Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Dating Patterns

Ebony magazine's website has an uplifting and engaging article on it called "Black Girls Only". What the author says in the last paragraph about desire comes as a sort of revelation to me.
"...I'm well aware that desire is different from love. Desire is definitely constructed around social influences and signifiers of what is beautiful and worthy of love. From body type to complexion we are inundated with messages about who should be wanted and who shouldn't. My choice to love black women only is revolutionary. It's a reflection of my radical politics.  It's my straight no chaser lust, love and worship of black femininity. Black girls are magic. From high yellow to blue black. And I love them all.
I've tried to understand my own dating patterns. I ask myself why, despite how much I love POC and try to emphasize my pride in my African heritage, have most of my partners been white or or really passe blanc. I know that it's not a coincidence. It's a pattern. I see beautiful Black people all of the time and there are many of them that I'd definitely be willing to date. But for some reason, the only people that I wind up getting serious with are those with euronormative features.

Perhaps this is pattern stems from my background in a culture where European features are preferred as a result of the advantages society confers upon those who have them. While I decided a while back ago that I would no longer date white guys, I haven't made up my mind to only date Black people. I can definitely respect those who do choose to love Black women, especially those who are also People of Color. Being white means that you have more leeway with regards to dating. Being with a Black woman won't really result in much of a loss in stature. However, A Black person with a white spouse definitely does reap some of the benefits of their partner's white privilege. A Person of Color who marries a Black woman, especially a darker skinned, kinky haired Black woman, will never benefit from that in a white-dominated society.

However, I can't deny that my dating pattern may also be influenced by who I'm around the most. Out here, I don't come in regular contact with a single Black person other than my two coworkers. I simply don't have the opportunity to meet people outside of work. So, it would be difficult for me to decide to only date Black people, because that would mean remaining single until I move or get another car. I don't think I need to make the same decision as the author, but I think that it does help me to formulate better questions to mull over during introspection.

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