I am dating a White woman. That is disappointing to some. That was difficult for me.

Annie’s first words to me were that she admired my transparency. And I don’t want that to change. I want to be transparent with her. I want to be transparent with you.

Last year, I wrote an article about my biggest fears. I explained that I am afraid, so afraid of marriage. I confessed I am afraid that whomever I marry, may in the end, be just as heart-broken and regretful as my mother is over my father. I mentioned I am afraid I may never receive the opportunity to love a wife the way my father should have loved my mother.

Tim Challies shared the article on his blog the following day. That attracted thousands of people to my blog—and Annie Pasma was the most attractive of them all. Annie read my blog and she commented, saying:

Thank you for this, especially your transparency. I have similar struggles of being afraid and trying to please people. I have come to find that when I am most afraid, when life seems most unjust, when I see hurting people all around, I sing. They are mostly hymns or songs I was taught as a child but it helps immensely.

Thank you again 🙂

Her words were beautiful , and I suspected that her face was just as beautiful. So I searched her name on Facebook  and I sent her a friend request.

I didn’t anticipate anything more than that. I didn’t imagine that Annie and I would be dating by the end of the year. Annie is from Ohio. I am from Ontario. We live in different countries and different worlds. But we developed an interest in each other. She became the highlight of my day. She became my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night. I opened up my heart to her unlike I had ever done with anyone else. Annie knows who I really am, yet she loves me.

But our long-distance relationship has produced barriers between her and me. I can’t hold Annie’s hand as often as I’d like to. I don’t hug Annie as often as I want to. I don’t get to experience day-to-day life with Annie as much as I want to. Annie has become so close to me but we are separated by many miles. I tell Annie I miss her just as much as I tell her I love her. And that breaks my heart.

Annie is a precious woman from a precious family. I haven’t met all her relatives yet, but I’ve met her parents and a couple of her friends. I didn’t think I would have anything in common with her friends. I worried that our time together would be awkward. But I was wrong. They are engaging, relatable, loving people, and I admire them.

Annie’s parents are so kind, so patient, so wise. I had lunch with them at a restaurant last year. We talked and laughed for hours. We talked about our mutual interests in history, hymns, and politics. I learned more about Annie’s father’s pastoral and biblical counseling ministry. I couldn’t have dreamed about better people.

But that afternoon, we received dirty looks from White strangers. And when some Black people I know learned about my relationship with Annie, they were disappointed too. Some gossiped about the relationship. Others confronted me and angrily asked me why I am not dating a Black woman. I gave them an ultimatum. I told them to repent—our friendship depended on it. I didn’t admit to them, however, that dating a White woman was difficult for me.

My apprehensions about dating White women wasn’t rooted in racism. I pursued a couple of White women before my relationship with Annie. I’m more attracted to character than I am attracted to skin colour.

But I wanted to love a Black woman the way my father should have loved my Black mother. I wanted to love Black children the way my father should have loved me. I wanted to do what my father wouldn’t do. I wanted to become a good husband and a good father to a Black family—the kind of man I didn’t know when I was a boy.

I didn’t realize the damage my father had done to me. When I looked in the mirror I saw my father. When I looked at Annie, I wanted to see my mother. But I realized I was being stupid. Annie isn’t Black. She doesn’t look like my mother. She doesn’t look like me. She looks like Christ. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Annie is sweet and gentle. She’s patient and humble. She’s kind and faithful. She looks like Christ, and I adore her. I love her freckles; They are carefully and beautifully painted on her white skin by her maker. I love that Annie’s skin gives me clues; I love that her skin gets red. They tell me when she’s happy. They tell me when she’s upset. And I enjoy teasing her about it.

I didn’t think my cold heart could beat for love until I felt Annie’s warm smile for me. I am Black, and she loves me. She is White, and I love her. My friends and family love her. God loves her. And that is why I am dating Annie. That is why I am not dating a Black woman.