By: Summer Martin
Growing up I’ve always been surrounded by diversity, from pre-k through high school I’ve been around students with various backgrounds and religions. My parents weren’t necessarily pro-black but I do recall a few years my Mother tried to encourage us to celebrate Kwanza. Once I became of dating age, I did have a natural attraction to black boys, yet I always comfortably admitted when I was attracted to a guy of another race. I remember my older brother dated pretty much any type of girl and would bring them around to meet the family.
I decided for college I wanted to go to an HBCU. After all, this is where I would get my “Different World” experience and meet the man of my dreams. I’m sure some of you can relate. I did find a college sweetheart on campus. He was an intellect, member of a fraternity, tall and full of southern charm.
He came home with me one winter break to meet my family and I thought we would be together forever. However, over time I learned that my college sweetheart couldn’t see himself living outside of Louisiana. This was a huge problem for me and I made the hard choice of ending our relationship.
After graduating from undergrad, I decided to move to Dallas, TX. I wanted to get out and socialize since I didn’t know a lot of people but I noticed a trend in the dating scene. It appeared most black men were interested in white women. It almost felt like it was something new to them, as if they were just granted permission to date interracially. After a few unsuccessful dates with black men, I decided I needed to cast a wider net and allow myself to be open to all types of men.
Once I started grad school I thought I would meet my guy on my new campus, it’s a predominately white institution. I figured it would be good to meet more like-minded men. There was another round of unsuccessful short-term relationships. Then one day, I decided to take my efforts online. My first match was a guy born and raised in Texas. After meeting and dating we decided it was time to get married.
I’ve known my husband for eight years and we have been married for three. I remember my brothers gave me a tough time when we initially started dating. I felt this was very contradictory on their parts especially since they dated all kinds of women. I guess the difference is I fell in love with someone outside of our race.
It wasn’t a casual relationship or phase. Since we are in the south, you can image the looks we get on occasion. I always find it interesting when a host or hostess asks if we’re together when we walk into a restaurant. It’s as if you didn’t see us walk in and talk to each other moments ago.
When I decided to marry my husband (or even date for that matter) it wasn’t because I didn’t love black men. I believe it was all about timing and being prepared to receive the blessing of a life partner. You see, no matter how many attempts I made in finding “him”, if it isn’t meant to be then it won’t happen. At the age of 21, I would have assumed my husband would be black. I even chose a college based on aligning that objective.
It’s always interesting when my husband and I walk into a room full of black people. The women seem to get it but the men are giving a little side-eye. It’s as if they felt there’s another one lost to the white man. This past spring we decided to participate in an urban race for fun. The race is very similar to the show “The Amazing Race”. You have to find items via clues that are hidden inside various retail establishments.
When we arrived I noticed there were five interracial couples including us. The difference was these were black men with white women. It immediately made me feel some type of way. I can’t really describe my feelings even to this day. I can recall feeling validated with my choice of opening my dating pool. I noticed my husband and I were much more comfortable being affectionate and social with others than they were.
One of the things that turns me off about black men dating white women is they act as if it’s a prize to be won. It’s as if being with a white woman projected success automatically. I wonder what people think when they see me with my husband? Do you assume I am dating up as well? What I do know is the white men I have dated had a certain nurturing and protective demeanor towards me. They are genuinely interested in understanding me as well as my experience of being a black woman in our society.
In the end, I married a white man because God placed a wonderful man in my life that loves me unconditionally. He inspires and compliments me, he just so happens to be white. If I could leave you with any advice, I would say be open to all opportunities as it relates to love. Don’t be so quick to revert to your “checklist” full of your requirements. You may miss out on your life partner by counting them out too quickly.
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