Is Race Just A “State Of Mind” In Online Dating?

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During the 2008 US Census, most Americans said they approved of racial or ethnic intermarriage. At least six of every 10 people checked “it would be fine.” But data gathered from online dating sites illustrates a different story between what people believe and how they behave.

“According to a new UC Berkeley study of one million online daters, cyberspace is just as segregated as the real world. When it comes to dating online, whites prefer whites, research reveals. More than 80 percent of whites — even the 48 percent of males and 28 percent of females who said they were indifferent to race — sent messages to whites and just three percent contacted blacks.”

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Comments:

  1. 21
    Sayanta

    SS-

    hey- I’m sorry to hear that- I wouldn’t be surprised if you had a less than stellar opinion on Indian men because of that! Well, it’s hard to really pass any kind of judgment without knowing you, the kind of men who asked you out, or being in the circumstances that you described. It sounds like you’ve sized up the situation pretty accurately, though.

    I think we women of color def have a tougher battle to face in the dating world. Face it- men want white women (regardless of whether they’re white themselves) to take home to their families. The rest of us tend to be a ‘curiosity.’ So, it’s harder not to get jaded or stick with the dating scene enough to meet someone.

    But I digress- you sound pretty intelligent, SS, so I would say just next time anything like this happens, look carefully at the man’s eyes. Everything he really wants is right there- I can tell whether a man wants to satisfy a fetish or really want to get to know me just by prolonged eye contact. Is the gaze intent, honest, warm? Or sleazy, or veiled. If reddened by alcohol use, forget it!   A lot of time, it’s hard not to get carried away by a man’s smile, body language, or words- but if you ignore that (easier said than done) and really just focus on his eyes, you’ll have all the info you need to make an educated decision. May sound weird, but, it’s worked for me.

    Even in online pics, I think this is a useful method. You don’t even know how many crazy-eyed men are on Match.

  2. 22
    A-L

    Enjoying the posts here.   Like SS‘s #6, the everything but black posters drove me crazy (including when they wrote to me, as I’m half black).   Never called them on it though.  

    As far as Karl‘s #15, a couple of things.   First of all, saying that you’re only willing to date 1% of the population is probably construed as rather narrow-minded.   But in Karl’s case, most of his numbers are probably in the single digits in terms of how many women he’d be interested in dating.   (I may be wrong, though, so please correct me if that’s the case Karl.)

    But as far as the culture/race thing, I have to disagree.   I can tell from reading most profiles online whether someone is likely to be culturally similar enough to me for there to be a match.   (Usually it has to do with the ability to string coherent sentences together that are about more than clubbing,  drinking, etc, and nothing is said about “hitting it.”)   The speech patterns that you use to tell in real-life whether someone is a likely match is also what you get when reading a profile.  

    SS & Sayanta: I think you’re both right that as guys get serious about finding someone to marry that’s when they start to stick to their own races, whereas before they may have been willing to play around with someone while they were playing the field.

    And lastly, I had stopped reading after the soy sauce on tamales thing, thinking that what was below was an ad.   But I was looking back at the article and found these statistics from the Pew Research Center.  

    14.6% of new marriages are interracial

    Of those interracial marriages:
    11% are between blacks & whites
    41% are between Hispanics & whites
    14% are between Asians & whites

    But hey, at least my marriage will count toward the increasing numbers of intteracial relationships!

    1. 22.1
      Jebediah

      I think those statistics are pretty spot on.   I can’t tell you how many profiles I’ve viewed online of women that state that they’d prefer to date either a white man or latino/Hispanic, Middle Eastern and even Asian on rare occasions but black/African American is clearly left out.   I do believe that a lot of it has to do with cultural expectations.   I’ve been told on various occasions that I was pretty handsome black guy and had a great body but they just don’t date black men.   I do feel sorry for black women when it comes to online dating.   At least women of all races are starting to get more accepting of black men but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of movement in that direction for black women.

