Online dating, racial preference and prejudice

Posted by Ria, 27 Jan 09

Ever called someone and all you got was “you aren’t what I was expecting?” Sometimes it feels like online daters tend to resort to stereotypes and blatant racism when referring to other races in an attempt to choose their mates. Some are subtle (like merely stating racial preference of sought mate) while others are more obvious in their description. Case in point:

“I am looking for a woman who is slim, drama-free, intelligent, and who has no children. No black or Latin women please.” Much as the sentences are not connected, you end up connecting the dots. I must admit some rejection lines people use are pretty racist and offensive to say the least.

OR

Your perfect partner could be online right now...

What are you looking for?

I’m looking for a nice all American woman…Tell me about yourself and what you do, etc. I’m not picky about age, older is fine with me. White Irish or Italian is my preference, not into Latin women. . .” All American? What is that supposed to mean? Does this person imply White Irish and Italian women are all American and Latin women aren’t?

In another incident, XM Shade 45 radio show hosts were discussing about online dating. They were talking about how a dude might get a possible match online; but once they make a call and the woman hears the voice on the phone and discerns he is black, she becomes disinterested. The hosts had to use “white” voices when taking to the women on a particular online dating site. Does this mean one isn’t supposed to declare he is a single black man on online dating sites?

I believe some of it is just preference. PERIOD. But somehow, according to some people’s posts, racial preference seems to be interpreted as racial prejudice. We tend to read too much into people’s preferences. Here is an example:

“It seems that every non-Asian woman have preferences for pretty much everyone except Asian. Even Asian women in New York city have started to steer their preference more towards non-Asian males…I’d like to know why the majority of New York women are so close-minded toward us. You guys claim you aren’t racist or anything but why have such a preference? I figured since NYC was so diverse, it would be different but I guess I was wrong. I can understand if women like a guy who is tall/short, or strong/fat but based on race is kinda weird.”

Seeing as people see online dating sites as the last resort when it comes to dating, some people or races claim they find it difficult to date online too. One African American woman says online dating is only a reminder of her problems (just how difficult being a minority can make dating), because of the rejection she has faced. I found what she wrote after that interesting though: “Let me say first that I’ve actually always been attracted to white men as well as men of my own race and other races.” My interpretation is she prefers white men then the rest follow. She also has some kind of racial preference.

When it comes to dating, whether online or offline, people will always have preference. All online dating sites have done is give people that option of selecting preferred race so that they can be able to match like-minded individuals. I don’t think their aim is to make people come off as racist by merely stating the racial preference of sought mates. However, some people actually go the extra mile of bashing other races overtly of covertly in their quest of finding their soul mates.

We all have preferences. Should we claim other online daters are racist just because they prefer other races? Should we blame online dating when we face rejection from others for being ‘what they weren’t expecting?’ So where is one supposed to draw the line? How do we divorce mere preference from prejudice? Or are they just the same?

47 responses to "Online dating, racial preference and prejudice"

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  1.   dhenley219 says:
    Posted: 14 Oct 10

    In south Florida which includes Miami through Palm beach I find more Spanish women are more prejudice then white women. Spanish women only want to date white or Spanish. Is it because Latin women wish they where white? The white women would choose white or non preference or will include black. You can find it your self on the other dating big website.

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  2.   asmodrin says:
    Posted: 07 Jun 10

    Preferences come from the media and from the culture (past and present). There are some elements of the culture (especially in the past) that IS racist. So adopting a preference, while not racist, is a reflection of that racism that once was and still is in small degree still. That's what is so offensive about holding the preference. Anyways, we should all be working on looking for something more attractive than skin color. An argument I draw in is this: 1. Everyone looks down on prostitution. 2. Gold-diggers basically marry for money, so they are like prostitutes. 3. The money has nothing to do with the personality essentially. 4. Additionally, race has nothing to do with the personality. So to value or prefer one race over another is like a gold-digger is like a prostitute. We are human, it just doesn't matter. Love is deeper than skin color. But if your date choices are based on race at times, you can't criticize a working girl, lol, because in the end you are just satisfying a superficial desire.

