I’ve been on so many first dates where someone’s told me how amazing at chopsticks he is or how great I am at using them. There’s race stuff I want to talk about, and there’s definitely race stuff I don’t.
Moving beyond dating, how do people navigate existing historic and social racial tensions of privilege and oppression in interracial partnerships, particularly between a white man and a woman of color?
But I would argue that that isn’t the question we should be asking.When Bill* and I first started dating, I had no doubt he was interested in me.We would text first thing in the morning and talk all day about everything and nothing, and often I would send him a text right before I went to sleep, and the first thing I saw on my phone the next morning was a message from him.He promised me things that felt too-much-too-soon but also kind of wonderful—that he'd bring me and coffee every morning, that we'd go away the next weekend together, that he would get me a plane ticket to meet him in Europe while he was away on business. "I don't want to rush into anything and regret it." "Don't worry," he responded. If I didn't, I'd be mysteriously gone." I wanted to believe it all. I left his apartment excited at the prospect of what we had started.But then a whole day had passed—the longest we had gone without any interaction since we started dating. "He is totally into you." But then another day passed. "I often hear clients beg for an explanation of why someone would do this. But for some, there is a struggle between what they believe is right and how they behave."Logically, I get it—but that still doesn't make it right.