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“Why are you walk­ing so fast, babe? It’s just rain.”

“Oh, just hush & come on!”

“Is this a black girl hair thing?”

Yes. Yes, it was. There have been many times in my life, most­ly as I’m flee­ing from water & most­ly with peo­ple who call me “babe,” when and for whom I’ve been called upon to clar­i­fy whether some­thing is a black girl hair thing.

Inter­ra­cial dat­ing, you see, isn’t my nov­el­ty so much as my norm. There’s been only just enough of an assort­ment over the years to dis­tract me from the very obvi­ous truth of my very obvi­ous “type.” It wasn’t until a room­mate once point­ed out that a rebound bore a strik­ing resem­blance to my pre­vi­ous beau that it at last occurred to me near­ly every seri­ous boyfriend I’ve had since the age of major­i­ty could be hauled in under the same all-points bul­let­in. Ear­ly to Mid-Thir­ties. Tall. Lean. Shaved Head. White Male.

And while there are there are a litany of hot but­tons on which peo­ple will expound when con­fronting the inter­sec­tion of dat­ing & race, for me, the Rubi­con of the black girl-white boy rela­tion­ship has always been as sim­ple as broach­ing the sub­ject of my hair. From the one-mon­th won­ders to the loves of my life, when it comes to dat­ing, I’ve fre­quent­ly had to con­tend with white boys’ unfa­mil­iar­i­ty, appre­ci­a­tion, frus­tra­tion, and fas­ci­na­tion with my ‘do. It’s a love-hate rela­tion­ship that I have with the rela­tion­ship the men I like and love have with my hair. Say that ten times fast.

There are always those ear­ly first few sleep­overs dur­ing which I’ll for­go wrap­ping my hair at bed­time so that I might achieve the ludi­crous goal of look­ing pret­ty in my sleep.  I neat­ly splay the scarf over the pil­low, only to have it balled up some­where under the sheets by dawn, & dis­creet­ly repo­si­tion it in time for morn­ing pil­low talk. Soon enough, they’d get around to notic­ing this lit­tle dance, inquir­ing after its pur­pose, & lis­ten­ing rapt to my expla­na­tion regard­ing the vary­ing mois­ture reten­tions of cot­ton & silk.

“I’m actu­al­ly sup­posed to wrap my hair with it,” I say. “It gets dam­aged when I don’t.”  My tone is inevitably half sheep­ish con­fes­sion and half accu­sa­tion, as though I acknowl­edge the silli­ness but have cho­sen to lay its par­tial respon­si­bil­i­ty at his feet.

“Oh,” he’d shrug in reply. “Then why didn’t you?”

Oth­er thresh­olds will come, and oth­er ques­tions with them. Why can’t he run his fin­gers through it while we cud­dle? Why don’t I ever want to make love in the show­er? I would hear them all as though he were impugn­ing me for deny­ing him life’s myr­i­ad sen­su­al plea­sures by way of my high main­te­nance.

I felt it wise, at times, to judge men by their judg­ment of my hair. It’s not exact­ly a bad yard­stick either. There were those who did wield it as a weapon to wound. The sound of a pad­dle brush stroking through weft hair was of a par­tic­u­lar annoy­ance to one unfor­tu­nate­ly long-last­ing part­ner, a fact he was fond of spit­ting forth in his surlier moments. But the most part, they were, at worst, entire­ly less con­cerned than I gave them cred­it for and, at best, the most reli­able source of encour­age­ment for which I could ever ask.

There was a dis­tinct­ly, dev­il­ish­ly awestruck “wow” elicit­ed from a for­mer flame on first sight of my new­ly nat­u­ral hair that let me know, in no uncer­tain terms, I had made the right choice. And long before I began my tran­si­tion, long after I’d all-but-for­got­ten it was even there, it was my beaus who’d express their desire to see my nat­u­ral hair. “Why don’t you wear it like that? I bet it’s beau­ti­ful,” they’d say, & still I’d find a way to get defen­sive or to tell them they were in the wrong.