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  3.   Member says:
    Posted: 19 May 10

    SEXUAL Attraction is NOT a choice, and Multi-Cultural Diversity cant' forced by any group upon another. We still have freedom of association for our intimate, personal choices. Why is everyone so obsessed with race in dating and selecting lifelong mates. I am a white women and date whom I'm physically, emotionally, and sexually attracted based on physiological hard wiring. That is white men similar to my background. I choose those most a like, culturally, backgrounds, religion, same language,upbringing, education, socio-economic, world view rather than an opposite. Mate selection and desire is so biologically, anthropolically driven, it won't change. Why are the interracial advocates so intolerant and angry that white races tend to mate with their own tribe or race. It's a preference, NOT a choice like picking a red or green outfit to wear, depending on mood of the day. We have the right to want to preserve our heritage , culture and traditions. People are free to date who turns them on no matter who doesn't like it. Seems like the intolerant agitators wish to impose their views and interfere with what is natural selection for a mate. This is getting insane. Social engineering is a dismal failure. You can't force someone to be attracted to you if they are not, don't be delusional. People have the right to state preferences in dating whether you like it or not. You can't change the world because it offends some people.

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  4.   Member says:
    Posted: 17 Feb 10

    I'm an Asian girl and I live in America, and I think Asians are behind Latinos. in Hollywood films make us as bad and never do the main characters.

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  5.   Dez says:
    Posted: 28 Sep 09

    "Racial Prefence" is a scap-goat term from what this term really is which is racism and only used to help ease perhaps a guilty conscience. After reading these entries I've noticed a lot of opinions of "I'm mmostly into asian guys and that's just the way it is" almost as if thogh throwing ones hands in the air disrespectfully saying "So what if what I've said is huurtful and racist.It's the way I think and lots of other people think the same way; therefore, this way of thinking okay" When someone has a "racial-prefernce" really what they're saying is "I choose to find white guys attractive" or "I choose to find asian guys attractive" or "I choose to find black guys attractive" or whatever the case may be. Then would it not be the same then to say "I coose to find black men unattractive" or "I chooseto find white men unattractive" and so on and so forth as being the same thing? I would love for there to be a study to determine just how much "racial-preference" is 99.9% learned conditioning either from home and or the media as apposed to nurture.

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  6.   Amen! says:
    Posted: 05 Sep 09

    Love your username "sad". My sentiments EXACTLY. I'd say 99.9 percent of them are ridiculous. They read like freaking fake testimonies of some crap product. Superb question that you asked. I'd also like to ask why it is assumed that just because something is a preference, it's automatically a good thing? Can a "preference" not be bad? Way too many people nowadays are "coming out", displaying an inordinate amount of comfort/celebration in regards to their shallowness. Yes, the physical will play a role in dating choices, but a lot of people are allowing that potential within us all to be superficial, get out of hand. Then pretend they have no choice in the matter. They want to believe and have others believe that it just is what it is, that they can't help it. But that's complete hogshit. Most people are probably ignorant of just how much they CAN be attracted to. So while some people may oppose being called "racist" or "prejudiced", I don't think being IGNORANT is much better.

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  7.   Sad says:
    Posted: 15 Aug 09

    Some of the comments make me laugh. To those who only date a man of a certain color I only ask this. What if you were blind?

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  8.   TriChique says:
    Posted: 20 Mar 09

    I agree, you have the right to put what race you prefer. Sure we can get into the delivery, but with words typed, you cannot determine the tone or emotion behind them. When I go to a guy's profile, I check to see his 'ethnicity preference' if I do not all in there, i move on. no need wasting my time nor his time. I HAVE however run into a few issues myself, when I do not have black listed as a preference for dating. I had Black men write me quite angry - asking me what have black men ever done to me and so on and so forth. But if one ethnicity, religious preference is not yours then be honest, it beats the 'drama and hurt feelings' in the long run.

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  9.   Member says:
    Posted: 17 Mar 09

    It depends on the person interested on dating, they have the right to choose who they want to meet or what their preference are.

