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Commenter Peanut on real reasons some black women prefer not to date some white men (based on her own experience):

  1. It is difficult for many white men to see black women as individuals, even when they prefer to date black women. Example: expecting all black women to be able to dance.
  2. Some white people tend to view the attractive, classy and intelligent black women they encounter as exceptions and exempt from being “regular black” by virtue of the fact that they do not conform to negative black female stereotypes.  Example: being called white girl in a black girl’s body, a chocolate-dipped white girl.
  3. Some white people forget that you are black and will say stuff without thinking in front of you. Too many examples to recount.
  4. Referring to black people who do not conform to mainstream (white society’s) expectations as “ghetto”.
  5. Attributing bad behaviour on the part of the individual as a black attribute. Or racializing behaviour that has nothing to do with race.
  6. Some white men think they are doing black women a favour by dating and or mating them. Since black women are perceived supposedly as being on the bottom of the beauty hierarchy.  This is especially true of older white men who married white, had white children, divorced and now approach young, young black women.
  7. Some white men who date black women think they are officially an authority or expert on black people overall by virtue of the fact that their girlfriend or wife is black.
  8. Some white men expect you to mindlessly agree with them about issues pertaining to politics and race, like affirmative action. When you disagree, however gently and politely, you are seen as combative or you hurt their feelings or alienate them.
  9. The Bodyguard Complex: Some white men feel as if it is their job to “save” the black woman from the “wretchedness” of the black community.
  10. White men who date black women as a way to rationalize away their own racism. Some white men think that because they date or end up with a black women that they are exempt from racist thoughts. Hence the classic phrase, “I’m not racist, I dated a black girl in high school.”

I do not condemn white men who have these thoughts. White American culture has a history of brainwashing both blacks and whites to believe certains notions and stereotypes. But there is always going to be that awkward moment where you realize how our two cultures have really been created in opposition to each other.

Overall, if you are a black women who prefers to date white men or other non-black men, go for it! As long as he respects you. If you are a black women who prefers black men, go for it, as long as he respects you. If you do not care, more power to you. That is my take on it.

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ClaudiaLynxOkCupid, an Internet dating website, put out their numbers on race and dating last week. Some of the main findings that I pull from it (OkCupid had a somewhat different take):

  1. Women: Middle Eastern women  are hot! Black women are not. White women are second-to-last (despite all that free marketing from Hollywood).
  2. Men: white men are on top, Asian Indian men dead last, black men second-to-last.
  3. Black women like white men more than they are liked back – even though men are dogs!
  4. Only some people prefer to date within their own race, like white women and Asian Indian men. Most do not given the chance.
  5. Race affects dating for both men and women and it is not just a matter of looks or stated preferences either.

“Hot”, “liked” and “prefer” are based on reply rates to messages between those whom OkCupid matched based on stated preferences and some other stuff. They also controlled for looks and male height, so this is not a tale of supposedly short Asian men or ugly black women.

While the reply rates were wildly different based on the race of the sender, there was little difference based on, say, Zodiac sign.

The advantage of the OkCupid study is that it looks at almost a million people and looks at their actions not their fine words. (They did throw in some opinion polls, but I am basing nothing on that.)

The disadvantage of the study is that their users are “better-educated, younger, and far more progressive” than most, that online dating can only be part of the picture and that their study gives the what but not the why.

Even so, their numbers generally do match what one New York dating service (whose name escapes me) found: that black men avoid dating black women and that American women avoid Asian men, particularly Asian Indian men.

But, unlike OkCupid, the owner of that dating service asked his customers why: black men told him they do not need a dating service to meet black women while American women said they do not want to date foreign men – which apparently they had stereotyped Asian men as being (the perpetual foreigner stereotype).

The OkCupid post got over 500 comments. I did not read them all, but most of the ones I saw kept making the point that having certain preferences is  not the same as being racist. That misses the point that the study made: race still mattered even after taking that stuff into account.

