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What Online Dating Is Like For Black Women

Discuss dating, relationships and foreign women.

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What Online Dating Is Like For Black Women

Postby zboy1 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:50 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mExbZYVYEUI&list=UU1yBKRuGpC1tSM73A0ZjYjQ[/youtube]

THE PERILS OF DATING ON OKCUPID WHILE BLACK
http://www.literallydarling.com/blog/20 ... pid-black/


Everyone seems to have a convenient solution for single people who have fallen into a monumental dating slump: Look for love online! In the age of instant gratification and lightening-speed technology, the 21st-century meet-cute is about as romantic as browsing the cereal aisle in the grocery store. Looking for marriage? Fork over your cash and trust the algorithms perfected at Match.com or eHarmony. Looking for a hookup? Try Grindr or Tinder. There’s dozens of choices. Well, at least if you’re not a minority.

If you’re young, black and female, your identity might be a liability. Recent studies have proven that online dating can be tainted by racism. According to Kevin Lewis, a University of California-San Diego professor and sociologist, the average user of an online dating site is more likely to to contact someone who shares his/her racial background. Using OkCupid as his data pool, he gathered the following information about the racial breakdown of user interactions: “Most men (except black men) are unlikely to initiate contact with black women, all men (including Asian men) are unlikely to reply to Asian women, and although women from all racial backgrounds tend to initiate contact with men from the same background, women from all racial backgrounds also disproportionately reply to white men.â€￾

Lewis’s studies may be unsettling or hard to believe, as other findings have verified that interracial marriage is on the upswing. Regardless, the everyday racism that black women encounter in the real world is often translated into a few thoughtless and crass keystrokes. In fact, the Wall Street Journal declared that black women are “the most unmarried group of people in the U.S.â€￾ Unlike the writer, Ralph Richard Banks, I believe that the factors of fetishization and exoticism are often magnified in the online dating world; framing the explanation by a matter of “desirabilityâ€￾ or at worst, the consequences of self-segregation, blatantly ignores the roadblocks that prevent a higher marriage rate among black women. Hiding behind the relative anonymity of the Internet allows all walks of bigots and sexists to vocalize their views. Some are so bold as to state this “preferenceâ€￾ in their profiles, listing which races they don’t want to date. What woman wants to be constantly reminded that she’s deemed unwanted every time she logs into her OkCupid account?

I’ve decided to give up on online dating as an act of self-care. In the more eloquent words of Audre Lorde, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.â€￾ I suspect that my creep magnet was on extra-high due to living in an area of the country where whiteness is homogenized and liberal racism runs rampant. The suburbs of Connecticut aren’t shining beacons of racial diversity. I can’t help but recall the description of the state by n + 1 writer Freddie Deboer, “Aside from a few college towns—New Haven, New London, New Britain, ‘New’ as in England, new as in ‘no old money’—where there’s some real diversity, Connecticut is a sea of comfortable whiteness with afflicted pockets of brown.â€￾

If you’re an over-educated black woman of a racially-mixed background, Connecticut may not be the best place to find a date, let alone a relationship. Sometimes strangers make a game out of guessing my ethnicity; I’ve been asked if I’m Puerto Rican, Indian, Spanish, mixed, and Hawaiian. White people are always fascinated by my natural hair. Some ask questions such as, “Is it real/is it all yours?â€￾ or “What does it feel like?â€￾ The majority simply brush aside all rules of etiquette or respect and reach out and dig their fingers into my hair as though I were a lamb at a petting zoo. I was once in a restaurant when an older, white, weathered-looking man decided to pet my head without warning. He offered a hollow apology, saying that “he couldn’t help himself,â€￾ as though this violation of my personal space was a well-meaning joke. When he later bought me a shot, I promptly told the bartender to send it back. The people in my lunch party, who had witnessed the entire awkward exchange, couldn’t understand why I was “being so sensitive.â€￾ The microaggressions that have woven themselves into the narrative of my daily life were a predictable feature of my experience on OkCupid.

Sadly, like many other women, I received a slew of sexually crude messages from the moment I created my profile, some popping up before I’d had the chance to upload any pictures. When I did add pictures, I got a barrage of poorly typed one-liners ranging from, “Wut are you?â€￾ and “What kind of black and what kind of Asian are you?â€￾ to “Where r u originally from?â€￾ After he’d opened with a short “Hello,â€￾ one 40-something gentleman told me that I needed to start going to the gym. There were a few who would adamantly make plans only to stand me up. The longer I stayed on the site, the more I was approached by men who eventually revealed their outright if not covert, New-England breed of racism. For example, when I was contacted by one particular man, I thought I’d finally sorted through the endless reject pile and found someone who was respectful, interesting and thoughtful. Turns out my expectations were too high. After expressing that sometimes I felt uncomfortable walking through my neighborhood due to the laser-beam stares of some of the white residents, this white man recommended that I “stop taking racism so personally.â€￾ He went on to add that he “knew what it was like to be a minority because sometimes [he] had been to bars where he was the only white person inside and [he] had been in neighborhoods where everyone was Hispanic and didn’t speak English.â€￾ He couldn’t understand why I was offended by his willful ignorance.