Why did their sim­ple curios­i­ty put me so on edge? Why did I react as though there were four hun­dred years of his­to­ry in our bed­room when it was real­ly two lovers learn­ing about one anoth­er minds & bod­ies. What could be sweet­er?

I found the more con­fi­dent I felt in my own skin, less intru­sive those ques­tions felt. The com­fort lev­el I need to attend to is not theirs, but my own. They’re already my biggest fans.

Kischa Ford is a writer in New York.

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204 Comments on "Dating Interracially While Natural"

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KJJ

Hon­est­ly, I think some of the­se issues would be faced by black wom­en in IRRs regard­less if their hair is nat­u­ral or relaxed, with the hair wrap­ping, don’t run your fin­gers through/mess up my hair, don’t get my hair wet…these sound like black cul­ture hair issues in gen­er­al. Not to men­tion, we see many black wom­en with relax­ers and weaves, so I would argue that black men in many cas­es are just as curi­ous about nat­u­ral hair.

Sabrina Antoinnette (< link to my instagram profile)
Wow. I had to take a step back for a moment after read­ing all of the com­ments on this arti­cle. Are we not in a place that rep­re­sents the strive for equal­i­ty and return­ing to the basics of what is nat­u­ral and good to one’s own desires? I’ve seen quite a bit of racial accu­sa­tion in the com­ments on this site in var­i­ous places. I’m am just thank­ful for those that chime in and bring light to the real­i­ty of life. WE ARE ALL PEOPLE — blood is blue and red in all of our veins. We all expe­ri­ence love and… Read more »
Daniel

Dat­ing inter­ra­cial­ly is noth­ing wrong.As love does not see colour,race or reli­gion.

Kade
Excat­ly! I feel as though this prob­a­bly lies huge­ly in the states. Here in Eng­land, par­tic­u­lar­ly lon­don, no one looks twice at inter­ra­cial cou­ples. They are so com­mon they have become the norm. I feel as though Amer­i­ca is behind or lag­ging. C’mon just get over it, at the end of the day if you strip the lay­er of skin off they will just be two human beings. God, I know the his­to­ry of race in Amer­i­ca is well doc­u­men­tat­ed and hor­ri­fic but to become bet­ter things need to move on.  Also I love the arti­cal but the writ­ing style was… Read more »
'Quel
So, wait. You say you know the his­to­ry of race in Amer­i­ca, but? But what? If you’re not FROM here, then you DON’T know the his­to­ry. How can you tell some­one to get over it? Hell, THEY won’t get over it. So, how can we move for­ward when they’re mind­set is still there AND when they con­trol every­thing. And screw Eng­land, girl. They’ve occu­pied Africa so hard and for so long til it’s not even fun­ny. Eng­land can go to hell. Now, take that shit back to the UK with you.
Kade
Did I say I know the his­to­ry of Amer­i­ca? I clear­ly stat­ed it is WELL DOCUMENTED!! For that rea­son I believe you are illit­er­ate. Besids I nev­er said I was English…so your assum­ing stuff…I said HERE IN ENLAND, that means I live there. Any­way what I am say­ing is that love has no colour because at the end of the day we are ALL HUMAN!!! So yes when it comes to love GET OVER IT! God said love is for all and our main goal is to pro­cre­ate, he nev­er said blacks must pro­cre­ate with blacks and the same for whites… Read more »
'Quel

Let me change my “they’re” to “their” before some lack­ey comes on here and tries to cor­rect me.

Nolly A

That com­ment was for quel by the way

Nolly A

I have read most of your com­ments and I am real­ly sad and dis­gust­ed ..you are evi­dent­ly very une­d­u­cat­ed, igno­rant and appar­ent­ly ghet­to. Please for your own good try and put an end to this close mind­ed and shal­low behav­iour, they say the old­er you get the wis­er you become but you are prov­ing the notion wrong ..take this advise from a 13 year old kinky hair girl :) .Race should nev­er be a fac­tor to deter­mine who you fall in love with

Sabrina Antoinnette (< link to my instagram profile)

@Quel, Why are you so angry? I die at sit­u­a­tions like the­se. The curs­ing, the slurs, and the defen­sive­ness — lololol!! Have a great week­end.