Women listed in order of reply rates to their messages:

  1. 49.5 Middle Eastern
  2. 46.0 Pacific Islander
  3. 44.4 Other
  4. 43.7 Asian
  5. 42.7 Indian
  6. 42.5 Hispanic/Latin
  7. 42.3 Native American
  8. 42.1 White
  9. 34.3 Black

Men listed in order of reply rates to their messages:

  1. 29.2 White
  2. 27.8 Native American
  3. 26.8 Other
  4. 25.7 Middle Eastern
  5. 24.6 Pacific Islander
  6. 23.1 Hispanic/Latin
  7. 22.2 Asian
  8. 21.7 Black
  9. 20.8 Indian

Who replies to black women (by reply rate):

  • 41: Native American, Other
  • 40: Middle Eastern
  • 39:
  • 38:
  • 37: Black, Indian
  • 36: Hispanic/Latin
  • 35:
  • 34: (the mean)
  • 33:
  • 32: Pacific Islander, White
  • 31: Asian

Who replies to black men (by reply rate):

  • 28: Black
  • 27: Native American
  • 26:
  • 25: Pacific Islander
  • 24: Other
  • 23:
  • 22:
  • 21: Indian, Middle Eastern, White (the mean)
  • 20:
  • 19: Hispanic/Latin
  • 18:
  • 17: Asian

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PeterNortonAccording to commenter Black & German, a black woman married to a white man, here is the sort of white men who go for black women and will seriously date and marry them:

  1. Style: The complete absence of swagger. White men call this “game”. Guys with swagger are trying to project an image. That means that they care too much about what other people think. Avoid them like the plague.
  2. Line of work: He is an engineer, systems analyst, lab technician, middle-manager, mechanic, union worker, researcher, graphic designer, college professor, accountant or something else that involves well-paid drone status. Avoid any man with a glamorous career like lawyer, doctor, corporate executive, etc. Self-employed men are “iffy” and have to be evaluated case-by-case.
  3. Looks: He is good-looking but your girlfriends would describe him as “cute” rather than “sexy” or “hot”. He may actually be completely gorgeous but without the swagger nobody notices.
  4. Dating life: He does not “date around” and is looking for a serious relationship. He has not been on a date in a while (maybe a long while, maybe even years), not because he “can’t get any” but because he is picky and the behaviour of most women turns him off. He is usually too reserved or shy to ask women out.
  5. What he likes about you: He is attracted to your intelligence and personality and spends hours talking to you.
  6. What he likes to do in his free time: He is into computers or computer games. He likes to read or watch non-fiction and science fiction. Trekkies and guys into Japanese animation are a good bet. He has a geeky hobby like programming robots or remodelling old cars. He has circuit boards on his desk at home.
  7. His manner: He is a bit socially awkward. He is not very good at hiding his emotions and his face is pretty much an open book. He does not brag and his rare compliments are spontaneous and almost involuntary, but sincere.
  8. Religion: He believes in God but is not very religious. He will attend church with you but probably would not go regularly on his own.
  9. Intelligence: He is highly intelligent. Some of these guys are have an IQ above 125 – although their scores tend to be skewed towards the non-verbal end which is probably one of their problems in developing “game”.

Basically, he is one of those guys you passed over in high school because he was not cool enough.

They are independent minded and do not care what others think of them. They want a woman who is  interesting, intelligent, healthy, and pretty, and do not care much about race, ethnicity or hair colour. That is why you see these men with Asian women.

They do not chase you – at first. These are the more reserved men. You have to take the first – and sometimes the second and, frustratingly, the third – step. Once you have their complete and utter attention the chase begins. Some of these guys are very slow to catch on, though.

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junot_diazHere is a part of it from The New Yorker, December 25th 1995. Think of Diaz as a teenager somewhere in Jersey in the 1980s:

Dinner will be tense. You are not good at talking to people you don’t know.

A halfie will tell you that her parents met in the Movement. Back then, she’ll say, people thought it was a radical thing to do. It will sound like something her parents made her memorize. Your brother heard that one, too, and said, Sounds like a whole lot of Uncle Tomming to me. Don’t repeat this.

Put down your hamburger and say, It must have been hard.

It was, she will say.

She’ll appreciate your interest. She’ll tell you more. Black people, she will say, treat me real bad. That’s why I don’t like them. You’ll wonder how she feels about Dominicans. Don’t ask. Let her speak on it and when you’ve finished eating, walk back through the neighborhood. The skies will be magnificent. Pollutants have made Jersey sunsets one of the wonders of the world. Point it out. Touch her shoulder and say, Isn’t that nice?

Get serious. Watch TV, but stay alert. Sip some of the Bermudez your father left in the cabinet, which nobody touches. She’ll drink enough to make her brave. A local girl will have hips and a nice ass but won’t be quick about letting you touch her. She has to live in the same neighborhood as you do. She might just chill with you and then go home. She might kiss you and then leave. Or she might, if she’s reckless, give it up, but that’s rare. Kissing will suffice. A white girl might give it up right then. Don’t stop her. She’ll take her gum out of her mouth, stick it to the plastic sofa covers, and then move close to you. You have nice eyes, she might say.

Tell her that you love her hair, her skin, her lips, because, in truth, you love them more than you love your own.

