Q: “Dr. Sherry, I'm an African-American woman who has always been most attracted to White guys. I've never actually dated one because I feel as though my friends and family would not approve and would give me hell about it. I'm turning 30 this year and I want to get serious about love and marriage. I would like to try dating the kind of men who really turn me on — men of all races – not just Black men. Help me!" – Riley
A: Riley, at the age of 30, you are “good and grown” and should date whomever you like — regardless of race. Of course, other people may have problems with the fact that you have “been most attracted to White guys," but that is their issue, not yours. Keep in mind that your family and friends have a right to not like the fact that you are interested in White men. You are right — they are likely to give you a hard time and think that you have absolutely lost it. (Just be prepared for the “snowflake” or “down with the swirl” jokes.) After your family and friends have calmed down, they may or may not approve of your relationship. However, are you actually looking for their approval? They may never fully accept your choice but it is your choice.
If you are comfortable with being in an interracial relationship and can deal with all that comes with it, do not allow others to spoil your possibility for happiness. Given that you have never actually dated a White man, you have to determine what your expectations are. You must also ask yourself if you are “writing off” Black men because of some bad experiences you may have had in your life. Many women are disappointed because they have high hopes that men of another race will be different from their own. When in fact, they find out there are many similar characteristics... good, bad and ugly! You should be careful to avoid buying into stereotypical views of dating men of other races. If you are running from Black men, just beware of where you’re running. Regardless of race, men are men. They all have strengths and weaknesses that have nothing to do with the color of their skin. I would recommend that you date according to the qualities that you want in a man rather than the color of their skin. Bottom line, it is all about your happiness and what you want. — Dr. Sherry
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