  3. 23
    Sayanta

    A-L-

    Great to have your input. Hope you’re enjoying married life. 🙂

    It’s funny about the whole race on Match thing- I think a couple of people mentioned it before- but the whole sticking to your own race thing seems to be something that happens specifically more on dating sites. EG, when I go out (and there happen to be single, young men in my activity, which is rare LOL), men of all races ask me out or show interest. The SAME thing happens on certain professionals websites that I’m on (eg, a guy will send me an e-mail after there’s been a random group chat on some kind of a forum).

    Yet, dating sites are a different story. Of course, it could just be my profile, but again, that doesn’t explain why only men of my race are writing me (if my profile was that bad, I wouldn’t be getting any responses at all :-))

  4. 24
    SS

    Thanks for the tips Sayanta.   🙂   I don’t think I did anything wrong at the time, but I realized that I needed to just stick to my general rule of not giving out my number to men at clubs (regardless of race)… even if they seemed perfectly nice and normal at the club, the “perception” of being a “club girl” made them act a particular way toward me.
      
    (And I know that someone will probably chime in that they met their boyfriend/fiance/husband at a club, but I’m not talking about exceptions here!   :))
      
    Luckily, I am married now (and yes, interracially — which is why this topic is very interesting to me), so I don’t have to worry about what might have been in those particular Indian guys’ heads at the time. Your post just made me think about the fact that I got a LOT of initial interest from Indian men when I was dating (probably second to black men) and how it seemed unusual to me seeing that I rarely saw many black female-Indian male relationships… when you mentioned that you suddenly started getting interest from Indian men online, it made me wonder if this was an example of those guys getting serious and returning to Indian women for marriage, while they “played around” in their younger days with white or black women.
      
    I am glad I stuck with it (being open to dating interracially). For all of those who let you know that you are NOT their preference, you can eventually find the gem (of whatever race) who thinks you’re the most beautiful thing in the world!
      
    @A-L: Yes, I do have to wonder about “cultural values,” and how people are making that distinction. I don’t know about Karl’s specific situation (Karl, did you say you were atheist? I can’t remember), but if Karl is atheist, I can see how there would be a problem with many black and Hispanic women because most women in those groups are religious, and often very much so.
      
    If religion isn’t the issue, then I would have to wonder more what supposed cultural clashes are going to take place. This reminds me of when my husband told his father that he was dating a black woman, and his father said that he supported whatever relationship he was in, but that he should be aware of “cultural differences” that might occur in the relationship.
      
    Now let me say that my father-in-law has been nothing but accepting of me and very sweet. He’s just old and rural.
      
    With that out of the way, my question was, what makes him assume that there are “cultural issues” that could be a problem? He didn’t even know me… just knew that I was black and born and raised in a large city. Otherwise, like my husband, we come from two parent homes, grew up in the Midwest, have undergraduate and graduate degrees, love to travel and did so in college, like reading, love history, are both rather patriotic and like sports.
      
    Where’s the cultural clash there? We sound pretty similar! Or is the real deal that the assumption about black men and women (before one meets said people) is that they all possess a sort of lower-class “ghetto culture” and THAT’S where the clash comes in?
      
    If my husband had told his father that he was dating an Asian woman, say, second-generation, would the issue of “cultural issues” come up? Probably not… in fact, I hear white men talking about trying to learn Mandarin (for example) to impress the girl’s parents! Suddenly, “cultural issues” aren’t that important, because most Asians are seen as possessing positive cultural values, while blacks (and Hispanics to some extent) are not.
      
    I don’t think anyone can know if there is going to be a clash of cultural values or not simply by looking at a picture and seeing the person’s race. Now if there are statements made in the profile that indicate a cultural clash and you happen to notice this with the majority of black, white, Asian, Hispanic profiles you read, that’s one thing… but if a woman or man of a certain race is simply eating lunch in a restaurant and you know nothing about them, the assumption that there aren’t shared cultural values is very premature.
      

