dating a man of color means that I need to understand specific needs of his culture

I had an epic time in Chattanooga (for the must see things to do and places to eat check out this post). I am on my way to my next adventure! This time I’ll be in Warren, Rhode Island visiting family and checking out a whole new part of the country.

This last adventure from Chattanooga to Rhode Island was a long one. Thank goodness I had company on the trip! My boyfriend joined me on my travels. The first day we traversed from Chattanooga to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. 

visit the shenandoah valley for amazing views

We stopped along the way to visit a couple of really small towns that were picturesque but didn’t love dogs or people of color. Pretty sure we painted an interesting picture for these small towns based on the looks we got. It’s funny, we call ourselves salt and pepper and I recognize and understand that Larry and I have had different experiences in life. Not just as male and female, athlete and non-athlete, privileged and underserved but also as white female and black male. 

What’s funny is that even though we call ourselves salt and pepper, I don’t necessarily think about how vast our differences are when it comes to how we see the world. I see the world as a friendly place, where I can walk around never having to worry that someone thinks I’m going to harm them in any way. I don’t have to measure my words or actions based on where I am. I never have to consider that I will be stopped by the police simply because of the color of my skin no matter where I am in the country. 

What it means dating a Man of Color

These are all considerations for the man I love. There has to be thought given to the way he interacts in certain places, things I would never even think about, he has to measure carefully. And when I am in a super small town in the middle of Virginia, everyone around me looks just like me. No one around looks like him. 

Traveling with Larry has given me the unique ability to see the country through a different lense. One where I notice people looking at us. Because we are not in the comfort of home, where it’s all people I know and love. I can see people wondering about us. And sizing him up. He is literally the most outgoing person I have ever known so striking up a conversation is not difficult for him but I am really beginning to understand the phrase “furtive glances”. 

When almost everyone around you looks different than you do, it can be intimidating. Larry and I have chosen to enjoy the glances, to bask in our uniqueness (at least in parts of the country) and to not take ourselves too seriously.

We have an opportunity to display love and to love other people and we take that part seriously. What a distinct gift and privilege to have found love outside of our race in our second chances. 

Do you bask in your uniqueness? Do you proudly display it for the world? The world needs you to know it’s ok to be unique and it’s ok to be the only one in the room with your exact gifts. You got this!