Dear Ms HeartBeat:
A few months ago, I was encouraged by friends to try online dating. I live in a very small conservative town and it’s not easy to meet people. I don’t know how much you know about online dating (interracially). There seems to be only one primary site, which is open to all races but primarily focuses on white males and black females.
When I put my profile up on this site, I had genuine intentions to meet someone with whom I can perhaps start a genuine relationship with mutual feelings. I met a number of what you would refer to as “Trifling white men” white men who are there to just find an easy lay and make it obvious, older white males preying on young women of color, and so forth.
I was smart with easily detecting and avoiding these guys. Until I met a fellow who carried himself well. We communicated well on there and eventually met in person. He is successful, seemed caring etc. I saw few if any red flags initially like his profile was hidden from public view (but he later explained this as he gets many unwelcome requests and e-mails from women out there for all the wrong reasons). I thought I did everything right, waited for him to commit to me and be exclusive before even sleeping with him. Although he was 37 and I am 25, he seemed to be a good match… so I thought.
About a month after we started dating, he went quiet – just completely stopped talking to me! After two weeks of repeatedly seeking what happened to our relationship, he then threw the “it’s me, not you” card… the “I have issues” card.
Shortly after he was back active on the dating site. Also on FaceBook, I realized that he had 165 friends, and he has his friend list blocked – of the 165 people he has on FaceBook as friends about maybe 20 are NOT black females. He has a very hidden profile; you can’t comment on anything, like anything or see anything other than his profile pictures and a small album. My thinking is that he looks “legit” as he friends naïve black females.
It was HARD because I realized that aside from the lessons learned (e.g. learning to love myself and raise my self-esteem etc. –thus I found your site Surviving Dating), I realized that not every guy’s intention is genuine. I also realized that black women need to be stronger and more assertive towards white men just as black men, because most of these white men who date and approach black women especially on dating sites are TRIFLING white men.
These men may or may not have had a genuine interest in black women in the past but or whatever reasons they are seeking black women for ALL the wrong reasons. The males are either rejected by their own women, or are seeking black women because we have been portrayed to be easy or freaks. So if a naïve young woman such as me goes on those sites with genuine intentions, they are shattered.
I have since removed my profile and have no desire or need to return to said site or similar sites. Interestingly, the same women and men on those sites are the same on other IR sites and groups on FaceBook. It’s like a recycling game and it makes me sick.
I am wiser now, at 25. Some of the women on these sites are much older, but the question is when will we ever learn? We as young black women need to be assertive and strong and be cautious towards men of ALL races, more so WHITE men if you ask me, because they will use you and take you for a ride especially if you are young attractive and naive, and then they will leave you for the next one along.
I am in shock and just disgusted at the way I had to learn this tough lesson. But one more thing Deborrah before I conclude my long e-mail! My sister has also been dating for awhile, and she also lives in a small town, harder to meet people etc. and she introduced me to the said dating site, and she has also not had much success in her dating experiences, the guys either seem to slack off or just be “afraid of dating” after so many months. So I think that has something to do with it.
So in conclusion, do you have any words of wisdom for me and other many young black women who have suffered a similar fate? As usual your words are always appreciated! Sorry for the long e-mail.
Dear Learning Fast:
I am not a fan of internet dating at all. Back in the early 1990s when internet dating was new, it had a negative association, like only losers need to get on the web to date. Well, fast forward 15 or so years and things have certainly changed. There are high end sites with elaborate psychological profiling questionnaires, niche market sites which focus on ethnicity religion or hobbies, as well as free dating sites that are a free-for-all of interests and members.
Certainly there are couples that meet on these sites and take their relationships the full distance to the altar, but those couples are rare. In most instances it seems the people that are on these sites for long periods of time have major issues with emotional and physical intimacy.
Some can have sex, but then they retreat into a walled off shell to be alone with their injured spirits. Others just want to carry on a phone or web-based relationship that provides some semblance of romance; they’ll never agree to meet in person. Most have serious problems with social interaction and are in some manner a misfit. And we’re not even talking about the cheaters with girlfriends or wives at home!