  5. 25
    A-L

    RE: SS‘s #24

    I think Karl was talking about people who were either immigrants or are 1st generation Americans but have maintained culturally isolationistic.   I think immigration issues do bring in a lot of cultural issues, perhaps even moreso for women who date immigrants than for men who date immigrants.   (In many other cultures of the world the women are treated as second class citizens, so a male immigrant from those countries also holds to those same beliefs which can cause serious issues in romantic relationships in the U.S.)

    But as far as the cultural clash goes with black people go, I think a lot of it is the perceived “ghetto” culture fear going on.   Unfortunately, in many parts of the U.S.  the nonghetto black culture is not very visible, and to some people The Cosby  Show was  make believe and they don’t think that people like that actually exist.

    But that’s why I would always read someone’s profile, because as you said, a picture won’t tell you that cultural stuff.

  6. 26
    lost

    good question. actually i have been considering to ask Evan relationship problems related to race.
    i am an Asian woman and also the first generation immigration. i had never thought of dating a white guy until i was so attracted to a white guy. Sadly found that he is only interested to have sextual relationship. I want more than that. that is why i am here. i want to know more about white man.:)
    even so i cannot imagine i can live under one roof with a white guy long term. too   different culture and customs.
    some white guys are attracted to asian women for sex only. i even started to wonder whehter subconsciously they still consider asian second class or inferior. i feel i also got language problems.
    whatever, maybe easier to go back to the man with the same race.
      

  7. 27
    Sayanta

    Lost-

    Just a thought- maybe you should question yourself on why a white man is so important to you. Why not someone Latino, or African, for example?

    BTW- I really like what you ladies have mentioned about race and culture being intertwined. I had to rethink what I said about men’s automatic dismissal regarding race.

    There are women who (and I don’t mean this as a derogatory way to Caucasians) but for lack of a better term, have ‘whitened.’ Nikki Haley comes to mind. For those of you who don’t know, she’s the new, and first Indian-American, governor of S. Carolina.

    She’s absolutely beautiful. But, she could ‘pass’ as white, as you can see. Her name has no Indian flavor left (she’s shortened it), and from what I understand and have read about her, she’s pretty much kissed Indian culture g’bye.

    Her husband is a white dude, probably as vanilla as you can get. I don’t see women like her ever having a problem finding men of any race (who prefer white women) to date.

    But once a little ethnic ‘flava’ such as culture, etc. starts coming in, then you’ve got a problem.

    That said, I realize there’s a major flaw in my theory- plenty of American males are more than willing to date and marry women from East Asian countries, where obviously, the whole culture clash takes place. Again, that could be because, in that particular case, any possible stereotype overtakes (and wins) other considerations.

  8. 28
    Karl R

    SS said: (#24)
    “if Karl is atheist, I can see how there would be a problem with many black and Hispanic women because most women in those groups are religious, and often very much so.”

    I’m a theologically liberal Christian (simple explanation: I view much of the bible as meaningful allegory, not literal fact).

    So if a woman’s profile says, “Jesus is the most important thing in my life,” or “I’m looking for a God-fearing man,” or anything similar, we’ll probably have a big schism involving religious views.

    SS said: (#24)
    “Now if there are statements made in the profile that indicate a cultural clash and you happen to notice this with the majority of black, white, Asian, Hispanic profiles you read, that’s one thing…”

    I always read people’s profiles. I wouldn’t make guesses about a person’s culture just based upon race.

    For another example, a lot of black women say they are looking for an ambitious man and/or describe themselves as being ambitious. That’s not who I am. I am happy with where I am in life, and I’m more interested in enjoying my life than in  trying to gain more status or income. I’d rather pour my spare  time and energy into hobbies that I’m passionate about, rather than into my career.

    I’d rather not be married to someone who feels I should be more ambitious. I feel that I’ve been sufficiently successful with my more laid-back approach to life.

