If she can’t use your comb, don’t bring her home.
As a black man, I grew up in a house where my parents told me
"if she cant use your comb, don’t bring her home.”
As a teenager, my mother always noticed how white girls would always flirt with me. She would ask: “why all these white girls always talking to you?” I always said: “I don’t know.” I never thought about dating a white woman, as I wasn’t really attracted to white women.
Soon after my divorce, I started entertaining the idea of going out with white women. Over the course of me doing this, I eventually found myself in a 10 year relationship with a white woman.
I say “found myself” because the relationship started as a purely sexual situation. As time progressed we became friends, then, entered into a relationship.
There are several things that I discovered about myself, and about the differences between white and black people over the course of this relationship, which led to me not wanting to do it again, and ill touch on them over the course of this article.
1. I felt I wasn’t expected to be as smart as her because she was white
How do YOU know that?
I’m not the smartest man in the world by any means, but I am very intelligent. I read a lot, and I don’t have or want a TV in my home, which gives me a lot of quiet time to read, research, and think about my own view of topics that people talk about.
On one occasion, we were talking about responsibility , and I used a word that she hadn’t heard before. I said: “The onus isn’t on me to prove that point, its on him.” Her response was: “Whats that word mean? I’ve never heard it before.” After I explained what it meant I got the response: “How do YOU know that?”
On a separate occasion, we were talking about her trouble listening and comprehending what people were saying to her. (One of the reasons we broke up as one of those people was me)
I said: “Maybe you should try reflective listening, where you repeat what a person says to you, and ask if your interpretation is what they actually meant. It shows that you are in fact listening, and that you are interested in what they are saying.” Again I got the response: “How do YOU know that?”
Since things are much more emphatic in threes, here is one more example: We were in a store, and there was a name of a particular person written on a book. Neither of us had seen the name before, but the store clerk was next to us. She tried to pronounce the name, but did so incorrectly. I pronounced the name perfectly. Guess what her response was? “How do YOU know that?”
My response in each of those situations? “Because i’m smarter than you…” (thanks family guy)
2. I felt like I was a visual representation of: “See i’m not racist, I have a black boyfriend.”
There were a lot of times where I was being taken around to meet her friends, her white friends, and I felt like I was being shown off as if to say look, I have a black boyfriend, i’m so not racist.
When we were around black people, she would play up the fact that I was her boyfriend so she would be looked at as “down.”
She is a teacher, and taught at a predominantly black school. She had pictures up of us together, and always told the kids that I was her boyfriend, and it really caused the kids to be more endeared to her.
It felt like I was an accessory to her career, and to her personal relationships so as to make her look like a better person than she may have been.
3. I felt like she was jealous of my “black strength”
During our relationship, a lot of things happened in my life. I lost everything due to a jealous ex-wife, everything including my parents, a business, a home, and half of my income. All these things I took in stride.
I literally lived in my car for almost 3 years while we were together, until I got a house in an affluent neighborhood, a new car, and repaired my credit and increased my score from 520 to 740 in about 8 months myself. In the face of all these obstacles, I always had a smile, and looked like a million bucks, even while homeless.
One day she was having minor problems, and broke down in tears saying: “You’re so strong and I don’t know how you do it…” When I got my new car, again, while homeless, and I brought it to her house to test drive it with me, she gave me a look like, “How are YOU doing this?”
I made a lot of new friends, and at one point we were out in my neighborhood, and everywhere we went, everyone knew me, and was happy to see me. She gave me a look, and when we were in my car, she asked “Why does everyone know you and like you so much? I’m a little jealous of you having all these new friends.” I just smiled, no words were necessary.
It felt like deep down, even though outwardly she said she was proud of all the improvements I was making in my life, that she was jealous of the strength I showed during this truly difficult time of my life. I wondered if I wasn’t a black man, would these accomplishments have been as surprising to her.
4. She spoke in something that I would call strongly worded email
The first thing I noticed about the way she spoke when we were having issues, was that she was very passive aggressive. This was something I had never experienced in dealing with black women, as they tend to be, in my experience, a lot more forthright with the way they feel about something.
During a disagreement, she would speak to me like she was typing a strongly worded email. It was very condescending, and I think this is just a fundamental difference in the way some black and white women communicate.
When I would call her on it, she would act as if she wasn’t doing anything, and then, as she would do frequently, play the victim. This was something that she did right up until the day we broke up, where her passive aggressive behavior, and verbal strongly worded email speak, reached an all time high, and I asked her to leave my home for the last time.
5. Some of her family either knowingly, or unknowingly made racially insensitive remarks
You look like a respectable citizen with that haircut.
Being black doesn’t make you special
I always enjoyed hanging out with her and her family. For the most part, they were nice people, and were accepting of me while we were together. Every now and then though, there would be an instance where I would get what we call a “nigga wake up call.”
I have long dreadlocks, but during our relationship, at one point, I had cut my locs and had short hair. We went to her parents home, and when her father saw my haircut, he said, “You look like a respectable citizen with that haircut.”
In my mind I thought: “Oh so I didn’t look like a respectable citizen with my locs?” Before that conversation, I thought that I was totally accepted as I was with them, but that reminded me that in a lot of cases, no matter how good of a person I, as a black man am, a lot of white people still look at me differently.
On another occasion, we were sitting around a fire on a cold night with her family. They were comfortable, but me being black, I was cold as hell! I think its pretty common knowledge that most white people can tolerate cold weather better than black people.
As we were sitting listening to her brother in law recite a passage from the book Othello, I got cold. Once he finished, I said: “I need to get my coat, its cold out here, you know i’m black.” Her sister said “Whatever Keith, being black doesn’t make you special.” In my mind I thought: No this b*tch didn’t! Again though, I let it go, because I didn’t want to make a scene with her family.
It didn’t happen often, but it did happen, and I didn’t like it, but I loved her enough to tolerate it, even though in hindsight, I realize that I should never have done that. No one should tolerate racist treatment from the family of someone they are in a relationship with. If that is something that keeps happening, maybe you should reconsider the relationship you’re in.
6. She seemed emboldened to be disrespectful when I was with her and her family
Most of her friends were black. She wasn’t a white woman who “acted black” by any means, and in several situations she was the only white person in the room, which she handled very well.
I found though, that when the roles were reversed, and I was the only black person in the room when we were with her family, she would use that as an opportunity to be a bit disrespectful.
It was as if she felt emboldened because I was “outnumbered”. She would say things or speak in ways that she wouldn’t normally.
After a time of me letting it go, I had to check her in front of her family once, which I did respectfully of course, but the look on her face said: “Wait, did you all hear what he just said? I’m kinda embarrassed being checked by him in front of you, and upset that you all aren’t jumping on him, and coming to my defense.”
7. Because of my upbringing, deep down, I felt uncomfortable around black people with my white girlfriend
Lastly, I must admit, that as a black man, I felt very uncomfortable being around black people, with my white girlfriend. I dealt with it because I loved her, but I always felt like I was betraying my race by dating outside of it.
It always felt even more uncomfortable being around black women with her. It wasn’t that black women were doing anything, (even though at times they would give me that no you ain’t with that white b*tch look), it was more of me deep down feeling like I should be with a black woman.
I would like to say that this article isn’t to disparage her, or all white women in general, its just my experience. I know that there are several successful interracial relationships in the world, but after this eye opening, and heart breaking experience, it isn’t something that I would ever repeat.