Social Question

Cupcake's avatar

How would you feel about pursuing a relationship with someone who has strong racial/ethnic dating preferences?

Asked by Cupcake (13466points) February 12th, 2010

How would you feel about dating someone who would not date people of a certain cultural background or someone who would only consider dating people of a certain background?

Is this something you would explore with someone you were interested in dating?

Would you consider someone with racial/ethnic dating preferences prejudiced?

I’m only talking about culture, race, ethnicity, color here… not beliefs, religion, compatibility, etc.

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59 Answers

njnyjobs's avatar

I don’t consider that to be a prejudice, People choose or date other people based on their comfort zones or levels…. If the criteria is based on culture or race or etnicity, then I would respect their choices for dating based on those criteria in their pursuit of a lifelong, and hopefully happy relationship. If I fall into the category, then obviously I would have a upperhand or an advantage over other aspirants. However, if I were in the opposite, then I would take that information and wise up not to spend time, money and effort on the lost cause.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I would consider that a personal preference.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would definitely have to deconstruct their reasons for it for them – it’d irk me, yes.

Blackberry's avatar

It is their preference, but it still kind of bothers me when I’m prejudged though. An example is an older woman telling me I’m too young for them when they haven’t given me a chance. I only date older women because I’m too mature for people my age, they just assumed I was immature because I’m 24 and not 30.

Dr_C's avatar

People have a type. That’s life. If the person is dating you.. why would you be interested in what kind of person he’s NOT interested in? Enjoy your relationship and stop nitpicking.

Spirit_of_the_Nomad's avatar

I would prefer to not be pursued by someone because of my race but if I met someone and we hit it off and upon getting to know him learned that he only dated women who fit my profile I be a little put off but if we have a strong relationship and I like him I wouldn’t end the relationship because he finds my culture or race attractive. Although I did break up with a guy after meeting his previous girlfriend at a concert we were attending. He was much older than me and we were thrown together in a number of different settings and just sort of hit it off. We’d been seeing eachother for a few weeks and he had implied that he didn’t date women as young as me regularly. His ex was exactly my age and we even looked alike; I felt like part of a collection and called it off after that.

Arisztid's avatar

I have had that happen. I have both been turned down flat because of my ethnicity and sought after for it.

I am considered “exotic”: Rromani Gypsy. My ethnicity is considered “exotic” and my looks are considered “exotic” (my profile pic, despite being a cartoon rendition of me, is pretty accurate).

If they are interested in me for more than my looks with my ethnicity being secondary to my personality in importance to them, I am fine with it. If not, I will not have anything to do with them. Basically, if they want to date an ethnicity, not me, I am not interested.

Is it racist of them if they only want, or do not want, someone for their ethnicity? That depends:

I would say that if someone only dates whatever ethnicity because they think all others are inferior, that is racism. If they date whatever ethnicity because they are attracted to it, that is not racism.

Attraction is not racism.

phil196662's avatar

It would depend on wither we had some common ground and complementary interests, if they’re ok with it then you can’t loose if you can talk and compromise!

Val123's avatar

Well, being attracted to a certain type isn’t racist. If this person, say, isn’t attracted to Black women, do they have black friends however? What kinds of things are said in conversation about the races? That’s be more telling.
There is a certain physical type that I wouldn’t date, but that doesn’t mean I dislike everyone with the physical trait.

Poser's avatar

I am dating someone who will only date someone of my race. It doesn’t bother me. She is simply not attracted to other races. Ironically, she isn’t attracted to her own race.

Oxymoron's avatar

I think those are just preferences. I have many of my own that way.

Facade's avatar

I wouldn’t.

laureth's avatar

I think lots of people have a preference for people they find especially attractive. Many times it’s for people who look like themselves, sometimes it’s for people who look very different. As long as they find me attractive, that person would qualify to date me. :) After all, most of the time I’ve dated people who will only consider dating a certain gender (i.e., men who will only date women, for example). People like what they like.

Now, if someone is a bigot who not only chooses to date only from a certain ethnic group but also refuses to do business with some people based on ethnicity, or won’t befriend them simply for what they look like, or has strongly held stereotypes that reason will not shake, or for any other reason is a flaming jackass, well, I probably wouldn’t be very interested in forming a relationship with that person anyway.

slick44's avatar

So you mean their prejudice? not worth my time

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I kind of understand this question. The person I’ve been seeing told me at the outset that I was not his “type” and that has caused a lot of fears in me even though we’ve had some fabulous times and I believe in his love for me. The freaking “type” thing is a threat to me, as if one of these days he’ll have some sort of epiphany and wonder what he was thinking falling in love with me in the first place.

As far as pursuing someone who’d up front tell me they weren’t interested in people of my ethnicity or whatever, I wouldn’t do it. A lot of people have no idea of my ethnic backgrounds and share a lot of information I’d rather not know, things they’d probably ot say if they knew more about me.

evandad's avatar

If she was pretty I’d probably spend the night, but be gone in the morning.

TLRobinson's avatar

I have a personal preference. Would I be adverse to dating someone outside of my race? Likely, but not improbable.

It’s what is attractive to ME. There is certain skin tones within my own race that wouldn’t peak my interest. I like, what I like.

bean's avatar

it’s the 21st century and its 2010… no one is worth my time if they are still caught up between color, race, culture, tradition…
good looking or not…. they are shallow to still think this matters… jeeze…

Grow up. be open minded.

TLRobinson's avatar

@bean-it’s called a preference, not a requirement. To say you don’t have PREFERENCES, is not being truthful, IMO.

bean's avatar


I don’t have a preferences… If I meet some one I am interested in I’m going to go for it… being racist isn’t a preference…. it’s judgment,

if we are talking about preferences such as what I look for in a partner is different…. what I assume is my compatibility and being racist are two completely different subjects
so… i am being truthful in the aspect of not caring about racial preferences… thats what the question was asking…

Poser's avatar

@bean—So I’m racist if I’m not attracted to members of a certain race?

TLRobinson's avatar

@bean-so are you saying dating preferences outside your race, is racist?

bean's avatar

@Poser no… you wouldn’t be racist… thats just a basic mind set of what you are or not attracted to, thats not racial it’s a compatibility or what you prefer in appearence… I guess it contradict both sides being racial or not
it really depends on what your motive was…. are you not going to date them because they are from a certain country and back ground? or are you not going to date them because you just don’t find a certain weight, hight, hair color or eye color attractive?

@TLRobinson I never said what my preferences are, I never said what is or what isn’t right I just stated that being racist in general isn’t the right idea. I said racial preferences don’t matter to me… there for obviously I have nothing against any race or who I date…
did you read what i wrote?

TLRobinson's avatar

@bean- I read what you wrote and I stand by my inquiry. My interpetation of your answer is that if someone makes a dating preference based of race and/or ethnicity, they are racist. If this is not your opinion, I stand corrected.

Cruiser's avatar

I would be more than fine with it but truth be told if I ran into someone who was that uptight about their racial barriers I would know right off the bat it was a losing battle and move on.

bean's avatar

@TLRobinson obviously your racist if you are making a preference based upon some one’s race or ethnic back ground…. how is that ok? if you were just judging some one based of what you find attractive or not, obviously thats just preference of appearance and compatibility…
how is not wanting to date some one or not liking them based on their race, culture or ethnicity – not racist?
I’m saying, yes it is racist, if thats your motive.

bean's avatar

@TlRobinson it also depends… are we talking about singular persons or a whole race of people?

TLRobinson's avatar

@bean-did you read my answer?~ Again, it’s a PREFERENCE, not a requirement! I prefer tall men, but would I date a short man? Possibly… Race, ethnicity, height, weight, two eyes or one, it’s a preference. It’s what I like.

bean's avatar

@TLRobinson… we are talking about the same thing here… just confusing each other…. i suggest we drop this….. and talk about bunnies!!!!!!!!!

TLRobinson's avatar

@bean- agreed. I like furry ones; what about you?~

bean's avatar

@TLRobinson lol i got a grey one at home named banana :D furry ones are pretty cute, especially when they are babies

DrMC's avatar

hey, now don’t be molesting the furry ones.

I had a relationship for years with someone who was very bigoted, but that was part of a greater picture of judgmental elitism, with self hatred because she did not live up to her own snooty standards. It was an eye opening experience to me, I didn’t think people were like that nowadays, and foolishly was in love before I realized what I’d got myself into.

She looked down her nose at all other races, herself, me – it was a degrading experience.

I definitely have a fetish for certain species and races oh furless ones. This does not mean I hate the others. Once you are in love for a long time to a certain species you develop a certain familiarity.