'Quel

You giv­in me hell just because? What? You can’t give me hell, mf. You wastin my time is what you’re doing. SMDH. LOLLL!!

An embassy? Wtf are you talk­ing about? Go home, damn. Shit, you mak­in my head hurt–all this tom­fool­ery. WTF????

Sabrina Antoinnette (< link to my instagram profile)

@Quel — just wow. How about this — I am ffrom Amer­i­ca, born and raised. So Cal and Chicago. I left because of it. Will that do? 

@Krokan — Small world for sure! well — add me via insta­gram and msg me some­how when you guys come back. We’ll be here in Oslo for a while :) I’m real­ly dig­ging liv­ing in Europe. Every­one is very relaxed. For a change, I’m the one that needs to take a chill-pill haha.

Sabrina Antoinnette (< link to my instagram profile)

@Quel fyi — I’m giv­ing you hell just because. No need to get all per­son­al or defen­sive or attack a person’s race or nation­al­i­ty here.

***NEWS FLASH****

IT’S A HAIR BLOG; not a race blog, not a dat­ing advice blog, and def­i­nite­ly not an embassy.

'Quel

Look slut, I wasn’t even talk­in to you. Did you say any­thing about how you “know the his­to­ry of Amer­i­ca” or how we “need to get over it?” Damn, read your own shit that you wrote.

Marie

My hus­band recent­ly moved from Eng­land to Amer­i­ca, but plans on us mov­ing back to Eng­land for this rea­son. When his fam­i­ly came over to vis­it us in Amer­i­ca they were shocked by the issues with peo­ple and us. While we were all wait­ing in like, the lady in the next check out isle kept yelling at me that she was free, until my FIL respect­ful­ly let her know that I was his daugh­ter, his son’s wife, and that it’s ter­ri­bly rude to shout in that man­ner when we are so close. Pfft. Noth­ing like that every hap­pened in Eng­land.

Sabrina Antoinnette (< link to my instagram profile)

@Marie — I com­plete­ly under­stand. My hus­band and I left as well. He is Scan­di­na­vian. We line in Lon­don and Oslo (Oslo is close to being worse!).

krokan

@Sabrina- Wow small world! I am also a nat­u­ral mar­ried to a Nor­we­gian! He’s from Oslo and we were liv­ing there until he was hired in NY so we moved here to the states. We try go back every year with the kids and we’ve also noticed the ten­sion you speak of. It’s sad.

Amy

I agree but its like many of the­se wom­en on this site want to be seen. 

“Im a black wom­an that dates inter­ra­cial­ly”
Its like their say­ing, see look im a black wom­an we can date inter­ra­cial­ly too see here’s my white or what­ev­er non negroid SO. Let some­one come around then and say they love every race as well as black men and they’ll thumb you down like you just cursed them lol

Huh?

This is not about black guys at all. What you’re say­ing sounds like you’re just mad about inter­ra­cial rela­tion­ships. Nobody is bash­ing black guy. Yet you’re bash­ing black wom­en who don’t want to date black guys. Grow up. 

“im sure you all will gig­gle with delight because hey, you got your non black man as a tro­phy to tell you you are of a val­ue just like their ww”

Girl you have some seri­ous bit­ter­ness to work out in your life.

Tell the truth
You wom­en sound just as bad as the black men that go on an on about being with a white wom­an. Be hap­py that you’re with some­one, but none of you can say my man does this or that with­out empha­siz­ing his race before every com­ment. It seems like you all are the ones obsessed with race. You all just gen­er­al­ized that all non black peo­ple love nat­u­ral hair, but scream and shout when a black man nice­ly says he like\loves nat­u­ral hair because omg he learned to, just like many oth­er nat­u­rals had to learn to love their own hair.… Read more »
Jack

She men­tioned her boyfriend’s race because it was rel­e­vant to what she was dis­cussing in the arti­cle. It was on top­ic; she didn’t just ran­dom­ly say it out of the blue.

