent actually trying to find black love.  Should someone grow old by themselves when there’s a chance to find someone different to love them?

Ultimately I’m going to do what I want with who I want when I want and I suggest that you do as well if you’re trying to find love. There’s no doubt in my mind, in fact I’m certain that there are many people out there looking to date outside of their ethnicity but don’t because they’re worried about how it will look to others and what other people will say. Here’s the reality of the situation though; people will always have something to say even if you found a man or woman who was the spitting image of the people talking shit.

People who date outside of their race aren’t giving up on their race(well I guess some of them are), they’re just giving up trying the same thing over and over again and all of us should applaud the person bold enough to be different, to do different  and to think different in general but especially when it comes to finding the love they desire in their lives.  There are people reading this who are tired of getting the same dating results and they’re at a crossroads of sorts. Do they continue to be frustrated with their dating lives or do they say fuck it, I’m going to try something different?

I’m going to continue to date Black women and for the first time in my adult life I’m also going to seriously date outside of my race in an effort to expand my dating pool.  There’s someone out there for everyone but it doesn’t mean they necessarily look like you and I or for that matter even in the same age range as us.  Let’s stop ridiculing people for doing what all of us should be doing and that’s giving real love the opportunity to exist in our lives. They’re not any less of anything just because their lover doesn’t look like them and they don’t stop dealing with their cultural issues just because they date outside of their race. I love all women, I love all minority women and I especially love black women and that won’t ever change.  If you’re a black woman reading this; I got your back always but I’ll also have my Dominican mujer’s back too if it ever comes to that.

I’ll leave you with this. I’ve noticed a troubling trend where everyone is trying to date from the same small population of people. If you can, imagine for a moment that you’re a fisherman/fisher-woman and the boat owner (God) dropped  you off in the middle of the Ocean to fish.  The owner of the boat tells you that you can fish anywhere in the Ocean and that you can bring back any type of fish you want.  She/he then hands you a blank piece of paper.

You ask the owner what the paper is for and he says “it’s for you to write down what kind of fish you want to bring back”  You begin to write down specific types of fish, from weight to size, to color, to what they eat. You then hand that piece of paper back to the owner to see if she approves and she says; “I see; well these types of fish are only in this small part of the Ocean but good luck with your catch”.

You head out to that one specific location in the ocean and when you get there you realize there are thousands of other fishermen in “your” location.  Determined to not be deterred you spends months casting in that exact same spot. You caught a few fish but when you brought them onboard to make sure they met your requirements you realized they were all bad fish that had been thrown back in by other fishers.

You get back to the dock and you’re tired, frustrated and fish-less. The owner of the boat asks “what happened?” And you say “the type of fish I wanted to catch couldn’t be found because everyone already took them or they were all bad”. The owner ask, “well did you ever consider changing the type of fish you wanted to catch?” You say ” well yes, but I had already committed to what I had written down on paper”. The owner says “well that’s nobody’s fault but your own. I put you in the middle of the ocean and told you to it was yours to fish in and you decided to fish in the same spot as everyone else”.

If trying something different in order to find love makes us a sell out then I suggest we all sell out for love and give zero fucks about what others think. Afterall; like Jay-Z said….”what he eats don’t make me shit” and if one the Carters said it then it must be true.

“There is a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.”
― Steven Wright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One comment

  1. Jay,
    You inspire me. I am still here in Essex, I did some traveling, but settled back here. You inspired me all through our school years as well, I was proud to be in school with you and am proud to know you now. Whoever ends up biting the hook, getting reeled in and love is felt with you is gonna be getting their money’s worth, for sure! You’re a hell of a guy and deserve to be happy and feel true love, I feel it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside because what’s important is on the inside and we all look the same on the inside. Good luck. I really enjoy reading your stuff. Thank you.
    Best Regards Brother,
    Nate

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