Internet dating (or really any dating situation) does not guarantee you a long-term relationship. That is why a woman should always date two or three men at the same time. Read the article A Pair and a Spare Dating Program for more information. You can sleep with them if you please (you’re grown!), but that isn’t really what I am recommending here. The goal is for you to spend time around and get to know numerous men without becoming too involved or developing many expectations of any of them.
By keeping a certain emotional distance, you can better assess how well each guy meets your needs. You can also watch, look and listen more objectively because your heart isn’t involved. When you are emotionally detached you won’t be tempted to make excuses for things one of the guys may do that are questionable, shady or hurtful. Instead, you have two other men to have fun with, so you dismiss that fool and move on without looking back.
The racial differences may also be a concern. Though there are many men of other races that are attracted to Black women, you must take your time to determine exactly what his attraction is based on:
- Is his interest in you strictly physical? If so, he will date you for a minute but once his sexual curiosity is satisfied, he’ll be gone. Many men have a goal of sleeping with a woman of every race, you could just be his Black notch.
- Does he come from a family of racists which he is very attached to and allows to dictate decisions for his life? If so you will be a deep, dark secret in his life, and never mainstreamed as his partner. You’ll never meet his friends, be invited to family gatherings, or asked to socialize with him and his peers from work.
- Does he say things that let you know he believes in racial stereotypes about Black women or men? Don’t take even his offhand comments or “jokes” as casual. These statements and attitudes are reflective of his true thinking, and could be a serious red flag.
- Does he seem to have an attraction to you that is more akin to a fetish, where he is always commenting on your skin color and doesn’t see you as just a woman? If so, you should know what time it is without me even having to tell you.
Dating is about finding the right fit, personality-wise, lifestyle-wise, as well as age-appropriate (which this guy was not). Some men fit for a day, some a week, some a few months, and very few make the cut for a lifetime fit. So your shock that the dating relationships you had ended is surprising to me.
Dating someone does not mean they will love you, nor does it mean that marriage is on the horizon. Dating simply means spending time with someone, getting to know him outside of work or family obligations, checking each other out to see if there’s anything to build on. If so you keep dating to see where it goes – if not, you break up and begin the process all over again with someone else… someone you hope is more of what you need.
From your letter I’m getting the distinct impression that you feel someone you date has to be around for a long time, and I’m here to tell you flatly that is not true. Since the number of dates we all have far exceeds the number of long-term relationships and marriages we’ll enter into, obviously most dating partnerships don’t have CRAP to build on! When men realize that they can’t be the man you want, or aren’t interested in you being their woman, they tend to do the “fade out” style breakup. They call less and less or stop calling at all, and hope you get a clue that you’ve been dumped. Men hate emotional scenes and seek to avoid them at all cost; avoiding all that by doing the “fade out” is very, very common.
Women must stop being so blindly trusting and remember that they are responsible for “vetting” the men they date. Women are so gullible it makes me roll my eyes. Just because a man says something they believe it like the Gospel without question and without any supporting facts or documentation. Some women have found background check services to be helpful in this regard. The services investigate and determine if the guy has a prison record and if he is really who he says he is. In this day and age with identity theft, sexual assaults and scams of all sorts being run on women even internationally, background checks are almost mandatory.
Black women that date interracially must also check their attitudes. Sisters must analyze their reasons for choosing to date men of other races. Sure, you can fall in love with anyone that is kind and with whom you have fun and great conversations. However, Black women that exclusively date other races due to negative interactions with Black men in the past must make sure they don’t see White men as being automatically better for no reason other than they are White.
Dating interracially as a way to escape Black men is foolish, because skin color does not determine the way a man treats you. Men of all races lie, manipulate, cheat on, and beat on, game on, use and abandon women. A man is a man, the color of his skin has no effect on his character; he either is a man of quality or he is not. Use your head in dating, not just your heart.
My favored dating technique and suggestion is that you tell friends, family and trusted coworkers that you are open to meeting new men. That way the guys that are referred to you are known by someone you know, and he won’t be a complete stranger. You can get basic information on him (more than you could from an internet profile), and your match maker will have an idea of how you two would get along and in what ways. You can talk on the phone a time or two before you go out to screen him further yourself.
Your set-up dates may work out for romance, you may gain new friends, or they may not be a good fit in any way after all. However, I believe the personal touch in dating is always better than the impersonal high tech world of Internet dating.