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[sic] Obviously you don’t have the same level of education.And not wanting to date you doesn’t make me racist. “In other words, you’re not good looking enough for me. Please try to find a guy in your league.” Apart from being astoundingly rude, this man (who deleted his profile after I tweeted a screenshot of his messages) brings up the question of whether racial bias can be classified as racism.If you’re from an Indian background you might prefer to date someone Indian.For some people, dating outside their race isn’t acceptable to their family and it’s not what's been done.A Chinese friend tells me that she often gets messages from men telling her how much they love that she “looks like a cute Pokemon.” She finds that as offensive as people telling her they don’t want to date her because of her race.It’s similar to how Sarah feels: “I can understand people making cultural assumptions, but in a dating context it seems to be purely objective.A man messaged her, telling her how attractive he thought her “Latino tan” was.

Jo Barnett, a dating coach, tells me: “I don’t think it’s racism. You’ll get people who say, I don’t like red-heads, or I don’t like short girls, skinny girls… But when I’m coaching someone, within reason I’ll get them to look beyond that.” More than anything, she just thinks it’s a “shame” that people could be missing out on relationships because of their narrow viewpoints, or insecurities.It might have been down to a variety of reasons, but experience told her that it’s because he didn’t want to date an Indian girl - or, indeed, any girl who was radically different from himself. A new study by OKCupid suggests that such behaviour is more prevelant than ever.The website looked at research from five years ago - which showed most people prefer to date within their own race - and compared it to current data. According to OKCupid, Asian and black men receive fewer messages than white men, while black women receive the fewest messages of all users.They’re just following suit.” That’s more understandable – after all it’s been going on for centuries.But there does seem to be a difference between making cultural assumptions, and people claiming they’re just not attracted to certain races, or fetishising them.

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