Interracial Dating and the Myth of Marrying Up

wealthy interracial couple

“You did good… you married a white man!”

That’s an actual quote that one of our staff members (a black woman) recently heard from one of her aunts. Apparently, her aunt thought that she had done well, financially or socially, because she’d married outside of her race. We thought that notion was something that simply had to be explored – especially since there’s so much buzz about black women not getting married in today’s society!


In this post, we’d like to explore the idea of hypergamy, or “marrying up” as it’s commonly known, and how this myth casts a negative shadow on the interracial dating community. Especially between black women and white men. It’s sad that in 2014 there is still a stigma that black women choose to marry white men in order to climb the social and economic ladder. Rather than focusing on the foundation of love as a means for marriage, people continue to associate stereotypes toward interracial couples. And the black woman/white man combination always takes the brunt of the scrutiny for some reason.

 Interracial Marriage between black women and white men

First, let’s talk about why this notion of financial or social gains as a result of an interracial marriage between black women and white men is absolutely absurd. Although this isn’t necessarily a great statistic to make the argument, black women are currently the least likely of all women to get married. According to the most recent census, 25 percent of the marriages of black men in 2010 were interracial. However, black women do not cross the color chasm nearly as often. If black women were driven by ulterior motives to marry outside of their race then they would be rivaling their black male counterparts in the interracial marriage department. As a matter of fact, among all women who made up the 8.4 percent of total interracial marriages in 2010, they comprised one of the lowest numbers overall.

Some statistics say that 43% of black women between the ages of 30 and 34 have never been married. However, this figure is also similar to the percentage of unmarried women among other races except for white females. They are simply not dating or marrying interracially enough to even be accused of marrying up. We’re definitely not saying that’s a good thing; we’re just stating facts that would seem to debunk the myth.

“marrying up”

Next, what exactly is “marrying up” when black females are enjoying more success today than ever before? The black community has approximately $850 billion to spend and black women control 62% of that pie. Here’s another interesting factoid: the ratio of women to men at black colleges is 7 to 1. It’s hard to make the argument that black women are out looking for interracial dating to increase their financial or social standings in the world when they seem to be doing just fine by themselves.

Today’s black woman is highly educated, doing well financially and she isn’t even dating outside of her race often enough to be perceived as marrying up. So, that shouldn’t even be something of concern when thinking about interracial dating as a viable option. Black females should just ignore this type of talk and do whatever makes sense for them because they are the ones in the driver’s seat of their lives. And no offense to the older generation, like the approving aunt of our friend, but that antiquated kind of thinking is bound to die as black women continue to flourish