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Because they started off dating long-distance (Ryan was living in Colorado at the time), it was understood that they would not be exclusive: They initiated a policy Leah describes as “don’t ask, don’t tell.” But when Ryan moved to New York and began living with Leah a year and a half later, he assumed they would transition immediately into monogamy.“I thought, ‘All right, the long-distance shenanigans are over now, we’re moving in together, and it’s time to have a real go at this,’” he says, taking a sip of his beer.I could love my skin and also love Britney Spears and country music.
Neither of them had had an open relationship before, though it was something that Leah had contemplated.
I am a black woman who has never dated a black man, and most days I don’t think twice about that.
But the aspect of our love that I’m most grateful for is that I’m finally loved because of my Afro-Caribbean heritage, not in spite of it.
By the end of their dinner at a small Italian restaurant in New York’s West Village, Leah is getting antsy to part ways with her boyfriend Ryan, so that she can go meet up with her boyfriend Jim.
It’s not that she means to be rude, it’s just that Jim has been traveling for work, so it’s been a while since she’s seen him. As her “primary partner” and the man with whom she lives, he is the recipient of most of Leah’s attention, sexual and otherwise, but he understands her need to seek companionship from other quarters roughly one night a week.
Nevertheless, I still feel that, by not dating black men, I’m neglecting the shared history, solidarity and future prosperity of my fellow people.