We see colour because we all judge books by their covers.

“A young couple, stars in their eyes, holding hands, intimacy in their demeanour. Newly in love the couples imagines a happy life together. When you visualize this couple, who do you see?”

Such a powerful question isn’t it? I found it in a book about interracial dating and it put things in perspective for me.

The couple you see in your mind represents what you view as the aesthetically perfect couple. The real question is, is this derived from nature or nurture?

This whole debate started with a very random question posed to me by my (white) colleague. She asked if I as a black woman, solely date black men? And without a moments thought I said “yes!”.

We both admit that we’ve experienced  physical attraction to men of all types but when it comes to serious relationships; we choose what we’re aesthetically familiar with.

We see colour because we’ve been sheltered.

I’ve never dated anyone other than black boys/men because for a long time I was never approached by men of any other colour. I assumed that because I never struggled to attract black men, there was no need to cast my net wider.

We see colour because we’ve been taught to. 

My colleague said her parents wouldn’t be happy if she brought a guy of a certain race home. Whilst my mother has ventured “outside”.

We see colour because of the fear of what others may think.

My mother dated a guy that she shared common interests with but she couldn’t overlook the cultural difference. It wasn’t his skin colour that was the problem, it was that fact that she couldn’t completely relax, she became tired of constantly having to explain what it means to be black and most notably the stares became too much.

I’ve experienced the stares to, after I went to an acoustic gig, with a (white) male friend. He and I received so many stares and double takes that if we received a penny for every stare we’d pay off our student loans. I’m sure

Robert Pattison and his new love FKA Twigs can relate to. Understandably his fans are upset that their “husband-to-be” is tied to to someone else but the colour of her skin seems to be the main reason for their lack of support. The most obvious conclusion to all of this is to just go with the flow and get to know anyone, regardless. However, if a cultural difference is a deal-breaker, make sure that it’s worth it to walk away. Admirably, Pattisson and FKA Twigs chose not to let the of race factor stop them from being in love.

Written By Siane Mullings

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