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  10.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 16 Mar 09

    Change comes from within each of us , No one person can change the World . Yet each who does will set an Example to show others - Who in their own Intelligence May follow with Magnificent Results , Preference to Enjoy a little less Prejudice in Our Lifetime . Only We can make a difference . The mind is a terrible thing to Waste . Variety is the Spice of Life . People who are not so Picky in their Choices will Suceed more often , Nothing ventured / Nothing gained .

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  11.   rybo says:
    Posted: 08 Mar 09

    It's not what is on the outside that matters in my book but what is on the inside. No matter what nationality you are from there are a diversity of looks, and what one desires in life. At any rate remember the flood? hey we all came from a central point so why all the fuss? Either someone is interested or not I just move on.

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  12.   Lynn64 says:
    Posted: 04 Mar 09

    You all make interesting points on this subject.

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  13. Posted: 24 Feb 09

    I do have a preference and it is white. I know what makes me happy and I am too old to live for the sake of other people's opinions. I would hope that people will afford me the same consideration that I afford men who prefer women who are smaller than I am. I am not offended but understanding.

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  14.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 14 Feb 09

    Amen , Truckdrivers tend to be a Better Class of people as to how they Respect others , Drove 27.5 years and never met any in the workforce that did not get anything but Total Respect from Me .

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  15.   Chaz23 says:
    Posted: 14 Feb 09

    Yes, I am shallow, but one of the reasons I like "Black" women is not jungle fever! I am 56, and the age group I prefer is close to me. As the saying goes, Black don't crack. My preferences include the non-prune look of going for a sun tan for decades and wondering why the skin has a look of well worn leather. No thank you for booty calls, I am a Blessed man and prefer committed marraige. My preferences also include being very close in religion, maturity when occasionally required, have self respect, honor and romantically inclined. Sigh. My first wife passed, my second was a terrible mistake. So my prefence includes somebody to be with for the rest of this life. I really like it when a profile has something that offends me a bit as it saves all kinds of drama and time. Next! Giggle. I am Chaz, driving a truck for now. Oh, I prefer no lipstick. Is that a bad thing, too?

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  16.   NOPLAYER says:
    Posted: 13 Feb 09

    rebita, I'm in whole hearted agreement with you! It's the motivation behind the preference! It's the driving force behind your preference? Now, we're onto something! Naturaly some are attracted to others that are different, and there's nothing wrong with that but when your preference is shaped by false perceptions, wounded pride, self hatred or any other negative reason, then you preference is a tainted. I don't want a woman attracted to me because of some perceived fault that she's found in the men from her ethnic group. I'm sorry, that's not a real attraction and to me it's an instant turn off. I've dated women from different ethnic gropus and NEVER / EVER, have I had to find fault with BLK WOMEN as a justification for my decision. It's ok to admit that you've been unsucessful in connecting with someone from your ethnic group, and as a result you're looking elsewhere, but you don't have to paint your men with an evil stroke because you haven't found what you're looking for. You have to be real with yourself because in due time, what's in you will come out and if you can't be real with yourself, who can you be real with ?

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  17.   only_otter says:
    Posted: 13 Feb 09

    I believe that your preference should be stated. Be true to yourself, after all, If I'm lookin to buy fish am I going to settle for a dog? Not me! I am true to myself. If red hair turns you off, why let someone with red hair waste BOTH of your time by contacting you. I appreciate when in a profile someone says no heavy women. I say to myself, Your loss and keep moving on cause someone is gonna say " Look at that woman with all those lips, hips and fingertips"

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  18.   rebita says:
    Posted: 12 Feb 09

    Personal preference is a personal right. That being said, what motivates a personal preference can sometimes hot mess, such as self hatred, racial supremecy or suborination beliefs or pure identification with a group of some kind, be it your own race or another. So for me it depends on the motivation behind the preference. Truth be told, if the motivation is one that I would find suspect to my one world, live-and-let-live sensabilities I would not want to be with that person anyway - just my preference.

