Advanced search

To think this is a really awkward question

(311 Posts)
TalkingToGhosts Tue 23-Jun-20 19:05:19

‘Where are you from?’

I’m dating. I get asked it an awful lot.

I’m a white, English born Brit but have dark features. I tan well and get mistaken for Western European quite often. I might be misconstruing the question and they mean ‘where are you based’ - but that’s right there on my profile so I don’t think it’s that.

I feel like I’m being fetishised a bit. Well not me specifically, but the thought that I look Spanish or Italian and that sounds exciting to them.

And I never know how to answer. I’m not ‘born and bred’ in one county as I’ve moved around a bit so it feels awkward to answer.

AIBU or is it a bit rude to ask that a few messages into a conversation?

OP’s posts: |
princesspenny Tue 23-Jun-20 19:13:43

YANBU I get asked this several times a day and I hate it!!!

Not dating but my job involves meeting new people every day. I am white, British mum, dad from central Europe where I grew up, lived in the UK over 20 years but I'm 'dark' and have a very slight accent.

I just feel like people are so keen to point out that 'you're not from round here' or 'you're not one of us'

AnnieMaul Tue 23-Jun-20 19:16:50

Doesn't everyone get asked where they're from when meeting new people? It's something I often ask, to anyone and everyone as a simple conversation starter. Likewise, I am asked often too.

I tend to assume that people aren't necessarily living in the same area they were born in, not fetishising or assuming they're not British. Are you sure they're expecting a more exotic answer than "Bristol" for example?

SomeoneElseEntirelyNow Tue 23-Jun-20 19:19:44

Where do you live?

If you're in a major city, you're likely to get asked that a lot because so many people move there from other places. I'm as white as they come, but when i was in London i got asked that all the time.

Also, dating = small talk.

LockdownMayhem Tue 23-Jun-20 19:20:00

I think for the vast majority of people, it's a conversation point. If I could tell someone was not local (from accent, not skin colour) I might ask where they are from, because I am interested. I enjoy travelling and sometimes I might have been to where they are from and it can be an interesting talking point.

I lived in the US for 4 years and pretty much got asked that question everyday, at least once. I never took it badly, people are just curious and for them, it's the first time they are asking. They don't realise you may have been asked the same thing 3 times already that day!

If it bothers you, you could just say 'Manchester. And you?' (or wherever you're from)

letmethinkaboutitfornow Tue 23-Jun-20 19:21:08

(Spain and Italy are part of Southern Europe - completely missing the point 😂)

SidSparrow Tue 23-Jun-20 19:24:45

Everyone asks this question, it's no big deal. Some people don't know what to speak about, some people are genuinely interested. If I'm speaking with someone who isn't pale white I'll ask because I am interested in other cultures, especially their cooking! I lived abroad and my accent pricked ears up - got asked lots of daft questions, i.e do you eat haggis? I didn't mind. Get over yourself.

Finfintytint Tue 23-Jun-20 19:25:25

I get this a lot.
Dual heritage- white and Central American heritage. I look Maybe Indian, MesoAmerican, Andean?
I get fed up with “ But where are you really from?”
Rural Welsh village ....not known for diversity.

TerrorWig Tue 23-Jun-20 19:27:04

Depends on whether this is asked via text or voice.

I’m often asked where I’m from, because I live in the NW but am from Hertfordshire.

I think you’re looking a bit too deeply into it though. It’s dating small talk. If they make a big deal of it then maybe you have a point.

TerrorWig Tue 23-Jun-20 19:27:46

@Finfintytint “where are you from really?” is very different IMO.

Clockonmantlepiece Tue 23-Jun-20 19:28:27

Are we to edit out / disallow all conversation?

Royalbloo Tue 23-Jun-20 19:29:11

I used to get this growing up in Hampshire and found it very very annoying. Didn't ever happy once I moved to London and doesn't happen now I'm older...

For context I'm "white" I just look Spanish or Italian. I also was called all sorts of names when I was a child, which was distressing.

Goosefoot Tue 23-Jun-20 19:29:30

This is standard date talk, it would be weirder if they didn't ask.

Royalbloo Tue 23-Jun-20 19:30:30

I get it if it's based on an accent but appearance feels different

Finfintytint Tue 23-Jun-20 19:31:56

It is a big deal when you say you are from Llansainffraid but keep getting asked where are you really from. People bypass the genuine interest and push for the real question of what are you doing here in our village?
Getting over yourself is a really shitty response.

bubbleup Tue 23-Jun-20 19:33:48

Eh? Are people this desperate to be offended?

I get asked and ask this all the time when I meet people

Finfintytint Tue 23-Jun-20 19:36:02

Bubbleup. Point made,lol.

randomchap Tue 23-Jun-20 19:39:01

A friend is of mixed heritage and he absolutely hates the question "so where are you really from?" when he's dating as it suggests that he's not really British and it makes him feel like an outsider.

However, if he's asked something like "tell me about your family heritage" he loves telling people about his Polish grandfather and Trinidadian grandmother as well as his Cumbrian grandparents on the other side.

He see's the first question as a bit of a racist dog whistle whereas the second one comes across as a genuine interest in him.

PatriciaHolm Tue 23-Jun-20 19:40:32

I take it you've seen this, OP....

heynori Tue 23-Jun-20 19:44:06

I'm white with an English accent but my name is very Eastern European (that's where my parents are from), and I get asked "where am I from?" quite often. I've never thought to take offence?

ShowOfHands Tue 23-Jun-20 19:49:32

I ask people where they are from all the time. It's a way of starting a conversation, you can segue onto what brought people to where they are now, whether you've visited where they're from, ask them what x place was like etc. I use it as an innocuous way of settling people into a group setting at work. Other people often then chip in too.

I'd never considered anybody might take offence.

Bookoffacts Tue 23-Jun-20 19:49:52

Everyone gets asked this all the time!
I'm as white as they get (sorry) and I'm asked where I'm from in every new acquaintance.

I think people often get asked it when theyre in a different area of uk compared to their accent or 'not local' which can even be just being unrecognised, eg in Newcastle as opposed to Lancaster.

But also just all the time. It's normal conversation.

Is it now offensive to ask anything about a person you're talking to?

PinkyBrain Tue 23-Jun-20 19:56:28

I hate this frequently trotted out perception that there are no black or mixed race or foreign people in Wales. It’s laughable. grin

BumbleBeee69 Tue 23-Jun-20 19:57:13

I’m a white, English born Brit but have dark features. I tan well and get mistaken for Western European quite often

me too.. I'm scottish.. very dark features.. tan instantly super dark ... I get asked if I'm Persian Italian Egyptian... etc.. nope.. definitely scottish lol

Tunnocks34 Tue 23-Jun-20 20:00:46

I dunno, I’m Pakistani but look more Spanish and honestly, it doesn’t bother my when people ask where I’m from at all. I just say ‘my grandad is Pakistani and my Nana is Spanish’ people are curious

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »