I do not disagree with anything you just said here. In your first message, it felt more like a defense mechanism. There was an episode of "Ready to Love" (no clue if you watch the show, but it's a dating show with Will Packer and Nephew Tommy) where one of the guys just kept repeating, "I like who like me." Nonstop. Finally Tommy got tired of hearing him say, "I like who like me" and speculated that he ONLY went after women who showed him signs of liking him initially and disregarded everybody else on the show. It was interesting to watch because he seemed to have this preconceived notion of who exactly would like him. He got eliminated from the show because the other women had watched him only go after one woman and really had no clue what he was like.

This is the one thing I try not to do while dating and why I agree with you that black women should expand their dating pool. There is an air of superiority and entitlement that a select few brothas have, assuming that a black woman wouldn't dare to date someone else, only to "like who like me." There's also nonstop surveys from white men who think black women simply aren't interested in them. There was an episode of "Grownish" discussing that one survey on OkCupid about how dark-skinned black women were least likely to be approached on online dating site. It caught my attention when it first published and on the show because I immediately heard dark-skinned women say, "See, they don't like me anyway. They think I'm ugly." Meanwhile I was on OkCupid for six months and had everybody of every race reach out. I ended up with one of those "most attractive user" emails, too. I DO NOT SAY THAT TO BRAG!!!

I say that to say this is why I immediately insisted on hearing your views on validation. Because if I had approached the site like, "Only black men will like me. Everyone else will think I'm ugly," I would've never gone on half the dates (or one relationship) that I did. So I'm with you on not boxing yourself in. The only part that still troubles me is the men who have felt you were unattractive due to size and complexion. I've seen women of all complexions and sizes in my own family (and friends over the years) who look zip zero alike, too, and are happily married or in long-term relationships. I think a lot of that is in how they carry themselves (i.e. "You're missing out if you don't approach me"). I'm sure there are many men who don't find me to be anything to brag about, but that shit has NEVER stopped my flow. I don't get side-tracked by those whose type I am not. You'll wear yourself out doing that. "I like who like me" but I also no problem flirting with the ones I like just to see what happens.

P.S. For what it’s worth, I Google searched your Medium profile image to see it bigger. I think you have the face of a makeup model (i.e. smooth skin, fun to try new “looks” on). Your hair designs/cut/style is dope, too. I think you’re cute, but I’m not into women so that probably doesn’t matter much. Ha, ha, ha.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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