Does he like you, or does he have a black woman fetish?

It’s no secret that lots of white guys have a fetish for black women. Is it our glowing brown skin? Our beautifully unique hair? The way we stand up for ourselves and what we believe in? It’s probably all of these things and more let’s be real. But is fetishizing really a bad thing? Where’s the line drawn between admiring and fetishizing? How do you know if a guy really likes you for you?

I’ve been in the dating game officially for the last 2 and a half years and I know when someone likes ME and when someone likes me specifically because I’m black.

The guys that genuinely like me never say things like “I love your brown skin” or “you’re sweet like chocolate” or any other descriptor of the skin color I have. They only ever compliment things ABOUT me that they like. They’ll say things like “I love your eyes” or “I love how witty you are.” There is little to no mention of skin color unless it’s like about how an article of clothing looks against my skin. Guys that genuinely like you are going to compliment you for the person that you are, not the skin color you have. They’ll compliment the way your eyes light up when you talk about something you love. They’ll say they love your laugh, your passion, your determination. They’ll say they want to hold you, not they want to f*ck you. When a guy really likes you, he’ll want to know the person behind the skin color.

But sometimes, because they’ve been surrounded by and accustomed to pigment-challenged skin their entire lives, they truly do love brown skin. They’re fascinated by it. The way I’m fascinated by their lack of melanin. And in my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with loving black women for our curves, our hair or our skin. SO LONG AS they also love us for our brains, our hearts and our personalities. As long as those things are held on just as high a pedestal, I don’t think appreciating the things that make black women special and different is a bad thing.

I think fetishizing is bad when it turns into a conquest. When it’s no longer about wanting to get to know you, but it’s about wanting to be able to say they’ve been with you physically. When it’s about wanting to prove something to either the world, or themselves. But if that’s not the case, then don’t push people away who love the things that make you different!

A lot of guys have bad intentions. But a lot of guys also have good intentions, they just don’t know how to properly and appropriately compliment you. I’ve seen a lot of girls of color jump down a guy’s throat for making a comment that could be taken either way, and my advice would be this: don’t be so quick to assume he’s fetishizing you. If you get a creepy vibe, then by all means dip out of there ASAP. But remember that not all white guys have experience with black women and it will take them some time to know what’s appropriate to say and what isn’t.