Most are probably more familiar with their own “kind”

Don’t be a specieist. Take a walk in the jungle.

thriftymaid's avatar

If I were dating him I would obviously fit into the accepted racial/ethnic preference. No problem. The problem would be that I would be looking to see where else in his life he exhibited that preference.

Sophief's avatar

I wouldn’t care. Everyone has their own opinions and I respect that. I wouldn’t date certain ethnics or religions. That is my preference.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I agree with @Val123. It depends on why they wouldn’t date someone of a certain race/ethnicity. If it’s simply because they are not (romantically) attracted to people of said race or because certain cultures don’t fit with their lifestyle then I see no problem with it. There are certain cultures that are a lot stricter than others and so it may be quite difficult to be in a relationship with someone who’s culture and way of life completely contradicted yours. I know that I would find it quite difficult to be in a relationship with someone of certain cultural backgrounds or religious beliefs and so I have never attempted a relationship with someone from those backgrounds. I am not saying I would never do it but I think it’s unlikely. I am also physically attracted to certain races/ethnicities more than others but I don’t see that as being any different to being more attracted to brunettes than blonds.

However, having said all that. If the person refuses to date someone because they are racist, that is very different. A lady I know claims to not be racist and yet she has told me that if her daughters ever come home with a man of another race she will be very upset. I consider that to be racist because she obviously thinks that her race is better than any other and so other races are not worthy of dating her daughters.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

So, how do we form these ‘preferences’ if not by some sort of prejudicial standards?

Dr_C's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I don’t claim to know how these tastes or preferences are formed, But I ask you.. If they come from prejudice does the fact that I favor one genre of music or film over the other that I’m prejudices against a specific genre? If I favor Italian food over Thai food (Which I honestly don’t…) does that mean I’m prejudiced against Thai food?

To be clear, I’m not trying to be a smart ass… I’m trying to get where you’re coming from.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Dr_C I don’t see how food or music are comparable to people – in that people are a lot more complex and if you take 30 people of an ethnic group, they won’t act the same, be the same…so if you know that, then you just don’t like how they look…but aren’t you the same person who’d say ‘look aren’t all that matters’

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I think when it comes to romantic relationships then looks are important. Of course personality is too but there has to be a physical attraction there as well. We can’t help what our tastes are and so I don’t think that someone is prejudiced simply for not being physically attracted to a certain race or ethnicity. Now, if they refuse to be frends with someone based on their race regardless of how great their personality might be then yes, I think that is prejudiced. Like I said above, some people prefer blonds and some prefer brunettes when it comes to physical attraction, I don’t see skin colour as being any different in that sense.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Leanne1986 I know looks are important, but it’s not like people of one ethnicity all looks the same either.

Cupcake's avatar

And just because I “prefer” brown-haired men doesn’t mean I wouldn’t date a bald man. I don’t think strong ethnic preferences are all about attraction…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Cupcake so what are they about?

Cupcake's avatar

I think there is an element of prejudice.

Sophief's avatar

—I wouldn’t date someone with- oops better stop there.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Very true and of course I am generalising when I say I prefer the way certain ethnicities look to others but, for example, I prefer the way people look with darker skin to lighter skin regardless of their ethnicity, it doesn’t mean I would never date a very pale person but as far as instant attraction goes, I am more drawn to darker skin. It also doesn’t mean that I have a problem or anything against people with fairer skin. The way I see it, if we all liked the same thing then there would be a whole load of lonely people out there. Preferences are different to prejudice I feel and simply feeling more physically attracted on first meetings (ie: before you get to know the personality behind it) to people with a certain skin tone is not racist or prejdiced in my eyes because it is a feeling that can’t be helped.

Sophief's avatar

@Leanne1986 Such a good answer, you described that really well.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Leanne1986 I think I just can’t understand as I can find myself attracted to anyone.

Sophief's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir A few years ago I had a fwb who was bi-sexual, he was attracted to every single person he met. He was a good man, really funny. But big mistake.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir So can I but in general I find certain features, skin tones, accents etc etc more attractive than others and I don’t think I am abnormal in anyway for that.

Cupcake's avatar

The point of my question was to see if others would take such a thing into consideration when getting acquainted with someone’s character in determining whether to pursue a relationship together. Personally, I would take this in consideration. I have asked this question (would you date someone of another race? have you? etc.) to potential boyfriends and have judged them based on their response. I would have to dig deep to see if I felt their dating preferences were indicative of an underlying prejudice… which would not be acceptable to me.

