The Swirl is an African American colloquialism for interracial dating (i.e black female, white male and vice versa). It has caused a huge impact in the social media world with lots of Youtube Swirl couples documenting their lives together. The trend even has sites dedicated to these types of relationships such as Swirl World and The Swirl life on Instagram. So the question today is…are you down with the swirl?
Of course I’m not going to ask that question without first posing it to myself, and the answer is yes! I am down with the swirl or rather, I was…once upon a time. I have been there, done that and worn the T-shirt. A girl I know calls it “Playing in the snow”, I was crying when I heard that phrase LOL. My first and only interracial relationship lasted for six years. I would say that to date it was one of the best relationships I’ve had. So why did we break up? We just grew apart and wanted different things (no longer on the same page), which can be such a shame, because you start off with the same likes and dislikes and then it all goes Pete Tong. Do I regret our break up? No, I feel that we both met each other at the right time and we both had something to learn, once the lesson was learnt the relationship ended. However we still kept in touch afterwards and he’s one of the few ex’s that I could actually talk to as a friend with no animosity or bad blood, unlike the X-Men that I spoke about in last weeks post. What kept us together for so long (it was long in my eyes ok!, in fact that was my longest relationship)? We actually liked each other and we liked to do the same things and go to the same places. Friendship is term that can be overused in conversations about your spouse or boy/girlfriend, but if you genuinely like each other that can go a long way in sustaining a great relationship.
So is there a difference in men of a different skin colour? Yes and no. Men are men at the end of the day and unfortunately the majority of them behave the same no matter the skin colour. We still had our fair share of arguing, jealousy (not on my part might I add), and numerous break ups. Some black women say that there’s a deeper appreciation for you as a black woman from men of other races and I would say that is true, but its true for any inter mix of races because its unfamiliar territory, and its human nature to take the things we are around everyday for granted. What the relationship taught me was that love has no colour and you should be with whoever makes you happy. I don’t have a problem when I see inter racial couples because of the above statement, but I do have an issue with black men/women who say they would never or don’t date their own and the same for white people who say they wouldn’t date people from their race. I think there’s something seriously wrong with that mentality, and I immediately get turned off from anyone who talks like that, why? because you must first love who you are before you love someone else.
Another issue that may come up is the merging of cultures, that alone can be hard for two black people, say a Jamaican and a Nigerian let alone a, Ugandan with a Scottish person. People who come from strong traditional backgrounds can find it hard to merge. On the other hand some couples really embrace it. I was watching a youtube clip of a Nigerian woman marrying a Welsh man and he really loved taking part in the traditional wedding before the white wedding. I also met a black guy earlier this year who was getting married to an Indian girl, I was like “Wow did you not have to convert to her religion?” and he said “Yes”, and I just stood there in awe at the lengths people would go to for love. Back to the ex, although our skin colours were different we shared the British culture and he loved reggae music (he knew more reggae artists than me…I bow my head in shame as I type) which cemented our union even further. We did have different view points on the up bringing of children, I have a more disciplinarian approach to raising children and he had a more relaxed one and feel that this was due to how we ourselves were raised. I did have issues with how he spoke to his parents sometimes, although he did love them, he just behaved in a way that I could never with my parents.
So what’s the verdict? Never forsake your own people but be open to love from all, because often times love comes in the packaging you least expect.
If you’ve been in an inter racial relationship, I’d like to hear your views below, you can just share your experience or answer the questions above. If you haven’t been in this type of relationship or are not “Down with the swirl” I’d like to hear your views also.
Peace n Love x
12 thoughts on “The Swirl”
Iv learned there’s a huge difference between cultures and I simply wasn’t able to succeed in a relationship with someone whose culture was so different to mine, and not so much difference due to skin. There is still challenges that wouldn’t exist if I’d been with someone of my skin colouring though no matter how much I like to pretend there isn’t – the way their parents (not my partner) view me being of another culture and skin colour and in turn my son being a biggie. You’re part of their family, but not “quite” and I’m sure my partner probably feels the same with some of my family. In fact embarrassingly he can be a “novelty” with some. Loved, accepted – but still a “novelty”
I went through a phase of rejecting my own skin colour and trying to fit in – especially in church. It’s a bit cringe now but I think there is that thing of being part of something “but not quite” due to skin being different shades.
