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We live together in a small studio in Chelsea, where we cook dinners and take showers.
We ask each other about dessert options and call each other good-looking even though we have gained weight.
I had stopped knowing who to count out at parties or open bars, and so I winged it.
It felt too ironic; the first black man who I dated had left me in exactly the way that I feared.
He had grown tired of letting me pretend, I realized.
The only girl in my group of black girlfriends who had a boyfriend was dating a white boy who was white enough to have a family that hated black people. We would sit squished in a row behind them with all of our smirks perfectly even as they drove us home.
The year before I graduated college, black boys started dying on TV: Trayvon Martin, then Eric Garner, then Michael Brown, then Tamir Rice.
He told me that he had gotten out of a 10-year relationship with the girl he thought he would marry and I told him that I had spent two years alone finding myself.
The match wasn’t ideal, but we took to each other like people end up doing when left in a room alone.I didn’t date for two years following that breakup.I cleaned myself up: I got a well-paying job; moved to the city; got my own apartment and painted it yellow and got plants to place on the windowsill. I joined Tinder on a whim to break the routine of eat, work, eat, sleep.We always felt halfway to a crime that we could never commit.We were two people of color, the passive transgression, but the responsibility of leaving our races still clung onto our chests.It was only when he started saying things like, “They’re all wondering why you’re with me,” while gesturing to a group of black men, that I realized he was doubting himself, too. We got stared down in every bar that we entered, and approached with unsolicited offers for company, as though our relationship could only be sexual, as though we needed more than each other to be satisfied.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating