Maybe it’s time to get my swirl on

As we get older and (hopefully) become more self aware, we start questioning some belief systems that we’ve held on to for seemingly no reason. And this can’t be more true than my feelings for white men, well let me say ‘non-black’ men.

.             .            .

Like it is in many aspects of my life, when it rains, it generally pours, and the idea of being open to non-black men has been pouring down like Accra torrential rains.

Comments far and wide:

Sometimes Afua you have to just choose happiness, even if it comes in a different package pigment.

Sometimes you can’t wait for the black man to get their act together, there’s too few of them to choose from.” See interesting clip from the show Being Mary Jane on why even the ‘good’ brothers can be problematic. But I digress, let’s keep going…

“For what you’re looking for, you’re probably going to have to cast your net wider, and by wider I mean… Non-Ghanaian, scratch that, non-African, scratch that, I mean non-black.”

…hmmm that’s awkward.

So you don’t think I can get my ‘unassuming thoughtful gentleman, progressive in thought about gender roles in the house, Jesus-loving, Bawse in the board room but isn’t afraid to let me shine and is supportive’ man in the same pigment as I?

*Long Deep Sigh*

.             .            .

If we take a little trip down memory lane,  pre-college era, I was all about non-black men. Blame it on my surroundings (much of that time was spent growing up in Canada… eh), but there just weren’t many black men period. Think about having five black kids in my school at one point, two being me and my sistren sigh. Now add in having a connection to them. So to say it was slim pickings would be the understatement of the century. Moving to the US in the middle of high school and then going to college in the US opened my eyes to a whole new world: Black men ‘like me’! As in coming from a similar background… Whether African or not, they had similar family values and educational consciousness. Eureka, I had struck gold! However, as time has gone by I’m realizing this pool of men are still… Just. Men. And that ‘gold’ still needs refining.

Even moving to the continent now. One would think I would have struck even more gold, particularly among the returnee crowd, but Lord only knows what’s been our My Experience. So the million dollar question becomes ‘what happens if what you’re looking for ISN’T looking for you?’ Whether it’s because they’re already married, they don’t actually exist, or are attracted to a different type of woman (white women, less career-oriented women, more traditional women, younger women? [slot in any and everything else I’m not]). Welt, if you’re not the person the person you’re looking for is looking for then perhaps it could be time to change what you’re looking for *shrug*. And I think we singles have heard this general piece of advice several times over (particularly as we inch closer and closer to 30). However, I think we’ve always assumed this means scaling down on the character asks, and not changing the color of a person’s outside shell.

.             .            .

I love black men. And if y’all have any doubts from my posts, let me say it again: I. Love. Black. Men. I don’t think there’s anything more sexy than a strong black man taking care of his business, loving his family and serving his God. However, if *that* man isn’t checking for me, maybe it’s time I switch out the packaging and maybe get my swirl on! eyes-emoji cheese

Now there are so many considerations while making this sort of declaration (publicly).
Image result for swirl interracial dating

First off: I must admit I do not even know the first thing about being with a white man Raise-Your-Hand. Yes yes, I’ve had this conversation with a few ppl in the last few weeks, and the first response is ‘duh men are men, it’s the same as being with a black man’, but hold up one minute. Hold on. It’s NOT the same. Can me and a white guy talk about the same stuff, freely? Listen to the same things, go the same places… freely? Hmmm, honestly speaking I don’t even know anything about the initial step: how do you flirt with a white man? And I know y’all are laughing (or completely side-eying me), but I’m dead serious. How do I know if a white man is flirting with me?!? *eyes look left, eyes look right* I mean I’ve met white guys that I found attractive inside and out, but I never really knew what they thought of me. It’s more so because every positive vibe I get from a non-black man is cataloged as friends-vibe. Maybe it’s because my eyes aren’t even open to the possibility that a white man would be checking for me mixed with a combination of me not putting out (non-verbal) vibes that I’m into white men.

And this is all just real talk, RR.

Some other serious considerations include: ‘How do I know it’s not a weird black girl fetish thing that’s going on?’ point Remember, I live in Africa and the pool from which you’re working with in terms of white men generally goes as follows: “the short term contractor; the short term or (sometimes weird) long term development type- who lives a transient lifestyle…” Overall there’s a general ‘passing through’ or I’m a little-off vibe I get with them here. You don’t just get your regular ol’ guy living and working in Africa, but I just happen to be white- vibe. no offense.

