Are our interracial attractions all about race and racial stereotypes?

Posted by Ria, 25 Jan

I know it doesn’t really matter who one dates. You can’t help who you fall in love with right? That the race of our prospective mates doesn't matter. But is it really this simple?

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One thing I have noticed on most dating sites is that most interracial daters spend their every waking moment searching for a spouse of a particular race: Black woman looking to date a white man; White man interested in Asian women only!

I am pro interracial dating 100% but sometimes I sit and wonder whether some of us are just close-minded people hiding under the "you cant help who you fall in love with" line while in reality, our reasons for dating that particular race are purely based on stereotypes about that racial group. For instance, here is a Black guy who only dates Hispanic women because they know how to treat men. But if asked whether he can date a White woman or a Black woman who has similar qualities, the answer is a clear NO! What does that say about interracial dating? What does that say about people who only check one box when answering the question about the preferred race of the spouse they are searching for on interracial dating sites?

Is it possible to explain why you are attracted to particular race without bringing race into it… without sounding superficial… without using racial stereotypes to back your attraction? Would you give someone from a race you don’t ‘fancy’ a chance if you knew they possess great qualities?

4 responses to "Are our interracial attractions all about race and racial stereotypes? "

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  1. Posted: 19 Feb 13

    Personally, I don't think that people date a specific race or ethnicity because of stereotypes. I strongly believe that it really comes down to who they are drawn to. While for some, the stereotypes tend to be a weak justification to validate the choice they make, I personally don't agree with the stereotypes, such as Black women are too confrontational or Black men don't like to be legally and gainfully employed. I have met a lot of beautiful Black women who are on the totally opposite end of the spectrum as those portrayed by the common stereotypes and its unfair that they be classified with those that the stereotypes seem to portray. If you look at the person as a individual (which is what we tend to do when exercising our preferences) it's clearly evident that we see people who exhibit characteristics that are both positive and negative. Is it fair that this handful of individuals speak for the entire racial group they're identified under? No, it isn't. I think it's a negative quality to possess for the Black man who feels he has to justify his preference for a White woman by stating "most or all Black women are confrontational, materialistic, unappreciative" and likewise for the Black woman who feels she needs to stereotype Black men as being immature, promiscuous or irresponsible just to justify her preference for White men. While we always can't help which individual we fall in love with, a lot of times, personal preference does have a strong influence on the type of mate we ultimately choose. Other influences tend to be our environment, who we see around us, what we see in terms of society and the various choices they make. Like it or not our environment strongly defines who we as an individual become. If we like what we see within our environment, then we tend to embrace it and the behaviors associated with it. If we don't then we do our best to groom ourselves to blend into the desired environment that is desired. It really comes down to our comfort zone to who and how we choose those to be around us. Those who choose to date outside of their own racial background do so, mainly because they're initially attracted to the physical characteristics of the race of their choice, not because they reject those who most resemble their ethnic make up. It's about their personal tastes, likes and dislikes. After all, if your parents, your siblings like fish and you don't, are you going to partake of fish just because your family does? I think not. What the real challenge is is that you defend your choices, freedom of choice and man (or woman) up to those choices because they are your choices and not berate others as a method of justifying them. There is no need to inflict pain, either psychologically, emotionally or even physically to all those that you don't feel an attraction to. If we can do this, then ultimately we will make others happier, and we too will be happier, as an individual, as a partner, as a community and as a society.

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  2.   Matt0331 says:
    Posted: 13 Feb 13

    I don't know about anyone else's reasons for ir dating but my own. I grew up with two beautiful white sisters, and yes they are beautiful and it took me a long time to admit it (i got into more then a few high school fights over it) and about 75% of my cousins are female as well. So when I'm walking down the street or in a bar and see a beautiful white woman my first thought isn't "oh man she is hot," its "oh dang she looks just like my sister." It made it difficult or down right impossible for me to be romantically involved with white women.

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  3. Posted: 27 Jan 13

    To me, who I date is who I date. I've dated from just about every race as well as different ethnicities and religious backgrounds. The thing that you have to focus on is the good. It's really that simple. When you're in that state and place of feeling good you don't notice all the other things like your differences so much because you're so caught up in the good feelings that is simply doesn't matter. In your example the person who refuses to date a particular race even though that person may have all the qualities they want misses so much and the perfect relationship that they've been wanting and desiring for so long could be right there for them but because they are blinded by perspective they never make good on the opportunity and wonder why their miserable. It's like the story of the guy who was stuck on a roof during a flood and prayed to God for rescue. A man in a boat comes by and asks if he wants a lift and the guy says no I'm waiting on God to answer my prayer. A helicopter comes by and offers assistance and again he says no thanks I'm waiting on God to answer my prayer. He dies and meets God and says why didn't you help me? Help you, I sent you a boat and a helicopter.

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  4.   Ausar719 says:
    Posted: 26 Jan 13

    I think some of what you state is accurate. I do not agree with your assessment that white men only pursue Asian women. IR dating is new to me. However, I started ir dating due to the overwhelming response from white men. What I think is that people have types and preferences , not necessarily stereotypes. If a black man has been hurt or rejected by black women, then. Sometimes he bashes her and demonizes All black women. Now this isn't all black men. I f some black women feel rejected, or passed over by black men. They may feel a desire to bad mouth them. I believe it is sad to reject people who look like you , as you are rejecting yourself. But if you are sincere, open to the universe and are a positive spirit, you will attract that in your life. We are all evolving, so nothing is set in stone.

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