Friday, December 18, 2009

Follow Friday

We still don’t really get the point of “Follow Friday” on Twitter, but we did want to take today to share two cool dating blogs we found this week.

The first is a post from And That’s Why You’re Single, an interesting, if brutally honest, relationship blog that favors the question-and-answer format.

I have always been attracted to Caucasian men, considering I’m a black female it makes it harder for me to approach them or strike a conversation. My question is which would be the best places for me to hang out to increase my chances of meeting one, and are there any social gatherings for people with this interest in DC.

I don't know of specific organizations that cater to bi-racial dating. I do know certain speeddating events that offer Ethnicity X Female/White Male events. I rarely see any Ethnicity X Male/White Female Events. For some reason, the white male is "the get."

When I used to organize speeddating events for another company, I never liked the idea of planning these types of events. I felt it was feeding in to a fetish. I mean, I'm sorry, but there just felt something skeevy to me about hosting an Asian Female/Caucasian Male event. And I was always unsettled by men and women who who "only" dated men/women of a specific ethnicity other than their own. To some degree there seemed to be a level of stereotyping going on with that.

There's also quiet a bit of controversy amongst each individual race/ethnicity when it comes to dating outside that specific ethnicity. Many feel betrayed if someone chooses to date someone else outside of their race. But, again, my knowledge of this is limited and am anxious to hear what others who have experienced this have to say. My niece and nephew are bi-racial and I do wonder about when they get older and begin to date. Will they only date white men and women because that's what they are surrounded by? Is who we are attracted to based on our environment and what we know?

I'm also intrigued by this idea that people who don't date outside of their race are deemed racist. Is being attracted to a specific ethnicity racist?

I wonder if some women (caucasian and non-caucasian) who will only date caucasian men do so because they attach some level of status or accomplishment to such relationships. I don't find anything about the caucasian male that stands out or is "better." But then, I'm whitey white girl who grew up in a white town and have only dated white guys. So, of course I'm not going to find anything exotic or unique about them because I see them all the time.Plus, I've dated so many and seen/met some many that are less than stellar that I just don't get the appeal. But again. I'm white and I was born and raised here, so my understanding an experience is limited to my narrow little world view.

Here's what I think: I think white men are bigger Equal Opportunity Daters than white women. Meaning, white men are more open to dating women of other ethnicities than white women are. But that's just my opinion and certainly not fact. So, if you are attracted to caucasian men, I don't think you need to go to events specifically targeted events. I think you'd have the same success rate at any open/multi-racial event than you would a targeted social opportunity.

Here’s our take:
For the most part, we don’t think you can help who you’re attracted to. But some people place restrictions on who they’ll date that are purely based on race and/or religion (i.e., only dating Jews, Catholics, blacks, whites, Asians, etc.).

If you grow up surrounded by people who all look a certain way, you’re probably more likely to develop a very specific definition of beauty that doesn’t have much range. Like when guys say that they’re only attracted to blondes.

We definitely think you’re limiting yourself if you’re only attracted to people of a specific race, but it can be hard to overcome deeply embedded social norms. But only being attracted to people of a specific race and only wanting to date people of a specific race are two different things—although we’re not going to fight that battle on this blog.

The religion thing is more perplexing. While we understand that some people want to raise their children a certain way (and would therefore not want to date someone who wants his children to have a different upbringing), the “I only date Catholics/Jews/Muslims/Episcopalians” starts years before anyone should be thinking about marriage (i.e., in high school).

The more restrictions you place on the “type” of person you’re willing to date, the harder it’s going to be to find some version of “The One.” And while these types of decisions are intensely personal, we hope that you do some serious thinking before you decide to exclude an entire group of people from your dating pool.


Our second pick is a blog called Dating with Disabilities. It’s written by Melissa Blake, who, as the title suggests, is navigating the dating world with a visibly physical disability.

Ms. Blake, a freelance writer by trade, is quick to admit that she’s somewhat of a novice in the dating game. And while we didn’t always agree with her advice, we did appreciate her fresh and unique perspective on male/female interactions.

Her best posts chronicle her own dating adventures—mishaps and all—and what’s perhaps most fascinating is her positive outlook. Ms. Blake is looking for love, and she’s not as jaded about it as most 27-year-olds.

Ms. Blake throws rules out the window. She’s very against mind games and manipulation. That’s because she doesn’t operate on the date-as-many-guys-as-I-can-to-find-The-One, occasionally-randomly-hook-up-so-I-don’t-go-crazy schedule that the urban 20-something seems to fall into.

What we love most about “Dating with Disabilities” is when Ms. Blake describes the giddy, “I-can’t-believe-he’s-sitting-in-my-bed” feeling that we’d almost forgotten about. When you remove sex from the equation, it’s easier to remember why we’re doing this. It’s not to trick the best guy you can into sticking around, it’s to find someone who makes you feel like you’re thirteen again.

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