Why Date Outside of Your Race?
Why Date Outside of Your Race?
While the rate of interracial unions has increased dramatically over the past century, many still struggle with the idea of venturing out of their comfort zone and into the colorful world of interracial dating. Sadly, those people may be missing out on great people, great opportunity, and great fun. Consider this: You could possibly triple your dating pool by opening your mind to the idea of dating someone outside of your race. For example, there are approximately 3 single, divorced, or widowed white men in the country for every one single, divorced, or widowed black women - pretty good odds.
This guide will give you a comprehensive view of the interracial dating scene to help you determine if this might be a good option for you. You will discover ways in which your life and outlook can be enriched by the simple act of moving out of your zone of comfort and into a world filled with unique people, fascinating cultures, and endless possibilities. Some of the ideas presented are derived from personal experience, others are research-based. Either way, they will help you to feel more comfortable in your pursuit of an interracial relationship and less focused on any societal stigmas associated with such dating.
So, why do people date outside their race? There are a multitude of reasons that people decide to date outside of their race. For some, it is not a decision. They don’t think twice about dating other races – they just know that they are attracted to people of a different color or ethnic background and dive right in. The importance of finding someone who they are truly connected to outweighs any judgment placed upon them by society. They do what they want – how and when they want. For others, the answer is more complex.
No Substitute for Experience
There are some people who are motivated to date outside of their race as a result of personal experience. Maybe there was a bad experience with a person of their own race and they desire something completely different. Perhaps their mother or father was in a wonderful interracial relationship for much of their childhood and they associate safety, comfort and positivity with such unions. Perhaps there was a significant interracial relationship that sparked a long-lasting fire in the person’s heart and they want to rekindle that fire. Regardless of the nature of the relationship, the impact was great and has inspired them to continue interracial dating.
Childhood events can also shape perceptions. Some people have never established a sense of pride in their own race as a result of negative role models and influences during childhood. Some of these individuals never establish cultural pride. As we all know, the effects of childhood experiences can last a lifetime. I should point out that you can have a tremendous amount of cultural pride and also date outside of your race.
The Sound of the Stereotypes
In researching some of the reasons specific racial groups date others, I decided to consistently repeat some of the same statements over and over. These statements may be stereotypes unto themselves – no statement is true for each and every member of a cultural group – but they also imply other stereotypes.
It’s difficult for some to digest but, more often than not, stereotypes are based in some glimmer of reality. This statement isn’t meant to herald the hate-mongering hurtful words spewed by mean people with intent to harm. It’s just a fact that we are all different and certain cultures have common traits that should be celebrated. This doesn’t mean that blondes aren’t smart or that all African American men are well-endowed – that’s ridiculous. However, some interracial daters, weary of having lived with the negative stereotypes throughout their lives, turn to interracial dating.
Here are some common answers given by interracial daters when asked why they date outside of their race:
Black Women Dating White Men
•They are more romantic
• They are less sexually inhibited
• They are more respectful
• Their childhood was more stable
• They are more financially successful
White Men Dating Asian Women
• They care more about their appearance
• They are more elegant
• They know how to care for men
• They appreciate intelligence
White Women Dating Black Men
• They are more passionate
• They care more about their health
• They are more in tune with family
• They love their mothers and know how to treat women
Don’t shoot the messenger. The above statements are answers commonly heard from men or women who have not had good experiences dating someone of their same race. Many African American women state that they feel that African American men were not romantic enough and that they were only interested in satisfying their own sexual needs. We, of course, know that this is not necessarily true for all African American men. It is simply an experience shared by a certain group of African American women who date outside of their race. Perhaps this group of women happened to have a few bad experiences and generalized a few experiences to the entire race of men. And perhaps their generalization should be internal. In other words, maybe they are the ones seeking out a certain type of man, such as ‘the bad boy’ or the ‘unavailable’ etc.
Curiosity & the Cat
For some people, interracial dating is a simple matter of curiosity. As the number of interracial relationships increases, more people have started to consider the idea as a possible option for themselves. They may even feel a twinge of guilt just having such thoughts because of decades of social conditioning within their circle of family and friends. Many times these individuals keep their fantasies a strict secret – forever. Despite the curiosity gnawing at them, they do nothing.
Curiosity is, perhaps, the number one reason people become involved in a romantic way with those of a different color or culture. Maybe you’ve “been around the block” so to speak within your own race and want to venture outside established borders to see what’s out there. Whatever your reason, it’s a personal decision.
It seems obvious, but I would be remiss if I didn’t caution you to be certain that your intentions are known by the person you are dating. In other words, if your curiosity is motivated by sex, you should let your partner know that. There are enough people out there in the world and you can find someone with similar interests. If you only want to explore sexually with another race, find someone who is similarly motivated. And if that is the case, take adequate precautions to protect yourself and your partner. Never toy with someone’s emotions – that could get ugly fast. End of lecture.