    Those statements pop up quite frequently in the profiles of intelligent, educated black women. I don’t see that as being a bad thing, but it’s not who I am.

    I do not come from a close-knit family. A lot of Hispanics (and other cultures which were previously mentioned) believe in very strong familial ties. If you’re close to your family, that’s fine. If you expect me to be the same way, we’re going to have some problems.

    Pictures can sometimes be informative. To a certain extent, we choose how we appear, and those choices can be informative. But those clues  are at least as likely to apply to  personality traits  as cultural values.

    Sayanta said: (#21)
    “Face it- men want white women”

    We’re all shaped by our experiences. I know a lot of styles of dance, including salsa. One time (after several months of Salsa classes) I went to a popular club where there’s a lot of salsa dancing. I noticed that the Hispanic men danced with whomever they wanted (regardless of race). The Hispanic women treated the non-Hispanic men as persona non grata.

    It was particularly noticeable when I asked women whom I knew from the studio for a   dance. They already knew me. They knew that I was a better-than-average dancer. They knew that I was interested in a dance, not a date. And they were happy to dance with me at the studio. But they were suddenly uncomfortable when we were outside our normal environment.

    My best guess was that they were worried about experiencing some form of social censure from within their own community if they were socializing with non-Hispanic men … even though the men experienced no such censure when they chased non-Hispanic women.

    From my Indian coworkers I have gathered that there is some pressure from their families to marry within their culture (since India is multicultural, that sometimes rules out many other Indians as well). When I was dating an Indian woman, I was concerned with what her family’s reaction would be … until I found out that she was 1/2 Indian and 1/2 Filipino (her appearance and name were Indian, so I’d assumed she was Indian). Obviously her family had no issues with this.

    And everyone is aware that some non-whites marry whites as a form of social climbing. If that’s a woman’s goal, then I’m not interested in her.

    Whether someone is avoiding me because I’m white, or whether they’re seeking me out because I’m white, it makes dating harder.

    1. 28.1
      LynD07

      Karl R. – You seem to say some things that are conflicting in your responses. First it seemed like you were saying that you reject 99% of black and hispanic women as potential partners right away because you assume you don’t have enough in common. Then you said you read everyone’s profile before making a decision. Which is it? Because I find that the majority of White Americans I encounter have decided my background based on the fact that I’m black but in this day and age and especially in the US you can’t assume anything about anyone’s culture. So a man would HAVE to read my profile to know anything about me.
      Also if you quickly exclude black and hispanic women on dating sites how do you know how many black women say they want an ambitious man vs how many white women say it online? Because saying they want an “ambitious” man (not sure what exactly that word means to you) appears to be a common request for a lot of women regardless of race. Are you now saying you read every profile on every woman you saw that was attractive? And really only noticed that for most black women?
      On the same note the comment that some non-whites marry whites as a form of social climbing is something that really bothers me and I’ve heard a lot from white people that mostly did not grow up in diverse areas. The background of most of these white men leads me to believe this is something that is spread in predominately white areas. Are their ethnic people like this-absolutely! But there are women of every culture that date in order to improve their social status. I have only dated white men (mostly European) and it is not for social climbing. First of all for that I would have to presuppose that white people are automatically higher up than I am. As a black woman from an affluent black family I would never think that and find it offensive. Also as a minority I have found the opposite to be true – most minorities I know who believe white people are above them stay far away from interracial dating!
      I’m curious to know what makes you think a non-white would be any more likely to date you as a form of social climbing any more than a white woman would. Also are you presupposing that dating a white guy automatically is a form of social climbing? Just because a guy is white does that mean he somehow helps my social standing?
      People need to understand some things ARE cultural differences and some things are ignorant stereotypes. They both exist but generally unless you grew up in an area highly populated by a culture that was different from your own,   you’re not going to know which is which!
        

  9. 29
    SS

    Thanks for your answers Karl.
      
