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Can Having A Type Hold Your Love Life Back?

Dating

Ever since I can remember, I've had a type: tall, dark, and quirky.


But the moment I turned 25, the vacancy I felt in my love life began to Cupid Shuffle all over my heart. You see, I've never had a boyfriend, like ever. I was close once and sure, he had all the fixings of what I thought I wanted at the time, but the official title never came. Age has a funny way of forcing us into deep reflection and whew chile… I had to come face to face with the fact that I was possibly the cause of my own existential crisis: could having a "type" be keeping me single?

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I knew this was something worth further inspection after a talk I had with my sister. I was telling her about a guy that had slide in my DMs who – judging by his IG profile – just didn't fit the bill for someone I would give time to. After I shared my findings with her, she casually says, "Aley, you're too picky."

I was shook.

How could this be? Even with my physical preferences in mind, I had always considered myself to be someone who was "equal opportunity."

It wasn't until after this series of unsuccessful dating attempts that I really started to stick to my guns about staying true to my type. After all, what's so bad about liking what I like?

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I blame college for what is now my fairly obscure perspective of "the perfect guy." Back then, if you had a certain type of that you habitually leaned towards, there were about 8 of them on campus that you could choose from and if they weren't to your liking, there was always another campus not too far away with about 10 more. And even then, my "pickiness" took a backseat.

In fact, while attending an HBCU, I still managed to dip my toe in the snow. My first time dating outside my race was two years into my matriculation and just a year shy from my full conscious awakening. He sought me out via social media and excuse my then internalized anti-blackness but it felt good to be chosen by the oppressor. He was one of those redhead white guys with a sense of style that would remind you of a British R&B singer and I was smitten.

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I mean the boy had swag and talked a heavy game, might I add. My time with him, although brief, was one of the most fulfilling dating experiences I have ever had. He saw me as his African princess, minus the all the weird fetishization. But my Colonizing King turned out to be a flake and on our first Valentine's Day together, he left me at the altar of my dorm room steps, taking my Happily Ever After along with him.

In an attempt to suppress my desires for my ideal tall, dark, and quirky archetype, I dated a pill-popping Papi from the Bronx, a classmate with height hindrances and hidden insecurities, and oh, how could I forget my long-distance lover with an even longer rap sheet with loose women? Still, as long as the guy was respectful, intelligent, and could make me laugh, I could always just pray that he'd have an overnight growth spurt or that he'd have a spontaneous "Come to Jesus" moment.

Truth be told, I always felt like dating outside of my type placed me in a unique position.

As if because I stayed open to the variety of packages that love could come in, no matter the race, religion, height or creed, if all else failed, I could always say, "Well, at least I tried." As I navigate my mid-20's, I fully recognize the societal pressures that come with being a young, educated, career-focused Black woman to find love while being "reasonable;" to keep my options open without compromising.

There's enough propaganda floating around about all the good Black men being in jail or having their hand at the Beckys and Sarah Annes of world to fool you into believing that your dreams of a Black Love fairy tale are just that: a fable. But I'm just crazy enough to believe that there's a king out there that will meet and exceed your expectations and you won't have to share him or put money on his books every week.

At this point in my life, I don't think I'll be budging when it comes to sticking to my type. I've tried my hand at pretty much every type of guy there is and if the desires of my heart haven't shifted in another direction yet, then I doubt they'll be going anywhere anytime soon.

Call me naive or applaud my resilience but my Black Love is worth fighting for.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissons@xonecole.com

Featured image by Getty Images

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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