She’ll say, I like Spanish guys, and even though you’ve never been to Spain, say, I like you. You’ll sound smooth.

You’ll be with her until about eight-thirty, and then she’ll want to wash up. In the bathroom, she’ll hum a song from the radio and her waist will keep the beat against the lip of the sink. Think of her old lady coming to get her, and imagine what she would say if she knew that her daughter had just lain under you and blown your name into your ear. While she’s in the bathroom, you might call one of your boys and say, Ya lo hice, cabrón. Or sit back on the couch and smile.

But usually it won’t work this way. Be prepared. She will not want to kiss you. Just cool it, she’ll say. The halfie might lean back and push you away. She will cross her arms and say, I hate my tits. Pretend to watch the TV, and then turn to her to stroke her hair, even though you know she’ll pull away again…

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sealklum

This post carries over from a thread on the Suggestions page:

Some people say that when a black man is in an interracial couple we hear all about it but when a black woman is you hardly do.

I get that feeling too, but it is a hard thing to prove. The best I can come up with is to list all the famous people I can think of who have been part of an interracial couple (just black-and-white ones) and see if there is any sort of imbalance. In the writing of this blog and reading its comments I have found out about interracial couples I had no idea of, like Billy Bob Thornton and Cynda Williams, but I will not count those (they are listed later in the post).

Here is my list:

  1. Gabrielle Beauvais
  2. Robert De Niro
  3. Kid Rock
  4. Roger Ebert
  5. Diana Ross
  6. Seal and Heidi Klum
  7. David Bowie and Iman
  8. Quincy Jones
  9. Sidney Poitier
  10. Ice-T
  11. Naomi Campbell
  12. Clarence Thomas
  13. The Lovings
  14. Tiger Woods
  15. Kobe Bryant
  16. Ray J and Kim Kardashian
  17. Simon Cowell
  18. Robin Thicke
  19. Cuba Gooding
  20. Grace Jones
  21. O.J. Simpson

So, out of 21 couples 10 have a black man and 11 have a black woman, which means interracial couples with black men are not any better known (assuming, of course, that they are equal in number, which is certainly not the case in America as a whole).

Now break it down by the race and sex of the famous person:

  • 9 black men: Seal, Jones, Poitier, Ice-T, Thomas, Woods, Bryant, Ray J, Simpson.
  • 7 white men: De Niro, Rock, Ebert, Bowie, Mr Loving, Cowell, Thicke.
  • 6 black women:  Beauvais, Ross, Iman, Campbell, Mrs Loving, Jones.
  • 2 white women: Klum, Kardashian.

Again it seems more or less balanced, though black men are at the top, but look at white women: only two, and both are (were) with a black man who is also famous!

Why is that?

A simple answer is to say that women want to marry up while men do not care. So in American society white women would tend not to marry a black man unless he was rich or famous. That makes sense of the imbalance given above, but it utterly fails to make sense of the fact that in most black-and-white marriages in America it is the man who is black.

Some other famous people who have been in a black-and-white interracial relationship (at least according to Internet rumour):

  • black men:
    • Akon
    • James Earl Jones
    • John Legend
    • Montell Williams
    • Reggie Bush
    • Sammy Davis, Jr
    • Taye Diggs
    • T-Pain
  • white men:
    • Ben Broufman
    • Bill Maher
    • Billy Bob Thornton
    • Boris Becker
    • Brad Pitt
    • Clint Eastwood
    • Colin Farrell
    • George Lucas
    • Kevin Federline
    • Marc Bolan (T. Rex)
    • Mark Ecko
    • Matt Stone (“South Park”)
    • Matthew McConaughey
    • MC Serch
    • Mick Jagger
    • Paul Krugman
    • Paul Wall
    • Peter Norton (of Norton antivirus software)
    • Prince Albert of Monaco
    • Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein
    • Shia LaBeouf
    • Ted Danson
    • William Cohen (former Defence Secretary)
    • Wolfgang Puck
  • black women:
    • Aisha Tyler
    • Alfre Woodard
    • Alice Walker
    • Beverly Johnson
    • Chaka Khan
    • Cynda Williams
    • Debra Wilson (“MADtv”)
    • Diahann Carroll
    • Donna Summer
    • Dorothy Dandridge
    • Downtown Julie Brown
    • Erica Dunlap (Miss America 2004)
    • Estelle
    • Eve
    • Halle Berry
    • Heather Headley
    • Jamaica Kincaid
    • Janet Jackson
    • June Jordan
    • Kerry Washington
    • Kim Wayans
    • Lena Horne
    • Leslie Uggams
    • Lynn Whitfield
    • Minnie Riperton
    • Oluchi Onweagba
    • Paula Patton
    • Pearl Bailey
    • Rihanna
    • Robin Givens
    • Roxie Roker (Helen Willis on “The Jeffersons”, Lenny Kravitz’s mother)
    • Sade
    • Sharon Leal
    • Sherri Saum
    • Stacey Dash
    • Susan Rice
    • Suzan-Lori Parks
    • Tamyra Gray (“American Idol”)
    • Thandie Newton
    • Tina Turner
    • Tracey Edmonds
    • Traci Bingham
    • Venus Williams
    • Victoria Rowell
    • Whoopi Goldberg
    • Zoe Kravitz
  • white women:
    • Ellen Pompeo (“Grey’s Anatomy”)