I can be attracted to anyone. It is much more a mental/emotional thing for me than physical. It takes time for me to develop “attraction”. Perhaps I am outside of the norm.

I am also hypersensitive to underlying prejudice. I have a multicultural family and desire for that to continue. I live around people of many colors and intend to continue to do so. I would love to have kids of all colors and races. If my partner had underlying prejudice, that would affect our differently colored children. That is not acceptable to me.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Cupcake If someone said to me “I would never date a (insert ethnic group here) person” then I would want to know why and, depending on their answer, I may consider them racist which would lower any respect I had for them. If someone said to me “I don’t tend to be attracted to (insert ethnic group here) people” then I would consider that normal and honest..

Arisztid's avatar

Physical preference is not racism unless there is some other reason the person prefers, or does not like, people of a certain ethnicity or only will date members of their own ethnicity. I do think that someone who dates only based on physical preference is shallow. Also, like I said here I consider the reverse to be shallow.

I have a physical preference for women of my ethnicity, or of someone outside of my ethnicity with the same looks. Here is a fantastic woman who pretty much sums up my physical taste. She was a bit thin because of how she danced, she could not keep weight on, but other than that, she is an example of my physical ideal. This does not mean that I do not find women of all ethnicities attractive… I do. It is just my preference.

However, that is just physical preference. I am married to and hopelessly in love with a lovely German Lady, as white as white can be with a lovely smattering of freckles. We are at 6 years and going strong, by the way. If she had happened to be encased in the flesh of a black woman, a Latina, a Rromni (female Rromani Gypsy), or anything else when I met her I still would have married her. I am a very lucky guy that my wife decided to select me. :)

So, while my preference is someone of my ethnicity, that is not the end all for me. That is not what decides who I date and fall in love with.

Someone in here said that preference for specific ethnicity is more than just looks.

That could be or it could not be. Some are just interested in the looks, some have a fascination with the cultures associated with the ethnicity.

Also, some people are not comfortable with dating someone from any culture other than their own. I have heard that quite a bit. Even with them, if it is a matter of being comfortable with that culture without looking down on another ethnicity, I still do not call it racism. I think that the person is missing out on much, but do not call them racist unless they look down on other ethnicities. In this case, I do raise an eyebrow if they turn someone down who is of another ethnicity but has the same culture as the person.

Dr_C's avatar

@Arisztid best possible answer to this question. Thread over. End.

Arisztid's avatar

@Dr_C Thankyou very much! I am honored. :)

Keysha's avatar

@Arisztid I feel the same about you. I’m so lucky!

To a point, I can see it. Those women that are very much ‘Americanized,’ meaning they feel empowered to do as they can and will, as long as it does not hurt their spouse, would have a hard time with those in the Middle East who believe women should be veiled and in the home. So I, personally, would not date someone with those cultural beliefs.

If it is a bias based on stereotypes, I consider it racism. If it is based on knowledge of the ethnicity and how it would interact with you, it is not.

Arisztid's avatar

@Keysha <blushes> :)

You are talking about more severe cultural differences than I am, love, but you make a good point. It depends on the cultures involved.

Would you evaluate individuals within the culture though and base a decision on each person? For example, my culture says to not lay with the Gadje but this is passing with us and I do not hold to that. (I am asking this because people do not know you here… I thought I would clear that up).

Keysha's avatar

I would evaluate each person individually, yes. But I will not lie and say that knowing they are a part of that culture would not influence me. It would. but I would have no problem being friends with them. And if they did not show the cultural and religious tendencies that disagree with my own so very much, I could see it being more… if they remained in the US and we never had kids. At least for the culture I am using as an example.

I am the type to not want children, period. If it were not for that, and I was with them long enough, I may consider it. But with the way divorce makes enemies of best friends, I would have to really think about it. The Middle Eastern cultures seem to be so very different, that I am certain, given the right circumstances, I would lose my child or have to sacrifice my personal beliefs. I am not the sort to want to do either.

If anyone wonders at my feelings like this, read the book ‘Not Without My Daughter’ and you will understand. Don’t watch the movie, read the book. It is worse.

Arisztid's avatar

@Keysha Now I can see that. I remember the movie and the news… I need to read the book. I tend to “Americanize” a bit with my thoughts like a typical, well, American and my mind immediately focuses on the cultures, including immigrant ones, prevalent here.

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