Are You Single Because of Where You Live?

Are You Single Because of Where You Live?

After eight years in D.C., author Amanda Hess decided to move to Los Angeles in hopes of finding a better dating scene. She was under the impression that Los Angeles is one of America’s “Best Cities for Singles.”

“But between dark basement beers during my last month in Washington,” she writes, “my friends presented me a phantasmagoria of single life in L.A.: It looked like skeletal Asian models pair-bonding with balding producers over low-calorie cocktails.”

Guess what? Dating is hard in every city.

Regarding New York:

One New Yorker told me that “subway distances can make things grueling,” meaning that budding romances easily die on a stalled L train. (How much subway time are you willing to invest in one date?)

And Los Angeles:

If New York is too big, Los Angeles is too wide. Not everyone is inclined to navigate three freeways for the chance to get laid, stone sober. And Los Angeles lacks an urban center where young, single people congregate—they live everywhere.

And D.C.:

In New York or Los Angeles, the high proportion of singles can feel overwhelming. In D.C., it’s intimate – these people bump into each other on the metro, caffeinate at the same cafes, and unwind at the same bars, week in and week out.

Turns out, Los Angeles is not for lovers. No more than any other place, that is.

I receive thousands of emails a year from women all over the world, and they all seem to agree on one thing: dating is hard. It’s hard in NY. It’s hard in DC. And LA. And London. In Chicago, Charlotte, Des Moines, Boise, and Seattle. It’s hard everywhere.

Read the article here. Are you blaming your town for your dating troubles?

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Dizzyluv25

    Evan….
    I live in DC and I agree with this line from the article “One friend in D.C. told me that the scene can be so claustrophobic that dating online means weeding through a selection of coworkers, friends, and friends’ exes.”  The network in DC is so small it can feel incestuous at times. I always joke when you break up with someone in DC, it better me amicable, b/c you will see your ex again.

  2. 2
    Heather

    @ Dizzyluv,

    That is very, very true.  I have been through that, as another DC-area resident.  As a matter of fact, I have run into a number of guys I had a first date with, went out for awhile, etc. on a few occasions.  A few times, it was just brief, seeing them in the same bar, or in one case, an ex boyfriend who was in the end, a mama’s boy and coward, nearly ran me down in the grocery store with his cart.  Turns out we only live a couple of miles from each other.

    And then you see them on Match or whatever site and it’s like, oh it’s you again.  Jeez.

    This area is a very small world indeed! 

  3. 3
    Goldie

    Your dating life does, to a point, depend on where you live. I’ve been able to make do with what I’ve got pretty well, but I heard horror stories from some of the men I met online. Apparently, small college towns in the middle of nowhere are the worst. The dating pool is tiny, gossip spreads fast, and the nearest location with decent available candidates is 90 miles away, unless you want to try your luck at the nearby farms. Most of these guys cannot move, because they have tenure and/or exes with tenure (that they share custody of their children with) in this town. I once had a guy drive six hours one way for a date with me — apparently he does this on a regular basis.
     
    I’ve heard scary things about LA as well, but it being a big city, I’d imagine there has to be a layer of geeks, which is where I would look if I were dating in that city. 
     
    @ Dizzyluv25: it’s not just DC…

  4. 4
    Heather

    @ Goldie,

    Yes, you are right that your dating life can depend somewhat, on your area.  I do see EMK’s point, and it’s valid, but at the same time, like I’ve said in earlier posts, I’ve come to realize that where I live (DC area) is full of very alpha-male types (hello, Capitol Hill’s in my backyard practically), very used to having what they want, when they want it.  And that’s fine if other women want to date that type.  For me, that type doesn’t work.  Been there, tried that, married to that.  No. Way.  Also, this is a transient area, a lot of people coming here for temporary assignments, training, etc.  And that was not an option for me either, I didn’t really want a long distance relationship, and oftentimes folks coming on temporary assignments, were already married/attached and looking for some “tail on the side” so to speak.

    I’ve had to learn a few things.  One is that I have to keep in mind where I’m living has alot of types that I don’t mesh with in relationships, very well, and so my pool will be very different and more narrow.  Secondly, as my very wise Mom once advised me, “If you’re fishing in one pond and just bringing up fish you have to throw back, you might want to look at fishing in another pond.”  Point being, yes, this area is tough for dating.  But that doesn’t let me off the hook to find a solution to my issue.  I knew I had several.  One was to take a break for awhile, since I was getting frustrated and annoyed.  Another was to try my luck in another city and since I was toying with relocating to Philly before my Mom was diagnosed with advanced cancer, it made sense to start looking.

