Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: I'm a 27-year-old black woman in graduate school. I have never been in any serious relationship, and am wondering if you have any advice on how to change this. I'm attracted to men of different races, but find it difficult to make connections to many black men. My family is from Africa, and I was raised in the suburbs (read: surrounded by white people). Black men sometimes don't think I'm "black enough," since I didn't grow up in a black community and have different experiences being first-generation American. Men from other races don't seem particularly drawn to me, and at this point I'm not really sure what to do. I'm introverted, although I've been actively trying to change this. I've tried online dating on two very reputable dating websites, with no dates resulting from either. I like myself and am trying to be my most authentic self, but am frustrated that no one special has ever come into my life. I'd be very grateful for your tips.
DEAR SINGLE: You are thoughtfully analyzing this issue, which is a great start. And at the risk of oversimplifying, I think you could start by confiding in a good female friend, who might be able to give you some pointers that emphasize your best traits.
Maybe you should try a shorter (or longer or funnier or quirkier) "me statement." But before you go full on into online dating, I would suggest taking advantage of the resources at the college, which you say has a diverse student population. Certainly you should embrace your background as a first-generation American as an asset that gives you interesting perspectives and intriguing narratives to use in conversation. Have you considered seeking out a social organization for fellow Africans -- or other social organizations?
Join organizations that will take you outside your comfort zone. Use social settings to practice proactive flirting, interacting and being open to people from all sorts of backgrounds.