I once had a crush on a boy in middle school until he shouted, “You’re like this unknown species!” When someone you like in middle school refers to you as an “unknown species,” you end up questioning why you liked them in the first place.
Dating can be extremely difficult for women of color. However, what makes it difficult for mixed race women is having to be speculated on who they’re dating in their dating pool, whether they are dating someone monoracial or not, while also being exoticized at the same time.
[bctt tweet=”No one is asking you of perfection. One is only asking you to try.” username=”wearethetempest”]
So, to my fellow monoracial male, female, and non-binary friends, if you are interested in a mixed race woman and would like to potentially date her, you are going to have to understand a few things.
When trying to make a move, my first question would not be, “What are you?” Or going all, “Hey, I’m really into mixed chicks.” The latter one, one can actually find disgusting, especially if you combine it with “I think we’d have some beautiful babies together.”
There’s nothing wrong with being curious, but there is something wrong with making someone feel more alien than human, as if they weren’t feeling that way already. I don’t find anything wrong with asking her what growing up was like, or asking the question “How do you identify as far as your racial background goes,” after you’ve talked about other things that have nothing to do with race. It’s encouraged, actually. Just, please, don’t make it the first thing when starting conversation. And don’t push the conversation of trying to push her to choose one side of herself over others.
[bctt tweet=”She may share with you stories about code switching. ” username=”wearethetempest”]
Also, do not touch her hair on the first date. That kind of trust has to be earned. Don’t you dare use the excuse, “But it’s so tempting!” Or the infamous, “But it’s so pretty!” How would you feel if she just yanked on your hair without your permission? And for those who say that they wouldn’t mind, oh, trust me, you do. You just won’t admit it, so that you can come across as more open-minded than you actually are. Or even if you truly don’t mind, the point of the matter is that she might, so don’t test that.
[bctt tweet=”If you get to the point to where you meet her family, please don’t stare.” username=”wearethetempest”]
Once the two of you get closer, she may trust you enough to where you don’t have to ask anymore, because she’ll find it soothing. You’re coming from a place of love, not a place of prodding and poking.
If you get to the point to where you meet her family, please don’t stare. Interracial families are no longer a rarity. No jokes about who’s adopted and who’s not. No speculating the parents, especially if one or both of her parents are mixed race as well. Again, no fetishizing mixed race children who may be present.
When you’re out in public together, you are going to have people staring at you. You can get angry, but don’t express it in a way where it’s all about you. This is just happening to you, whereas she has had stares all of her life. Think before you do. This is important to take in mind if she is experiencing harassment as well; whether you are there to witness it or not, protect her and comfort her.
[bctt tweet=”When you’re out in public together, you are going to have people staring at you.” username=”wearethetempest”]
The main key to a successful relationship with a woman of mixed race descent, as with any other woman, is communication. She may share with you stories about code switching. She may share with you stories of not feeling welcome in communities she identifies with. There may be a current event that she may identify with more or less than others, but may not feel comfortable expressing how she feels about it. Listen to her, and she’ll be happy to listen to you when you need it.
If you need more tips, I recommend poems, so that you know other people’s personal experiences, rather than have a textbook definition on identity, as if that’s all you need to have an idea on what their personal life is like, like this one, this one, and this one.
No one is asking you of perfection. One is only asking you to try.