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One thing I took away, but have yet to fully unpack, from my recent conversation with my mom is that I fear I may have heightened stereotypes, too.
She mentioned how the majority of stories of heartbreak and depreciation I shared with her in my younger days—one of which was physically harmful—involved black men. I was attempting to find love in a person I found attractive, consequences and all.
This week, we're publishing some of those responses as part of a conversation about race and relationships.
I can't pinpoint physical features or characteristics of black men because that's not only wrong, it's just not the entire case. Have I come across one that's caught my attention? I have strong Mexican men in my life, too—my father and my two brothers—that I hold close, respect, and admire.
What I'm attracted to can be found in men of all races: strong arms (sense of protection), a great smile, nice build (healthy), ambitious, passionate, a sense of humor—a touch of sarcasm helps—and a kind heart. My brothers never seemed to have an opinion as to the type of men I dated, and were only concerned with how each guy treated me. My dad has always been a quiet man, and his only insertion in conversations about my dating life: "Are you happy, ?
I was the naive one running toward any mirage of love I could find.
When it's more than one black guy I've had bad luck with, others—in this case my parents—see a pattern.
I've dated other races aside from black men—my first and only boyfriend of two years was Korean. "My parents, I should say, have never forbidden me from dating black men, or a man of any race, but their silence, more so my mother's, has been felt—it rendered each guy invisible.