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?
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.4