Another consideration is family and culture. And I’m not talking about mine, because Praise the Almighty on High that I have a progressive family who even for the majority of my life thought I would end up with a white boy. They don’t see any issue with marrying outside of ones race. However, it’s the general culture here that poses issues. One, when you see a mixed race couple in these parts, with the woman being black, it’s a certain type of relationship… Of more the transactional nature than true ”mutual’ love. Secondly, I’m outsider. And I’ve been fighting it forever ‘me y3 ghanaiani!’*, but I’ve now come to terms with it that I. am. culturally. an. outsider. Even though my name is Afua, my default thought process is not that of a typical Ghanaian. As such, I’ve desired to marry someone who isn’t a complete outsider like me. It’s stupid and probably childish, but I’m just being real…. Sue me.

I’m not sure if y’all watched the Being Mary Jane season 3 finale [Spoiler Alert Ahead]. However, when she breaks up with her white boyfriend, she says the ultra real words of: “I don’t want to have to explain everything to you.” And that is so real. And for me we’re not just talking about ‘black issues’, we’re talking of the African/Ghanaian ones too. I remember a few Christmases ago we were at a family friend’s place and their daughter, a woman with a very similar profile to me, had brought home her white husband. Cool. He was chill. We had no issues with him as he tried his best to welcome all aspects of our Ghanaian culture. But I distinctly remember a conversation everyone was having in the living room one day and I remember every few seconds she having to whisper some subtle explanation of what was going on. It’s whenever I think about that, that I’m just like…

… I… Just…

…  …  ….  I…  … Just

                                              Can’t.

Chale… Me sef**… Half the time I’M the outsider needing explaining of why this is rude in Ghana; why we have to do this as protocol, even though it makes no God awful sense; why respect and traditionalism is more important than efficiency or doing the most logical thing… #butthatsnoneofmybusiness …
So to now come bring you an outsider into my plight. …I …Just… can’t… *deep sigh*
I mean is it wrong to want to be with someone who doesn’t need explaining along with me?

I think I’ll stop things here for now. I want to know if y’all have any thoughts for me, RR. Do you agree with anything I’ve said, or do you have advice on how all my insignificant items of concern are probably holding back my entire quest for true love? Or perhaps you want to tell me that I should move to Europe, which apparently is the new mecca for black girls wanting good white men… and I’m not joking, see here, here, and here.

*Translation of twi phrase: I’m Ghanaian

**Translation of pigeon phrase: Me myself

That moment you realize you’re down with the swirl- I love this clip from Facebook.

 

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10 comments

  1. I think there are more similarities between two people of different races in the same country than there are between same race different cultures

  2. Afua!
    I hope this finds you well.
    Thanks for the blog post. Allow me to cut to the chase.

    Why do you feel that you have to justify your existence to anyone? This whole post seemed to be an apology.

    You’re from Canada, as am I. Please don’t cry on my – our – shoulders about being one of a few handful people who happen to have black skin in your high school. Were there not Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, Japanese, Latinos or a myriad of other folks of different ethnic origins attending your school also? Get over it.

    You are a beautiful, passionate, witty and intelligent woman. Do yourself a favour and walk into the world and be with whomever you want without having to feel you must apologise for doing just that.

    In this lifetime, I happened to be born into a middle class family -who happened to be white- on the west coast of Canada. I’ve been with women of all colours (big deal!) who just happened to be beautiful human beings on all levels.

    Get on with it, darlin’! You’re filling your head too many silly ideas rather than allowing your innate intelligence to shine through. Walk out into the world with your beautiful self, kick ass, be happy, enjoy life and be with whomever your heart desires.

    Afua. I wish you to receive all the great things that life has to offer.

