Friday, May 22, 2009

Should I Date Interracially?

Coming out of a divorce with a man who was very abusive and from a different culture and race has raised a lot of questions and concerns with my family and friends.  

I am Irish, German, Dutch and Cherokee. My ex-husband is Nigerian. We have a daughter together.

His mother is Igbo and I believe his father is Yaruba. Please correct me if I am wrong in the spelling or anything I am about to type about these specific cultures.

I am under the impression that the Yaruba men are abusive toward their women.  

Now when we were dating this didn't seem to be an issue.  He had a few angry outbursts and showed a little bit too much of public affection.  I just thought he had a few quirks to work out. I was extremely disappointed.

Anyway, as I am resocializing myself into American culture, I am surrounded by many different kinds of people, including African-American men, who happen to be very much attracted to me.  It may have something to do with the fact that I am still behaving like the woman my ex-husband has programmed me to be.  In fact, many of the things they comment on are things that I have changed about myself just to suit him.  I had to restrain myself one day when a man commented about how thoroughly I cleaned the lobby and that he liked that a lot. Then I had to remind myself that he probably just thought I was a very hard worker and was totally innocent.

Living with an African family has definitely put me in tune to the roots of our society though.  Some negative and some very positive.  

I want to comment about the positive because I feel it is important to hear the whole truth.  I am extremely good at cleaning now, lol.  I have learned how to cook one hundred percent better, improving on my own recipes because I learned tricks that only a seasoned veteran would know. I listen with such diligence that it is sickening.  People around me will do just about anything I ask them to do because the emphasis that is put on the idea of respect in their culture is so ingrained in me now that I cannot not greet and give salutations without feeling like a complete jerk.

This might seem a little bit strange to anyone from the United States but to people from other countries it might seem like a relief that anyone from here could understand the importance of these things. By no means were any of my skills lacking before. However, when you are treated like a slave the importance of perfection is key. If you mess up it is worse than if you had never completed the task in the first place.

So now I am faced with the problem of whether or not to date anyone outside of my race and creed, etc.  It actually terrifies me.  I do not want to put my children through this again. I am not discriminating to hurt anyone but to avoid being hurt myself. Who can really blame me? Don't get me wrong, there are still some very handsome black men who also seem nice to me.  My ex fell into that category as well.  What holds me back is the fact that the African culture is so ingrained into our society now that most people don't even recognize it, unless they are an outsider looking in.  That is me.  

So what is a girl to do? Any suggestions?

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