Reading manluage: What does he want?

My boyfriend of 4 months is a White guy. I'm the first brown girl he's ever dated. AND I'm a race educator and activist. Hard 'first' I suppose.

We have a wonderful relationship that is super chill. We laugh all the time and have a really gross humour together. Because we're both older and seem to want the same things, I feel seriously invested in us.

Yesterday I spoke at a conference. After I told him some deep stuff about it, he said wanted to go to bed. I was pissed off he didn't acknowledge anything I said. We didn't cuddle for most of the night, until I decide to get over it because maybe he was just tired. We woke up cuddling and sweet. He said "I thought you were mad at me last night". I answered honestly that I was mad that he didn't acknowledge what I was saying. He got extremely nervous, borderline panic attack. He said he was 'uncomfortable' talking about race. I cuddled with him the entire time and tried my best to be empathetic. I told him I appreciate that he is trying to be cautious rather than careless, but I need some acknowledgement of my feelings. Long story short, he was completely silent for hours lying in bed (which is saying allot because usually the man doesn't shut up). Every question I asked, he responded with 'I don't know'. Then, he left. It was 10am on a Saturday morning. He didn't have anywhere to be.

There was no arguing, yelling or passive aggressiveness. The conversation was full of love and cuddles, but also 'this is what I need from you'. Why is he giving me the cold shoulder? Guys, would you want space or contact?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • White people are often taught to be careful of anything you say because it can be taken offensively, regardless of intent. Around anyone of any other race, it's often walking on eggshells. Bringing up race to a white person is tough, and a lot will just shut down because it's something that society says you can't talk about.

    What you (should) know - he loves you. He is accepting of the interracial relationship. That's really all you should need to know.

    Being a race activist, it's something you're comfortable with and talk about often, but just think - while someone who is of a majority race may not be able to place themselves in your shoes when it comes any struggles you may have related to race, it's just as hard for you to reverse the roles and you place yourself in the majority's shoes and realize just how much pressure political correctness puts on us because even entirely harmless things can be taken the wrong way, and a major argument will ensue. I'm sure he acknowledges your work, but it's really hard to talk about that subject because we're always told not to.

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    • That's a very good point- thank you!

      I'm not going to push it for now, but I will have to be able to talk about my work and experiences evetually. It's isolating if you can't talk to your partner about your passions.

      PS. I'm in Canada. Interracial relationships are very common. He just has't had a lot of girlfriends. Maybe part of the issue.

What Guys Said 7

  • I don't know what you are trying to get out of him, talking about race which is a very sensitive topic when it comes to interracial dating. The interracial couples who are successful with their relationship, talk about race with ACCEPTANCE; which is very hard for some people.

    Just try not to talk deep about it, I know you are trying to make an emotional connection but the fact that he is white means that his race is superior and is also the most hated. My marine corps senior drill instructor talked about this when I was at bootcamp, and I too also had that race acceptance problem because I am asian. I felt weak because of all the prejudice and racism society and sometimes the media projects on my people. My Sr. Drill Instructor saw this, so be broke my spirit, broke my mind, my will...and then rebuilt me, stronger, accepted with a great sense of vision.

    Would I give a cold shoulder? Easy to say no, but I think I might. As far as space, its not a big deal since I don't have any panic attacks or anxiety issues.

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  • You're brown? Compared to you Mitt Romney looks Jamaican.

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  • You of all people should know race is a touchy subject and doesn't really make for the best bed talk. He probably does not share the same amount of passion as you do. He can't even really relate.

    From what it sounds he does love you though.

    I personally wouldn't push the subject. He doesn't want to say anything that might offend you.

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    • He's also involved in leftist politics, but you're right that his passion lies elsewhere and he seems really worried to offend me. Thanks!

  • It would be hard to say without knowing what feelings you shared with him.

    My suspicion is that you may hold some views he doesn't agree with. That's generally normal in a relationship. But white males are not exactly encouraged to share out views on things like race. So he's not interested in arguing with you but doesn't necessarily agree either. Or it's also possible you shared something that made him feel you could never see him as just 'a man'.

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  • well with me and I think most men

    its all about the subject

    if the subject is very sensative to us

    we tend to run just ignoring it or just like you said not speaking and be quiet

    thats what I think its just to sensitive for him

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  • Where can I find a purple girl?

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  • It would be space and contact.

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What Girls Said 2

  • He might be comfortable dating you "despite" your race (for lack of a better term, English isn't my native sorry), but that doesn't make him necessarily comfortable discussing it with you. You're the race educator, he isn't, and he might feel uncomfortable because you're expecting him to be at ease with the subject, and he might not be. I think you probably went into too much detail when you discussed this with him, and he wasn't sure what to make of it. Doesn't mean he wasn't listening. He's probably not ready to share too much on the subject yet. I think the issue is more about him acknowledging the importance it holds to you, whereas he probably thinks you're mad about him for not saying the rights things in that regard. I can't tell for sure obviously, but it sure is a miscommunication rather than a disrespect, so give it a heart-to-heart discussion and it should be fine.

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    • That's true. I expect him to have the same level of comfort as I do in talking about. I'm an academic and study it extensively. He's in the trades. It's a different world. He admitted that he just doesn't know enough to talk about these issues. I appreciate the admission. It's worlds better than arogance and ignorance. Thank you for your advice!

  • does race matter nowadays,we all human,enjoy what you got and if him being white is always gonna b a problem for you than you might as well just end it.your saying you guys have a wonderful relationship that's chill and y'all have fun so you better appreciate that because you don't see or have that with man nowadays,so call him apologize and keep doing y'all.

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    • I never suggested it was a "problem" for me that he's White. It was an important part of the story. And apologize for talking about something that matters to me?! I'm not so desperate.

      And yes, race matters nowadays as it did every other day. Not in terms of who I will or will not love, but socially, it absolutely matters.

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