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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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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.… 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… 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.

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