    G

    1. Thanks, Greg!
      One of the hard things about blogs is that sometimes the messages that you put down aren’t exactly picked up how you want them to be… In this case, sounding apologetic about my upbringing. I was hoping to put that background information for context more than anything. It wasn’t a woe is me, rather it was hoping to give a picture to how I was raised and also how my personality was shaped.
      Also, unfortunately for me… ‘My canada’ was in the middle of nowhere Alberta, so there were barely any Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, Japanese or Latinos (if at all). But I do feel you! I hope with the change in my attitude and outlook, I can bump into more guys (of all races) like you. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement 😉

      1. ““How do I know if a white man is flirting with me?!?””
        Their knees will be shaking…if they are shy or they will be all over you like a rash, if they are not?
        The man might be Chinese, Japanese etc etc etc
        You’re just gorgeous! Go out there and see what life brings you!

  3. So… As a long-time “swirler”, I read your post with bemusement, delight and a little bit of familiar horror. And initially, I wasn’t going to respond (I never respond to online posts) but I thought, having been where you are mentally, emotionally, and being where you might be thinking of going, you may appreciate my two cents.

    The first thing I will say is, when the person is right, and the love is real – all the things that you are worried about will not matter. There will be other things, sure. But not these things!

    “Can me and a white guy talk about the same stuff, freely?” – Honestly, no. Your non-black boo will never fully understand the black experience. But your black boo will never fully understand the female experience, your Kenyan boo will never fully understand the Ghanaian experience, and your Ewe boo will never fully understand the Ashanti experience. Hell, you could be with a female-Ghanaian/Canadian-educated-in-the-US-moved-back-to-Ghana clone of yourself, and there will still be some part of your experience that she will not understand. At the end of the day, you find the person who loves you as you are, respects that they will never fully understand your experiences, lends you a shoulder and an ear, and knows which girlfriend to call when you need more.

    “Another consideration is family and culture… I remember every few seconds she [Ghanaian woman] having to whisper some subtle explanation of what was going on [to her white husband]” – Again, this is my personal opinion and experience, but once you’ve found the Iove of your life, you won’t even notice the inconvenience of having to explain little cultural nuances or to translate funny conversations. Every time my husband has to explain some tradition/ culture/ history, I’m just excited to learn something new that helps me understand him better, and, something I will one day teach to our children who will share both our rich cultures. Of course, not everyone will get excited about learning new things blah blah blah, but the point is, when the person and the situation are right, you appreciate the differences that make your love unique, in the same way that if you were with someone who shared your ethnicity, cultural background, education and experiences, you would value how your similarities make your love stronger.

    “How do I know it’s not a weird black girl fetish thing that’s going on… You don’t just get your regular ol’ guy living and working in Africa, but I just happen to be white- vibe” – you make a valid point. But the same point could be made of black guys chasing black girls with small waists and big hips, big booties, voluptuous chests, high foreheads, short girls, tall girls etc… And as a black woman, I have felt fetishized for having one/ some of these traits. Of all your concerns however, this touches on the biggest issue you will face, and the relative lack of control you have over it, namely: the ridiculously slim pickings among non-black guys where you live. Yes, that means you may have to move… jk… jk…

    If, as I suspect, this post is really a tentative step towards opening yourself up to the possibility of a non-black love, then hopefully you’ll start opening yourself up to ALL the guys who are checking for you. “How do I know if a white man is flirting with me?!?” – trust me, when you’re open to the idea of him flirting with you, it’ll be so obvious!

    Good luck.

    1. Oh oh!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! Where in Alberta?!?! Very funny….a belly laugh shot forth.
      When I would drive the highways of AB I figured that I was being blessed with the sight of so many wild roses when in fact they turned out to be discarded Tim Hortons cups….

      It seems that I didn’t make myself understood clearly. My apologies (after all, I’m Canadian) – you seem to be apologising to all and sundry for the fact that you are considering being open to a partner from a different race other than a man of African origin.

      If I read you right and your are a apologising, I say, “drop it…”
      Again, you’re beautiful, funny, intelligent and, obviously, passionate….cut your own trail and allow the indignation of others to fall like water off a duck’s back.

      I really feel that the meaning of life is simple – and that is to be happy and enjoy life.
      Follow that which will make you happy and the rest be damned. Allow your yearning, inner beauty to shine forth…for that is the real ‘you’

      Be well

      G

  4. Aww I love this blog! Get out there and try new things! The only way to know is to try! And men are men at the end of the day. Sure the cultures are different but I feel like that’s only it. You should do a follow up blog just so you can see where u progressed

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