It’s 2018 and there’s really no better time than our present to explore the possibilities of meeting new people, especially when it comes to dating outside your race. In fact, according to Gallup, starting in 1959 with a 4 percent turn over, the U.S. gradually warmed up to the idea of a Black and White union that now stands at 87 percent. Of course, we’re all aware interracial dating is not exclusive to the union of only Black and White couples but more applies to the romantic relationship of any couple that comes from different racial profiles. With that being said, whether you’re a POC or not, you can most definitely fall guilty to fetishizing another person in the efforts of dating them.

Before you decide to argue “hey, just because I have preferences including certain physical characteristics, doesn’t mean I’m fetishizing a particular group of people!” And to answer your question, no, you are definitely entitled to have your own preferences when it comes down to physical attraction! BUT if these preferences are explicitly exclusive to only that grouping of characteristics you find desirable, you may want to ask yourself why that’s so. The way I see it, preferences or dare I say romantic “types” are supposed to work as a sort of guideline of what you’re interested in rather than deal breaker in comparison to it’s opposite. Do you like Latina women because they’re passionate and sassy? Or do you simply like women who are all these things in general? Do you love black women because of their curves and warm complexion? Or do you simply prefer voluptuous, dark-featured women?

Because you see, only two of the previous questions outlined are preferences, whereas the other two project a stereotype. You may then argue, “so what if I like Asian men because they’re smart and sensitive, those aren’t negative characteristics anyway?” Sure, there’s nothing wrong with liking a humbled, intelligent man, I mean who wouldn’t?! The only problem with that statement is solely having your attraction for someone rely on the assumption you’ve projected on an entire community of people isn’t flattering. All it does is say, “I am only attracted to you because I assume you possess traits such as A, B, and C. And well, if you don’t, then you’re just not my type.” Nothing quite reads a romance like that, does it? Because at the end of the day who’d want someone to accept them for their interests, insecurities, pasts, and aspirations, right?

Only desiring someone for a handful of traits they possess isn’t love, nor acceptance; it’s a fantasy. Although fantasies are fun and thrilling, they are also very surface level and short lived. What happens when your black boyfriend can’t be that big, bad, tough guy all the time? No one wants to be made into an ideal partner because of the way they look, act, or even talk; all that does is sexualize and objectify the person. What happens once your partner allows you to see past what the world perceives them as and into who they truly are as a person? Can you accept them?  Because if not, especially for the right reasons you, my friend, have a fetish. Before you go around and make someone feel special for the way they look or act, re-evaluate your true intentions or leave them alone. Love is not blind and love does see colour. The point is to love someone both because of their differences but also in spite of them.

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