Beyond Melanin: Thoughts On Interracial Dating

In an attempt to fulfill my goal of more personal posts I’m sharing my thoughts on a topic that people seem to want to discuss with me all the time. Disclaimer: It may make you a little uncomfortable… I don’t care. I’m still on a high from the drop of Beyonce’s Formation and I’m going to do what I want. 🙂

I got out of a relationship near the end of last year and have started tiptoeing back into the dating scene. I was having a conversation with someone I know about an upcoming date and her first question was: “Oh, is he white?”

Beyond Melanin: Thoughts on Interracial Dating - The Palmetto Peaches

I wasn’t offended that she asked, but I wondered why that had to be the first question. Why not, Is he a musician? What does he do? What’s his name? Or Is he cute?! 

Here’s the deal: I’m an equal opportunity dater. My last boyfriend was white. The guy before him was black. If you lined up the guys I’ve dated, they would look like a beautiful rainbow tribe. I don’t let someone’s race/ethnicity stop me from getting to know them, more than I would the region they’re from make a difference in my decision. (Though some would argue that Southern men are better 🙂 ) I don’t care what color you are, but you must respect me, care about me, and at the very least be understanding of my Shonda Rhimes obsession. Sorry, dude. There shall be no date nights on Thursday unless T.G.I.T. is on hiatus.

Listen, it’s 2016 and love should be the driving force for our relationships whether romantic or platonic. The thing I get questioned about the most is my sense of self-worth. See because I sometimes choose to date outside of my race, I must have a level of self-hatred. That’s not the case at all. I love being black. I love my history. I love my people. I’ve embraced my natural hair texture and no magazine or media outlet will ever convince me that my dark skin isn’t beautiful. But beyond melanin, there are other parameters for choosing a partner. I still can’t understand why people think I shouldn’t be open to someone who makes me laugh, treats me fantastically, is okay with me being a little weird, etc.. just because he’s not also African American.

I do know people who very religiously choose to only date outside of their race. I’ll be honest, my eyes roll every time I see #swirllife on someone’s IG picture or see people make a very specific statement about how much they love a certain ethnicity over others. I mean it’s cool if you have a preference, do you boo, but leading with your preference is a little sketchy. On the flip side, I also take offense to those who play the “I-don’t-see-color” and “our love is colorblind” card. Well, that’s cool, but a person’s ethnicity is part of who they are. If you don’t address the cultural stuff, then you miss some of the beauty of your relationship.

I also find it weird when people use their “ethnic” partners as their “get out of racism free” token. They say the most horrific things and then backtrack to make it seem as though they can’t do a single thing wrong because of who they are currently dating. It’s manipulative and you can tell they don’t care about the issues that their partners face as people of color. Seriously, if I had a dollar every time I’ve heard “Oh, I’m not racist, I dated a black guy before”…

In general below are some interracial dating myths or stereotypes I’m tired of addressing/ constantly hearing about and my very Palmetto Peaches response to them (bring on the .gifs):

Things I’m tired of hearing: Interracial Dating Myths

  • Your mixed babies would be so cute.

So would my non-mixed babies. *hair flip* And to be clear mixed kids aren’t some fancy coffee you can custom order, like  you’re at Starbucks. Uh can, I get a tiny blasian, with long 1B hair?

  • The term “jungle fever”.

 I’m like, “Um… I don’t come from a jungle. I’m from South Carolina”

  • And oh, my God, the comments revolving around chocolate, vanilla, and food stuff gets SO annoying.

Beyond Melanin: Thoughts on Interracial Dating - The Palmetto Peaches

  • Why don’t you date black guys? / Don’t you want #blacklove?

Uh, I do and I plan to marry Michael B. Jordan-  so mind ya business. No, but seriously, I want love. I’m at the age where more and more of my friends are a part of a Mr. + Mrs. and while I’m not rushing that aspect of it, I’d like to find someone that I truly love and could share my life with. I don’t care what that’s packaged in.

  • You don’t look like you’d be with a *insert race here* guy/girl?

