Before I met Hubby, I thought I knew what sort of black woman a white guy would date. She would have light skin, straight hair or wavy hair, and an educational, professional or social background in common with him. This post by blogger Julian Abagond caught my eye a while ago, and I’ve just gotten around to putting down my thoughts on this. For the most part, I agree with Abagond’s observations about the type of black woman that would attract a white guy’s attention. But I want to push his theories beyond ideas based on surface beauty.
A woman’s bearings go a long way in determining the kind of guy she will attract, and it is especially true of black women. Since whites are far less likely than any other group to date outside their race, I think it’s fair to say, allowing for exceptions, that white guys are going to go for someone who fits a certain mold. She has her head on straight, might have as much education as he does, plays a big role in her family and community, and is the no-nonsense type who doesn’t play a lot of games. That’s not to say she isn’t fun. In fact, they probably do share a lot of the same interests, making it really easy for them to have good times and be at ease around each other. On his side, I think persistence helps, because a lot of black women just don’t know when a guy outside her race is hitting on her, and even if they do, they don’t respond readily. Maybe Gen Y and children of the millennium are more open to dating outside their race and behave differently, but sisters in their 30s and up seem to give the white guys a tougher time. This seems to be true of all the interracially married black women I know, and I see hints of the same among those I see from afar.
I like the picture he chose to illustrate his point, too. There a sister sits, absorbed in a book, while the guy, presumably her boyfriend, has his arm around her and is glancing in the opposite direction. Or maybe he’s a paramour peeved that she won’t pay him any mind and is about to quit trying to ask her out.
As for me, I never considered dating anyone outside my race. Actually, a relationship was the last thing on my mind when I was in my early 20s, because I was trying to manage a new job at a daily newspaper, and a taxing church life. I also come from a large, clannish and pious family that was heavily involved in church life. The pressures from one compounded expectations from the other. I was too busy trying to make everyone at home, church and work happy, much less think about what I wanted, so I never would have sought out white guys even if I had the time and energy to see anyone. But I seemed to attract them. One guy in particular had a really hard time getting my attention, because none of his flirtations registered with me at all. For months, none of his compliments, hints, etc., penetrated that thick fog of duty and obligation over my head. In retrospect, I feel a little bad. He was (and probably still is) tall, handsome, charming, a talented musician, he had principles I liked and was funny. He was also someone I thought could have his pick of women any place, any time, so I didn’t get why he was trying to talk to me.
Maybe he liked the fact that I was quieter, slimmer, was reasonably friendly and didn’t give him a brush-off worthy of a brutally honest sister from Brooklyn, Detroit or Chicago’s south side. Who knows? I don’t know for sure if we would have gone the distance. No one ever knows those things. But had we dated, we would have had a great time and if we had broken up, would have separated on good terms. That’s how much basic respect we had for each other as people.