Huh?

This is not about black guys at all. What you’re say­ing sounds like you’re just mad about inter­ra­cial rela­tion­ships. Nobody is bash­ing black guy. Yet you’re bash­ing black wom­en who don’t want to date black guys. Grow up.

“im sure you all will gig­gle with delight because hey, you got your non black man as a tro­phy to tell you you are of a val­ue just like their ww”

Girl you have some seri­ous bit­ter­ness to work out in your life.

SJ
I think she was respond­ing to the com­ment made by Tabatha.…..I could be wrong. Any­who, WHO CARES? Date who you want…I know white and black men who love nat­u­ral hair, and white and black men who don’t.…Some wom­en are in inter­ra­cial rela­tion­ships and are total­ly chill about it going about their business…And oth­ers do in fact jump for joy because they were able to pin down a non-black men…Maybe the major­i­ty of black men that Tabatha has encoun­tered indeed talked the way she quoted…but of course not all black men approach wom­en dis­re­spect­ful­ly (Per­haps Tabatha has just not sur­round­ed her­self… Read more »
SJ

*man

taylor

shes bit­ter because she’s speak­ing the truth.…uh huh.….

kitso

iv dat­ed mar­ried out­side my race and iv been nat­u­ral all my life. my hair is nev­er been an issue. My hus­band strokes my hair a lot, we show­er togeth­er often. Iv nev­er had an issue myself with my hair. But that’s bor­ing.. As an author she has tomake things inter­est­ing enough, to make peo­ple read and react.

Mai
“Why are you walk­ing so fast, babe? It’s just rain.” “Because I don’t like to get wet unless I’m at the beach or in the show­er.” “…You’re right, walk­ing in wet Chucks are the worst.” I date out­side of my race, specif­i­cal­ly white guys, and seri­ous­ly, I hate the­se arti­cles on bw-wm cou­ples. It ain’t that seri­ous. If they ask me a ques­tion about my beau­ty reg­i­men, cul­ture, upbring­ing (which prob­a­bly isn’t too dif­fer­ent from theirs because I grew up in upstate NY in white sub­ur­bia), I just answer and they say “cool.” We act like white wom­en don’t have “weird” beau­ty… Read more »
Kami
Lol, yes! I nev­er got that black wom­en and rain thing. Being nat­u­ral has not changed my opin­ion about the rain and most Amer­i­cans don’t like being caught in the rain either. Seri­ous­ly, who wants to go to work soak­ing wet while doing a pre­sen­ta­tion on quar­ter­ly earn­ings in front of their boss. And no one is try­ing to go to restau­rant and drip dry while wait­ing for their food.  And I’ll be the first to say it, I like my hair pulled. Always have. Now, yes, you can­not try and rip out my hair fol­li­cles, but a lit­tle tug at… Read more »
TWA4now

I liked the arti­cle. I think most men regard­less of race, are slight­ly curi­ous about a black woman’s hair and hair rou­ti­nes. It is us who has to feel com­fort­able with our nat­u­ral hair and skin.

Cass
I’ve date blacks and non-blacks. The ini­tial stages of dat­ing and get­ting to know one anoth­er, I find to be iden­ti­cal. We try to pre­serve the sexy at all times! When things start to get com­fort­able, non-blacks (whites more so than His­pan­ics) may be curi­ous about a black woman’s beau­ty main­te­nance reg­i­men (that is assum­ing you’re the first black girl they’ve dat­ed). With that said, black men are curi­ous too. Espe­cial­ly those with­out sis­ters and those who haven’t been in a seri­ous rela­tion­ship. In the past, in my inter­ra­cial rela­tion­ships, my defen­sive respons­es to ques­tions about my hair we root­ed… Read more »
lala

“a jew­el­er in pos­ses­sion of a rare gem” what a beau­ti­ful metaphor when it comes to nat­u­ral hair!! i love it.