My OkCupid account quickly turned into a black hole of negativity. Logging on began to feel like indulging in masochism. What new form of abuse would I see next? What form of anti-blackness would I encounter? I learned that as soon as you deleted and blocked a troll, another would be ready to take his place. They all resembled one another and they all recycled the same catch phrases and idiotic lines. There were the ones who thought that they were complimenting me by confessing that they didn’t normally find black women attractive, but they’d date me. There were the ones who overcompensated and declared that they “even though [they] were white, [they] didn’t date white girls.â€￾ These men were not attracted to the self-possessed person I was choosing to project on the site, but simply because my skin color was an anomaly, a point of amusement and Otherly fascination in their little bubble world.

As word travels down the small town grapevine of former classmates’ engagements and weddings and babies, I am not intimidated by these mainstream markers of “successful adulthood.â€￾ I deleted my OkCupid and Tinder accounts and I don’t have any interest in trying out any other sites. I am not saying that all black women should completely give up on online dating. For me, the choice is more about preserving my mental, emotional and psychological health. Why should I go online to read some guy hiding behind a computer spew the same garbage that I hear in the real world?

Ralph Richard Banks from The Wall Street Journal may say that the quick fix to marriage rates among black women is to stop being picky, but he fails to realize that battling racism and objectification while clicking through dating profiles is an exhausting, taxing feat. Some women would rather avoid the pain of being humiliated and coldly rejected.
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Postby zboy1 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:05 am

Now for solutions (something we rarely talk about on this forum, unfortunately):


An Interracial Fix for Black Marriage
Black women could find more partners across the race line—and it might just spur more black couples to wed

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1 ... 2588283556

Image

"At this point in my life," says Audrey, age 39, "I thought I'd be married with children." A native of southeast Washington, D.C., and the child of parents who are approaching their 50th wedding anniversary, Audrey seems like the proverbial "good catch"—smart, funny, well-educated, attractive.

Audrey earns a good living, too, with an income from management consulting that far surpasses what her parents ever made. Her social life is busy as well, filled with family, friends and church.


Only about one in 20 black women is interracially married; they are much less likely than black men to cross the race line. Masterfile
What Audrey lacks is a husband. As she told me, sitting at a restaurant in the fashionable Dupont Circle neighborhood of the nation's capital, "I'm trying to get to a point where I accept that marriage may never happen for me."

Audrey belongs to the most unmarried group of people in the U.S.: black women. Nearly 70% of black women are unmarried, and the racial gap in marriage spans the socioeconomic spectrum, from the urban poor to well-off suburban professionals. Three in 10 college-educated black women haven't married by age 40; their white peers are less than half as likely to have remained unwed.

What explains this marriage gap? As a black man, my interest in the issue is more than academic. I've looked at all the studies—the history, the social science, the government data—and I've spent a year traveling the country interviewing scores of professional black women. In exchange for my promise to conceal their identities (in part by using pseudonyms, as I've done here), they shared with me their most personal experiences and desires in relation to marriage and family.

I came away convinced of two facts: Black women confront the worst relationship market of any group because of economic and cultural forces that are not of their own making; and they have needlessly worsened their situation by limiting themselves to black men. I also arrived at a startling conclusion: Black women can best promote black marriage by opening themselves to relationships with men of other races.

Part of the problem is incarceration. More than two million men are now imprisoned in the U.S., and roughly 40% of them are African-American. At any given time, more than 10% of black men in their 20s or 30s—prime marrying ages—are in jail or prison.

Educationally, black men also lag. There are roughly 1.4 million black women now in college, compared to just 900,000 black men. By graduation, black women outnumber men 2-to-1. Among graduate-school students, in 2008 there were 125,000 African-American women but only 58,000 African-American men. That same year, black women received more than three out of every five law or medical degrees awarded to African-Americans.

These problems translate into dimmer economic prospects for black men, and the less a man earns, the less likely he is to marry. That's how the relationship market operates. Marriage is a matter of love and commitment, but it is also an exchange. A black man without a job or the likelihood of landing one cannot offer a woman enough to make that exchange worthwhile.

