"This is depressing, but it shouldn't be a revelation."I suppose that means I should just get used to comments like the one I received on Bumble last week, when a guy said, "How did you know I [heart emoji] Indian Texans?!Tinder revolutionized the dating world when it was launched five years ago.Y., where only 1.5 percent of the population is black.“Meeting a nice black woman around my age in this area has about the same chances of success as throwing a rock from Times Square and having it land on the moon,” he said.
In fact, a quick search on nearly any targeted dating site reveals poachers—people who use these sites to find a partner of a certain demographic to which they themselves do not belong.
BBPeople Meet.com, a website for plus-size people, has a sizable portion of lean lovers. Many of these websites attract people who are looking, quite literally, for their significant “other.”Take Benjamin Hagar, 23, a white man who’s interested in dating only black women—a difficult pairing, given that he lives in Saranac Lake, N.
"About 90 percent of people [whom we work with] had a racial preference, and about 85 percent of that was for white people," she says.
"Black women and Asian men have it the worst."I'm not a black woman or an Asian man, but I'm a first generation Indian-American woman. " For example, after asking where I lived and how I was planning to spend the weekend, a Tinder user I matched with jumped right into: "So what is your ethnicity? The classic question," he began nonchalantly guessing: "Indian or Sri Lankan? I grew up with these kind of questions living in Laredo, Texas, and later in college at the University of Texas at Austin. Race had yet again become the conversation starter."If you accept the premise that most people are people of goodwill, which I think is reasonable, I don't think people are adopting these preferences because they really dislike other races or out of a racial thing," says Rudder.
Though many of these dating sites neither encourage nor forbid trespassing, some have tacitly welcomed outsiders.
JDate, for instance, has added new options to its profiles: “willing to convert,” and even “not willing to convert.”Outsiders on sites such as Black People Meet are more conspicuous, but this hasn’t kept them away.“I find African-American women take care of themselves, dress better and treat their men better,” said David Dargie, 58, a white store manager from Vermont who has a dating profile on Black People Meet. Some men like blondes, some like brunettes—I like black people.”Stereotypes, such as the notion that a Jew will have strong family values or an Asian will be highly educated, are “very enduring” despite “tons of disconfirming evidence,” said Jennifer Lee, a sociology professor at the University of California-Irvine, who focuses on ethnic minorities, interracial marriage, and multiracial identity.“Even a complimentary stereotype can be damaging,” Lee said.“It seems like it might be flattering, but what they’re doing is putting that person into a box and hoping that they conform to their image of what a Jewish person is, or what a black person is, based on preconceived notions.”Members of minority groups often prefer to stick together.Though the proportion of interracial marriages, according to Pew Research, was at an all-time high in 2012—8.4 percent—that still means more than 90 percent of marriages are intra-racial. “I understand where they’re coming from.” But he’s not taking down his profile; in fact, he said he is “very busy” speaking to interested women from the site.Paul and Tanya Zimmerman met on JDate in the late ’90s. She introduced herself from the get-go as Asian—and Catholic.Paul Zimmerman, 56, a property manager from Los Angeles, joined JDate in its early days. The message was from Tanya Tran, 49, a Vietnam-born property manager.I wasn't Priya; I was nonwhite person number X.