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  19.   Cocosan says:
    Posted: 08 Feb 09

    Preference is an individual choice. We don't all drive the same type of car, live in the same type of house or buy the same type of laundry detergent. So... why do we have an issue about what another's preference when it comes to dating/relationships? I believe there are far more significant issues to consider other than this one. Whatever makes you happy - makes me happy for you!

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  20.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 08 Feb 09

    P.S. Greatest of Luck / Skill and perserverance , Time is all it takes Believe

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  21.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 08 Feb 09

    MSBook512 , try - People - for a change .All these Fine People .

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  22.   Javan2 says:
    Posted: 08 Feb 09

    Take all of this with a grain of salt. What does it really mean anyway? If a woman isn't interested in me, my family long ago taught me a word and it's : Byyyye !!

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  23.   MsBook512 says:
    Posted: 08 Feb 09

    I wish we didn't have to even say 'race'. I hate that word. We're all members of the human race-we're just different ethnicities. I just like having more options. If you ask me anyone who has a preference is someone who has a problem. It's hard enough meeting someone who's a descent human being, why throw up filters?

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  24.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 07 Feb 09

    P.S. Always park in the back of the lot as older folk need closer spots / Walk and stay healthy , drink plenty of water

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  25.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 06 Feb 09

    I met my wife online , I do not care where she came from , on her profile it said 72 years old / she sure nuff looked Marvelous to be that age . Come to find out she was decades younger than that . We came looking for Love and We found it . Even old people with pale skin color need companionship also . Pick the fresh fruit off the trees , allow it to fall to the ground it will rot soon enough . Read a Romance novel if you want True Love or Make it happen for yourself by meeting someone and growing together . I liked Red Ford trucks till I saw everyone had one and could not find mine in the parking lot of the grocery store . Love is how two people make each other feel . Amen

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  26. Posted: 05 Feb 09

    LOL.. well quite often people dont even read the entire profile where it says what you are looking anyway.. they look at the picture and then contact you or contact you regardless of your preferences thinking that they will change your mind (thats happened a few times).. you like what you like for your own reasons.. you shouldnt have to explain yourself to anyone..

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  27.   Tndiva says:
    Posted: 03 Feb 09

    I think that some can misinterpet preference for racism. I'm here because I do have my own personal preference and it seems that the members here are mostly like minded.. And I have read the occasional immature and even insulting profile,e.g. "I like black women but if you're from the projects and wear big jewelry, DON'T CONTACT ME!!!" I just move on.

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  28.   babygirlTS says:
    Posted: 02 Feb 09

    I don't think there's anything wrong with having a preference, but I also think it's important to keep an open mind. I mean, I find myself more attracted to white men than any other ethnic group but I'm not going to completely shut down all men who aren't white just because of that...

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  29.   cdhill says:
    Posted: 02 Feb 09

    I don't have any racial preferences. But I do discriminate against feet. Especially big clown feet. Feet so big they look like flippers. So if you got, Elattoproteus syndrome or Gigantism or some other such big foot malady, you got to get to steppin! (did you get it? big foot.... steppin...) Is this criteria prejudicial? Yes sir. Are my feelings preferential? You bet. Are they racist? Nope. Cause race is not involved. So whats the difference between not dating someone because there feet are big and not dating someone because there skin is light(dark or whatever.) I say none. I think you can have a preference for skin just like I have a preference for feet. And that does not make you racist. Racism is more than just personal preference. Racism is also superiority, malice, hatred and ignorance. Some people dating cites simply won't prefer you. Others hate you because of your skin. But its all good. You don't want to date those folks anyway.