    What I find interesting about your experiences is the fact that many of the black women I know in real life (or even online) don’t often end up with that ambitious guy that they’re seeking… in fact, it seems that the average professional black woman is often encouraged to not aim so high and give the nice janitor/bus driver/sanitation worker a chance.
      
    And many do… only to find themselves often being resented by those same men… so they either just deal with it or end up saying that they will simply stick with men of the same professional/educational background to avoid that clash. So it’s interesting to see that those women you encountered frequently used the term “ambitious” in their online profiles — my hunch is that they might not be necessarily all that focused on finding a man of status and with success (although some probably are), but it’s a counterreaction to the types of men they’re probably meeting in real life. They really want to weed out the loser guys who aren’t doing anything with their career and have little to no education, so mentioning the word “ambitious” is probably their way of saying they want someone who has a decent work ethic.
      
    I do agree with you 100% on the religion thing though. Like you, I consider myself as a liberal Christian, and it has frequently been a struggle for me to have conversations with other black women in general because a evangelical religious slant somehow ALWAYS ends up entering the conversation. I could be talking about how my husband and I want to buy a home and how we’re wondering about interest rates and if we should wait until we sell my old house, etc., and inevitably, a black female friend will say that we should do our research and “take it to God in prayer” and we might just get the house we want.
      
    While that’s a nice sentiment, it would also be nice to have a talk about SOMETHING without the recommendation of “prayer” and “Jesus” entering the conversation, you know?
      
    Regarding the Hispanic women that would not dance with you… I agree that censure from Hispanic men probably was the issue. Many black women experience the same problem. And the hypocrisy, of course, is that men from those groups do date whatever race of woman they want, but don’t like it when the women in their group do the same thing.
      

  10. 30
    Sherell

    I  leave my preferences open to all races and see who responds.   As a black woman I get 65% black and 35% white.   There have been a few white men responding that have excluded blacks from their preference.   When I mention very nicely that it appears I am not what they looking for, many go and change their preference.   Lol!     I think when they read my profile and see  my pictures they are interested.   There is some hesitation but many guys from large diverse urban areas have enough experience and exposure to realize not to believe  stereotypes.     I could only date someone, whatever race that has a diverse experience. I am so global Lol!!       I respect people who have a certain physical attraction.   I struggle with pale skin.   Lol!!!   A tan helps

  11. 31
    Sarah

    I want to respond to what Sayanta #4 said, about being put off by a profile that lists certain racial preferences.   I completely understand and agree when it comes to a great many characteristics: age, weight, etc.
      
    When I see a man’s profile that says he’s looking for someone who is slim or athletic, and won’t consider someone who is average or even “a few extra pounds” (which could seriously be only five pounds — barely noticeable!), I find that very off-putting.   Even if I’m thin enough for him, the fact that he cares that much rubs me the wrong way… and ESPECIALLY if he’s not thin or athletic himself.
      
    Same thing with age.   I’m still relatively young (early 30s) and a lot of guys in their 40s or 50s take an interest in me.   I wouldn’t rule out a guy in his early-to-mid forties, but if I see that he requires someone much younger, that’s a major turn off… even if I would otherwise be attracted to him and I’m young enough for him.   If someone his age isn’t good enough for him, why should someone his age be good enough for me?   But I’m sure my online-dating “sisters” can back me up when I tell you there are GAZILLIONS of men’s profiles proclaiming an interest in younger women… only!
      
    Do they not realize that it can be really unattractive when you state a preference based on external factors that nobody can control, such as race or age?   That they might repulse someone who MEETS their criteria who would otherwise be interested?   As I said earlier, I prefer light skin, but I definitely wouldn’t rule out a darker guy.   If I said so in my profile I might miss the opportunity to meet a wonderful man who happens to have dark skin… it’s not my preference, but it’s not that big a deal.
      
    Okay, I’ll step down off the soapbox now.   I think Evan could write a great post on how the preferences we list that we want other people to have can come back to bite us!   (Not that I would ever want someone to lie in their profile… that’s a whole ‘nother rant!)

