How Do Stereotypes Affect Interracial Dating in the UK?


An article at Daily Mail explored the issue of stereotypes and whether they affect couples in an interracial relationship. A few couples were interviewed, and while they did discuss some problems with stereotypes, in the end they determined that working together helps, and as long as your partner loves you, a running dialog can only help.

Stereotypes are oversimplified images or ideas of a group of people. Many lose sight of what a stereotype is. For instance, some people believe that all stereotypes are lies. Others believe stereotypes are based on truth. What stereotypes actually are is a middle ground between lie and truth; an image or a thought about a person that is usually exaggerated or perhaps thought to represent all sorts of people of different races and ethnicities. The truth is that while some stereotypes may appear to be true (usually because of what the media tells us or because you happen to know a few people who match the stereotype) most people have individual qualities and mindsets that defy stereotypes.

In terms of UK interracial dating, stereotypes can definitely hurt a person, especially if you are just meeting for the first time, or if you use stereotypes to disqualify a person without giving them a chance. For instance, stereotypes of black men having large genitalia is no problem…if the man has a large one and if his partner appreciates it. But if the stereotype is not true, or if the woman doesn’t even like the idea of a large genitalia, then the stereotypes can be upsetting to both partners.
You can laugh about stereotypes if you both really like each other and can discuss them openly. However, if the stereotype is hurtful towards one’s culture or personality or body, then it’s a subject that should be avoided.

Stereotypes Used as Criteria in Dating

Now it’s one thing to say that you’re not physically attracted to one race, versus saying that you don’t like a certain race because of a stereotype. You see the difference? It’s nobody’s business but your own if you don’t find a particular race or ethnicity attractive. You don’t really owe anyone an explanation, so as long as you are respectful and honest in discussing the subject.

However, saying that you don’t like a certain race based on a stereotype can be offensive because you’re letting the stereotype speak for an entire group of people. Stereotypes are sometimes true, but suggesting that all of the same group matches the stereotype is a lazy way of creating dating criteria.

The honorable thing to do is to be honest about why you’re not attracted to a person, or a race or culture, and not make an excuse that sounds like a stereotype.
This is why people become offended at interracial dating and rejection, when someone explains that “I don’t like ____ people because they all ____.” They don’t “all” do anything. In fact, you may be surprised at how easy it is to develop an attraction for someone of another race just by going on a date with an open mind. Don’t burden yourself with expectations or prejudices. Just take a chance and report honestly on what you feel.

It’s never been easier for interracial dating in the UK, as an estimated 1 in 10 residents are currently living with a partner outside of their own race. Thanks to online matching, it’s also never been easier.