But poor black men are not the only ones who don't marry. At every income level, black men are less likely to marry than are their white counterparts. And the marriage gap is wider among men who earn more than $100,000 a year than among men who earn, say, $50,000 or $60,000 a year.

The dynamics of the relationship market offer one explanation for this pattern. Because black men are in short supply, their options are better than those of black women. A desirable black man who ends a relationship with one woman will find many others waiting; that's not so for black women.

If many black women remain unmarried because they think they have too few options, some black men stay single because they think they have so many. The same numbers imbalance that makes life difficult for black women may be a source of power for black men. Why cash in, they reason, when it is so easy to continue to play?

Black women who do marry often end up with black men who are less accomplished than they are. They are more likely than any other group of women to earn more than their husbands. More than half of college-educated black wives are better educated than their husbands.

The prevalence of relationships between professional black women and blue-collar black men may help to explain another aspect of the racial gap in marriage: Even as divorce rates have declined for most groups during the past few decades, more than half of black marriages dissolve.

Cecelia, a corporate lawyer who graduated from Columbia Law School, married a construction worker. When he relocated from Denver to her brownstone in Harlem, it took him the better part of a year to find work. "It was a huge strain on the relationship," Cecelia told me. She didn't mind his being out of work, but he did. "He was uncomfortable living off me," Cecelia said. The marriage didn't last.

So why don't more black women, especially the most accomplished of them, marry men of other races? Why do they marry down so much and out so little.

Part of the reason, again, is the market. Numerous studies of Internet dating confirm that black women are the partners least desired by non-black men.

But that's not the whole story. Even if a majority of white men are uninterested in dating black women, that still leaves more than enough eligible white men for every single black woman in America. Moreover, many major urban areas have large numbers of Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and Latino men, some of whom, according to at least one study of Internet dating, are more responsive to black women than are black men.

To understand the intimate segregation of black women, we must go beyond the question of whether black women are wanted and look instead at what they want. For some black women, the personal choice of an intimate partner is political. They want to help black men, not abandon them. As one woman told me, "If you know your history, how can you not support black men?"

Others prefer black men because they don't think a relationship with a non-black man would work. They worry about rejection by a would-be spouse's family or the awkwardness of having to explain oneself to a non-black partner.

As one 31-year-old schoolteacher in D.C. told me, "It's easy to date a black man because he knows about my hair. He knows I don't wash it every day. He knows I'm going to put the scarf on [to keep it in place at night]." Discussions about hair may seem trivial, but for many black women, just the thought of having the "hair talk" makes them tired. It's emblematic of so much else they'd have to teach.

Some black women resist interracial marriage for a more primal reason. Long before Cecelia began her ill-fated relationship with her now ex-husband, she dated a white law-school classmate. They broke up because she couldn't imagine having children with him. "I wanted chocolate babies," she explained to me.

Given her milk-chocolate complexion, green eyes and curly hair, Cecelia worried that a biracial baby might come out looking white. Cecelia wanted chocolate babies not just so they would stay connected to black culture, but for another reason as well: So that no one would ever question whether they were hers. With biracial children, she feared that she might be mistaken for the nanny. Many black women share her anxiety about having a biracial child.

What would happen if more black women opened themselves to the possibility of marrying non-black men?

To start, they might find themselves in better relationships. Some professional black women would no doubt discover that they are more compatible with a white, Asian or Latino coworker or college classmate than with the black guy they grew up with, who now works at the auto shop.

By opening themselves to relationships with men of other races, black women would also lessen the power disparity that depresses the African-American marriage rate. As more black women expanded their options, black women as a group would have more leverage with black men. Even black women who remained unwilling to love across the color line would benefit from other black women's willingness to do so.

It's hard to resist the paradoxical possibility that, if more black women married non-black men, then more black men and women might, in time, marry each other.



Along with dating men of other races, another option is for African American women to be "Happier Abroad." That is, going overseas to find suitable men.
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Postby Ghost » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:17 pm

Along with dating men of other races, another option is for African American women to be "Happier Abroad." That is, going overseas to find suitable men.


If anything that would likely make it worse for them. But it depends on where. Black Americans going to Africa will probably be better. Perhaps Brazil. Going to Asia? Horrible idea. I've never met an Asian who wanted to even have black friends, much less date one.
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Postby zboy1 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:32 pm

Ghost wrote:
Along with dating men of other races, another option is for African American women to be "Happier Abroad." That is, going overseas to find suitable men.