    At this point it’s a moot issue now that I have someone, but I can relate to my female and male friends and colleagues who bemoan the difficulties of DC dating.

  5. 5
    Henriette

    I agree with Evan – dating ANYWHERE can be tough, although often for different reasons.  I dated non-stop when living in one city but few of those guys seemed to want permanent relationships and those who did were super-type-A jerks.  In another city, no one gave me a second glance.  Where I’m living now: most people married in their mid-20s and folks don’t like to strike up conversations with strangers and seem uncomfortable straying from their insular little social groups. 
    I remember in my late 20s, there seemed to be an ongoing conversation with all my girlfriends in various cities & towns across the continent that consisted of nothing more than, “Is it any better where you live?”  We all agreed that dating was terribly difficult, no matter where we lived.  And yet, most of those girlfriends are married today, about 15 years later, so clearly most were able to connect with at least one decent, interested, interesting man.   What this taught me is that you don’t need a pool of great candidates; you simply need one.
     

  6. 6
    SS

    Goldie, I married a professor… who drove four hours one way for a date, and we proceeded to drive back and forth until I moved to be with him. I moved, of course, because he has tenure. We don’t even live in the middle of nowhere, but his school is in a rust belt town where educated and creative types generally leave.
     
    The bright side of all this, however, was that I found someone eager and willing to put more effort into dating versus those in my larger town (where I lied before) who would only date someone within a 30-minute drive or the same county or come up with some other reason to rule people out. In a way, the lack of options available to him made him treasure the good options more — he didn’t have the attitude of always looking for someone better.
     
    I highly recommend dating professors!

  7. 7
    Mia

    I think dating is way better in my new Midwestern medium sized city than it was for me on the east coast. People in general are friendlier here, so making more friends means more dates. We’re not such a huge fast paced city like NYC that people think they have a gazillion options. The one challenge I find with Midwestern guys is sometimes they seem so nice and gentlemanly that I confuse that for actual interest. Guys really are similar in most places, but in a friendlier city you can expand your social circle and meet better guys that way. And while i know undesirable people who found love in dc and NYC easily – still, I’d hate to have to try there, because I do think there’s a difference in uber competitive cities. 
     

  8. 8
    Fiona

    I agree. Dating everywhere is a nightmare. However, I would say I found it even worse in Switzerland than the UK because being in a country where most people have a different mother tongue and culture and does in my view make it more difficult than in your home country. Beyond that, I would say each UK city is as bad as the next one and I assume it is the same on the other side of the pond.

  9. 9
    Leo

    @Henriette,

    “And yet, most of those girlfriends are married today, about 15 years later, so clearly most were able to connect with at least one decent, interested, interesting man.   What this taught me is that you don’t need a pool of great candidates; you simply need one.”

    Great point Henriette. It sounds too simplistic but with so many choices we have, it’s the best reminder. 

    And I wouldn’t say that dating is difficult everywhere.

    It takes a lot of discipline for sure. But difficult?

    Compare that to the kids who get straight As in school.

    They didn’t think school was difficult.  

    They have average IQs.

    They did their homework.

    They studied hard.

    They worked together.

    And they got their As.

    Was it a lot of work and studying?

    Sure…but difficult?

    Probably not.

    Now, do you have to know how to date so you don’t make it too hard on yourself?
    Do you have to know the difference between “settling down” and “settling?”
     
    For sure. 

  10. 10
    Lilly

    @6

    Some professors are cheaters! So….I think it depends on the professor? I’m a college student and get hit on by a lot of professors. I mean…most of my male professors have made a move on me and most are married and well over 35 years old.

    I say, date guys with integrity! =) 

  11. 11
    Barentt

    That is very true…

    My advice would be to not seek the ‘ideal location’ to find a suitable partner, but to play your cards wisely and decide what type of a partner can actually best fit your needs.

    Once you have a reasonable profile of your ideal mate you could start your search, and possibly find that ideal guy or gal, in whatever city or country you may live.

