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How Do People of Different Races Date?

I’m not even going to attempt to answer the question I pose in the title because I can’t. Even though I am a stew of Puerto Rican, Black, and Japanese cultures and bloodlines, I have no idea what it’s like to date women of different backgrounds because 97 percent* of the women I’ve dated are Black**.

But this post isn’t about me and what kind of women I prefer to date. What I want to do is get to the bottom of the question: How do people of different races date?

If I did a search on Google, I’m sure information like this can be found in some scientific study, but I don’t want “data”. I want testimonials from real people who date exclusively within their race, which is something I believe is perfectly fine. The way I see it, if we’re exclusive to our own groups, we shouldn’t hide it. We should be comfortable with sharing it.

I understand for some, race is a difficult topic to discuss and I have no idea how to start this conversation, so don’t expect any instructions from me, but I do have one suggestion: Ask simple but direct questions.

For instance:

  • Would a white man ever take a white woman to a poetry slam for a date? I see white people at poetry slams, but they never look like they’re on a date. They’re always in large groups, and most of them are the support crew for their white friend who’s performing that night***.
  • One thing I love about dating Black women is we usually have a mutual love for soul food, and we don’t even have to ask other people where to go, because we already know our favorite spots, which begs the question: Do Japanese men and women have that same connection over sushi spots?
  • When a Latin woman says her ideal date involves dancing, should I assume she means going Salsa dancing?

I understand these questions may seem basic, elementary even, but hey, what can I say? When it comes to learning how people of other races date, my curiosity is kid-like.

I rarely will ever take up space in my post to ask readers to pass my blog around to other people, because you all do that anyway, right? Right. But I am going to ask anyone reading this to send it to their one friend of another race (some of us have a lot, but everyone has at least one), because I would love for them to comment and hear their own thoughts on this topic. Leave a comment on the blog or message me on Facebook ( White, Latin, Asian, even Black people I have never met and talked to, no matter where they’re from in America, I just really want to hear what dating life is like for people from different backgrounds.

And to be clear, I have no hidden agenda here outside of learning about others. People interest me in a variety of ways, and this is one of them. At the most, maybe I can learn about a couple of good sushi spots.



* I went through an exploratory phase in middle school and high school.

** Please understand this doesn’t make me a racist, though I am a preferist (yes, I just made that up), which means, I prefer to date black women.

*** I attend enough poetry slams to feel comfortable making this statement.

Categories: dating, race Tags:
  • Paige

    When I saw the title of your post, I immediately thought of this story I heard on NPR:
    It doesn’t answer your question, really, and addresses a very narrow swath of the population, but it’s interesting all the same.

    I’m posting a link because I can’t begin to articulate my thoughts on this. Maybe one for my own blog at some point. I reposted and will be interested to see what people think.

  • La

    As an African-American woman, I have dated hispanic and black men. And I have come to the conclusion: Hispanic men like to have WAY more fun. (Don’t judge me, let me explain). I have been in a few relationships with a black men (currently in one) and every time I recommend a fun activity like ATV’s in the Pocono’s or Paintball, even a afternoon at the beach..The answers usually consist of: “I don’t know how to drive those things” or “Those shits hurt” or “I can’t swim”. Maybe it’s just the men I’m dealing with that have those lame characteristics (and excuses)…But ask a Puerto Rican dude to ride some ATV’s and they will be on the first thing smoking!!! There is DEFINITELY a barrier in dating between races. I love black men, but I have NEVER encountered one that said “Hey, let’s take a carriage ride through Central Park”. For some reason black men feel as if a good time HAS to involve consuming some sort of alcoholic beverage. Every time someone hits on me, they are usually offering to take me out for a drink. I pray for the day a man comes up to me and asks to take me to a Broadway show. What makes him even think I drink at all. In all actuality, I’m not even old enough to drink (give it time, 2 more months)(But I do it anyways..shhhh). Maybe because I’m a newbie to this dating game, I don’t know the ropes. But from my experiences, black men need to find more romantic ideas for a date then a bar.

  • Supergirl*thatswho.