Anyways, love is love. I obviously am down with the swirl but I think to not acknowledge some things do exist purely because of skin colour alone is naive of me.
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Hi Jess, thanks for the comment 🙂 Do you mind me asking how long you have been with your significant other and what cultures are you both from? I really identify with the “Novelty” part and I think that’s what I was trying to explain when I was talking about “unfamiliar territory”.
I’m white British and my partner would identify as black British though his family all identify as Jamaican – 7-8 years I think (not counting the times we’ve split and got back 😂) x
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Ok thats great! That’s a very long time. So is your son mixed race? Have you always dated outside of your race or is this the first time? Why did you go through a phase of rejecting your skin colour? if you don’t mind me asking…I know I ask a lot of questions x
Yeah he’s mixed race, I’m very unPC attached to him being called mixed rather than “black” as I feel like it’s denying he’s been produced by me too. After a tough pregnancy I want the credit too 😉
I dated white men and honestly wasn’t attracted to black men right up till my friendship group changed to being mostly black friends from previously mostly white, (a combination of attending a new church and moving to a new location made this change) Iv never dated a white man since – I think it’s to do with what you’re familiar with. I would now date a white man at this point in my life but I’m married so hopefully wont, and I’d have to think about how my son would feel as he likes to tell me “daddy’s brown, then I’m more yellow brown, then you are pinker” lol. Again unPC but that’s 3 year olds, they say what they see! He’s comfy that we are all different.
I think I went through the rejecting my skin colour – wanting to tan and braid my hair to make myself look more like I wasn’t the odd one out with friends. There were little jokes about “white people food” “white people dancing” “white people talking” “white parents not disciplining their kids” all small and subtle and I doubt with any offence intended but it subconsciously crept in. I felt singled out and unable to fully be part of things due to my skin. I sometimes wonder if black people feel that way in majority white settings or if I was just simply struggling with my identity and sticking out in the crowd
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Yes you are right to refer to your child as mixed race because that’s what he is, a product of both races so well done you for that.
I work in a predominantly White environment, but Ive never felt the need to fit in, they either accept me for who I am or they don’t and the ones that don’t…I don’t mingle with them or have any desire to. I do know black people that do feel that way and have done various things to help them fit into White culture. In my mind I think it’s more attractive when you are who you are in the midst of a different culture. If everyone drives a Honda and you drive a Ferrari would you try to modify your Ferrari to look like a Honda just to fit in with others?
I agree, it is far more attractive and inspiring to simply be who you are. Took me a while to learn that applied to myself also x
I’d be down with the swirl. Honestly, I was never attracted to other races whem I was younger but neither were they to me it seemed. I can only recall one guy, French white guy, that was outside of my race that approached me with interest.
Hey thanks for the comment, now that you’re older are you attracted to men from other races/cultures? and are they attracted to you now?
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The older I got yes. And nope! Lol
To me the ‘swirl world’ is perfection, as i am a product of it. My mother is black from the continent of Africa, Mauritius (my mothers ancestors are from Mozambique) and my father is French. How did i grow up…… Perfection….i grew up knowing both sides of my family, culture and heritage, i wouldn’t have it any other way, i got to see and experience the ‘best and worse’ of both worlds. For me it was easy but for my parents who had me in the early 70’s it was not so easy they received abuse, comments and remarks. I once asked them, would you have changed things not married each other etc…. Both said ‘no’. I am me and proud of who i am and i thank both my parents for giving the ‘best and worse’ of both worlds to me. I also love confusing the heck out of people as they can’t work out where i am from 😆
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Thanks for your comment Sabrina, sounds like you have a rich heritage and you should be proud, the best kinda love works beyond boundaries and obstacles X