    1. 31.1
      Cat

      Sarah, #31 wrote: “Do they not realize that it can be really unattractive when you state a preference based on external factors that nobody can control, such as race or age? That they might repulse someone who MEETS their criteria who would otherwise be interested?”

      Excellent points, Sarah! I’d had older men (5-15 years older) contact me online whose profiles claim they only want women at least five years younger than me who “definitely” want at least two kids. I think a lot of times these much older men (who have managed to remain childless into their 40’s and 50’s) still want the “option” to have kids by dating much younger women or at least to think of themselves as being young enough to exercise that option. However, they miss out on the opportunity of dating me! 🙂

    2. 31.2
      Erlan

      Sarah, please stop this, you don’t have to be made to feel guilty about not being attracted to non white men. At the end of the day they just don’t get you wet. No matter how great a non white guy might be you  can’t overcome basic human desire.

      I am a black man and it would be like someone telling me to give gay men a chance because “there are just so many great people out there, why limit yourself”. One big problem. I am not attracted in any way to men. And from what I read in your previous post that is the same way you feel about non white men.

      I have no problem at all with women who don’t find me attractive because of my race. Different strokes for different folks. Just be brutally honest about what you like and don’t waste peoples time. Make sure your profile states what you want and stop worrying about if someone thinks your racist. No-one thinks a black woman who puts down that she prefers black men to be racist. Why is that leveled against non black women?

      And for the black woman out there, stop chasing after men that don’t want you. Seriously, it’s pathetic. When people see that, you all come across as desperate. Have some pride. I would rather be alone for the rest of my life than to beg a race of people to accept me. If someone isn’t attracted to you because of your  race regardless of what an  awesome person you are  then keep it moving. Be the best version of yourself you can be, when the right man comes around he will approach you like a man and ask you out.

      These men are out there, they may not be in your area since most of you educated upwardly mobile Black women tend to live in homogenous white parts of the town you will not get the kind of man you are looking for. You will need to search far and wide to find him. He may not even be in the same country but they are out there.

      Which brings another point that is gonna sound racist as well but for us professional black people we tend to far apart from  one another and we end up being disconnected to what a true experience is like to live with our own. Ask me how I know.

      And Sarah, don’t date black men or any other men of color, You would be wasting your time and their time. It also disengenuous. This goes for the other   women out there who feel the same.

      I believe in brutal  honesty. Honesty is pure and painful but it is also good and to a degree, it is also fair. Honesty also uncovers who you really are and it can be embarrassing and scary. But don’t fret, at the end of the day you are a human being. You are not perfect.

      For myself, I am open to any woman who has the character I’m looking for.  I can say that  I love women and see beauty in all people. But thats just me, and I am well aware most people are not like me. I don’t consider myself better than anyone or look down on anyone who has a preference because I know attraction is a real thing and people just have certain things they are attracted to. Height, weight, hair, eyes, teeth even someones voice can be an issue.

      In summary, be honest about your self and what you want. State it clearly so that you get the kinds of men you would want to spend time with. There is nothing wrong with liking what you like, you are just again being human.

       

  12. 32
    Dojhariah

    As a white woman, I have to agree with the poster who said that beauty standards have changed and tend to favor those who look like the median.   I think it is not as easy to be online and be a darker-skinned black woman or a pasty pale white woman like me.   At this point in my life, I feel like Karl R. that I have a pretty good sense of who will be attracted to me and who won’t.   I have lived in diverse areas and have been teased about being pale.   Honestly, i want to come home to someone who doesn’t just put up with how I look, but actually loves the way I look.   Therefore, because “medium” skin seems to be preferred in my culture, I won’t bother spending too much time on a good looking guy (regardless of race) who looks like he would have broad appeal, i.e. “medium” skin tone and features.   On the other hand, I might be more likely to contact a red-haired guy because I think I’d have a greater chance with him.

