Dear Harlan,

I’m a interested in dating white men and have some questions. How does a black girl approach a white guy? What if he’s not interested in me? How do you feel about interracial dating?’

Looking for a White Guy

Dear Looking,

What do I think? Hmmm. OK. If an attractive, smart black Jewish woman approached me during my single days, I’d definitely be open to dating her (Jewish, because interfaith and interracial might be too complicated for me). I’d expect that not everyone would support my choices. But I’d also trust that if it the relationship was fantastic, and I was happier than ever, the people who didn’t support me would come around. And if not, I’d give them permission to be miserable while I lived a happily ever after. Sure, interracial dating can be more complicated, but same race relationships can be just as complicated. As for approaching white guys, some will welcome your advances and others will not. Wanting you might have little to do with your skin color. It could be because a guy is already in a relationship, interested in guys (black men included) or just not looking to date anyone. Approach men as if you’re colorblind. Give them an opportunity to see how amazing it can be to date a strong, confident, attractive black woman. If you’re afraid of making white guys uncomfortable, try online dating (post a picture), have a friend set you up (make sure he’s open to interracial dating) or get to know guys throughout a long period of time, and let a relationship develop. But don’t limit yourself just to white guys — some people might find that a little bit racist.

Dear Harlan,

I keep running into the same issue when it comes to girls. It seems like every time I like a girl and she likes me back, things start to get weird. What I mean is that the girl starts to get clingy, and says ridiculous things like “Why don’t you talk to me?” or “Why didn’t you text me back right away?” and all this happens within the first week or so. What is going on?


Dear Dating,

It’s like bad body odor you can’t escape — when the odor keeps following you, it could mean that the stink might be coming from you. Now don’t get mad or defensive. I’m just thinking that you might be the source of the problem. I have no idea what you’re doing on these dates, but for some reason, these women feel very connected to you and want more attention from you. That’s not a bad thing for them to want. It’s not unreasonable. It’s not being clingy. They don’t want to be ignored. And clearly, that’s what they think you’re doing. When a girl asks you “Why don’t you talk to me?” it’s a sign she feels ignored. So talk to these girls when they act “clingy” or needy. Respond to their texts (that’s not so hard). When you talk to them, ask if you make them feel ignored. Maybe you’re giving off a vibe that you don’t care. Instead of blaming these girls and avoiding them, find out what you’re doing and accept it, or change it. The answer might be as simple as explaining that you’re busy and then sharing what it is you’re looking for in a relationship. Talk to them the next time this happens and get back to me. My guess — once you stop ignoring them, the problem will go away.

Harlan is the author of “The Happiest Kid On Campus: A Parent’s Guide to the Very Best College Experience (for You and Your Child)” (Sourcebooks). Write Harlan at [email protected] or visit online: All letters submitted become property of the author. Send paper to Help Me, Harlan! 2506 N. Clark St., Ste. 223, Chicago, IL 60614.

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