I have been loving the recent posts over at the OK Cupid blog, OK Trends. First, the OKC team takes all those seemingly meaningless questions they make their users answer to see how well people should match up, based on race and religion – then they knock the whole thing on its head when they throw in peoples’ actual preferences.
I find these studies of particular personal interest, not just because of my concern for race relations and love of social media, but also because I met my boyfriend of one year on OKC and we are also in an interracial relationship. Mostly OKC’s findings confirm what me and many other people of color who have tried online dating already knew.
To be honest, when I was still on the market and very much open to dating practically anyone, I was wary enough of rejection due to my race that I very rarely reached out to guys on the site that I thought were cute and interesting based on their profiles. I figured that it wasn’t even worth putting myself out there since black women typically are considered the “bottom of the barrel” when presented with the media and society’s images of “what men want.” So I mostly waited for guys to contact me and then decide from their first message whether or not I wanted to respond – and if I didn’t, it had to do with their lack of grammar or reading comprehension skills, not with race. Thankfully, my boyfriend, (who had showed up in my matches on the site several times and who I thought was pretty cute but sounded way too good to for me based on his profile), messaged me first and the rest, as they say, is history.
I feel like I had a whole lot more to write about this but my brain won’t let me at the moment. In the meantime, another interesting related read is Racialicious‘ (love love love them, too!) analysis of the findings. Also, I really wonder how their findings would translate with same-sex couplings (I’m not sure OK Trends plans to explore this but I hope they do!).