Over the past several months I have been making changes in my life. I’ve been working on myself psychically as well as seeing what really makes me tick. With both going through my journey of going natural and also being in a state of wanting to be in love I decided to dive into what has attracted me to certain men in the past and what has ran me away from others. I say this because all my adult life my boyfriends have been white. That’s not to say I haven’t been intimate with, or been attracted to men of other races, because I have, but they never resulted into anything meaningful. In recent months my preference has done a complete 180. All I want to do is spend the rest of my life with a black man.
      I bet if my parents heard that they’d probably jump for joy, but I’m not doing it for anyone’s approval. This change all started when I lived in Chicago. Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, for me, always seemed like slim pickens. Dayton isn’t small, but there is a small minded mentality. As a teenager and into my early twenties when it came to black men I only attracted a stereotype. It was always the dudes with the pants under their butt, and giving me the “psssttt…. Hey shorty.” every time I walked by and then yelling “Fuck you then, bitch.” when I didn’t comply. All these things made me cringe. I’m 31 now and started dating at 14. In all of this time, when it came to black men, only twice have I been approached the right way. Unfortunately, they weren’t my type, but I did applaud them on being perfect gentlemen. The other reason no relationships with black men flourished is because I was always seen as a “white girl.” I like rock music, foreign films, museums, etc. All of these things are my life. Whereas black men didn’t get this and didn’t relate but of course white men did. With them I could be myself and like what I liked without feeling embarrassed or looked down upon. Once I moved to Chicago it was a culture shock. I attended Columbia College which is a hipster breeding ground, as far as I’m concerned, and my mind was blown to see so many people of color who were just like me. Finally I wasn’t the only one. Even though I saw all these people like me still they weren’t like me. They all intimidated me. They were already from this city that was drowning in an amazing music scene, art, and this exuberant culture. I had nothing on these kids. It was like I was an imposter pop culture hipster compared to these kids.
       While I tried to adapt to this city lifestyle I did run into a few black men that sparked my interest. One of those I regret not pursing further. Again I felt intimidated. I felt like I would’ve been a disappointment in some way because I’d become used to dating white men. What if I didn’t live up to be what a black woman should be? That thought crossed my mind when it came to these few. I wasn’t going to embarrass myself in this big new place and feel even more like an outcast. I should’ve taken a chance anyways, but I let my fear get in the way of me acting upon it.
Now I’m back in Dayton where the choices are still slim pickens on any man no matter the race, in my opinion, but at least I still have ties in Chicago. I am at a point in my life where I do want to settle down and that’s brought me to many dating sites along with social media. There is one thing that I’ve noticed through this discovery. Most dark skinned men are only interested in light skinned girls and Latinas. That disturbed me a bit, but seeing as what my preference once was, it shouldn’t have. Although in my case my preferences were what they were out of being an outcast to an extent, not because I believe one race or shade is more beautiful than the other. I was speaking with one of the crushes from Chicago recently and he started listing off what attracted him to me and one thing he actually said was because I had light skin. That broke my heart. I don’t see myself as a light skinned girl and I definitely don’t want to been seen as having an advantage over anyone else because of my skin tone. When it comes to other men across the country in smaller cities that I find attractive who have similar personalities I see that their interests lie mainly with white women and that sucks. I have to sit back and realize that this is possibly how men felt about me. It’s a shock to the system that I didn’t have before. I never wanted it to come off that I thought white men were better. I really hope it didn’t come off that way because when I look at these men who prefer lighter skinned, white, or Latina women I can’t help but feel that way.
     I’m not sure what else I’ll discover about myself while I try to make these positive changes. This is definitely a big one for me. Because perhaps when it comes to a soulmate I was looking in the wrong places. It’s a big world out there and I can’t wait to see it again. Hopefully while I’m out in the world I can do it with someone by my side. That’s the dream.

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