  12. 12
    helene

    I think perhaps whether dating seems easy or difficult in a certain location depends on how in tune you yourself are with the prevailing attitudes and lifestyle in the place you’re living. I would have thought in that respect that most big cities would be advantageous, as there are generally several different “subcultures ” going on, wheras in a small towm, life tends to be more homogenious and so if its not your thing, there aren’t many options. Maybe if we feel that we are not meeting the kind of men we want in our city, that’s a sign that WE are actually living in the wrong place??! You know, in the past people used to generally marry someone from the same VILLAGE – might seem like not a lot of choice but if you liked your village and the way of life there, chances are the guys around would be pretty well suited to you….

  13. 13
    Nicole

    I mean, having a good attitude is important, but demographics really do matter.   I’m a minority and the willingness of people to date people from my group definitely varies a lot depending on where you are.  So I can be as nice as possible, but I don’t see many men picking ladies who are my color where I currently live, and a lot of people say “absolutely not” in their racial preferences(added to the fact that you do see the same people on all of the sites, which does at least let you know who not to bother contacting).  So that isn’t an imagined state and mindset doesn’t change it. 

    And in a place where there are more people from your group, I think things are better b/c even people who aren’t your race are more “used” to seeing you and realizing that you are a normal human.  So the choices are leave or find someone who is willing to at least start something from a very long distance.

     

  14. 14
    Leo

    @Nicole

    “added to the fact that you do see the same people on all of the sites, which does at least let you know who not to bother contacting” 

    Just curious,…why not? 

  15. 15
    Catherine

    Unless you live in a hick country town with a population of 50 , I don’t think location is the issue. People need to look  long and hard at themselves and consider whether they are marketing themselves effectively. Ladies , it is all about how you look, at first. Make sure your dress in a sexy but not slutty manner, wear makeup, paint our nails etc. People say be yourself, no think about what the majority of guys want you to be .
     

    1. 15.1
      A'

      That also depends on where you live and peoples preferences.  When I lived in Illinois I got attention from women.  Then I moved back to small small rural town in va.  I can barely find anyone walking the sidewalks.  Maybe an old lady, sometimes girls but that’s rare.  Chicago is more racially diverse, which works for me being a black male.  Here it’s like trying to catch fish with the wrong bait.  My clothing is more dressy casual or conservative.  I’m not what the country girl type is mainly looking for.  I go out of town, women approach me, go figure. Lol Thank God I’m leaving soon. With that said, some people do need to work on themselves to be more attractive.

  16. 16
    Nicole

    @Leo,
    If I see your profile on one site and you say “no blacks” then I’m not going to try to contact you on another site.  You don’t like black people for dating and it’s just that not all sites give you the option of making that public.  How is that complicated?  

    @Catherine, your point doesn’t refute mine since mine has to do with people rejecting people of my race, and that also includes men who are the same race as me.  So that is a real thing that people have a way of overlooking when it doesn’t pertain to them.  So unless I market myself in “whiteface” and a blonde wig, that much isn’t changing.  I don’t really care that they do, but the rate at which they do does vary from region to region.

  17. 17
    SS

    @14… Nicole can answer to clarify, but as a minority, I think I know what she means. If you see a guy on one site and he’s made it clear that he’s not open to women of my racial background, then you see the same guy on another site, you already know his stated preference so you don’t bother to contact him. It gets frustrating when the same guys are on every site in general, but particularly when you know that they already excluded you from the beginning.
     
    @10  Yeah, some men in every profession are cheaters. Don’t see what your experience has to do my statement about a single, unmarried professor in a small town potentially being willing to make more of an effort to date.

  18. 18
    Mia

    Nicole, I kind of get what you are saying. I am half white and half South Asian and most people think I look Filipino or Spanish – luckily, I am thin and have cacausian features and hair, but just happen to be brown, so I have had an easy time at least physically appealing to men of all races. I think non-white women are at a slight disadvantage in online dating – which favors white people, sorry – but in real life in a major metro it’s not a big issue. Based on my experience, I feel that nearly 100 percent of the (white) men I’m interested in at least, at a minimum, find me physically attractive when they meet me. And I’ve experienced this not only on the more diverse East Coast, but in the Midwest, and even with white guys who grew up in the middle of nowhere in, say, Idaho or Montana. I try to be understanding when someone on match says they only want white women, or some race that I”m not, because I think I’m an exception to what they expect, being Christian, totally Americanized, and having really white facial features.

