Shallowness in online dating manifests in different ways, but is mostly about appearance. The plight of bald men has been well articulated by the likes of Larry David and Louis CK.
And of course, anytime we talk about appearance, race will eventually come into play.
As a professional matchmaker, I’ve interviewed over 1,000 singles, and in the past two and a half years, I’ve made around 2,500 matches.
This means I have been #blessed to hear a lot of this nonsense, and honestly, most of it doesn’t faze me. I meant monumental and indicative of an entrenched and deeply troubling societal prejudice that we have been unable to overcome throughout the course of human history.
Height, religion, career paths, Netflix show most recently watched, the list goes on and on. (This seems as good a time as any to mention that when I say “all my clients,” I do mean clients of all sexual orientations.
But of the 90% of the reported racial preferences, 89.9% are preferences for white people. Let’s not get heteronormative now; we’re only in the third paragraph.)Now, it gets tricky, because when a person sits down and says that they particularly want to date white people, they’re not thinking about the fact that the client before them, and the client after them, are saying the same thing.
Then again, the demographics of my clients are probably a bit skewed towards upper-middle class white people.
Money quote: The researchers found that most women speed daters said yes (meaning they’d like to see a man again after the four-minute speed date) less often to men of another race than they did to men of their own race.
Having a certain preference for a certain style isn’t inherently wrong.
Because people become the most neurotic versions of themselves on their quest for True Love, and that’s totally allowed. Here’s the thing: when asked during in-person meetings, 90% of my clients report having racial preferences. And I’m not just talking about white-on-white preferences.
People are entitled to their taste and you can’t help who you fall in love with, right? Which maybe doesn’t sound bad, because I mean, they have other preferences, too. I’m talking about all my clients, only 55% of whom identify as white.
For instance, in 2013, Ok Cupid removed users’ profile photos for one day, dubbing it “Love is Blind Day.” People couldn’t tell who was, well, what.
They complained bitterly, as OKCupid co-founder and president Christian Rudder chronicled in his book, “Dataclysm.” When the profile pictures returned, many conversations and interactions that had budded in the photos’ absence — and which Ok Cupid found to be qualitatively better than usual — fizzled.