“I’m Sick of Dating”: Where’s My (Healthy, Long-Term) Queer Black Relationship?

Single Black Woman
Photo Source: vibevixen.com

I want to spend the rest of my life with a woman. I’ve been through enough to know that much. But I’m starting to doubt that it’s going to happen. I know dating is hard in the Black lesbian community, and yes, I know – I’m young, I’ve got time. But I’m ready… and impatient.

I’m a newbie. I ‘ve been out for no longer than 4 years; I’ve been in a relationship with four women and I am sick of dating. I’m ready to settle down with the woman that is right for my journey. I don’t know what I’m going through right now, with these faulty, short-lived relationships I’ve been having. Out of my four girlfriends, three of them were five months long. I know that’s like two years in the lesbian community, but I’m too old for that. The longest was a year, and it was long distance, so really it was about 4 months total. Lord I loved that woman. Took me a damn year to get over her to the point where I could just date someone else without making comparisons.

Okay, look – yes, I’m the common denominator. I realize this. I’m picky. I’ve gone from having too little standards to having too many. I once wrote out a list of what I wanted in a woman and was teased; one person said I wrote a novel (it was one page long – in paragraph form, but so what). Another said I was looking for myself. My response to that was that I don’t ask for what I can’t bring to the table. It’s not like I wanted someone who made six figures or had perfect white teeth. I didn’t even ask for someone with impeccable style with the same size clothes and shoes as me so I could double my wardrobe.

Is it too much to ask for a woman to have a strong sense of self (without being arrogant)? Someone who is consistently and consciously moving toward inner peace and self-evolution?

I love women. I love our complexities; I love that we allow ourselves to feel. The socialization of women to be more vocal about their emotional journeys more closely aligns us with Nature, and I’m a tree-hugging nature-freak-hippie.

For me, Black women are by far the cream of the crop – the most beautiful, intelligent, fortitudinal (is that a word? Who cares, I LOVE it!) women in the world. Everyone wants to either be us or be with us, but not carry our burden – cue Papa Peachez (self-proclaimed “big black woman trapped in a little boy’s body”), Kim Kardashian’s obsession with black men, and Alexander Wang’s use of MadTV’s racist black women stereotype, “Bon Qui Qui.”

But regardless of how mainstream society besmirches us, black women are the beginning; everything that is, came through us. Instead of making peace with that fact, develop severe irrational feelings of inferiority. So to make up for it, the privileged and unenlightened feed their envious, empty egos by dishonoring us. Some of us deal with this dishonoring better than others. We’re more capable of deflecting, letting it roll down our backs, because we’ve done the healing work.

Unfortunately – and understandably, some of us internalize society’s disdain for black women’s bodies until it turns into a fetid, rotting tumor. After millenniums of denigration, disrespect and emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical torture, how can you not?

Now throw being queer on top of that, and we carry a heavy load–queer black women are a lot to handle. Thus, dealing with my own baggage, and then trying to help my partner unpack hers without putting it in my own closet, so to speak, is quite a struggle.

In order for queer black women to really love, there needs to be some pro-active emotional, spiritual, psychological healing in our community, some internal reconstruction.

Too many of us are trying to perfect the outside while our insides are a mess. Audre Lorde said, ““Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” There has been a resurgence of “self-care” in our community. We have begun to value rest, exercise, and healthy eating. We realize, now, that it’s not just about pedicures and girls’ nights, but that we must go deeper. We must deal with our insecurities, our vulnerabilities, our fragile, insatiable egos.

And, speaking of egos, somehow, I always end up feeling like more of a mother than a partner. But dammit, sometimes I don’t want to be my partner’s mother. Actually, I never want to be my partner’s mother. But I’m beginning to think that may be part of being in a lesbian relationship: sometimes we mother one another.

Frankly, I’m tired of mothering. I have two kids: 14 and 3. They wear me out, emotionally, physically and mentally. Sometimes, I don’t even feel like being their mother. Isn’t my woman supposed to be my refuge from all of that? I want to be a lover, friend, confidant, everything but mom. I thought I was done mothering my partners when I stopped dating men. (There’s that common denominator again.)

When I was 12 years old I wrote an angry letter to my then drug-addicted mother, telling her that when I grew up I was going to be an amazing mother, better than she had even tried to be. Maybe then I was speaking my fate, and my ego has been looking for women that will actualize my prophecy. Maybe I’ve been looking for my mother as well; maybe I’ve been looking for my mother AND my daughter, like some ass-backwards Sapphic Electra complex.

Fuck, I’m insane. Maybe I should just stay single. But Lord knows this pillow aint enough on those REALLY lonely nights. Somebody send me a bottle of red wine, a therapist, and Kerry Washington (or Bette Porter).

