He boasted about the different nationalities he had been with, and how he just appreciated a beautiful woman. I had been used to men using that against me, but now it had turned in my favor. He liked me because I was an adventure to him. At first, I just took it as a compliment. He appreciated my beauty. That wouldn't be a word that I would use to describe myself, to him I was something unique, something outside of the world he knew.
In public, I felt shamed
When we were around his friends, my boyfriend's comments would be less endearing with vulgar jokes that just made me uncomfortable. Whenever I was around them, my blackness would stick out in a way that became an attraction for them... and it wasn't a comfortable feeling.
I didn't feel like someone he was dating; but rather something to show off, a flashy accessory no different from an overpriced name brand bought at the store. When I talked to him about his comments, he brushed it off as me taking it too seriously.
That was the first time I let it go.
I stayed quiet for a long time -- until I couldn't take it anymore. As much as I had liked other qualities about him, I didn't know whether his feelings for me were genuine. I don't think he cared for me at all; but rather the attention that came with dating someone who looked like me.