My friend (she’s white) was telling me a story about how she has a picture of her and her boyfriend in her office at work. Someone told her: “Oh, you don’t look like you’d date a black guy”. Um, what does that even mean? She doesn’t look racist? I’m so confused.

  • Aren’t you afraid of being just a fetish?

As a black woman, I’ve seen white men — hell all men — say things like “the darker the berry the sweeter the juice” and “it’s not your beauty its your booty”. They’re especially guilty of this on online dating sites – where apparently anything goes. Nope, sorry – I can’t and won’t be your fetish or something to check off your bucket list (date black girl check). Is it possible that some people fetishize being with a particular race — sure.  However, I feel like it’s very obvious who these people are. I wouldn’t date someone who doesn’t even appear to want to get to know me at all. I’m not a commodity and I refuse to be treated like one.

In general when I date, I’m simply looking to share and celebrate the beauty of who we are and who we can be together. I repeat – I don’t care what package that comes in. 

Let’s have a conversation. Share your thoughts and experiences with or about interracial dating in the comments below or feel free to tweet me.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

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28 Replies to “Beyond Melanin: Thoughts On Interracial Dating”

  1. OMG GIRL. I am so glad there are still bloggers out there addressing real life issues. I am 4 different races and grew up in a biracial home and I feel like me and my siblings have definitely felt all these things you mentioned. Some people can be so unknowingly ignorant when they speak to others. Thanks for speaking up and bringing these things to the surface! YOU GO GIRRRL. preach.

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      Thank you! Honestly, I was a little nervous to post. You are completely right some people are so unknowingly ignorant. I sometimes can’t fathom that some of the questions/ thoughts seem completely reasonable to them. Thanks again for reading and leaving a comment!

      Donni

  2. This post was the bessssttt!!! I laughed through it all (at the appropriately funny parts of course) and loved your sense of humor! It’s terrible, but where I live there is a lot of “underground” racism. I say underground – because people don’t think they’re being racist – but they are. Several of my friends parents would not be okay with them dating an African American. My mom & I are so appalled at this (like you said – what does the color of their skin matter?!) My mom and I always say that because she didn’t care who I dated (skin color wise) is why I ended up with like the whitest guy on earth, and why my friends date people their parents don’t approve of. Be careful what you wish for, right?! Great post!!
    ~Mattie
    http://www.mattiesmakings.com

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      Aw, thanks!! I tried to balance out the funny with the serious. I absolutely know what you mean about “underground” racism. I have a friend who’s parents (they’re white) said the exact same thing and until their daughter brought home an Indian guy. Hello, living in the South. Thanks for sharing your comments. P.S. I love your blog. 🙂

      -Donni

  3. Thanks for the post. I think this is not a big issue anymore as LGBT is the height of marriages these days. Hotels are even stating if they are LGBT friendly, this never happened with interracial that I know of.

  4. I have happily been with my white husband for over – decade now. He is my best friend, confidant, and advocate in every aspect of my life. It was never about race when we first started dating or when we got married. It’s ridiculous how many of these stigmas will continue to exists, but I am glad that we have people speaking out against them.

    Love is love. In the end that’s all that matter!

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      Ahh- I just had a fangirl moment. You’re one of my favorite bloggers!

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Although many of these stigmas surrounding interracial relationships continue to exist – I’m encouraged by everyone who really lives “love is love”.

      -Donni

  5. As a parent, I can say that when your child finds love, it is awesome. My kids have dated people of various ethnicities, and sexual orientation and all I can say is love is love. If my child loves their partner, then I do too.

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      I wish all parents had your fantastic perspective on the issue! Thanks for reading!

      -Donni

  6. I loved this!!! My nephew is black and I’ve had many people ask me how our family would feel if he had a black girlfriend versus a white girlfriend (I feel like I should add that I am from very rural south Georgia— so yeah). I have always said- and hopefully will follow through with my own daughters- that I am much more concerned with the condition of your heart than the color of your skin. I don’t care if you are purple and yellow- if you are kind and loving I’m on your team… You can look like Shemar Moore and have a crappy attitude and you may as well have warts growing on your nose.

