Are Cultural Biases Preventing Us From Finding Love?

As a celebrity matchmaker and online dating expert, I’ve personally interviewed more than 65,000+ singles over almost 30 years in the matchmaking business. I’ve observed how discriminatory people can be when it comes to choosing partners based on race. Statistics have shown there is a notable downside to online dating when singles apply strict dating filters. In the process of finding their “perfect partner,” singles can be judgmental and idealistic often without knowing it. Research conducted by online dating site OKCupid.com shows that Asian men, Black men/women are often overlooked. Many singles view dating people outside of similar cultural background as less desirable, which limits their dating pool. 

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There are many key life values to consider when choosing a life partner. According to “The Love Doctor” Dr. Terri Orbuch author of “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship,” there are five “Key Life Values” that impact overall relationship satisfaction and happiness:

  1. BELIEFS ABOUT MONEY AND FINANCES
  2. BELIEFS ABOUT FAMILY AND CHILDREN
  3. BELIEFS ABOUT THE ROLE OF FAITH/RELIGION/SPIRITUALITY
  4. BELIEFS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF A JOB OR CAREER
  5. BELIEFS ABOUT HEALTH AND FITNESS

One might that argue dating someone from the same race will result in higher relationship satisfaction and success. But dating someone of similar race isn’t an automatic predictor of long-term relationship satisfaction. Meeting someone with a different perspective on life is a valuable thing. You can learn so much from one another and appreciate your differences. I reached out to some of my peers to get their take on the limitations of not being open to cultural differences. I interviewed cross-cultural couples that married partners outside of their race to get their views on the limitations of not dating racially open…

DAMONA HOFFMAN is a bi-racial certified dating coach and the host of the “Dates & Mates” podcast:”In my professional experience, when people are required to state a racial preference on a dating app, they reject messages from people outside of their desired race. On apps with photo-based matching however, people often swipe based on physical attraction without as much regard for racial preference. I encourage my clients to date race open as it expands their dating pool and also their world view at the same time.

One of my team members, LEE-ANNE GALLOWAY, is a successful love coach and digital dating expert based in Toronto. She works closely with my VIP clients supporting their digital searches:“When people narrow their preferences with rigid restrictions around race, age, and height, they miss out on strong potential matches. These restrictions tend to be based on preconceived notions or beliefs that are inaccurate, and do not define people.”

EVAN MARC KATZ is a successful dating coach who met his wife at a party when he was a single, Jewish, 34-year-old bachelor. His wife at the time was Catholic, older, and someone he would have never met online while they were both on the same dating site. Had it not been for fate leading them to a real-life meeting, they would have overlooked one another on Match.com based on both of their dating parameters: “When people have a fixed idea of who they’re supposed to date, which is the opposite sex version of themselves, it rules out everybody else. And a good number of those people are amazing life partner candidates that we don’t even consider. We don’t even see them on the menu.”

THOMAS EDWARDS, LIFE COACH “Some cultural biases can go back as far as our childhood. While they are nuanced, the moment you associate a certain pattern, characteristic, behavior, aesthetic, or belief to a culture, it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. It becomes your truth, which runs in the background of your life all day, every day. If I held on to other’s biases that I took on as my own, I wouldn’t be with my wife today.”

In my opinion there is only one race—the human race—and we all share the planet earth. Across all cultures and races you can find similarities and a place to bond. If you’re going to date people outside of your culture, the key to success is to practice kindness, empathy, and find common ground. When you focus on the five key life values over culture, you’ve got a strong foundation to thrive in your relationship.

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