    Another thing to consider: luckily, men are NOT as racist as women. Yeah, some guys want only a white girl – or they THINK they do – but if they meet an attractive non-white compatible girl, they’re cool with it. One of my best guy friends is as white as a ghost and usually only dates white girls,  but recently decided to get in a relationship with a dark black girl because she was cool. (They met at a bar.)

    That said, you will have more success depending on where you live. My sister was pursued by gorgeous white guys when she lived in South Africa, and in Atlanta, which is really white, she gets NOTHING. I was pursued by gorgeous men way more when I lived in Asia, and know I’d get way more attention in Europe or elsewhere in abroad, but it is what it is.

    Finally, being biracial, I’ve found non-white men WAY more racist toward me and wanting someone of their own “culture” than white guys, so I stick to white guys. If you want a white guy into non-white girls, go to California … I don’t think it’s a coincidence that out here in a Midwestern city, one of the few very attractive (Jewish) men who expressed an interest in me over a few dates grew up in the Bay rea.

    1. 18.1
      Tia

       i@ Mia… luckily, I am thin and have cacausian features and hair, but just happen to be brown, so I have had an easy time at least physically appealing to men of all races
       
      luckily? whats wrong with having non Caucasian features in your opinion, just curious

  19. 19
    Jennifer

    Yes, I have no doubt that dating is hard everywhere.  However, all cities have their own personalities, and if you are outside of that personality, your dating pool is much smaller than someone else who fits the town’s profile.
    I currently live in an isolated, one-horse town town in the Southwest of approximately 25K people.  This quirky town is chock-a-block full of super-smart Phd scientists, more than half of which are married.  Not to knock Phd scientists, I have many good friends that fit the description.  But social skills are not high on their priority lists.  So, if you don’t quite understand the geek humor (or understand it, but don’t find it funny), you like people who look you in the eye when they are speaking to you, and you appreciate not having to make the first move all the time, you will be unhappy in the dating scene here.
    However, when I visit my family in a large metro area one state over, I go to one party, have easy conversation with a dozen people, and leave with 3 men asking to see me tomorrow.  So, yes.  I firmly believe that I am single because of where I live.  And I have had that confirmed to me time and time again.

  20. 20
    Jennifer

    @ Catherine: “People say be yourself, no think about what the majority of guys want you to be .”
     
    I could not disagree with you more.  Looking good is one thing.  But “marketing yourself” as something that others want you to be but is against who you are is fraudulent and ultimately leads to disappointment and heart break.  “Be your best self” is more like it.  The guys who want what your offering will appreciate the honesty.

  21. 21
    Nicole

    @Mia, I don’t want a white guy.  I mean, it’s not a goal like, oh, I wish the white men would talk to me.  I am open and don’t claim to dislike any race, b/c I really don’t, and who know who I might meet that could be compatible  In  perfect world, it might be easier to find someone of the same background and have a family that looks like the one I grew up in, but not always an option.

    It’s also really weird to live someplace where even the men of your race don’t want women of the same race, so there is no really good reason for that. There is a reason, and I’m not going to discuss it.  It’s just not a good explanation.  

    And California is not a racial utopia nor are the people are open-minded as a lot of people would like to think.  It’s a big fallacy that people in California are all liberal, esp. when it comes to interracial dating.  There is definitely a hierarchy and not all non-white women are treated equally.  Ever.  I get treated a LOT better and get attention from some white men in other parts of the country, including in the South where I was raised.  Clearly not everywhere, but yeah, since people state the preferences online and I experience how I’m treated, it’s a big difference.  Again, it’s the fact that you can’t really live in someone else’s shoes, so what you THINK might be their reality isn’t, or assume that the reason is something it isn’t (like how I or other black women look…I mean, you could just look for a fair-skinned black woman).  The funny thing is that some men who apparently don’t like black women ever will still message you.  Um, nope. 

    Black women look a lot of different ways and have lots of different hair types, body types, and features, so it says a LOT about how a man thinks if he says “no black chicks” instead of just judging by how your look.  A lot of people mistakenly think we all look the same unless we are biracial but that is very untrue.  

    However, I really wouldn’t want to be with a man who thought I was some special black snowflake and whether you meet those people online or in real life, they’ll usually drop some casually or blatantly racist comment that lets you know where you stand.  I’m open-minded about a lot, but I hate bigots and I’m not a fan of people who believe in stereotypes, b/c they are all problematic.  

    See, I have no desire to live in Atlanta, but I’ve been there enough to know I get more attention there.  Or in DC, or in Chicago.  These are the demographic things that kind of can make one person’s paradise another person’s purgatory.  