    La, I totally cosign! I’ve dated different races, mostly black guys, but I am currently dating a Puerto Rican dude. He is totally down for whatever, whenever (take that how u like it. lol. no pun intended on that one either) The other races of guys i’ve dated (white and arab) have always tried to do things they think I might be into as a black chick. Like, drinks, poetry slams, etc.

    (I promise I’m staying on topic, Jozen. lol) My white friends who date other white folks seem to just do drinks just like us or concerts. I know when they get into their relationship more, even if that means, they’ve been dating for a like a month, they do sh*t like go on trips or camping together. (which, I’ll be damned if I go on an out of town trip with a dude I’ve been dating for like 5 min). The hipster white folks I know will bond on doing “green things,” stuff with their dogs or basically everything on the “stuff white people like” list.

    But the one thing I think all races have in common is that everyone is trying to do something different than the high school dinner and a movie BS to get to know one another and find a connection. I do know for a fact that people will always bond over food, so I’m sure Asians, just like us, and Soul Food will bond over their sushi or Green curry.

  • ms

    i realize you’re asking about people dating within their own race and not interracially, but in my experience, as a white girl dating a chinese dude for 9 months, the fact of our racial differences doesn’t really come into play. i’ve only been to flushing once (yes, his parents do live there). we don’t split our meals between chicken & broccoli and hamburgers. we have an array of interests that don’t relate at all to skin color. i do know he doesn’t really date within his own race, whereas i just generally don’t date, period. but if he did date chinese, or if i dated white, i can’t imagine our activities being that much different. as a white girl, i like to eat, and i like movies, and i like the occasional museum. and i would hope anyone i date, of any race, is into the same.

  • GVG

    Plain and simply – it’s the men you CHOOSE to date.

  • thedlife

    I have to co-sign on your statement also La. I’ve dated men of all races and mixes and in comparison to SOME of the Black men I date…the ones from other races seem to be a bit more outgoing. I often hear the same excuses as you when it comes to doing outdoors stuff like riding ATVs or going whitewater rafting; they always start off with “You know Black folk do not…” When I’m with men of other races they seem to be more open to steeping out of their comfort zone. This is not to say that there aren’t any Black men out there who are outgoing, I know quite a few who will paintball or ride ATVs, but there are way more that don’t.

  • Brandon St. Randy

    My understanding was that white people went out in large groups, got wasted, and then the women would choose who they would hook up with. They’d give the guy a tuggie or a blowjob and then he would become her boyfriend. At that point, they would do stuff like camping and kayaking and going to Whole Foods. Just how it was explained to me.

  • Chuck

    LA and thedlife…. Def just decided to date lame-o’s… I think i speak for most black men that intensity and competitiveness whether its indoors or out is just in our cultural period. Look at football, basketball, the ATV’s my homies used ride around the way. A lot of these sports and intense activities are natural. Ive been snowboarding for 10 years. You guys should just stop dating lame-o’s.. Not hating, just saying…

  • ms

    Right, unless there’s a black man nearby we can glom onto. We’re all about the cock, you know.

  • thedlife

    We’re not talking about what men do with their boys. I see plenty of men riding ATVs in the hood together and of course they love their sports, but the question was how do they date…not how they spend their free time. Most of those guys aren’t going to ride ATVs with their girlfriends and aren’t having basketball or snowboarding dates either.

    Also I never said ALL Black men or even ALL the Black men I’ve dated are not outgoing…just some. There may be a nice chunk of black men who are willing to step out of the box, but in my personal experience there are WAY more men of other races willing to it.

  • Malaca Jones

    Ok Jozen do you see what you’ve started?LOL!!!

    Ok I am an African-American female who is often mistaken for some kind of Asian blend by Asians, AA, etc. I personally refer to myself as Black. I know it’s a color etc. I originally from the Bay Area, more specifically San Jose. After undergrad I moved to Oakland and would frequent a French and Vietnamese restaurant, LeChevals. I got to know the owners pretty well and the men would challenge me to a friendly game of golf (they really didn’t want none) one evening we were setting up a T-time and they introduced me to one of their Chinese friends who grew up in Oakland and attended Skyline High (hip cool high school) and I believe he graduated from Cal (Berkeley). We exchanged numbers and we talked over the phone a couple of times before he realized that I was not Asian at all (unless someone lied or was mislead during the slave trade) and decided that it would not be a good idea if we hungout. Damn! I felt discriminated one mo gain. To add insult to injury he couldn’t understand how I was so close to the “Asian family” and I was not Asian. Ain’t that some $h@t?