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  30.   wmemark09 says:
    Posted: 02 Feb 09

    Interesting comments and I feel that who we specify and chose to date whether online or not is based on biases, preferences and some predjudices that we may or may not be consciously aware of. Most of us know exactly the type of person we choose to be with and that is ok. Online dating is for the oen minded individual. I do not agree that it is a last resort and yes we can be picky about whom we choose to date. Afterall some of us are looking for soulmates and lifelong partners. Online dating is another form of a blind date and we all have had one of those. In this case there is no obligation because our family or friends did not set it up. This site is different because I find that the variety of professional men is of more substance than some of the other sites where everyone is out for a sexual romp and that's all. I am a mature professional woman and that is one of the characteristics I look for in a man. Bottom line most of it is a matter of preference and that is what we all our searching for our preferences. Here we get to see and chat before we make a choice to let this person in our world, what is wrong with that, if you do not have time or are not a clubber this is the next best thing if used properly... Good luck to everyone hope you find your preference...

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  31.   badderboy says:
    Posted: 01 Feb 09

    Interesting stuff. Deep

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  32. Posted: 31 Jan 09

    Of course preference is different than prejudice. A preference is something like, "I prefer White men because I'm more attracted to them." Just as one could say, "I prefer Apples over Oranges because I like the taste more." Pure preference. But it's when you link unrelated factors that it becomes a prejudice. EX: "I prefer White men because male minorities are all [insert stereotype here]." Associating stereotypes or generalizations is what separates a preference from a prejudice. That being said, we can't always, or even most of the time, claim another to be racist because of their preference. Even if some one does have a prejudice, it doesn't make them racist. Simply buying into a stereotype or generalization does not make one a racist. It just means that his or her judgment is flawed. You can never blame online dating for another persons preference or their prejudice. Simply being "unexpected" is not rejection. If they were interested in you enough to meet up in person, hopefully they can look past their physical (or color or racial) expectations. If not, why would you want that person anyway? I've turned down many guys because they're not what I'm looking for, and I believe I am probably a little prejudiced. Actually, I think we all are. For example, I find that I can relate more to White men then I can to Black or Latino men, and in a way that's kind of prejudiced. I'm basically prejudging White men to be more like me, and judging other men to be the opposite. But for me it's mostly preference. Bottom line, EVERYONE is going to have both preferences and prejudices in online dating. But hopefully a lot of us can be open minded enough to go for what's on the inside, despite our expectations. Besides, if online dating really IS a last resort, who are we to be picky?

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  33.   Deepspell says:
    Posted: 31 Jan 09

    What I have noticed about interracial dating (ID), is that most white females over the age of 35, appeared to have had "white" children, before they began to start ID. This may be the case for alot of "races", but I noticed this in their cases. I also noticed that this group tend to date more partners in the first few years. So does the later a person starts to ID, increase their preferences, or decrease their prejudice?

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  34.   Deepspell says:
    Posted: 31 Jan 09

    What I have noticed about interracial dating (ID), is that most white females over the age of 35, appeared to have had "white" children, before they began to start ID. This may be the case for alot of "races", but I noticed this in their cases. I also noticed that this group tend to date more partners in the first few years. So does the later a person starts to ID, increase their preferences?

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  35. Posted: 31 Jan 09

    I think people should write what they feel need to be written in their profile. I would love to have more written about a person honestly. But, some feel less is better and vice versa, we are all diferent. But, for me, it's good to know which person prefers dark skin to light skin or vice versa. As Glock stated, just move on, for really it's all in the stage of life. Maybe, it biological for certain types, regardless of skin to be attracted to each other...good research question, but we let the skin stop the natural progression. I love men!!!! But, I do fear really big men...alright, go ahead and laugh...lol See, honesty can bring about a prejudice idea, and we should not think every statement tags racism.

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  36. Posted: 31 Jan 09

    I think people should write what they feel need to be written in their profile. I would love to have more written about a person honestly. But, some feel less is better and vice versa, we are all diferent. But, for me, it's good to know which person prefers dark skin to light skin or vice versa. As Glook stated, just move on, for really it's all in the stage of life. Maybe, it biological for certain types, regardless of skin to be attracted to each other...good research question, but we let the skin stop the natural progression. I love men!!!! But, I do fear really big men...alright, go ahead and laugh...lol See, honesty can bring about a prejudice idea, and we should not think every statement tags racism.