    Yeah, if you are Asian, I’m totally not surprised that the guy from the Bay Area is interested.  

    @SS, no you got it right.  I think it’s one of those things that is hard for people to understand because they just will never live it.  Like people will claim that where I live is so diverse but don’t notice that hey, black people are missing.  It’s like they can’t see or don’t care b/c they are invited to the party.  So they just assume everyone is.  

    The post is right, it can be hard, and how you approach it matters, but there are elements that people can’t get b/c they can’t really experience what it is like to be a visible minority.  It is hilarious how much credit people are given for being super progressive just b/c of what they eat or how they vote.  From my experience so far, there is pretty much no correlation. 

    But navigating race and relationships can be hard, and the challenges presented are not something that are easy to understand by people who don’t share your background.  

    1. 21.1
      Anne

      Nicole, thank you for speaking courageously and openly about something that many of us in a similar position go through. I agree especially with the whole “it’s so diverse” thing but then not noticing who’s missing because one is invited to the party. This is the way that entitlement works; this is the way that racist systems continue even when not overt. I was raised internationally and have dated people who were born/raised all over the world. Once here, I quickly realized the categories that I was expected to stay in. I have found the best relationships with foreigners (i.e. people not born in U.S. and who moved here as adults and are not invested or indoctrinated in U.S. societal and racial “customs”) and also with progressives (who are self-reflective and not smug liberals) born in the 60s and 70s from activist families. Otherwise, you do end up being the “special black snowflake”…lol, had to laugh when I read that term, it rang so true!

      To those taking Nicole to task, you really don’t know unless you have experienced what she’s talking about so please don’t put her down. I’m glad to see that this topic has generated some great conversation in a respectful way which is rare. It’s really difficult to be a black woman in U.S. trying to find love even when you are open to dating all “races” and backgrounds and even ages. When it comes to wages and desirability factor, we often are lowest end of the spectrum, very little respect and a history of centuries of being property and either fetish or repulsion. I stopped looking at dating sites because it got too depressing to get excited about a guy and then scroll down to see only “whites, asians” and maybe “latinas” on his list. Maybe I was just born too early into this world and I am hundreds of years ahead of the times but I will never change from being a person who is open to love and respectful of all cultures. It’s normal for me to be surrounded by different languages and cultures and to see everyone as beautiful and unique and equal. But it still hurts when you come up against closed-minded or bigoted people over and over again, or even just to constantly be rejected right off the bat. You just know that you will never be the girl he wants to take home to mom–who wants a negro baby–and even well-meaning people get it wrong. I have an Indian friend who said to me, after I told her about my fears and sadness about trying to date and being rejected based on my skin color, “oh, but you are not so dark.” Ah, great. So as long as I stay out of the sun and never go to the beach again, if I keep my skin tone just this side of black, I could be acceptable to a certain range of guys. Great. Just great.

      I always have hope but I put more hope these days–especially as I get older–in faith and work on self-care. Who knows if I will ever meet my person but I choose to believe that he is out there. I know that I will make my man the happiest man in the world…maybe fairy tales but sometimes they come true…

  22. 22
    Mia

    Nicole – so you say it’s weird when men of your own race don’t want women of your race? I agree and have experienced the same – hence why not going for white guys would be very limiting in a mostly white country. Also, I acknowledge that unfortunately, if you’re not white you often have to look super-hot to have the same effect as some ordinary-looking white chick in many parts of the country. I think being part Asian is not a giant problem. But if black, which is less popular, then yeah, it would make sense to be in a huge, diverse metro area. And again, online dating does not tilt in favor of non-white girls and should not be heavily relied on unless you’re in a very diverse metro area.

    Oddly, I’ve noticed that the men who go for me the most consistently over the years (at least in a superficial way) are confident, attractive white guys – Asian guys rarely, rarely, ever do. Literally, my heart was smashed to bits the most by a South Asian immigrant, and I’ve gone out with or messaged Asian guys who never responded or askd for a second date, but attractive white men are more into the exotic non-white thing (average looking or unattractive white men are, egh, still hung up on the generic blonde chick ideal because such men have less options, while more attractive white men already went through the blonde phase and are onto something different and unique). So that’s my target audience. And maybe that would be a good bet for you as well, but it helps to be in a diverse area where non-white women are seen so commonly that many men are used to noticing them and finding them attractive.