About the Author

Nitra WisdomNitra is a self-described queer introverted bibliophile who is prone to random daydreaming. Her favorite things in life are music, the ocean, red wine and her red pen - necessary tools for her proofreading and copy editing business. She is a black femme mother of two womanists-in-training, who loves to sing, edit, act, shop for vintage dresses and surround herself with art. Visit her website at wiseedits.wordpress.com.View all posts by Nitra Wisdom →

  • http://twitter.com/spectraspeaks/status/304253328416727042/ Spectra Speaks (@spectraspeaks)

    Via @qwocmediawire: “I’m Sick of Dating”: Where’s My (Healthy, Long-Term) Queer Black Relationship? http://t.co/slQVghJQ

  • http://twitter.com/ELIXHERMagazine/status/304282636405317632/ @ELIXHERMagazine

    “I’m Sick of Dating”: Where’s My (Healthy, Long-Term) Queer Black Relationship? http://t.co/iWlCCUQH

  • http://twitter.com/Ebby_Runs_Deep/status/304318558412877825/ @Ebby_Runs_Deep

    Gays, gotta minute… http://t.co/1pskFagC

  • http://twitter.com/LiberatedLGBTQA/status/304442564059205632/ Agents ForLiberation (@LiberatedLGBTQA)

    “I’m Sick of Dating”: Where’s My (Healthy, Long-Term) Queer Black Relationship? http://t.co/jy3z3KgXgy

  • http://twitter.com/TheBuddhaInMe/status/306059910125322240/ @TheBuddhaInMe

    “I’m Sick of Dating”: Where’s My (Healthy, Long-Term) Queer Black Relationship? http://t.co/E64KCPgTDl

  • http://twitter.com/qwocmediawire/status/309846203602964480/ QWOC Media Wire (@qwocmediawire)

    “Regardless of how mainstream society besmirches us, black women are the beginning.” http://t.co/UP2tU9j8k8

  • http://www.facebook.com/priscahumphrey Oluchi Mbah

    Really nice article and so true. It sounds exactly like my story. So the question then is what to do about it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherrye.leroy Sherrye LeRoy

    Join the club, sweetheart… Don’t we all want the same? You sound like a beautiful intelligent woman… It won’t be long. 😉

  • arsepolitico

    nitra, you may be gifted. this places you in a range to have certain problems with relationships that may make you feel like you stand out from your peers. it’s a problem especially for women and add being non-white, and having a smaller dating pool on top of it, and you are bound to run into some roadblocks. From your description and your writing style, it think may be something you want to look into, if only to let yourself off the hook a little.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Menelik-Charles/747108672 Menelik Charles

    So she’s 24 and had a child when she was 10 years-old? I hope the author will pop over here and explain that one to me…please.

    • Carla

      Where does she indicate that she is 24?

  • Rhae

    I have not finished reading just yet, and will, plus most likely comment again after ward. However I just wanted to say, I was just having this type of dialogue with a really good friend (white) and explaining to them that it sucks that I can not find connection with black queer and/or lgbt women because I myself am either too queer, too hippie, too drama-free, too individual, aware, calm, peaceful, loving, communicative (to a fault at times…I cant help it, its very very important to communicate openly and honestly, and not every woman I have encountered is accepting to such.)…and so forth. Although reading this post does not at any means place me closer to someone of color (preferably Black) to share love, companionship, friendship, trust, truth and so on with yet what reading, thus far, has done is given me just a little bit of hope.

  • Rhae

    Okay so I am back, lol. I did not realize there wasn’t very much left to read, but that is totally okay because the last bit was enough for me to say this:

    Of course we dont want to be mothers, fathers or what-have-you’s to our partners, yet one must realize that it is okay to care in a sense of helping not in a sense of owning. Although I am single now, which was by choice from my last two relationships, one was not emotionally nor sexually ready for who I am and where I am in my life, and the other was not emotionally nor affectionately ready for who I am either and also was very emotionally and verbally abusive. Both were lacking in admitting to needing to be vulnerable and all I could do is allow them to know that I was there for them, however I WAS NOT going to accept nor take on their undesired need to self love. I love me, f-ing love me and all that I have to offer. I too am not asking for you to pay my bills, take me shopping or anything similar. I can do that on my own. What I seek is someone who sees me, accepts AND respects me. I am not asking for you to be like me, in the sense of a mirror reflection but as in being comfortable with who you are, much like I am. I will not ever apologize for my freedom in and to love. Sooo, even if you are insane…insane ppl require love and respect as well. Insane ppl also deserve to be honored for the work and community in which we create, especially if it is created in positivity and again, love.

    I have had the privilege to have been in love two times in my life, and although we did not turn out to be together for eternity in that kind of love, we all are very much still connected and communicate and have friendships built on maturity and a new foundation of love. It saddens me to think that those two times could be the last times I ever experience such grand companionship, partnership, lover, friend, confidant, buddy, type love. I keep my hopes high about it though because common denominator or not, I a damn great queer poc and love does in fact surround me, it just hasn’t been the kind of love I am seeking.

    I also too feel like within the lgbtQ community of color, yet yes with black lesbians/queers, there is a lot of underground and/or deep inner work to be acknowledged and healed. We tend to think “we don’t need shit or nobody” to help us heal, to help us learn to be vulnerable, to help us in any way. But I remember the very first time I required assistance in expressing jealousy. It was something I never knew how to say out loud, nor even to confess to self. As women we are also taught that these emotions/feelings are things we keep to self, and oh how damaging that is. Oh my, I want to go on and on about this but I will find a ceasing point, lol. Uh, thank you Nitra Wisdom for such the post, I wish I had a group of black lesbians/queers I could talk to about this. Most my relationships have been with women outside of being black, and the three that were black seriously were full of hate and drama, something I seriously don’t understand nor wish to understand. It saddens me also that I keep wondering is this a stereotype of black lesbians that I cannot seem to shake from believing is true. NO NO NO I have not dated all black queer/lesbian women in this world, and the ones blessed enough to find each other, I must admit I have been envious of you.

    I would love to lay my body and soul next to another beautiful sistah and know, this love-this connection-this us is built on trust and truth birthed from our individual selves and we have found each other to share it with. Someday.