If anything that would likely make it worse for them. But it depends on where. Black Americans going to Africa will probably be better. Perhaps Brazil. Going to Asia? Horrible idea. I've never met an Asian who wanted to even have black friends, much less date one.


That definitely is not true. That's a complete lie. You must only associate with racist Asians in Asia because the ones I'm around, they want to be friends with people of all races. That said, there are some anti-Black attitudes everywhere, unfortunately. But I think the anti-Black attitudes in Asia you seem to think is prevalent, is completely overblown, in my opinion. ..
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Postby The » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:47 pm

zboy1 wrote:Now for solutions (something we rarely talk about on this forum, unfortunately):


An Interracial Fix for Black Marriage
Black women could find more partners across the race line—and it might just spur more black couples to wed

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1 ... 2588283556

Image

"At this point in my life," says Audrey, age 39, "I thought I'd be married with children." A native of southeast Washington, D.C., and the child of parents who are approaching their 50th wedding anniversary, Audrey seems like the proverbial "good catch"—smart, funny, well-educated, attractive.

Audrey earns a good living, too, with an income from management consulting that far surpasses what her parents ever made. Her social life is busy as well, filled with family, friends and church.


Only about one in 20 black women is interracially married; they are much less likely than black men to cross the race line. Masterfile
What Audrey lacks is a husband. As she told me, sitting at a restaurant in the fashionable Dupont Circle neighborhood of the nation's capital, "I'm trying to get to a point where I accept that marriage may never happen for me."

Audrey belongs to the most unmarried group of people in the U.S.: black women. Nearly 70% of black women are unmarried, and the racial gap in marriage spans the socioeconomic spectrum, from the urban poor to well-off suburban professionals. Three in 10 college-educated black women haven't married by age 40; their white peers are less than half as likely to have remained unwed.

What explains this marriage gap? As a black man, my interest in the issue is more than academic. I've looked at all the studies—the history, the social science, the government data—and I've spent a year traveling the country interviewing scores of professional black women. In exchange for my promise to conceal their identities (in part by using pseudonyms, as I've done here), they shared with me their most personal experiences and desires in relation to marriage and family.

I came away convinced of two facts: Black women confront the worst relationship market of any group because of economic and cultural forces that are not of their own making; and they have needlessly worsened their situation by limiting themselves to black men. I also arrived at a startling conclusion: Black women can best promote black marriage by opening themselves to relationships with men of other races.

Part of the problem is incarceration. More than two million men are now imprisoned in the U.S., and roughly 40% of them are African-American. At any given time, more than 10% of black men in their 20s or 30s—prime marrying ages—are in jail or prison.

Educationally, black men also lag. There are roughly 1.4 million black women now in college, compared to just 900,000 black men. By graduation, black women outnumber men 2-to-1. Among graduate-school students, in 2008 there were 125,000 African-American women but only 58,000 African-American men. That same year, black women received more than three out of every five law or medical degrees awarded to African-Americans.

These problems translate into dimmer economic prospects for black men, and the less a man earns, the less likely he is to marry. That's how the relationship market operates. Marriage is a matter of love and commitment, but it is also an exchange. A black man without a job or the likelihood of landing one cannot offer a woman enough to make that exchange worthwhile.

But poor black men are not the only ones who don't marry. At every income level, black men are less likely to marry than are their white counterparts. And the marriage gap is wider among men who earn more than $100,000 a year than among men who earn, say, $50,000 or $60,000 a year.

The dynamics of the relationship market offer one explanation for this pattern. Because black men are in short supply, their options are better than those of black women. A desirable black man who ends a relationship with one woman will find many others waiting; that's not so for black women.

If many black women remain unmarried because they think they have too few options, some black men stay single because they think they have so many. The same numbers imbalance that makes life difficult for black women may be a source of power for black men. Why cash in, they reason, when it is so easy to continue to play?

Black women who do marry often end up with black men who are less accomplished than they are. They are more likely than any other group of women to earn more than their husbands. More than half of college-educated black wives are better educated than their husbands.

The prevalence of relationships between professional black women and blue-collar black men may help to explain another aspect of the racial gap in marriage: Even as divorce rates have declined for most groups during the past few decades, more than half of black marriages dissolve.

Cecelia, a corporate lawyer who graduated from Columbia Law School, married a construction worker. When he relocated from Denver to her brownstone in Harlem, it took him the better part of a year to find work. "It was a huge strain on the relationship," Cecelia told me. She didn't mind his being out of work, but he did. "He was uncomfortable living off me," Cecelia said. The marriage didn't last.

So why don't more black women, especially the most accomplished of them, marry men of other races? Why do they marry down so much and out so little.