  23. 23
    Leo

    @Nicole,

    Thanks for clarifying. I just didn’t understand the wording in your first post.

    I get that it frustrates you when even the black guys put down in their profile “no blacks.”

    How can your own people … reject you like that???  Makes you feel like this whole dating thing is twisted doesn’t it.

    I used to get the same feeling when I saw Asian girls put down “no Asians” in their profile…and all the white girls put down “white only.”

    No one wanted to be with Asian guys?! That was a rude awakening…but it was pretty damn funny too (yes, I’m Asian).

    Of course that’s a HUGE generalization. There are still plenty of women of all colors who do like dating Asian guys. Just like there are still plenty of guys who like dating black women. 
     
    People can put down “no whites/blacks/asians/mexicans” all they want…

    But we know that the live interaction is where the magic happens.

    Nicole, you seem like an intelligent and kind woman and I really mean it.

    You seem perfectly capable of  making your future man the happiest guy in the world…

    But do you believe you’re actually capable of it?

    Do you feel it right now?

    If you do, none of this “racial preferences” will even matter to you anymore.

    Because you’ll know that whoever you choose in the end is the luckiest bastard in the world.

  24. 24
    Fiona

    Mia, I don’t know why so many Americans get the idea that Europe is some kind of dating utopia. It isn’t. Europe is not a country. It is a mix of cultures and languages and people generally do better in their home country where there is a common cultural reference point. That’s not to say that you can’t find someone from another country but it is going to be harder.

  25. 25
    Paragon

    Don’t metropolitan areas tend to have a higher ratio of women to men?

    But, yeah, location can make a definite difference.

  26. 26
    Angie

    I take the 10 to the 405 to the 101 to the 134 to see my boyfriend.  On a good day this takes 20-30 min, on a bad day an hour and a half.  I wish we lived closer, but that’s dating in LA!
     
    I do, in some regards, think it’s easier to get a date in LA than in other cities, because people are more relaxed and wanting to go out.  Also, since people come and go, most people I met are from somewhere else.  I’m 30, but I’ve met some grad students at UCLA and guys that work for tech companies, so the idea that all Angelenos are producers is silly to me, although maybe this is so for single guys in their late 40s+.
     
    Every town may have its issues, but they also all have their advantages.  In LA, you can go on a cheap but fun date to the beach or hiking.  I also think because of the weather, there are more opportunities to be out meeting people here, and no one is hiding in their apartment for 4 months of the year due to blizzards.  Driving across town in sunshine is much different than subwaying across boroughs in a foot of snow!

  27. 27
    Nicole

    @Mia,
    Yeah, I agree with you, especially on the degree to which white women get put on a pedestal by men of other races.  If a white woman is having a hard time getting white men, she can definitely got from a 5 to a 9 by dating non-white men.  

    Also, I hope my other comment didn’t across as too short, since I only meant that I didn’t want to hijack the thread with discussions of race and dating.  But I do think it’s a special case that is worth mentioning, and it’s something that positive thinking can’t erase.   I mean, living as a non-white person, it’s hard to have blinders on about race, but perhaps attempting to use online dating has kind of revealed a lot of things that I admit to struggling to keep out of evaluating people in real life.  I mean, I think it’s interesting that people wouldn’t just not answer black women rather than saying “no black women” and I really don’t know what is going through their heads when they have the “no black women” but still try to message you.  I don’t think any self-respecting black woman would respond to that.  How do they really think that is coming across?  As I said, I’ve seen attractive men of all races, so I wouldn’t say “no X” b/c I can always just weed out people who contact me (but don’t do that based on race).  

    I just don’t think it’s a good idea to FOCUS on white men b/c it becomes the same thing that some of them do in reverse.  And they certainly aren’t the answers to everyone’s dating struggles, b/c at the end of the day, they are just men to, with the same flaws and also b/c some have some upsetting ideas about race (stereotypes, bigotry, etc.).  

    I think that statistically, Asian women and Black men are most likely to not date people of their own race, so it’s interesting to hear that other women see the same thing, but maybe not surprising since we live in a culture that lauds white skin more than anything else (and yet people express surprise when they hear about skin bleaching).  

