If you had access to ten men who had been vetted for good character and were already attracted to you, would you meet them?
What if all of them were black?
So awhile back, I wrote about my interest in using a matchmaker. Oddly enough, my search has led to a familiar place: a dating pool primarily of black men. More on this in a second.
For those curious about the process I used to find a matchmaker, I spent several weeks searching Google, blogs and media coverage to find agencies. Once I had around a dozen, I narrowed the list to a few to contact, first through eliminating any having negative reviews and/or complaints with the Better Business Bureau, review sites, press, etc. This knocked around half off the list. Note: the industry is definitely buyer beware.
Next, I looked at the websites of the remaining agencies to evaluate whether they’d be a good fit for me. I looked for things like longevity/ experience, location flexibility (as I live in the Midwest), and support for interracial relationships. At this point, I hit a sobering reality: most U.S. matchmaking agencies cater to high net worth men who seem to be looking for blonde, model-type arm candy, irrespective of education or professional success (though the Canadian agencies definitely projected a more diverse, down to earth client base). While it annoyed me that so many agencies seemed to scream out “If you work on Wall Street, we’re the agency to flaunt your money and find you a model babe!” I simply crossed them off the list as being incompatible with my values and moved on.
This brought me to two agencies, including one in my region. Unfortunately, the first agency rejected me since I live about three hours from their offices. They are newer and prefer to only take on local clients.
The other agency would love to have me as a client – me being in the Midwest is not an issue, as I am open to relocation. And I really like the matching process they’ve developed. However, there’s a caveat: most, if not all, of the matches I’d be presented would be black men, as African-Americans make up the majority of their client base. This gave me pause for two reasons:
First, I am physically most attracted to white men though I’ve dated black men in the past, due to my social circles at those times. Nearly all of the celebrities I think are hot are white men. In fact, a director recently asked on twitter for names of attractive black actors excluding Denzel Washington, Blair Underwood and Idris Elba, and it took me quite a while to think of a couple. At this point, it is extremely rare that I come across a black guy I am attracted to.
Second, it seems I rarely have much in common with the black men I meet. It could be my location but the black men who approach me often fall into three categories: Mr. Well Intentioned But Can’t Get It Together; Mr. Successful, Pretentious and Never Faithful; and Mr. Socially Awkward (and Possibly Creepy) Professional. To be fair, I could go on about the extremes I consistently encounter with white men, too. But it seems there is a larger pool of white men and thus easier to avoid slackers, assholes and weirdoes.
If I chose to work with this agency, sticking with character over color, I would not pass on meeting someone they thought was great for me, regardless of race. I would not mind having black men (who have obviously been screened) included in my pool, at all. However, that is very different than having your pool consist of only black men, which I have issues with as discussed above. But, if they’ve been vetted and screened, then I shouldn’t have those issues – it would just be trying to find chemistry/attraction. But I’m not often attracted to black men… and round and round I go.
As you can see, I haven’t made a firm decision yet but deep down something just says that it doesn’t seem like a good idea, especially considering the financial aspect. If the agency ever diversified its client base I would hire them in a second.
At this point, I’d have to agree with the articles Christelyn occasionally posts on location and dating/ interracial relationships. If I want to control my own fate in terms of finding the option of a loving partnership from the widest, best pool of men to pick from, I’d probably have to move. It seems other options for finding a partner – online dating, matchmaking, social activities, etc – are not a good fit given my current location. Definitely something I’ll be thinking of in the coming months.