Part of the reason, again, is the market. Numerous studies of Internet dating confirm that black women are the partners least desired by non-black men.

But that's not the whole story. Even if a majority of white men are uninterested in dating black women, that still leaves more than enough eligible white men for every single black woman in America. Moreover, many major urban areas have large numbers of Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and Latino men, some of whom, according to at least one study of Internet dating, are more responsive to black women than are black men.

To understand the intimate segregation of black women, we must go beyond the question of whether black women are wanted and look instead at what they want. For some black women, the personal choice of an intimate partner is political. They want to help black men, not abandon them. As one woman told me, "If you know your history, how can you not support black men?"

Others prefer black men because they don't think a relationship with a non-black man would work. They worry about rejection by a would-be spouse's family or the awkwardness of having to explain oneself to a non-black partner.

As one 31-year-old schoolteacher in D.C. told me, "It's easy to date a black man because he knows about my hair. He knows I don't wash it every day. He knows I'm going to put the scarf on [to keep it in place at night]." Discussions about hair may seem trivial, but for many black women, just the thought of having the "hair talk" makes them tired. It's emblematic of so much else they'd have to teach.

Some black women resist interracial marriage for a more primal reason. Long before Cecelia began her ill-fated relationship with her now ex-husband, she dated a white law-school classmate. They broke up because she couldn't imagine having children with him. "I wanted chocolate babies," she explained to me.

Given her milk-chocolate complexion, green eyes and curly hair, Cecelia worried that a biracial baby might come out looking white. Cecelia wanted chocolate babies not just so they would stay connected to black culture, but for another reason as well: So that no one would ever question whether they were hers. With biracial children, she feared that she might be mistaken for the nanny. Many black women share her anxiety about having a biracial child.

What would happen if more black women opened themselves to the possibility of marrying non-black men?

To start, they might find themselves in better relationships. Some professional black women would no doubt discover that they are more compatible with a white, Asian or Latino coworker or college classmate than with the black guy they grew up with, who now works at the auto shop.

By opening themselves to relationships with men of other races, black women would also lessen the power disparity that depresses the African-American marriage rate. As more black women expanded their options, black women as a group would have more leverage with black men. Even black women who remained unwilling to love across the color line would benefit from other black women's willingness to do so.

It's hard to resist the paradoxical possibility that, if more black women married non-black men, then more black men and women might, in time, marry each other.



Along with dating men of other races, another option is for African American women to be "Happier Abroad." That is, going overseas to find suitable men.


Oh God No! We don't need African American women going overseas and bringing there bad attitudes with them....
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Postby MrMan » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:00 am

Ghost wrote:
Along with dating men of other races, another option is for African American women to be "Happier Abroad." That is, going overseas to find suitable men.


If anything that would likely make it worse for them. But it depends on where. Black Americans going to Africa will probably be better. Perhaps Brazil. Going to Asia? Horrible idea. I've never met an Asian who wanted to even have black friends, much less date one.


Some of the Nigerians had Indonesian girlfriends, but it wasn't the top choice of race for most Indonesian women. I knew one Indonesian, pretty decent looking, who had recently found out she caught HIV from a Nigerian boyfriend on death row who was dying of AIDS and a bunch of other diseases.
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Postby MrMan » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:02 am

There aren't enough women in China for all the men to marry. African American women have difficulty finding husbands. Why don't we match up Chinese men with African American women?
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Postby zboy1 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:33 am

MrMan wrote:There aren't enough women in China for all the men to marry. African American women have difficulty finding husbands. Why don't we match up Chinese men with African American women?


They are two obvious interracial pairings that would make the most sense in terms of eliminating the large number of single Black and Asian men in the world. But, cultural differences (unfortunately) get in the way...

Still....I'm starting to see more AM, BF couples in the United States and abroad, so it is happening.
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Postby Boxman » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:10 pm

This is an entirely self-inflicted problem. Black women just don't find other races attractive; most of them find black men to be more physically attractive and emotionally appealing. You'll find a few BW that are exceptions but in general this is true. Also black women face a lot of social stigma from friends and family if they even date outside their race (much less marry). Their male relatives and friends will be the most hostile to the idea; nobody likes it when a sista sells out.

Anyway there's no way in hell Chinese men are going to want to date, much less marry, black women. There may be a few Chinese dudes with a black fetish but not enough to matter. Asian men like their women thin, petite and feminine. Very few black women are petite and virtually none of them act all cute and girly the way asian girls do.

Not to mention if you're a Chinese dude and you bring a black girl home to meet the family... yeah awkward.
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