Everything’s bigger in Texas but what is it like to date in this great state? Prior to visiting his post, you probably hadn’t considered it to possibly even care, but now…Now, you’re curious. Well don’t you worry your pretty little head, I’m gonna give you all the detail of dating in Houston, Texas but first a little background on me for those of you who are new here.
I am a cisgender bisexual black woman; a single-mother of two; a non-monogamous relationship anarchist who loves to eat. Those things individually carry so much weight in the world of dating. You can’t imagine the calamity when you place them all into one scenario. It’s all good though, because I do enjoy being the wow factor however it is perceived.
While I’ve spent my single life dating in Atlanta, Miami, and now Houston, I grew up in Mississippi where you’re basically taught how to be a “good church-going woman”, where you’re encouraged to go to college because our people died for such a right, find you a good man, get married, and have kids or else your life is fruitless and not worth mentioning at family gatherings. Being a self-sustaining, well educated, single parent gets you all shame and no shine depending on how many kids you have, whether they have different fathers, and whether you were able to get married again in order to redeem yourself which you can read all about in Free My Postpartum Sexuality.
Fortunately for me, I’m a Mississippi baptist culture renegade. I don’t mind taking my shine. . .not at all.
Now, trust me when I tell you I have enough intel on dating to write an entire book (e-book perhaps) from a variety of perspectives but today I’m going to focus on two notable difference for me.
I used to see so many headlines questioning the whole going dutch thing. At one point I’m sure this was a trending topic.
“Do you think that a man and a woman should split the check (go dutch) on a dinner date?”
Of course that sparked the whole back and forth of “if women want to be treated like men (referencing feminism) then we can rightfully expect them to do things that men [traditionally] do” (like taking out the trash and paying for the meal).
Now, I was raised real baptist southern hospitality like in my upbringing. I can appreciate a man who holds my hand as I walk down the steps, open the car door for me to get in, and covers the tab. That’s one thing I was taught to enjoy that has maintained throughout my dating experience. Even so, being the fierce feminist that I now know I have always, always been, I didn’t mind going dutch or covering the tab if I had it. No big deal.
Dating in Atlanta it was a very common thing to go dutch or to alternate between who was paying for the meal if you were going steady. I mean, there were things to consider like being broke college students with part-time jobs back when you were only making $6/hr on average.
I can easily say that splitting the ticket was a very common thing for me when I was in Atlanta just because I was willing to do it.
Now in Miami, although I didn’t date very much here, it was my least favorite city to date in. The general culture of dating had an air of disrespect that could prove damaging to one’s personal self-worth especially for black women.
While dating in Miami, I had to threaten to call the cops twice. I’ve not had to do that in any of the other cities I’ve dated in and like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t date much here.
I don’t recall splitting the check in Miami though and at this stage, I had stopped even offering. Dating in Miami was a very unpleasant experience. A friend of mine, who was born elsewhere but spent his adolescence in Miami told me, “Never date dudes from Miami because they’re disrespectful af.” He worked in a barbershop. His advice was too little, too late.
Texas…oh Texas. I love dating here. I feel a re-connection to that southern gentleman that comes down to my father’s doorstep to call on me. Not to say that I haven’t been on some garbage dates out here in Texas however, I can still count them on one hand and that’s worth something to me because over the last three years, I have been on a dating frenzy. I have met some really great guys who have gone above and beyond what I’ve ever witnessed in my personal life which is actually kind of sad when you consider things. Very few real examples of romance. . .damn.
These guys open my car door for me, hold my hand down the steps, and if I whip out the plastic at the end of the date, asks me what am I fixin to do with that. I can honestly say that in my three years of dating in Houston, Texas, I have never, had to pay for my own meal while out on a date. They will not let me. They tell me to put my money away or that they’ve already taken care of it. And no, I didn’t insist. The Universe knows what I want.
