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Why White Guys Don't Approach Me

I had a weird experience last week at work.

I was at a conference that had a variety of vendors. Next to me was a very attractive representative of the local banks. He was attractive…in the rugged, Ben Affleck kind of way. He chatted me up instantly and we talked the whole time. He even snuck me some Kit-Kats from another booth and said “If you get a sweet tooth” and winked. YES...the dude “winked”. I was totally flattered. I thought for sure this guy, at the end of the day, would ask me for my number. As I was amping myself up, adjusted my lipstick, fluffed up my hair (and boobs)…the guy walks over to me…shakes my hand and says...

“It was nice chatting with ya”

….and walks away.

I sat there flabbergasted with my mouth wide open. Seriously?? You talked to me the whole time. You FLIRTED with me doggone it! I flirted back with you…and what did you do?? You walked off. I wasn’t the typical “mean black woman with a chip on her shoulder”. Actually, I never am. I smiled. I laughed at his cornball jokes and inquiries. I was engaging and articulate. In other words, I was ON and acted the way I would with ANY attractive man! And he just walked away. HE had no ring on his finger. HE had said he JUST moved to Atlanta so (perhaps) he wasn’t attached. He didn’t mention a girlfriend or a wife…he mentioned his RIT education and skateboarding….and I was familiar with both.

I sat there pretty bummed about it. What was it about me that he didn’t like? My breath wasn’t funky. My locs were groomed. My hair was flawless…what the HELL was it??

Then it hit me. I’m not “that type” that non-brothers go for. With them, it’s one extreme or the other. I call it “The African or The Octoroon”. White men either want a woman who looks DISTINGUISHABLY and strongly African (i.e. Alek Wek) often times unattractive or a woman who looks “colored” but not necessarily strongly African but you know she’s black (i.e. Rasheeda Jones). In both women, you get to feed your slave/erotic/exotic fantasies. You are either getting the fresh of the shore….or mulatto queen.

But I’m neither of these archetypical women. Sometimes, folks will ask if I’m Blasian (black and Asian) due to my eyes or I must be “mixed with something” and I truly am not. I’m just a plain old African-American girl and THAT isn’t always appealing (hell...sometimes that isn’t appealing to brothers! LOL). When I tell folks that, it is as if they are disappointed. I do have a “different” look but I’m in neither of those categories. Guess you don’t know what to do with this mocha-colored girl with the Asian eyes and dark locs. I’m certainly not unapproachable. In other settings, I do get a brother or two to come up to me in social settings. I smile and I flirt “with my eyes”….and most men DO at least speak to you (even if nothing happens) and show interest or will even hand you a business card. No haps with the white and non-white matter how beautiful I feel or how charming I am.

Granted, I don’t see many non-black brothers unless it is a work related event. But I’m ALWAYS pleasant. I rarely go out to clubs where there are a bevy of non-black men so perhaps I need to expand my social horizons. But…this isn’t the first time something like this has happened to me. It’s been super fine Pakistani dudes in the grocery store…Tall, svelte Asian dudes on the train….etc. They will chat me up..EVEN flirt…and just walk away.

I talked to a friend about it and he sort of made a joke. He was curious to know if the guy asked for my number. And I told him he didn’t…and told him my theory and he joked a bit.
Maybe they are just being nice.. *sigh*

NAW!! No don’t say stuff like.. “That’s a lovely color you have one” or “You hair is beautiful” something… What is it that makes them stop cold in the pursuit? It’s like they can turn it off in a heartbeat.

*sigh*…I don’t get it at all. Or maybe it’s not for me to get!


  1. I just read your post and it is an eye opener. I have wondered why white men would not approach or when they do, they would not pursue further. Maybe they are scared to because of the race differnce, they may think that we are not that interested. Maybe you should write a post that is directed to the White, Pakistani and Asian man and find out their insight on this. I would like to know the answer as well.

  2. That sounds pretty off for him to chat you up that way and not even, at the very least, offer up the digits or even ask for yours. I think some of it has to do with them not feeling confident enough that they will have conversation to offer post the initial encounter. They know they can talk their way through casual conversation, but may not feel they can handle much more past that.

    I have been told by some men of non-black nationality, that they feel we are just being nice when we speak, and they don't know whether or not that means "green light" or not. So, to switch things up a bit, you might be the aggressor in the next setting to see how that pans out. May not be such a bad idea. I have a friend who is a white male and fine as hell. He finally told me one day that he has "a weakness for the sistas" and I would have never known. When I told him that I thought he was fine, he went full steam ahead and one thing led to another - for close to a year. But...he wasn't going to let me know his feelings about black women until I said something even though we'd been in close contact (doing homework together, studying at his house, hanging out, etc.).

    I say, to initiate an exchange of numbers the next time and see how it goes.

    Keep us posted!

  3. Speaking as a white guy, albeit perhaps not a typical one, I'd have to say that if I wasn't attracted I wouldn't have started flirting in the first place. If your looks were a problem you wouldn't have gotten the treatment to start with. As time and acquaintance progress, looks become less -- not more -- important.

    I consider it more likely that something else than looks are in play, and probably on his side. My first guess would be shyness -- and yes, it's entirely possible to be comfortable flirting but still be just a bit too shy to actually ask for your number. Happens to me all the time -- meet someone I like, try to work myself up to actually asking her out, but then at the end of the day getting cold feet and then regretting it at home.

    Another question is, this is the 21st century -- if you wanted more, why didn't *you* ask for *his* number?


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