    Good points about dating Black me from thedlife, supergirl, and La. Chuck relax Boo. It is sad to say that a great majority of our race both men and women have not been exposed to all that the world had to offer nor have enough of us are willing and/or encouraged to explore. When I moved from CA to DC for graduate school I was disappointed in both the brothers and sisters for starting off sentences with Black folks don’t… by the time they said we couldn’t meet at Starbucks for our group project because Black folks… I was done. There is a Starbucks on campus and to think we limited our own experienced based on some slave mentality coupled with ignorance it really makes me angry because the men could have 12 kids by 11 different women but they didn’t gave a farm nor a decent paying job so what the?

  • Malaca Jones

    I feel u on the out of town with someone I don’t know. Just because you were on a reality TV show together for the past three days does not mean you know them.

  • Paige

    Ms. Nice.
    Glad I’m not the only one who was more than a little put off by that comment.
    Though we may be the only white girls here.
    I only date white guys (though my current boyfriend is everything BUT white on the inside, or so he says, chew on that one), but that’s not by choice. It’s just by circumstance. Especially when you grow up in suburban Kansas City… The diversified pickin’s are slim.

    I’ve really been thinking a lot about this since I read it yesterday morning. Everyone looks for shared interests and things in common when they’re just getting to know each other. Being able to look outside the “usual” dating scenario — the dinner and movies, plus the getting wasted and choosing who I’m going to hook up with — takes being comfortable enough with someone to tell them that’s what you want. And if you can’t explain to someone that you want to be adventurous, you’re probably with the wrong person, regardless of their race.

  • Natalia

    As a Colombian female who has dated outside her race (Black & other Latin Americans-not a seperate race but still a BIG difference from one country to the other) I can honestly say that it is definately challenging in certain respects. The truth of the matter is that you don’t share a lot of the same “cultural points of reference”…ie:growing up his mom had Al Green playing in the house mine was listening to Carlos Gardel, your family cookouts includ BBQ chicken–my family only eats things w/ BBQ sauce on them in “american restaurants”…
    These are all differences that make the experience more interesting in my opinion and give a lot of opportunity to share eachothers culture and learn from one another. *Although* I do have to admit that it is a little bit of a let down not having someone who enjoys a good night out dancing salsa as much as you, can’t watch Caracol with you, or doesn’t get extra excited when you say your making Sancocho for dinner… lol

    and as for your question of should you assume that if when we latin ladies say we love dancing it means salsa dancing, I wouldn’t say yes definately but I’d be pretty sure that if she was born in a Latin American country or is 1st generation it’s a pretty safe bet that yes it’s Salsa( or some other latin dance)

  • Genese

    Before moving to New York from Atlanta, I only dating Black men. But since becoming a part of the Big Apple, I’ve dated mostly bi-racial men (Black and Hispanic, Black and Asian). Unfortunately I must agreed with the other commenters that my bi-racial encounters have been more adventurous and eager to please. I’ve also noticed that they are more open to a committed relationship than my brothers….

  • GVG

    How did this turn into “Black man ain’t shit”?! no answers needed. just look in the mirror. I’m out.

  • Malaca Jones

    I don’t think that Black men aren’t … I think that some Black men and women could be more open to other experiences instead of just saying no before they even try something new or different from what they are comfortable with.