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interracialdatingFrom 2002 to 2004 researchers at Columbia University ran something of a speed dating service in New York. Not so much to find dates for the 400 graduate students who signed up, though they did that, but to find out what goes into the decision to date someone. One thing they looked at was how and why race affects dating.

The beauty of speed dating is that you can find out who wants who in short order. And, if you ask enough survey questions and run enough numbers, you can start to find out why.

The study found that women prefer to date men of their own race, even when given plenty of opportunity to date outside their race. Men, however, do not care – they are far more interested in a woman’s looks than her race. Race also matters less to those who are older or better looking.

In the study white men and East Asian women often wound up picking each other. Not because white men have a thing for East Asian women or think they are better looking (they do not, not in this study), nor is it because East Asian women prefer white men. Instead it is because East Asian women are far more willing to date outside their race than other women.

While East Asian women do prefer men of their own race, they have nothing against white men. They do, however, have something against dating black and Hispanic men because of their race.

There were four races in the study: black, white, Hispanic (not a race, I know, but in this study it was) and East Asian. They wanted to do South Asians too but not enough signed up.

Too few blacks signed up to draw any firm conclusions about them. But of those in the study, the women preferred their own race the most strongly. The black men did not care – just like the men of other races.

So why do women prefer men of their own race? The study found that it was not because they thought their men were better looking or shared common interests or came from the same class or had the same level of education. It had to do with where the women grew up.

That surprised the researchers: where a woman lived when she was 11 told you more than anything else about the race of man she would date – even if she was at a top university in a big city far from home. Those who came from parts of the country or parts of the world that were more racist were more likely to stick to their own race when dating.

They also found that those who grew up in places where there were many people of another race were less likely to date that race! So, for example, whites who came from a place with many blacks were less likely to date blacks.

The study said that a person’s race did not affect one’s judgement about who was good-looking.

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Most of the following should apply to women of any colour anywhere in the world, but as it is based on my experience as well as an article from Ebony magazine, it applies particularly to black women in America and the West Indies.

If you want to date and marry a black woman, then you should:

1. Only go after beautiful black women.

Many are not taken and not all of them are stuck up! You might think you would have more luck going after plainer women, but that only works in the short run, because you will not be able to do what comes next:

2. Tell her how beautiful she is. Repeatedly.

No matter how amazing she looks, she thinks she is fat, that her hair is no good, that her body does not please you. Tell her how you love her eyes, her body, her shape, her hair, her skin colour, everything. But this only works if you mean it and she believes it.

3. Keep an open mind.

Do not assume that she:

  • is stuck up
  • is overbearing
  • has a man
  • does not need a man (she does)

Even if she is overbearing, she does not think of herself that way: it is her way of showing her love and concern for you. Like some mothers.

4. Only go after a woman you would want to marry.

She is not necessarily looking for a husband, but if the two of you last, then after a point she will want to settle down and get married.

5. Be faithful.

She may forgive, but she will never forget. The hurt you cause can last a lifetime. It will also make this impossible:

6. Make her feel special.

She wants the flowers and all that, but she also wants to know that she is the only one for you. Show her. Surprise her. Use your imagination.

7. Lose weight and look your best.

Unless she is blind.

8. Become knowledgeable about her body and how to please her.

She wants it as much as you do, but she wants more than five minutes!

9. Do not be cheap.

It makes her feel cheap. She will not want to be with you. It is not your money that she is interested in, but what it says about your character.

10. Let her flirt.

In most cases she is not looking for someone new. She just wants to know if she still has it, if she is still desirable to other men. She means no harm by it.

10. Think James Bond.

What draws women to James Bond is not so much his looks or his car, but his confidence, daring, and boldness; how he is able to face any circumstance no matter how bad it looks. He knows his mind and takes action.

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