The men in Texas have me spoiled. I don’t even want to drink if I have to pay for it myself. I appreciate y’all so much. The real MVP’s
One day I told a friend of mine that I was going to a local bar because I was hungry. He said, “If you’re hungry, why would you go to a bar?” I responded, “So some guy who thinks I’m cute will buy me a drink and some lemon pepper wing.” He laughed hysterically, he could not believe this was something women would think to do. He told me such a thought had never crossed his mind to sit at a bar waiting for a woman to buy him a meal.
Houston we have confirmation, chivalry is not dead it just lives in Texas.
I really must know, what are your thoughts or better yet, your background on interracial dating. Here, I’ll go first. I wasn’t too keen on dating outside my race. Not because I didn’t like or find other racial groups attractive, but it was more so because I just assumed I wasn’t suppose to. I’m also from a place where a person gets shamed or killed for engaging in an unauthorized swirl.
White guys, Hispanic guys, Asian guys (or girls) were never on my list of things to do. The only guys outside of my own race that I found any romantic attraction to existed as a fictional character on my television screen: the Justin Timberlake, Channing Tatum, Mark Wahlberg types.
And this would be true, until my family and I relocated to Georgia. My interest in dating outside my race was suddenly sparked by one simple revelation, “Psst hey, Jesus likes you.” Jesus and I stood outside everyday and had conversations in my broken Spanish and his barely English. Struggling to fall in love to no avail.
There were plenty of other nonBlack guys who would declare their infatuation with me. I never really took it seriously. I just kept getting that feeling that I was doing something that I wasn’t suppose to be doing and everybody was staring which made the discomfort that much more unbearable. That feeling magnified when my friend’s mom chewed me out on some “How dare you date a white guy,” type shit after a white guy dropped me off at her house one day. After that, I was almost terrified to date outside my race. Shame…that’s what I felt that day.
In Miami, it was a similar experience, mostly with Latino guys, but they’d always wanted to know if I was mixed, which made me not want to date them. No white guys though, I’m still not 100 percent sure that white guys even exist in Miami (I’m only joking a little).
And then there was Texas…oh Texas. I had never been approached by men from such a variety of backgrounds: Latino, Native American (Native American!?), black men who don’t consider themselves black (African or West Indian), white, Indian, Vietnamese, biracial, multiracial, oh my goodness a rainbow, smorgasbord of men. Well, they do say that variety is the spice of life.
I was a little apprehensive at first. I was really thinking, “What the hell do they want with me?” I mean I’ve heard the Sarah Baartman story; The way that black women had been an object of fetishism, a dream of sexual fantasy, movie scenes of lighter toned guys telling dark skinned girls (of various races) that you’re good enough to fuck but not to take home to their parents.
I’m still a bit leery of guys from other races specifically for this reason. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m suspicious of every guy that tries to date me for different reasons. However in the case of the swirl, I truly feel like some of them just want to know if the rumors are true to which some have actually admitted.
And on the other side of that are my parents and more specifically, my grandmother. She’d have much to say. She’s an 80 year old black woman who raised several black children through the civil rights movement while living in rural Mississippi. If you have no clue how terrifying and traumatic that must have been for her, I invite you to read Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America and Coming of Age in Mississippi: The Classic Autobiography of Growing Up Poor and Black in the Rural South. How would she not have much to say? She isn’t too keen on me dating outside of my race either. “I just don’t trust The Folks,” she’d say to me…with good reason grandma, with good reason.
Overall, dating in Texas has been a welcomed enlightening experience. I am in all honesty enjoying every friggin minute of it. I mean, it is an almost but not quite entirely new experience in dating. While there are some things to overcome, some cons to be evaluated, I’ll save that for another post because this one is much longer than I intended it to be. Want to know what it’s like to date in other cities, Nell’s got the perfect guide to what it’s like to date in the city of London.
This post contains affiliate links to the following books Coming of Age in Mississippi: The Classic Autobiography of Growing Up Poor and Black in the Rural South and Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America. Thank you for your support.