    Incidentally, skin coloring is not high on my list of physical qualities I consider important, but I actually *prefer* both extremes of skin color — generally light and generally dark.   Go figure.   Ultimately, none of us can really help what we’re attracted to, so I try to be forgiving in that regard.   If people state specific qualities they are looking for (hair color, height, ethnicity), I am actually a little more thankful because they’ve saved me some time.   However…. if the *only* racial category they haven’t checked is black (and, yes, I’ve seen this, too), then I am suspicious and have never dated anyone in that category.

  13. 33
    Jadafisk

    As for openly  restricting options due to external factors beyond their control and the effect on their own image… as a person who does this, I can say that people who do this  largely don’t care.  If someone has an age cutoff… say, they  want a man in  his twenties or thirties, and they say as much. Would  this repel some young  men who are  repulsed  by  his/her  categorical disinterest in middle-aged men? Yes. But it’s more important that  the person  repels middle-aged men, if his/her  inbox would get flooded with their unwanted  messages without the  cutoff.  Furthermore, people are infinitely more understanding if a person  has decided to  restrict their interest to  someone like themselves than if they seem to hold a double standard of some sort.

    The Internet is where people who are less alike get opportunities to proposition one another that they otherwise wouldn’t  have or take  due to power differentials, social censure, bashfulness, residential patterns,  social  circles,  etc. This means that relationships between dissimilar partners have an opportunity to blossom for those that are interested in  them, but it also means that people who want to engage in assortative mating are sometimes put in a position where they’re bombarded with interest from people  who seem to them like preposterously bad matches.  Low response rates due to  widespread  percieved incompatibility with a target  group  often  perpetuate a low-investment, high-volume messaging strategy that exacerbates this effect (and is *annoying*), so for many, putting a clearer picture of their desired mate out there for all  to  see helps them cut through the clutter. There are good and bad ways to convey one’s preferences, of course. Also, as a person who’s  regularly on the negative end of racial preferences,  I want to know. I don’t want to be “given a shot” by someone who’s  not usually  interested in people  who look like me, and I don’t want to waste time messaging people who don’t answer,  analyzing my message  content, rearranging my profile and  getting neurotic  about my  attractiveness level  if it’s not me, it’s them.

    Also, are short/medium height  girls who want tall guys and say so considered unfair for seeking a dissimilar partner or repulsive for dismissing people based on an immutable quality?

  14. 34
    Sherell

    @ Sarah.   The thing about body size IMO is that people have different perceptions about what is “average” and what is “a few extra pounds.   I have had guys contact me to say that they were average and clearly they were obese.   I have had some of my male friends confirm the same.       My oreferences include both average and a fe w extra pounds.   I considered removing those two but left them there for those guys that really fit the bill IMO.  

  15. 35
    Goldie

    @ Sarah & Sherell ## 31, 35. I agree with Sherell, the reason people place their cutoff at “average” and “a few extra pounds” is that these terms are often being used as a euphemism for “seriously overweight”. Personally, I’m going to leave my search open to all body types except obese and see what happens. If someone misrepresents his body type, I’ll find that out when we meet in person, no big loss on my end. I have nothing against big guys – I’ve gone out with one – it’s just the, ahem, physical limitations that I have, plus the relatively active lifestyle that I prefer to lead.
      
    On the general subject of this thread, I am as white as they come, but I’m not from this country originally and I’m in the Midwest – you’re not going to believe the number of people here that see me as culturally different. And of course, you don’t know if a guy sees you as “not one of us”, or as a curiosity, until the two of you have had your first argument. It’s just a chance I have to take.

  16. 36
    Sayanta

    Really quick- Sarah, I feel your pain with the 40-50 dudes who e-mail us. (I’m assuming you’re annoyed by this though- correct me if I’m wrong). I’m sure there have been threads about this before but, I’ve got to say it. Are these men DELUSIONAL? Seriously? Your average everyday 54 year old man thinks an attractive 20-30 woman is going to be interested in him? Again…seriously?

