What's my reality through your eyes?


Princess Ayaunda:
During one of my lectures at UWI, we were talking about ideal types and people's preferences i thought about my personal situation and i was wondering what others may think.

Prior to my previous relationship, my "type" has always been the opposite to the "ideal type" according to Western ideology i.e. African male, humble/average beginnings, not particularly in possession of material wealth or assets (because material things isn't my focus but it was important that they had the ambition to get somewhere in life), mediocre educational background, working class.... well you get where i'm going .

However, i have not had positive relationship experiences in the past but none left me as hurt as my last relationship. Even though i was not closed minded, I always had a preference for the African man but, from my experiences, my "type" wasn't working out for me at all. After my ex i decided that i wanted a higher class of male... someone that didn't come from humble beginnings as i did, went to a prestige school, have a stable family, have more than ambition but already on their way to somewhere.... I didn't say to myself that i wanted a "red man" but at that point, i was certain that i was over trying to make things work with only African men. I didn't go seeking after anyone so it's not like i hunted after an "ideal type" ... My, now, bf and I did a Sociology course together, at UWI where we still attend, and we were placed in the same group to do an assignment.. after the assignment we kept up the communication as friends until we realized we had things in common. He initiated going on a date and getting to know each other further. At this point, he made it clear that he was interested and that was a mutual sentiment. My bf by the way is a mix of Portuguese, Indian and African.

In your opinion, what dynamics were at the core of my (present) relationship decision e. g. conditioning towards the ideal type, past experiences etc?
This is as much as i could divulge in the summary. If necessary, more would be revealed if the discussion requires such.

Princess Ayaunda,

Often, people desire mates who are considered the ideal but because of low self-esteem, or thinking that these types would not pay them attention, they settle. They then try to justify to themselves and others that they are above inherent societal biases. However, given how pervasive anti-black conditioning is, I strongly doubt that people could overcome these biases without seriously and constantly working at these issues.

Phrases such as "a higher class of male”, wanting someone with ‘ambition’, ‘stable’ family, academic education etc. may also be indicative of classist attitudes propped up by Western institutions. People are conditioned to want partners who conform to the social hierarchy in some way or the other who demonstrate promise of upward social mobility.

Furthermore, there may be behaviours and negative attitudes that parties possess that might be overlooked or simply ignored because they are closer to the ideal. The reverse is also true where persons in relationships who are not considered ideal types are treated with less tolerance.

Whether one chooses to be with a person of one's race or not, the motive for being in a relationship is often skewed to start with.

At some point, perhaps you can share your own analysis of your situation.

Princess Ayaunda,

Can you further explain what motivated you or the factors you considered in giving your current mixed boyfriend a chance?

Princess Ayaunda:
Good day to all. Please accept my sincere apologies for this late response. I hope it hasn't jeopardized discussion. This is my response to both Amanda and Leslie but, before I type, I would like to thank you both for taking the time to respond to my post.

I understand what may be the case with someone secretly desiring someone "ideal" but I don't think I secretly desired that type. I always preferred African men... I love the black looks on black and i always said i would have liked to be some shades darker because most of my family is darker than I am. I went to a "prestige school" and I’ve always seen the young educated black man choosing the "redz" and I frowned upon that because I truly believe that there must have been a black woman who would have liked to stand at the side of that black man... not that I don't believe that the "redz" needs love too.

I used the term "a higher class of male" because we understand that there a hierarchy that is very much real. I didn't consider myself “settling” because for the African man because I never found myself attracted to or interested in a fair-skinned individual or an individual of another race.

If I still think in lines of a hierarchy... of course I do. In my mind there are classes of people but not according to race or ethnicity. Do I want a male (whether red, white or black) who resides in a slum with no practical plan of elevating himself? Of course, I do NOT... to me, that is a lower class of male because i do not rate that kind of man despite his colour or features. Of course, I am looking for a partner who "demonstrates promise of upward social mobility". I come from a single parent family with manyyyyyyyy days of not enough to eat, wardrobe sharing and eviction notices because rent that cannot be paid on time. I believe that the generation that comes from my loins should not have the same experiences. While I do not care to be filthy rich or raise spoil children who can get what they want at the snap of their fingers, my future and my children's future must be better than my past.

When in a relationship, I do the best that I could independent of the other person's efforts but when it's time to move on... I move on. Because think I deserve certain intangible things. Certain things like a lack of commitment, infidelity, ridiculous possessiveness and stagnation among other things are things that I am not willing to overlook despite the package that delivers it. If anything, I have been more patient with the black men who delivered all of the above because I thought "the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice"... To me, the black man was "it"... My mother always observed that all races of men were attracted to me and those men were overlooked because for every light-skinned brother, mixed man or Indian that liked me, there was always an African man that I preferred to give the time of the day.

I believe that my experiences drew me closer to true love (whether in my present situation or in the future) and further away from settling for a particular type. My partner is not my typical type. Although I find him attractive, the light skin, straight nose and thin lips aren’t features that I was used to seeing regularly. For me, however, his phenotype is secondary to what I got and is still getting to know about him as an individual. We have many things in common including past experiences, present activities, values and future goals. Time with him is always well spent and I truly appreciate the quality of conversation engaged. Additionally, he is a wonderful person and, as far as I could see and feel, he loves me dearly. The love he willingly gives feels like the kind of love I felt like I had to beg for in past relationships.

My question is this:
How possible is it to enter a relationship for reasons that aren’t skewed whether the reasons are perceived as right or wrong?


[0] Message Index