My name is Selena G. About 20 years ago, I had a white boyfriend named Matt Z. We loved each other very much and I could see us married. My parents and brother did not like him from the start and always gave me a hard time about him. I should not have been surprised because in my home there was always hatred of white people.
When I came home from college, I happen to run into Matt who was a classmate in high school. We were not friends or anything but we did know each other. He invited me for a quick coffee and I accepted. We started talking and I found him to be quite pleasant. All the warnings as a youngster growing up never allowed me to even consider dating a white guy. Matt was so nice that I was intrigued and found myself wanting to talk longer, but I had to go. Matt gave me his phone number and I put it in my purse. I actually forgot about it for weeks and when cleaning out my purse, I found it.
I gave Matt a call and he sounded really excited to hear from me. He invited me out to dinner and that was the beginning of our tabooed relationship. I told Matt that my family did not care for white people but it was my life and they would just have to accept him. His family on the other hand was great. After a few dates, he took me home to meet them. His mom greeted me with a kiss and hug. His father complimented me on how pretty he thought I was. I was floored because growing up I never thought I would meet white people so kind outside of those faking it at work or school. It was easy to fall in love with Matt.
I had to eventually take Matt home to meet my folks. They wanted to meet the man responsible for my constant smiles and who was taking all my spare time. I had shared with my sister, but did not tell my father, mother or brother that Matt was white. All I could do was pray that they would be on their best behavior. When Matt showed up for dinner, I greeted him at the door. My family stood there in shock for a minute when he came in. And then my father snapped “Oh Hell No!” I thought I had prepared Matt, but even I was taken aback by his reaction. I pleaded with him to understand that Matt was good to me and that I really loved him. My brother jumped up and got into Matt’s face. I had to step in between them. My brother yelled all kinds of obscenities and my father joined in with him. They didn’t care that my four and five year-old nieces heard every word before my sister could scurry them out. My mother was upset with me, but she did try to calm my father and brother down and get control.
In tears, I apologized and suggested that Matt just leave. Matt was in mid-sentence attempting to tell my folks how much he really loved me and out of nowhere, my brother just decked him. Matt fell backwards with a bloody nose. After threatening to call the police on my brother, I gave Matt a towel and helped him to his car. All the while, we could hear them talking about that white boy in our house. I apologized again to Matt and sent him on his way. He told me it was okay and that he would call me later. Matt did not want to pursue charges against my brother, so I let him drive off. When I got back into the house, everything I could muster from my 22-year-old mouth came out. It was a shouting match to the finish and I went toe to toe with my father. He applauded my brother for being a coward when he punched Matt. I refused to say another word to my brother in protest. In the end, my dad won as he planted a guilt trip on me that I found myself buying. I cried the entire night.
Matt and I went out again, and I thought I could redeem my family. But it was not to be. He actually proposed marriage and wanted to take me away. Matt was not used to that kind of violent reaction from anyone. I told him that I couldn’t cut my family out of my life like that. So, we ended our relationship right there. That was a decision I would regret for the rest of my life.
I went home to languish in my misery. My father and brother would bring up that white boy from time to time and remind me that I was never to even think about getting with one. I remained silent for years. Even after graduating and moving out, I allowed that control to guide my relationships. I went out with all kinds of black men. Some were educated, some were not. Some were good and some were bad. Some had good jobs, some didn’t work at all. My folks didn’t care as long as he was black. By then, my sister confided that she made the mistake of having two babies with black men who were both losers and would have gladly traded places with me and Matt. She listened to my parents and chose bad black men, but she was so young and didn’t understand that she could have had a future with a good man and was now stuck as a single mom with neither of her children’s fathers involved. My parents don’t even care that my sister did not get married; they just didn’t want us with anyone but a black man. Who cares if he didn’t have goals, or a means to support his children? He just better be black – good guy, bad guy or indifferent. My sister told me I should have fought for Matt and if that meant never speaking to my parents and brother again then so be it.
Over the years, I stopped dating completely and except for my sister, I started seeing my family less and less. I wanted to be alone but not lonely. I was still hurting from my decision to choose my hateful family over someone who was the love of my life. A few years ago, I saw Matt at the mall. I went up to him and said hello. He gave me a big hug and introduced me to his lovely black wife and beautiful children. They looked so happy. For the longest time I thought, “That could have been me!” I was again filled with regret. I should have married him and left my family behind for the benefit of my future happiness. There is just no other way around it. Matt loved me and I could have been married with my own family today.
It took years, but after a few sessions with a relationship coach, I slowly came around. My confidence level is higher now and at 43, I can still look forward to finding love with a man who loves me; and maybe even having a family. I now know it is never too late to find a good man and be happy. I don’t know what race my husband will be, but if he is not black, I am totally prepared to leave my family in the dust as they have not changed. I allowed them to rob me once; they will not do it again.