Dating a white man for the first time short guy dating taller girl
Last summer, I was on a date with a 20-something man we’ll call Trent. I had been explaining how my parents met and married through an arrangement, something that’s common in South Asian culture.At first, conversation flowed—we talked careers, food, travel, friends, family. He didn’t quite follow, which is understandable, so I tried to explain: “It’s a cultural tradition.” “They define love and marriage differently than the American way.” “It may not be for you or me, but it was for them,” etc.But even though I know what’s coming, the confused (at best) and condescending (at worst) responses can still hurt.They seem to say, “I don’t know anything about your culture, but I can tell you right now what’s best for you.” Yes, some men are open, kind.”They will introduce themselves as one of your oldest and/or very best friends(It will not matter if you met them yesterday, they will still claim a Deep and immediate bond with you Based solely on the fact that you had the good sense to date a white man). You will become far more conscious Of the fact that you are black When you are with your white friends.Your shoulders will be tight, The backs of your eyes will burn, You will be uncomfortable without knowing why.And evidently, I’m doing the same thing in my dating life.To put it simply, I’ve been the token person of colour at school, at work and in circles of friends. I think that’s why I find an innate sense of comfort and recognition with dating a fellow minority, whether they are a part of my culture or not. But because that need is mutual, it’s met with a distinct understanding that feels akin to seeing someone familiar across a crowded room.
Laying down my baggage, then, takes trust and vulnerability, especially with the risk of being misunderstood.
They don’t generalize, they ask questions, and come from a place of wanting to understand rather than assuming they’ve got it down.
But whether that effort is made or not, I find myself unable to get past why I always have to be the half carrying the heavier load simply because I was born with it, hoping I can pass without the texture of my life being used to dismiss me as not much more than “a brown girl.” I grew up feeling as though I needed to be ashamed of living outside the Western default, whether that was for hiding my “smelly” lunches in elementary school, committing to my unibrow throughout middle school or keeping my legs covered during the summer.
I don’t look the same; I have hair on every inch of my skin; I’m worried he might be fetishizing me; my circle of friends is multi-ethnic and loud and proud about it; I grew up in a diverse suburb that I can make fun of but he absolutely can’t; my favourite tote bag reads “Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man.” These are points of tension.
So, they don’t have to lead to actual tension—but a lot of the time, they do.