    @Leo, thank you for the kind words.  I’m pretty logical and realistic, so what it is is what it is.  I do admit that seeing how prevalent it is and how comfortable people are saying it does make me a bit more wary of people.  But I also know that people show who they are pretty quickly so anyone who has funny ideas about race will reveal it pretty quickly.  Like you said, it’s kind of shock to see it on screen and other black women I know in the area said they were surprised to see it too, and just that it occurred more here than in some other parts of the country.  I don’t feel that way everywhere, just where I currently live.  

    It’s kind of funny though…most people kind of want the same thing but we put each through a lot of trials to get it.   

    It is true that we place a lot of constraints on ourselves and other people online that we wouldn’t necessarily impose when we can see people in 
    3-D, probably b/c we have the illusion of choice and think we can “order up” the perfect mate, something that we don’t expect in real life.   

  28. 28
    JD

     I find dating in America difficult in general. I studied in Europe where the guys are much more forward and their attitude is that they will ask you out on the chance that you will say yes. But in America I find a lot of guys flirt with me but seem too afraid of rejection to get to the part where they ask you out – their mindset seems to be that they won’t ask you on the date on the chance that you will say no.  It’s a tricky balancing act – be interested enough that they feel secure in asking you out but not so interested that they back off. Sigh.

  29. 29
    Paragon

    @ Nicole

    ” And in a place where there are more people from your group, I think things are better b/c even people who aren’t your race are more “used” to seeing you and realizing that you are a normal human.  So the choices are leave or find someone who is willing to at least start something from a very long distance.” 

    I get the sense that you are ignoring your second option, or underestimating the lengths to which a man will go in finding a mate.

    “In  perfect world, it might be easier to find someone of the same background and have a family that looks like the one I grew up in, but not always an option.
    It’s also really weird to live someplace where even the men of your race don’t want women of the same race, so there is no really good reason for that. There is a reason, and I’m not going to discuss it.  It’s just not a good explanation.”

    Did it ever occur to you, that the reason why minority-group men appear to favor white women is because males are the initiating sex, and in integrated settings, they are more likely to interact with white women than with female members of their own group? 

    “I mean, I think it’s interesting that people wouldn’t just not answer black women rather than saying “no black women” and I really don’t know what is going through their heads when they have the “no black women” but still try to message you.”
     

    Why don’t you ask one next time(I am curious myself, but I suspect that there is something in your profile that has challenged their preconceptions). 

    ” I don’t think any self-respecting black woman would respond to that. “
    How about an inquisitive one?

    ” I think that statistically, Asian women and Black men are most likely to not date people of their own race, so it’s interesting to hear that other women see the same thing, but maybe not surprising since we live in a culture that lauds white skin more than anything else (and yet people express surprise when they hear about skin bleaching). ”

    There are men specifically attracted to black women(turn your ‘disadvantage’ into an advantage), so why waste energy on those who are *explicitly* not?

    @ JD

    ” It’s a tricky balancing act – be interested enough that they feel secure in asking you out but not so interested that they back off. Sigh.”

    I don’t think you can act ‘too’ interested(as long as you don’t come off as psychotic, or insincere).

  30. 30
    Nicole

    @Paragon, I do not focus my energies on anyone who isn’t interested in me.  Ever.  But you do have to read profiles to know what is going on.  I’m not going to just message people b/c I didn’t bother to read all of the details.  

    And there are more black women in college, grad schools of all kinds, and then by default in competitive workplaces so you we are more visible and encounter more non-black men yet it somehow doesn’t dislodge our preferences.  So I’m open-minded about these things but you wouldn’t hear me say that it’s b/c I think black men are less attractive then other men.  Black men who don’t date black women wrap it up in a lot of misogyny directed only at black women. I don’t need to justify my choices in life by putting down black men, b/c they are no more of a monolith than we are and there are good men of every race.  So it just becomes stupid and lazy when any person of any race wants to say “white men do this” or “black men are that.” 

    You know, the first lady of this country is a black lady, and there have been other high profile, well-educated black women that everyone has seen so if you are still so married to nasty stereotypes in 2012, I don’t want to meet you, and I don’t care if you think my profile stands out.  Are people so stupid that they assume there are only 5 black professional women in America?  And everyone else is on drugs and is poor?  

    Like I said, they could not be so lazy and obviously racist as to think that you don’t want a black woman to dare contact you b/c they are so low-class, ugly,  and uneducated or whatever.  All you have to do is read the profile.  I don’t really care.  It’s easier for us when so many people let you know what they are up front.  I don’t have to waste my time responding to any of them. 

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