  7. I haven’t personally been in an interracial relationship but that means nothing other than I haven’t been in an interracial relationship. The world has too many problems like child hunger to be worrying about this.

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      Unfortunately, too many people make a big deal about it still, when love should be the only deciding factor. Thanks for stopping by.
      -Donni

  8. I’m with you all the way–as long as a guy treats me the way I deserve to be treated then the shade of their skin does not matter. Besides–take off the skin and guess what–we all look the same!

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      Exactly!! Hopefully more people will remember that underneath we’re all the same and stop making it such a big deal. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

      -Donni

  9. Skin is only, well, skin deep. Who cares what color skin someone has. Who a person is is what really matters. People of all skin tones can be jerks or be awesome.

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      I completely agree. Just because a person shares your background doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be a jerk. Thanks for stopping by!
      -Donni

  10. This was soooo good! You make excellent points! Thanks for posting about this topic!

    Keep smiling!
    Molly |www.stylemissmolly.com

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      Aw, thanks a lot! I appreciate the support!
      -Donni

  11. Very well said! I hate it when people judge other people on the basis of their skin color or ethnicity. Being dark or Asian does not make one any less of a person. OMG. Wake up people! As long as I am loved, cared for, and made to feel that I am the most special person in the world, I wouldn’t care less if they are dark, or white, or excessively hairy, or chinky eyed, or having a weird accent.

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      Preach on girl!!! Our appearance doesn’t make us less of a person. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      -Donni

  12. My husband is black and from Trinidad. We met in college. We’ve been married nearly 8 years and have two young toddlers. I live in WV…sometimes, I get annoyed by the amount of women who want to be my bestie just because I am with a black man. As if this makes us have a special bond or something. My husband and I met in college, we’re both in the military and we’re very compatible based on our education and experiences. I don’t want to be your friend ‘just’ because you’re also dating a black man.

    I plan to teach my children that they’re Americans…we are we still so focused on race?? *rant over*

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      I completely understand the rant. It’s so strange what people put emphasis on. Thank you for sharing your experience.
      -Donni

  13. What a great post! I’m with you – as long as your partner respects you, treats you well and cares about you, the color does not matter. Also, it’s nobody’s business if you decide to date people who are from different race/ethnicity.
    Ave recently posted…4 Tips for Creating a Cozy BalconyMy Profile

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      Thanks! not quite sure why people think it’s their business to have an opinion on who anyone dates, nevermind – an opinion on their race/ethnicity. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      -Donni

  14. White lady married to a white dude here…

    I freaking LOVE this post!!!! First of all, you’re hilarious. I don’t even know which quote should be the one I tweet. But I also love how real this is!

    I remember when I was a young teenager. My mom and I were out shopping, and this really cute, very engaging black guy was helping us. I assume he was a few years older than I was just because of labor laws. Afterward, my mom was like, “Just so you know, your dad and I don’t care if you ever date a black guy, or a guy of another race.” While I still think it’s really sad that she felt the need to tell me this (I grew up in SC, so I understand why she thought she had to spell it out), I was also glad that she thought it was important to let me know that.

    Do you mind if I share this to a feminist subreddit? Pro: Lots of traffic, possibly some new engaged readers. Con: Sometimes trolls raid the feminist subs.
    Brita Long recently posted…Going Wild on Date NightMy Profile

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      Thanks so much! 🙂 I was actually pretty nervous about posting. It’s easy to throw together a quick blog post about some DIY project, but digging deeper and exposing yourself can be intimidating.

      I grew up in SC as well. I absolutely understand why your mother thought it was necessary to be very clear about how she felt. Thank you for sharing that. Also please feel free to share this post on the subreddit. I say bring on the trolls!! 🙂

      On another note – I love your blog. I’m following you on social media right now, so that I can stay updated.
      -Donni

  15. I appreciate your open and honest post about a topic that so many people shy away from. Or that others just don’t think exist. I love your positive attitude and those memes though 😉

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says: Reply

      Why, thanks! I really appreciate your kind words. I was nervous about posting this (totally confident about my memes though 🙂 )

      -Donni

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