    I think the internet in general breeds weird ‘mating’ (using the term very loosely) behavior. I’ve had the above happen- I’ve also e-mailed eligible (to me, of course) men who don’t respond, but then look at my profile every single day.

      And going back to the race thing, I highly doubt any man would ever say “I don’t date black women” in public- yet by writing that on Match, he’s essentially saying the same thing. I just thought of something else- it may sound like a convoluted, but if that same man happened to be on Match, and so did his boss, who happens to be a black female, and she comes across his profile on Match, and is rightfully offended by what she sees…he might have cost himself a promotion. 😉 You’ve just got to be careful with these things, and I think people forget that.

    For me, the Internet tends to be kind of crazymaking when it comes to dating- but right now, at 32, when most of the people I meet in NYC doing my fave activities are girls, and men at work or otherwise are all taken, I’ll have to grin and bear it, I guess…

  17. 37
    Jennifer

    Such an interesting conversation!

    I can really relate to SS#29 regarding what ‘ambition’ often means to a black woman as well as the  religious angle.

    I’m a black woman that would also fall into the ‘liberal Christian’ category and was recently talking to a friend about how I have not had one conversation with another black woman at work where God wasn’t mentioned. These were not all woman that I knew well and the conversation had nothing to do with religion.  I know religious white women as well, but there are not as many casual mentions of God in conversation with them. I’ve grown pretty accustomed to it and I don’t really have a problem with it, but I can see how that manner of speaking could be offputting  to.

    Regarding ambition, I’ve also  observed that anytime the subject of dating comes up, often  one of the first things a black woman is told to do is to ‘stop being so picky’ regarding a man’s career. Not only is the black woman lawyer told to give the sanitation man a shot, she is often told that she is wrong or ‘uppity’ for not immediately  considering him in the first place. I know that white and other single women are also told not to be so picky, but it’s often about things like height or maybe age; it’s not common for me to  hear them be admonished for thinking they are ‘too good’ to date men with certain jobs. So i agree with SS’s assessment of what ‘ambition’ likely means when in a black woman’s online profile.

    AL#22 also strikes a chord with me: I know some black people that *hate* the cosby show because they feel it was fake and ‘no black people really lived like that’ and they were annoyed that when they were growing up they didn’t have a t.v. show that was more ‘hood’ that  they could relate to.

    And in line with the point Sayanta was making, the only thing that really raised my eyebrows when i was dating online is if a black man listed being open to dating every race except black. Just seemed like he was going out of his way to make a point.

  18. 38
    Sarah

    Sherell and Goldie, you’re right — lots of people fudge their weight and other factors considerably.   Me, I’m blatantly honest, because I want someone to be attracted to me as I am and not be disappointed when he meets me in person, and not have a very valid reason to distrust me if he finds I’m not what I claimed to be.   I remember one guy who chose “a few extra pounds” instead of “full figured” when he was actually spherical (I’m not even exaggerating… well not much 😉 ).
      
    I was reading in another thread about how a lot of men add 2-3 inches to their height so they’ll come up in more women’s searches… and the women react by adding 2-3 inches to their minimum preferred height.   So next I guess the men will add 4-5 inches, and the women will respond in kind, until all the men are eleven feet tall and all the women are looking for someone at least 12 feet tall.   Ugh!   It’s such a shame it has come to that.

  19. 39
    Daphne

    Interesting that it’s always white men going after Asian women, and hardly ever the other way around.
    Re the last post- always funny to meet a guy who claims he’s three inches taller than me, but we are looking eye to eye IRL.
      

  20. 40
    Sayanta

    Daphne-

    no way- I’ve known plenty of Asian women who’ve chased after white dudes like they’re human gods. It def goes both ways.

    PS- I guess I’ve been lucky with the height thing- so far, every guy has been truthful about that

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