Bella
I’m not a huge fan of Ford’s writ­ing style. It reads like a girly diary to me. The last para­graph is real­ly all that needs to be read.  Nat­u­ral hair in an inter­ra­cial rela­tion­ship is not a big deal. And no, it’s not a “black girl thing” to not want to get rained on. If I have an umbrel­la in my hand and water is falling from the sky, nat­u­ral or not, I will use my umbrel­la. If I have a twist out, a giant afro, or the desire not to catch a cold, I will avoid get­ting rained on. Of… Read more »
Chi

@Bella,
The best com­ment I’ve read on this post. Yes!

'Quel

I felt the same way about her writ­ing style when I read it. It just seems like she’s tak­ing her­self waaaay too seri­ous­ly. But, I feel you, I can’t under­stand why peo­ple are so weird about IRR’s. I just can’t grasp it. I mean, a man is a man. And, com­ing from some­one who’s dat­ed just about every race there is–except white–i can hon­est­ly say that they real­ly all alike. They may not have the exact same issues, but they all come with some, trust.

Mikxtr

But Bel­la, that is exact­ly the point of the arti­cle. She’s not try­ing to hide that. She’s shar­ing her inse­cu­ri­ties, and some if us who’ve had sim­i­lar expe­ri­ences appre­ci­ate it. It’s nice not to be the only one who’s done such sil­ly things. 

It’s just a sto­ry, peo­ple! Why can’t she share it?

GuestT

OMG, THANK YOU!!! Well said.

BurtReynolds

This is awe­some!!! Kischa, you are the best! Great job.

Cece Danielle

Loved the arti­cle. Well writ­ten.

Tabatha
I date inter­ra­cial­ly all the time and they always love my hair. They always ask if they can touch or pull my hair dur­ing inti­mate moments and I always laugh and say “Of Course”. The one thing that they nev­er under­stood was why I would wrap a scarf around my hair at night. I didn’t mind the ques­tions cause it was them get­ting to know me and it was nice. I’ve dat­ed most­ly white and lati­nos myself. Its not that I don’t like black men, but the nev­er approach me cor­rect­ly. I final­ly mar­ried my hus­band he is half white… Read more »
'Quel

Girl, stop. You SOUND like you wish you were white or some­thing. “Girl, whatch­yo name be?” Now, you know aint no black man talk­in like that to any­body. I don’t give a f where they’re from. That’s some ear­ly 90’s Jamie Foxx from ‘In Liv­ing Col­or’ skit type of shit right there. It’s quite obvi­ous you hadn’t actu­al­ly dat­ed a black man in a looooooong time. LOL

Kiki

I love my Black men…but I also date inter­ra­cial­ly. Sor­ry to say, but there are still Black men out there who speak like that, a lot of them. They don’t have to be in your imme­di­ate cir­cle, but you will see them at the local gas sta­tion, cor­ner store, gro­cery store, etc. 

Not all Black men are like this, just like not all Black wom­en are bit­ter, but yet Black wom­en get the bit­ter label and I hear it from our men the most, if not only!

taylor

Wow, gen­er­al­iz­ing black men i see??? Youre a dis­grace. Im so threw with some of the­se wom­en on this site.…

cacey
clear­ly she’s speak­ing from her expe­ri­ence. when i lived in atlanta, i lived on the south side, and this was true of my expe­ri­ence as well- if you’re famil­iar with col­lege park, west end area. most if not all of the black men that approached me usu­al­ly came at me with some slang of that sort. now grant­ed, i’m mar­ried to a black man, and his approach was entire­ly dif­fer­ent. but then again, he wasn’t from the south side of atlanta, either lol and that’s not to say that all black men from the area of town i grew up… Read more »
The Poster Girl_Shar

