In Depth: InterracialDatingCentral.com

Since June 12, 1967 also known as “Loving Day” named for the landmark Supreme Court case Loving v Virginia which legalized interracial marriage in the United States, interracial and interethnic marriages and relationships have been on the rise, with numbers steadily growing each decade. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2012-2016, interracial marriages have increased from 7.4% (in 2000) up to 10.2%. As of 2020, people who identify as being in an interracial relationship or marriage hovers around 15% of the U.S. population. The majority of mixed-race relationships continue to surround major metropolitan hubs and significantly taper out in more rural communities America’s heartland still making it challenging to feel at ease. This is something that I am familiar with as I am a Black male that is married to someone who is of Chinese extraction. And that has been a challenge before we got married and after.

Ironically, it was an Australian man who launched the world’s largest online interracial dating community, InterracialDatingCentral, back in 2004, sixteen years before popular culture made it as widely accepted as it is today. Robert Thompson was in the U.S. on a work visa in the early 2000s, working 14 hour days at a Silicon Valley startup and looking to date while in the states. Eventually, Robert connected with an African-born (Robert declines to mention her exact nationality) woman and the two started dating. His then girlfriend suggested he create a dating website for Black women who were open to or looking to date across racial and ethnic lines. So he launched the website AfroRomance.com. They eventually broke up and one night I was on my own dating site and met another African women who became his wife.

In 2004, Thompson launched his second website, InterracialDatingCentral.com, to accommodate all singles open to dating outside their race and the website quickly exploded in popularity. With 10 million members, worldwide, thousands of documented success stories and 2 million followers on social media, InterracialDatingCentral remains more than a dating website. Their Facebook page is the hub of their community where couples and families are able to share their stories, concerns, experiences and celebrations of love in an insulated and supportive environment. The IDC Facebook page, with 1.75 Million members, has extraordinary social engagement for its posts.

To me this is a good news story as I strongly believe that people regardless of race should have the opportunity to love the person that most appeals to them. And the fact that tech can play a part in this is a bonus.

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