I recently decided to take another gander at this whole online dating thing. I am an African-American female in my thirties living in Atlanta, never married, and trying to make my parents feel at ease that I am at least trying to meet someone. I first created a profile on one of the more popular sites and was able to get winks and e-mails, but I wanted to see if there was a different approach other websites had in helping me find my ideal match.
I went to another site that stated they had a scientifically proven guarantee my match was a true one. After being on two different sites, I started to see a certain trend among non-African-American men I was being matched with on both sites. On one of the sites, I was matched with seventeen non-African-American men. They seemed nice, but when I saw what they put down as their choice in their partner’s ethnicity, thirteen of them did not check the African American box. Although my preference as always been “no preference,” I understand everyone has ethnicity preferences, so I am not in any way offended.
What was disconcerting was the fact that the majority of the thirteen had chosen to check every single box except the one near the words African American. The number of men who wanted White/Caucasian, Hispanic/Latino or Spanish origin, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native was a bit overwhelming. I went onto the other site I was also registered with and the same trend was also appearing. I can take rejection, but I was not expecting this. I tried to come up with excuses as to why I kept seeing this, but after awhile, I simply could not understand it. I kept asking, What is so wrong with me that simply categorizing myself as an African American female makes me automatically unappealing?’ Is it my skin? No, no, no, that can’t be. It is 2011! Are African-American features not found physically attractive? Is it my hair? Is it the fact that my hair is not like that of another race appalling to men outside of my race and other ethnicities? Are men seeing all African American women as one-dimensional? Really, what is it?
I once heard a white male, a very educated one who is now a state elected official, say that whether we want to admit or not, society classes black women at the bottom of everyone else. I winced when I heard him say that. Honestly, I have never and will never hear what people outside of my race think of African-American women when I or another African-American is not in the room. Because of this, I thought maybe he heard comments that would never be said in front of the general public, let alone an African-American.
Now, I know I am not and never will be at the bottom of anything, but I am truly, truly exhausted of these antiquated perceptions if they do still exist. I want to believe they do not. But when I see what men choose as their ethnicity choice, I cannot help but to ask, what is it about black that makes you turned off from wanting to share your life with it in a relationship? What is it about black that makes you NOT want to, as one man put it whose choice was everyone one but with an African-American, believe the best long-term relationship is one in which we are not only spiritually compatible, but can truly share each others dreams, if not have a similar one. By the way, this same man’s profile headline stated, Let’s share, care, give, forgive, dance, romance, love, and worship God above. I guess women out there who are matched with him will have the opportunity to do so, as long as they do not check the box next to African-American.