Why you probably don't (but should) date outside your race

Why you probably don't (but should) date outside your race.jpg

Back in 1967, the Supreme Court of the United States of America said what we all knew: Race-based marriage discrimination is stupid and unconstitutional.

Even though that landmark decision made love across color lines legal, it didn't open the floodgates of interracial relations. In fact, according to a Pew research study, in 2010, only 8.4 percent of all marriages were interracial. A lot of people site this as evidence that we don't want to date interracially; I think it's just an unfortunate side effect of the fear, uncertainty and doubt we have surrounding race ... and a hint of laziness.

No matter what our racist-ass friends and family members tell us, interracial dating is the natural state of things. Biologically speaking, self-segregating ourselves by hue is completely unnatural. Biology loves variety; humans love predictability. When people say interracial dating is unnatural, what they're really saying is that the people and situations are different and it makes them uncomfortable.

Due to our physical and geographic self-segregation, even in 2013 the odds are not good for natural social mingling between races. Therefore, the only thing we usually know about other people and cultures is that they're different. Different is scary and uncomfortable for a lot of people.

When people have no experience in an area, they tend to listen to the equally ignorant people they know and trust – people who are almost exactly like themselves. As one could imagine, this creates more problems than it solves. Although a lot of people can take a logical step past that fear and anxiety, it's easier to avoid a social incident and let inertia do its job.

Like all physical things, humans prefer to take the path of least resistance. No romantic relationship is friction or resistance-free, but in our culture, people don't usually throw rocks at us on the street when we're dating someone who looks like us. Since it's entirely possible to happily date and fuck within your racial group, most people, understandably, never actively seek orifices of a different color. More detrimentally, they actively avoid these situations.

Avoidance is a common way of dealing with problems. Just ask any person who has ever hid a part of themselves to appear more socially acceptable. While it’s common, it’s also the absolute worst way of dealing with problems. In terms of interracial dating, it causes people to build individually innocuous habits that together murder any opportunities before they arise.

Like most of these things, it starts with a few words: “I don’t date…,” “I couldn’t like…,” “There’s no way I would…” Most of the time, we make these declarations before we’ve ever considered if any of it is true. Regardless, since we tend to see consistent words and behavior as a desirable trait, doing something different or changing your mind isn’t really option. Therefore, if someone of a different color comes up to talk to you, you don’t, couldn’t and wouldn’t give them the time of day.

If you never give anyone a chance to impress you, you’ll never be impressed. You will, however, be safe from social scorn. Except you won’t. Even if your sexual partners match your skin tone exactly, you will still feel the daggers of side eye and fake concern if your partner is deemed unacceptably attractive, wealthy or interesting.

Dating and relationships are about finding intimate connections with people who meet or exceed our needs. If we were to listen to society, dating and relationships are about finding intimate connections with people who meet the standards of people who have absolutely no stake in the relationship and then, possibly, your own. It just doesn’t make sense.

Interracial relationships are just as great as any monochromatic one. In fact, any relationship that makes both partners happy is great. Who really gives a shit if other people approve of our happiness? We deserve happiness on our own terms. It is our biological imperative and birthright to get our goddamn swirl on if we so desire. Let the haters pout over a McDonald’s cone; we can post up at Baskin Robbins. 

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