  • Monica

    As a frequent reader and usually non-poster, I must admit this one I had to comment on. As a white woman living in Miami I’ve dated guys across the spectrum: Black, Asian, Hispanic, White (Miami is a melting pot, this we know). I’ve enjoyed dating all of them and am now engaged to a white guy. Reading Supergirl’s comment made me laugh. The fiancé and I do sit at the dog park with our pup, Starbucks in hand, considering what we’ll pick up for dinner at Fresh Market. We debate about our vacations: camping and mountain biking or skiing and shopping? (Though, we’ve been dating much longer than five minutes…) We do EVERYTHING on the “stuff white people like” list. I guess we’re the overtly stereotypical, dictionary definition of the white couple. Which doesn’t seem to bother us. We aren’t hicks, but then again, we’ve never been to a poetry slam (I Googled that by the way, when a black guy I was dating asked me if I’d been to one…). So one could say I’ve become a preferist also.

    While dating outside our own race is pretty common these days, sometimes we prefer not to. At the end of the day it may be too difficult and frustrating or sometimes it works out just fine. In some of my relationships (that weren’t with white guys), as much as we tried to understand each other and where we came from, sometimes our worlds just didn’t merge, we didn’t understand each other, or maybe we just didn’t want to. But wait! What guy, regardless of race, wouldn’t love an preppy dressing, designer purse toting, hybrid driving, blonde?

    But seriously, at least now I know what a poetry slam is, I can tolerate a bit of sushi and I know the basic steps to get me through a couple of salsa songs…even though I’ll probably never do any of that with a white guy. I think maybe for now we’ll just stick to tanning, playing indie music on our Mac and that awkward hand movement we do when we “dance”….anyone know which theater Phantom of the Opera is playing at this week? I need to reserve tickets…

  • Malaca Jones

    Good post Monica. You should post more often.

  • Jaime

    I am a mixed Native American/Alaska Native/White girl. I dated a white computer science major in college and honestly, I can’t remember doing anything other than drinking and going to parties.
    I dated a full blood NA guy for awhile (I think Chippewa?), but he wanted me to quit my job and move into his apartment to do his laundry. (Hell, no!) We clashed a lot culturally because he was a city boy with a fancy car, and I was a small town girl with piercings and tattoos. I think that was more about class than race, really.
    My fiance is mixed like me, but he was born and raised in the South by his white family and is culturally alien to most NA/AN people I know (just like the full blood city boy). I don’t think race, or even culture is a factor in my relationships, otherwise I’d try to date cardboard cutouts of myself. For me, it’s chemistry, and attracting opposites that mellow out the more extreme parts of my taste and personality.

  • Christina

    I have to admit that I’m pleasantly surprised. I expected this to be all michael baysden(sp?)-like. Thought jozen would give ten reasons why we should mix it up and passionately encourage readers to date outside their race.

  • Kemz

    I am black…West Indian by culture (from Trinidad). For me, I identify by my culture before I do my race because my culture plays a huge part in who i am. I have dated mainly west indian from various islands who’ve generally been black with a couple africans thrown into the mix. I find myself drawn to men with a strong culturally background usually west indian or african. Why? Because it’s familiar, it feels like home, there are many parallels to be drawn. They tend to understand the love for the music and the passion for culture and the pride that comes with that culture….not to mention THE FOOD!…lawd lol.

    I love asian culture and have a few close asian friends but i’ve never dated an asian.

    I consider myself adventurous so I prefer someone who is adventurous. Someone who will jump out of a plane (cuz i have – skydiving), go on random cross country road trips (done this twice NY-LV), hiking, biking, out doorsy stuff and lots of traveling.

    Generally speaking, I find that when people come from other countries to the US (like me), they are more willing to try any and everything which is what i’m trying to do!

  •  Dating

    However, I must caution – If you come across a manual g37 the story would be very different – and if you do a drag race from a dig (0 MPH) the outcome would also be very different. But I am TRUELY surprised with how “well” …. Join Date: Oct 2008. Location: So-Cal. Posts: 341. Drives: c350. I’ve raced a g37s in my 350 long ago and pulled on him easily, I hear MB under rates their cars alot. And it could be that infiniti over rates? Just like the gt-r can only get certain …

  • Naja

    exactly! i read this post and thought…this is more of a culture than race issue. as well as religion. i’m a christian nigerian who would have more in common with a white christian from ukraine or a black jamaican christian than i do with a black american. maybe he should retitle the post to ‘dating from other cultures’? i wonder how many non americans jozen has dated.