If you have been even slightly interested in online dating, then you’ve probably heard the disheartening statistics about black people and online dating. If you haven’t, let me summarize them for you. Actually, there is only one online dating statistics to point out for the sake of this article.
- Both black men and black women are the least responded to online
This finding was part of OKCupid’s 2014 report but has been a common trend in other more recent researches into online dating. There have been many articles written on this subject, ranging from how even online dating has white privilege to why black women aren’t successful with online dating.
Before I go any further, I should confess that I have tried online dating for a few years and have had some success. I used some of the mainstream dating sites but never the black leaning sites. As a black woman, I can’t say that I felt left out of the online dating game on these sites. I have to admit, however, that I never compared my results with women of other races. I don’t know if what I deem as a pretty successful run would be a total failure in their eyes.
My personal experience hasn’t made me turn a blind eye to these glaring statistics that seem to hunt black women especially when searching for love online. After reading so many studies and articles, it lead me to question if black people should quit online dating and focus their energies elsewhere.
There is no doubt that online dating and the internet in general is growing fast to become the number one place to find love. It was once a rarity to find a friend that will openly admit to trying online dating. Now, it’s a rarity to find a friend who hasn’t. So, of course I understand that asking if black people should quit online dating might sound like a silly question. Technology is leading society that way, so why fight the trend?
The problem is the most popular and biggest dating sites continue to favor whites. Most of my fellow black daters, both men and women, have complained to me about how difficult it is to find anything viable online. The research only affirms their experiences and put statistics to the reality. A study conducted by UC Berkeley years ago clearly showed how segregation continues through online dating too. While 80% of whites contacted other whites, only 3% contacted blacks. But the same study showed that blacks were ten times more likely to contact whites. Actually, black men contacted white women more than black women. The very famous OK Cupid research done in 2014 showed similar results from all races towards blacks.
So what’s the solution? Yes, there are plenty of sites and apps like Black People Meet, Soul Swipe, Meld, and Black Cupid. but should that be our last resort to find love online? Segregation? Or should we fight to desegregate online dating and mingle with the general population online to find love. Or should we focus our energies to finding love offline?
Out of all my friends that have tried online dating, only one is open to trying a black leaning dating site. Only one. The rest of us like the “diversity” the mainstream dating sites offer. But by favoring this diversity, are we exposing ourselves to unnecessary pain? Should we go where we are appreciated?
In the UC Berkeley study, black men were the most open to dating other races. Black women have favored black men in all studies that I have looked at. But popular culture has encouraged black women to venture outside of their race and be open to dating non-black men. It see like every other black woman in movies and TV shows is in an interracial relationship. But are black women seeing no fruit to their efforts to be more open through online dating in real life?
And what if we turn our backs on online dating all together? Nothing seems more old school than meeting somebody offline these days. But can’t everything old school be new again? Although the trends are against us, we can shut off our phones and make socializing and meeting people cool again.
As you can see, I have a million questions and none of the answers. I am turning to you to see what you have to say about this matter. Let us know below about your experiences and suggestions.
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