Remember when I said I was dedicating 2016 to trying something new? I meant it but…dating out of my race is something I have yet to master.
I’ve had one experience interracially dating in which the guy expected an “angry/ sassy Black woman” attitude at all times and was confused when I didn’t deliver that. He wanted me to curse him out and roll my neck or eyes every time I spoke to him. His thoughts of what a black woman was supposed to be were not only skewed but not who I was. The experience turned me off completely.
Ever since then, I’ve been extremely hesitant when dating outside of my race. When I see someone I’m interested in, I struggle with so many ” What if he doesn’t like black girls?” thoughts that I end up just leaving it alone.
Sometimes, I think I think about race too much.
— lil introvert (@LifeWithJRDN) February 3, 2016
I spoke to my close friend, paralegal, and current law student Cynthia about her experiences dating interracially, balancing school and work with her social life, and more for the fifth installment of Dating in NYC. Read her response below:
What expectations do you have going into a first date?
I won’t lie, I used to have a lot of expectations going into a date. My family always told me that a man should open the door for me, walk on the outside of the street, not let me pay, etc. That’s just not the case anymore.
I tossed expectations out the window and just decided to go with the flow. Not expecting much from a date takes some of the ‘first date’ pressure off. However, the things mentioned above definitely earn points in my book.
Describe your best dating experience or ideal date:
My ideal date will always be art gallery hopping followed by food and drinks. I always go art gallery hopping on first dates just because I like to get into the person’s mind. If they’re an air head or can’t be goofy with me in front of some cool art, it won’t work.
Describe your worst date:
A guy I was dating decided to take me to a wine tasting event, since he knew I loved wine. We tried about 8 different types of wine and by the 9th, he was getting a little belligerent. I decided to take him outside for some fresh air which turned into me babysitting him.
I left him in the lobby of the place so I could go get some crackers they were serving and by the time I came back, he was laid out on the floor, passed out. I threw cold water on his face to see if he work up and he did but he was super dazed. As soon as I got him back on the chair, he laid his head on my lap and just puked all over the floor and my favorite red suede doc martens. By the end of that date, I was out 60 bucks (his uber home) and a pair of shoes.
Has your dating experience made your more or less inclined to keep trying?
I’m more inclined. I’ve always been a curious person so I do want to see what else is out there.
What’s your take on women “shooting their shot”?
100% yes, fully support. If I think I can click with a person and find them attractive, why not? Even if they are random, you’ll probably never see them again. If it’s on social media, it’ll be awkward, but fuck it you tried.
Do you feel like making the first move is a “man’s job”?
Not necessarily, I’ve been in many situations where I had to make the first move. There was one guy in particular who was uncomfortable because I had made the first move and said that he “isn’t a pussy”. Never called him back after that date. Male egos can be so fragile.
If you’ve dated men not from NY, what differences did you see between them and NY men?
I’ve only really dated men from NY, but I wouldn’t mind dating someone from out of state.
As a hispanic woman, do you find that you’re often stereotyped when you date a man from outside of your race? (i.e. Do they expect the stereotypical “fiery” attitude from you?)
Every time I’ve dated someone outside of my race, they expect me to have a certain Spanish girl from OITNB attitude— a slick mouth, quick comebacks but in the same breath submissive.
Because of my culture, we’re expected to cater to our men and cook for them all the time. So, that stereotype always presents itself when I’m talking to someone who has only seen or heard that. That whole “crazy Erica Mena” meme crazy doesn’t apply here, bro. I have to remind them that although I am Hispanic and I’ve learned all of these things from my culture, I still have a mind of my own and can do anything I please. You can get your own plate of food but I’ll be fixing our beer pong cups at the table, boo.
As a law student, how do you balance work life and dating?
I don’t date often to begin with but work and school come first always. It’s always an inner conflict, dating and knowing the career path I’ll be taking. Whoever I get involved with must know that I won’t always have time to give them the attention that they want.
Whenever I date someone, I have to immediately lay that out there. Some guys are turned off by it and those are the same guys who are also a work in progress, so schedules won’t be ideal. If I find someone who understands my schedule, we can work. If not, bye.
Do you think that social media has affected the way we date now?
Absolutely. Let’s say you meet someone at a function and they give you their name and their number. I don’t know about you, but I’ll probably try to look for their social media handles. Instead of actually trying to get the know the person, I spoil it for myself and get to know them through their social media—worst move ever.
I always say “Just because you know my tweets, doesn’t mean you know me,” which is completely true. But for some reason, I’ll still try to figure someone out through their tweets or Instagram. If I don’t like what they say, it’ll have a negative impact on the way I look at them. “Ugh, he has a tweet about being Team Mystic instead of Team Valor! THE NERVE”
If there was one thing you could change about the dating scene, what would it be and why?
The rush of it all. Dating is supposed to be easy going and fun. Yes, we all have dating anxiety and constantly worry about how our date might feel but, chill. Go with the flow.
The guy you’re dating right now may or may not be Mr. Right. But, double texting him won’t mean you’re thirsty. Shoot your shot, girlfriends.