You should want to date a person because you like who they are and have compatible views and interests, not because their race is the next thing to do on your bucket list or because you were enthralled by their “exotic ways” (honestly, are you doing an anthropological study on black culture? Don’t treat me like an artifact).
If you answered no to these questions and you think those assumptions on black womanhood are downright absurd (hint: they are), then perhaps you are well on your way to showing a black woman that you want to date a complete person and not a stereotype!
So, as you’re getting to know this woman/man. There are 4 Important Tips for White Men Looking For Black Women. Be sure to keep the following in mind:
1. Be Open-Minded About Racial and Cultural Differences
Race is going to come up in any interracial coupling, but please do not say “You’re pretty/intelligent/well-spoken/whatever for a black woman!” or “You’re not like other black women!” That may seem like a compliment, but what we’re actually hearing is “I think all black people are [negative adjective], but you are the exception.”
These are perfect examples of microaggressions.
When you compliment a black woman in this way, you are implying that we are exceptions to the rule — the rule being that that black women are not attractive, intelligent, or posses any other positive attributes. And when these stereotypes are internalized and then manifested in society, it could have severe consequences. More often than not we are looked over for jobs, we do not receive adequate education or medical care, and we are imprisoned at much higher rates than our white counterparts all because blackness is rarely associated with positivity. So in order to combat the harmful stereotypying of our people, try to compliment us without the caveat!
“You’re intelligent.” “You’re hilarious!” Full stop.
2. Accept Black Women as Individuals
Often, someone from a marginalized group is expected to be the authority on that group’s culture, but that’s an unreasonable expectation. It’s assumed that that everyone belonging to that group thinks and behaves the same way, but that is never – ever – the case. When getting to know a black woman, don’t ask them to be the authority on black culture. Don’t ask us “Why do black people like or do _____?” You can’t expect one person to know all things black culture. Instead, remember that black women, like all people, have varying interests, backgrounds, and obstacles that they face daily.
Try to think of a black woman as an individual, and not as the chosen speaker for a whole diverse group.
3. Appreciate Black Women’s Sexuality — But Don’t Fetishize Them
Fetishization of black women occurs in many different forms, but the some of the most common include quantifying black women and expecting them to adhere to stereotypes. Black lovers should not be collected and bragged about like trophies. This further marginalizes us by making it seem like we are something exotic, elusive, and mysterious. Don’t expect black women to twerk, to be angry, or to be promiscuous. Not only will you be sorely disappointed if the black woman you pursue doesn’t have any of these attributes, but you’re also perpetuating harmful stereotypes about black women. Instead, treat each and every black woman you crush on like an individual. Like I’ve said, we’re all different. Individuality and uniqueness is something that isn’t afforded to black women; instead, we’re expected to fit into one suffocating box of limited stereotypes.
But black women are fully fleshed, three dimensional human beings with varying thoughts, abilities, values, and passions. Please treat us as such.
4. Just Be Yourself
As cliché as this sounds, you don’t have to pretend to be anything other than yourself when approaching a black woman. Because we’re faced with such hostility and scrutiny in the dating world, black women can be just as nervous about dating outside of their race as you are.
Just like you shouldn’t expect a black woman to behave a certain way, you shouldn’t have to pretend to be something you’re not to impress someone either. Talk to black women like you would anyone else and get to know them for who they really are. Appreciate us for our versatility and the little quirks that make each one of us so special. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you realize that black women are so much more than what they are expected to be.