Aside from the historical separation of black people and white people, there are a few barriers you should get out of the way in the present…

just so you're on the same page (and not one from an American history book).

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.

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.

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.

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It's complicated Toya Lachon, 43, of Washington, D. Women are taking control of their happiness." Dating interracially can still come with backlash for both Black men and women.

C., says she feels frustrated, hurt and even betrayed when she sees Black men with women of other races, but happy when she sees Black women in an interracial relationship. Lachon, who is seeing a White man, has experienced her share of adverse reaction.

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Though racial microaggressions are felt by every marginalized group within the dating realm, I am building upon my own personal experiences with heterosexual, cisgender white men to offer suggestions on how to ease racial tensions that may arise in a white man/black woman pairing.

So, if you're a black woman and you have been with, or are currently with a white man, I'm sure these topics have somehow made their way out of your mouth: If you didn't see this coming, then I'm not sure what to tell you.