Dating white people is tricky—when you’re a person of color. Even though the Supreme Court’s Loving v. Virginia decision legalized cracker fever in the U.S. 48 years ago, many American PoC still hesitate to embrace our lighter, whiter brethren (in the Biblical sense). Now, why is that? Shouldn’t we be rushing in droves to bring some of that Aryan hotness home to show our grandmas that we finally made it to the big time?
The thing is, dating a white person can result in a whole lot of frustrating drama for the melanated partner. It’s definitely easier if the latter is totally cool with that white supremacy deal—that means a lot of their partner’s bullshit can fly just fine. Go ahead and lighten up your people, babygirl. But for the rest of us, the struggle to reconcile our white thirst with our self-love can often lead to some seriously fucked up encounters and painful conversations. Cultivating a mutually respectful partnership can be an aggravating and often tedious struggle, regardless of the relationship’s demographics. Choosing to date white just means that you’ll probably have to add Racial Justice 101 to the mix; I wouldn’t blame anyone for wanting to forgo that hot mess.
I’ve been reading a lot of listicles and articles about interracial relationships because I hate myself, and I’ve noticed that many of them are written from a hegemonic (read: Western white) perspective and say a lot of similar things about countering negative stereotypes, learning about exotic cultures, rebellion, and spicing up your dinner party game. (This video, too. UGH.) The writers, by and large, speak with progressive politics in mind, but they too often come off as misguided; despite their overall defense of interracial relationships, they are still writing from a perspective that treats people of color as Others, as romantic gatekeepers to an idealized colorblind society where #AllLivesMatter is trending 24/7. It’s quite a privilege to be a lover AND a not-for-profit educator, so I’d like to share the wealth with this handy listicle with you.
Learning the language. Dating a white person means you’ll have to learn lots of strange terms and idioms that are mostly refurbished versions of slang words Black people got over years ago. It’s like those shabby-chic wine glasses made from Mason jars? Get used to being “on fleek” at the “turn up function,” “homeslice.”
People will fetishize your children because they are like, Ethnic Lite. Think mixed-race babies are cute? Prepare to have your appreciation for them completely dissolved by day three of dating a white person because YOU WILL NEVER STOP HEARING ABOUT IT. You could possibly leverage this by selling ringside tickets to the birth of your next child. Also, think about the implication that half-white children are more worthy of commenting on than original-recipe children.
Surprise racism during sex. Imagine this: you’re in the zone, out of your mind and grinding up on your white partner. Just as you’re about to climax, they moan, “I never thought I’d be fucking an Asian girl!” And then everything goes cold. Seriously, the only thing worse than getting blue balls is getting blue balls because of racism.
Convincing them to use their whiteness to get you into classy functions like the Emmys or KKK rallies. Ever heard of a “hood pass,” the legendary piece of cred that grants a white person the power to say the N-word? If white people are to be believed, their “Black friends” have been giving those out like candy. Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s something even better than that: the “white pass.” It’ll get you into Fashion Week shows, ping pong games, and Ivy League schools! Unfortunately, getting your white partner to give you one is close to impossible—they get really uppity if you even mention it. I think it’s like Fight Club?
Pink areolae. You’re gonna have to get used to nipples looking like scallop sashimi.
White privilege. Constantly reminding them to be aware of their learned patterns of white supremacist behavior can be such a drag. It’s pretty much a physical law that they’ll be like, “Can’t everyone succeed if they just try hard?” or “George Zimmerman was defending himself!” just as you start thinking that they’re finally on the level.
White people food at parties and family functions. Tater tot hotdish, green bean casserole, build-your-own mashed potato bars, mini-quiches, and more await you. You might want to keep a mini-bottle of Sriracha in your purse. And even though the white person you’re dating might express a distaste towards that type of food, be wary of upcoming parties where they may cook it for their friends “ironically.” (Keep a mini-bottle of rum in your purse, too.)
When it comes to your culture’s traditional clothing, the white person you’re dating will probably 1) look really stupid in it and 2) insist on wearing it anyway for that key cross-cultural photo op. Even if you don’t care too much about this, they will see it as an integral moment of “cultural exchange” that will give them permission to wear Native American headdresses and cheongsams to Halloween parties until the end of time. Thanks to the Internet, the headache this incident causes you will be amplified exponentially, reaching across time and space to give thousands of other brown people headaches as they search for trad clothing pix on Google.
You need to wait for them to apply sunscreen whenever you go out. I’m not just talking about the beach or desert, where it’s always a good idea to have sunscreen on. I’m talking the dog park. Rally’s. The corner store. Your front porch. You’ll have to budget an extra ten minutes of getting-ready time for every outing, or else your partner’s ghostly complexion will blister and burn like the Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
A big nose gets in the way of makeouts. It’s like shoving your face into a chicken wing.
You run the risk of becoming a symbol for a post-racial world. When you date a white person, your thirst for their hot tits will often be misinterpreted as a beautiful coming-together (haha) of the races and the destruction of cultural boundaries. You might even find a cute selfie you took of you and your white partner included in a Tumblr collage with the text, “LOVE HAS NO COLOR,” or “Fuck Racism, Have Mixed Babies!” Shouldering the responsibility for solving the Race Question can put a lot of pressure on a relationship, especially when all you wanna do is drink red wine and fuck.