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But if I meet a white man who reminds me of my father, who genuinely believes Black Lives Matter, too — and knows the words to “Shakedown Street” — I’m open. READ MORE: I want a lover, not a boyfriend Done right, benefits can make a friendship stronger I’m a black woman who doesn’t date black men.

Whenever I’m standing on a subway platform, I play this game: I hover near a person I think is cute and try to slowly make my way over to him so we get in the same car. Like most of the girls in my class, I wanted attention from the boys.

And on those rare occasions a white boy kissed me in the copy-machine room at our high school, or when a white boy told me over the phone he had a crush on me, the acknowledgement made me feel chosen. The white boys I grew up with were cool: They rode their skateboards on private property. White men have preoccupied me my whole life, from the schoolyard to the subway, but these days I’m seeing them differently.

They smoked weed in their parents’ houses with abandon. If they wanted me, I thought, it was because I seemed free like them. Since college I’ve had five boyfriends, and all of them have been white. They’re no longer the object of my affection, a mirror for my self-worth, or an affirmation of my beauty. The night Trump was elected, I wrote about feeling lonely.

One is named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army. Both are men I would trust to raise and protect my son should the need arise. Or wonder whether Justin Timberlake’s prowess on the dance floor translated into, well, other areas. It was not a hard-and-fast rule, as in: I don’t date white guys.

Men of character, wit and charisma, alongside whom I have spent some of the best times of my life. East and South Asians, Persians, Arabs, Native Americans, Polynesians — all options as far as I was concerned. Then came the night my girlfriend jokingly called me a racist after I rejected a list of possible options, including her brilliant and cute brother, because they just were “not my type,” my longtime code for “melanin-deficient.” We laughed about it. I pride myself on being open and accepting people at face value, yet, consciously or not, I was writing off millions of single and potentially interesting American men simply because they were white.

Even if I did want to talk about how I feel, I’m not sure I’d be able to articulate it, especially to someone with such a different frame of reference from my own.

In those moments, I’ve wished to be sitting in front of someone who could relate.

Men who have protected and supported me through some of the darkest days of my life. I might even spend an evening charming some former frat bros at the bar for my personal amusement. It was just there in the back of my mind: I can hang out, work with, live next to and even call white men friends, but I don’t date them. Made me feel a bit hypocritical and narrow-minded, two states I actively work to avoid.

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Yet, until recently, I did not consider white men as romantic prospects. Meanwhile, my social circle is full of black women married to or dating white men.

All seem no more or less happy than other couples I know.

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