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“Can I say the N-word if I’m singing along to a song? ” (I don’t know dude, I ask myself the same question every goddamn day.) I know that I shouldn’t feel compelled to always speak for my race, but I can’t expect a white boyfriend to stop asking some of those questions if we’re to come to a mutual understanding.Lately, though, I just don’t feel like answering them.In the past, I’d have sought that comfort out in a white man, but that night I knew it wouldn’t be enough.It’s not that I don’t think white people are anxious; two months into Trump’s presidency, most of the white people in my life are activated.They smoked weed in their parents’ houses with abandon. If they wanted me, I thought, it was because I seemed free like them.White men have preoccupied me my whole life, from the schoolyard to the subway, but these days I’m seeing them differently.

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It’s an odd thing to then go back to my date and continue the performance of “getting to know you.” I fantasize about walking up to him and saying, “Gotta go!Later, I tried to convey how hurt I was that he didn’t say anything, but he didn’t seem to understand how bewildered I was.There are, in my relationships with white men, so many moments like that.In those moments, I’ve wished to be sitting in front of someone who could relate.Despite knowing I can feel intimacy with white guys, right now what divides us feels like a chasm.

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