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. 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. “being Australian, I didn’t have many of the racial hang ups that Americans have, and I was open to dating all types of women,” he recalls. “I remember reaching out to women on Match.com, and some of the Black women would respond with comments like, ‘Step off White Boy,’ and the like. I was taken aback.”
Eventually, Robert connected with an African-born (Robert declines to mention her exact nationality) woman and the two started dating. “I was miserable at my job and wanted to be an entrepreneur. My then girlfriend suggested I create a dating website for Black women who were open to or looking to date across racial and ethnic lines, so I launched the website https://www.afroromance.com/.
We eventually broke up and one night I was on my own dating site and met another African women who became my 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. “Apart from making matches, we’ve been at the forefront of advocacy for mixed-race couples and mixed-race families for nearly two decades. You would be surprised how many people around the world still depend on us to meet someone, but also for support and to find a community of likeminded people, especially those who live in small cities where interracial relationships, marriages and families are still not the norm,” explains Thompson.
Visit https://www.interracialdatingcentral.com/about for more information.