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  37. Posted: 30 Jan 09

    its a preference.. like tall, short, blonde or black hair... i have dated pretty much all races but mostly dated white.. every once in a while ill get the guy who has always wanted to date a black woman but never has.. i have a difficult time with that, unless you live under a rock you most likely have come in contact with other races.. sometimes its about testing the waters to see if you would like it.. sometimes its to fulfill some fantasy that you have developed watching "movies".. when it comes down to it, its just something that you have to be comfortable with.. in your mind you have to see the person as a man or a woman not a black/white man or woman...

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  38.   SxyWhtTiger says:
    Posted: 29 Jan 09

    Yoda,smurfs and klingons are dating on here? Cool I want dibs on smurfette...lol j/k...Seriously now I think that people write their profiles a certain way of what they are looking for and who need not apply is just a message for people that don't fully read profiles and also it could be because of past relationships that went sour because of certain qualities, characteristics and etc...I'm not saying it's right to play the blame game either...I myself have my preferences but won't bash another race or etc...I will however just politely say I'm not interested and move on.

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  39.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 29 Jan 09

    It is like a city bus , you miss one / another will pass in a few minutes

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  40.   lhsiii says:
    Posted: 29 Jan 09

    I feel its tricky when you start putting down people for having a preference because everybody does! It still stings when your a black male and a woman writes " latino, asian , white, arab, native american, east indian, south pacific islander, eskimo, klingon, kanine, yoda, and smurf only!!! Will not reply too ANYONE ELSE!!!" Its like DAMN!!

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  41.   singforyou says:
    Posted: 29 Jan 09

    I have preferences,as anyone.But if you have the chance to know better someone and I discover a great person,surelu it doesn't matter his ethnicity..

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  42.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 28 Jan 09

    I agree with other members ; If others do not know what you want - your desires and dislikes , how would they know how to approach you to ask for a Date . My youngest daughter purchased my membership for me . My wife and I meet here because we were looking for companionship . She mentioned that she did not ride a bicycle , so she was hesitent to approach me .

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  43. Posted: 28 Jan 09

    We all seem to have found this website through one means or another over the many other websites available. Hhhmmm! We are all adults and looking for something unique that maybe is not so well stated on other sites. We all have a personal preference and a free will. If we don't don't like what is in someone's profile then we move on. I would have to agree with the other responders. We should be able to state what we prefer in our profiles and be as specific as we want to be without judgement. Hope everyone finds what they are looking for.

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  44.   salsera77 says:
    Posted: 28 Jan 09

    To each his own. Live and let live. It's possible that getting even more specific with regard to nationalities on one's profile can give you more replies...well, recently it's been true in my case. Trash another race???? That's tacky and immoral. Why not write down whom you seek and don't have a fit if someone writes to you who didn't seem to read your profile? Respond to the one(s) that get close to the match that you seek. It's not difficult to refrain from such ugliness.

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  45.   Glock says:
    Posted: 27 Jan 09

    I say for online dating a person should be able to put in their profile what they want. We could argue all day about how a persons profile "offends" someone. But why waste your time? If a person's profile offends you then, clearly, they are not the one you are looking for. This particular website specializes in interracial dating. We hopefully are all adults, we've all heard the stereotypes and have our likes and dislikes. Some are open to dating any race, some only a few races and others only one will do. I like to think that I remain "open" to all races but when it boils right down to it, I'm not. Personally, I've accepted that. If I read a profile and see that someone doesn't like or isn't looking for someone like me, I MOVE ON. I don't get offended.

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  46.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 27 Jan 09

    Dating would be a matter of style , action , ease of speach and of course Beauty . Sweet daydreams in 2009 for all . Too many choices because all are so different / Yet perfect in their own way .

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  47. Posted: 27 Jan 09

    I don't think it's racist at all to present your prefrences, as long as your not insulting to others. I've dated men of different races, and i hate to use the word races, including black. But I've lived long enough to know what I want and who. I've accepted that I prefer white men or latin. That's just the way it is, though I'm not shutting the door to a decent black man. So I state what I want and will only respond to a man who has stated his own preference as well. As long as your rejection is respectfull the other person need not concern themselves as to the reason why.

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