There really isn’t anything wrong about being curious. In fact, curiosity is what sparks any relationship between anyone. You see someone. You are attracted to them. You are curious about them. You want to know if your feelings are reciprocated. And in the end, it is that curiosity and mystery that fuels the flame of a relationship as it progresses. If you knew every minutia about the person you were with, things would get pretty boring. An open book should be something that you read – not your partner. This isn’t to say you should hide things that are important. You should just keep enough curiosity and mystery in any relationship to keep those fires burning. So embrace your curiosity and know that it doesn’t necessarily kill the cat.
Vive La Différence!
For some, dating outside of their own race is a journey through the beauty of differences and uniqueness. They may not date exclusively outside their race, but they love the unique differences found in other cultures. They enjoy expanding their horizons outside of the confines of their own culture. This can mean anything from sexuality to cooking. You should cherish the differences and never feel ashamed of wanting to explore those differences. As the old saying goes, variety is the spice of life. If you find yourself craving variety it’s important to indulge.
It’s no surprise that the physical and sexual aspects of an interracial romance can be the most tempting! In fact, if it doesn’t seem tempting, you may want to take your temperature or step out of the freezer – the sexual differences between races and cultures are downright sizzling. Differences in sexuality can keep a romance alive and vibrant in times when emotional conflicts get tough. It may even save long-term relationships from breaking up.
An Open Mind is an Open Heart
Many studies have found that the individuals most interested in interracial dating tend to be more educated, more intelligent, and more understanding than those with no interest in such relationships. This is a fairly common sense statistic: education typically breeds understanding, acceptance, and appreciation. There is a greater chance that those who have some sort of higher education, have spent time in other areas of the world, or have a natural understanding that different does not equate to bad. They are often more willing to engage in relationships beyond their own demographics.
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that educated people are all actively seeking out interracial relationships. The bottom line is that those involved in interracial relationships tend to have a more mature and advanced understanding of the world and people, meaning that interracial daters tend to be more open-minded than your Average Joe. That’s not a bad environment for anyone looking to start a long-term, serious relationship. Best of all, guess where else an open mind can help – in bed!
Substance over Matter
In the end, it is substance that endures. Being motivated solely by sex is not necessarily a bad thing; however, I don’t know of any quality relationship that stood the test of time strictly based on sex. You have to have some commonality. You have to be able to relate to each other. Sitting in a room with your partner at a loss for words ultimately means a loss of that partner. We have all seen couples who have endured the test of time but seem to be completely mismatched. When you look a little deeper into these relationships you will find similar values and goals and a deep level of commitment. Excitement in a relationship is fueled by discussion, banter, and lively conversation.
Some successful, highly educated African American women complain that they struggle to find African American men that they can relate to and who have similar interests and experiences (don’t kill the messenger). Further, they state that the highly educated and successful African American men that they DO find are dating white women. Well to that I say, perhaps they should start thinking outside of their comfort zone. Instead of looking for a man of a certain shade, look for partners with similar backgrounds and experiences, no matter what the color. Suddenly an entirely new world of possibilities will begin to open up and the quality of the relationship will be better because you have commonality.
Whatever the race of your partner, you must have something to connect to in order to keep the relationship alive. Keeping the spark alive is crucial in any relationship. Keep it interesting. Savor the mystery and add a little of your own. Keep it fun. Do the things you did when you first met. Buy flowers. Walk in the park. Your relationship is like a flower – it needs to be nurtured and fed with a lot of love and warmth. If this doesn’t happen, over time, it will wither away – the same goes for a stale and boring relationship.
I have included only a few of the reasons you may find yourself exploring the possibility of dating interracially. Perhaps none of them apply to you. Perhaps all apply to you and then some. Each situation is different just as each person is different, and nobody can dictate the reasons you should become involved with another human being… except you.
If you are a person who prefers interracial relationships, great! You may have to deal with some of the logistical issues and intermittent judgment in society, but you don’t let anyone preach to you about the interracial dating because it can be such a positive experience. But you already know this! If you have only just begun to explore the possibility of dating beyond your race, I have included some of the most effective methods of becoming involved in the “interracial dating scene” as well as means for coping with some of the negative stigmas associated with such relationships.
Perhaps this is the time when you ask yourself whether an interracial relationship is right for you. There is no need to dive in from the deep end. You can just stick your foot in to test the waters. Find some friends who are already dating interracially and ask them about their experience, both positive and negative. Explore an online interracial dating site or some other type of online forum that can help guide you and give you a deeper understanding of what it will be like to be in an interracial relationship. And then you can ask yourself if it is right for you. Are you ready to handle the challenges of dating interracially in this society? Is it something you really want? Are you finally ready to throw caution to the wind and explore something you have always wanted?
Do you remember what I pointed out at the beginning of this section as a benefit of interracial dating? You could possibly triple your dating pool by opening your mind to the idea of dating someone outside of your race. Think about that. Limiting yourself to dating people of only one race is just that – limiting. I encourage you to sit down, challenge yourself, and really ponder the following questions as they pertain to your life and your personal situation.
What if you could dramatically expand your social circle?
What if you could feel comfortable going to clubs, bars, and functions that you would not normally attend because you felt out of place?
What if you could feel comfortable enough to strike up conversations with the people at those functions?