It seems like new terms and phrases are being created every day, particularly in the dating circuit. Grande-ing, Scrooge-ing, and ghosting are a few that have been floating around lately while countless others have come and gone.
Swirl dating or swirling is another dating term that has brought forth some confusion. Here’s everything you need to know about swirl dating, from what it is to how to navigate this tricky road.
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What is Swirl Dating?
In simple terms, swirl dating is interracial dating. It often gets categorized as a relationship between someone who is Caucasian and someone of African descent, but it applies to a partnership between two people of different ethnicities. The term is light and fun, focusing on the positive aspects of a loving couple, with a valiant attempt to leave prejudice in the past.
Some “swirlers” enter into the world of swirl dating by chance. That is, they meet someone they’re attracted to who just happens to be of a different ethnicity. There are others, however, that prefer swirl dating and intentionally pursue partners based on that preference. While there tends to be controversy surrounding intentional swirling, it’s ultimately between two consenting partners – the opinion of others doesn’t matter.
Challenges in Swirl Dating
While interracial dating is no longer the controversy it once was, largely in part to the efforts of the Loving Generation, racism and unconscious bias still run rampant in modern society. Swirl couples still face a lot of scrutiny from their peers and society as a whole, which can become more pronounced in certain areas of the world.
Another challenge swirlers face in the dating realm is casual racism during the dating process. It’s not uncommon for some people to indicate which ethnicities or races they aren’t interested in on their profile. This categorizes people based on their appearance and background rather than who they are as a person and adds to the controversy of how people perceive swirl dating.
In some areas of the world, racial tension has increased once again. This can add stress to interracial couples who are trying to find their footing in the geopolitical climate while navigating a relationship with someone of a different ethnicity.
The Benefits of Swirl Dating
The main benefit of swirl dating is that love and attraction are color blind. Both partners have the option to pursue a relationship that will bring them enjoyment, regardless of what others think. This has the potential to strengthen your bond, as you navigate the tumultuous world of being an interracial couple.
In addition to having the potential for a fun, beneficial relationship, you also get to learn more about a different culture. Through sharing your experiences with one another, you become more aware of the world around you, while boosting your empathy and emotional intelligence. In essence, you’re growing as a person during a relationship with someone else. You step outside the limitations you had unknowingly put upon yourself, expand your dating pool, and open yourself to new opportunities.
How to Start Swirling
The most important aspect of swirl dating is not to objectify or fetishize someone based on their ethnicity. You’re opening yourself to further options. The decision to date someone should be based on interest in the individual and should not be treated as an experiment, as with any other form of dating.
Remember to treat people with respect and not to say anything that you wouldn’t want to be said to you. This means that you have a responsibility to learn what is and is not acceptable to say to someone of a different ethnicity or cultural background. You can use this as an eye-opening opportunity to learn more about a culture, but make sure you’re doing so through the individual’s experiences and stories. If you start swirling, remember the golden rule in dating: be kind to others and yourself.