As a painfully self-conscious biracial woman, I had struggled to date at an Ivy League school, and studying abroad was as much an escape as it was a necessary academic endeavor for an international relations major.But I am also a European Union citizen, born in Hungary to a Hungarian mother and Nigerian father, and my optimism was tempered by the reality of my experiences living and traveling in Europe, experiences that taught me I was both Other and object.Her presence, despite the poor video quality, commands the screen."And I kind of thought about, like, well why is that? The idea that we should travel abroad — particularly to Europe — to find love has a home in online discussion groups, travel websites, blogs, and Facebook pages, all of which earnestly and enthusiastically encourage us to "swirl," i.e., date non-black men (the term is designed to evoke a half-chocolate, half-vanilla soft-serve).And as I started talking to [women] it's like, they're only dating black guys. " she exclaims, pressing her hands to her chest, then throwing them out in a shrug. That's what's happening."She cites her research, 2008 census data that suggests that even if every black man chose to partner with a black woman, there would still be 1.5 million black women left mate-less."That's why I created Black Girl Though they vary in tone — some are celebratory, extolling the joys of finding "Swirling Success in Sweden" while others are bear hard-nosed messages like "The Dating Truth for Black Women: Go to Europe and Don't Look Back" — every site insists that black women in America are better off looking for love in another country.Many did not care that I was born on American soil. But they didn’t approach me outright as much as girls in Iceland and Finland. This was real rape where immigrants dragged girls into alleys. We hung out a few more times and, in my mind, there was no way I could fail. Unlike the others, she took the initiative of “first contact” by talking to me after a class we shared. We ate a nice meal of chicken and rice, and then we talked for a bit. A couple weeks later, she told me she was seeing someone.A guy whose name I never learned, of whom she and her friends had never spoken, and of whom I didn’t even see any evidence of on Facebook. If you want to say “I’m not interested,” then just say it!
But buried toward the bottom of its About Us page is a fuzzy You Tube video that indicates a wider problem.First off, if you are man, Swedish, French, American, British, you have to learn how to smooch and booze with those hot Swedish women. Second, it seems that foreign men in Sweden have an advantage over the Swedish men. Here’s what Swedish women think of Swedish men: After reading all these comments you must think, “damn, how do Swedish men and women mate and have lots of babies?” I wonder that too, and I’ll put the blame on the dark swedish winter and the bright swedish summer.But as the weeks went by, I gaped in paralyzed horror as my self-esteem was quickly ground into mush.Not only did all my previously held notions turn out to be totally wrong, but it seemed the opposite was true; compared to the endless number of good-looking, well-muscled, and much better dressed Swedish guys, it seemed no woman was interested in a pale, skinny American with absolutely zero fashion sense and a shaggy haircut. In one swift blow, my self-esteem returned to its liquidous state. The two of us had something in common right away: both of us studied journalism.