Judg­men­tal much? How do you call some­one a dis­grace and you can’t even spell or use the word “through” in the cor­rect con­text? You don’t even know this wom­an, yet you call her names while hid­ing behind your com­put­er. That is what is piti­ful. The neg­a­tiv­i­ty comes from that. Let peo­ple live and tell their sto­ries with­out the judge­ment because its unnec­es­sary. If you can’t relate, learn to empathize.

nicole

threw is the past tense of the verb throw. It is there­fore impos­si­ble to say that you are threw with a web­site. Though I think you meant through, as in fin­ished, you could have also meant thrown, the par­tici­ple of the afore­men­tioned verb which can some­times be used to mean amazed.

Good night sim­ple one.

taylor

Oh boo-hoo!!!! I made a minor gram­mar mis­take! So what? Who does­nt? You guys on that one par­tic­u­lar thing to insult me. Try again. Just imag­ine if that poster was a guy and said “black wom­en nev­er approach me cor­rect­ly and when they do they always speak in slang” I guar­an­tee all hell would­ve broke loose!!!! Black wom­en can be so hyp­o­crit­i­cal!!!

just sayin'

…the word is still ‘through’…

TINA SMITH

SAVE THE GRAMMAR LESSON

Valerie

Alright now!

Princess C

Tell me about it

Tabatha

I meant to say dat­ed not date cause I’m mar­ried now, lol oops.

aree

Here we go again…
Exits, stage left.

HotTwa

Who would thumbs this down? Have you all not seen the com­ments? Posts like the­se nev­er end well.

Nappy 4C Rocks

lol

Tell the truth

Ikr. Noth­ing wrong with IRR but I swear its like some of the­se wom­en want cook­ies for being with a non-black man. Going out of their way to let every­one know their with said non black man.

We get it! Great for you that you found some­one. Now please feel free to parade your white, lat­in, or what­ev­er man around with all the oth­er proud non black wom­en dat­ing men.

Lol

Hee­heee, just from the title I knew the sis­ta sol­diers would lock-step in here foam­ing at the mouth. lol why don’t you sol­diers just hush and let this wom­an “brag” and “con­vert” oth­ers there­by leav­ing more awe­some black guys for your­selves? Wink. Wink.

'Quel
I think what ‘Tell the Truth’ was try­ing to say was that even on oth­er top­ics, when some­body who’s in an IRR makes a com­ment about some­thing, it’s like they always say some­thing like, “well, my boyfried who hap­pens to be white, loves my hair and actu­al­ly got mad when I want­ed to put a sew-in in my head.” And it’s like, um, hav­in a non-black man ain’t noth­ing. Lit­er­al­ly ANYBODY can get one. So, why are you bring­ing it up like it’s some­thing that every­body out there try­na get?  I was engaged to a Kore­an man once, but he was… Read more »
Nkeon

I’ve noticed that when­ev­er a black man or wom­an talks about their white-coun­ter­part they are instant­ly accused of brag­ging. Most of the time the tone is no dif­fer­ent from how black peo­ple dat­ing with­in their race talk about their part­ners. There is plen­ty of talk on the atti­tudes of black men towards nat­u­ral hair and less fuss.

I think the truth is that peo­ple make too big a deal out of inter­ra­cial relationships/people and the per­spec­tive that some­thing like this is brag­ging stems from that.

ZR

So what is your issue? You claim to have no prob­lem with inter­ra­cial rela­tion­ships but have a knee jerk reac­tion that Kischa wants cook­ies? She isn’t “going out of her way” or brag­ging that she has some­one — just telling her sto­ry. Should black wom­en who have inter­ra­cial rela­tion­ships just sit in the cor­ner and shut up?

Amy

Well would you like? A parade lol
Or a nation­al inter­ra­cial dat­ing mon­th where you can all address the world how you found love with your non black SO lol

No one asked inter­ra­cial daters to go any­where, but I swear most of you jump at the chance to throw in what race your SO is, act­ing like you all pur­chased a mil­lion dol­lar purse.

wpDiscuz