All Articles Tagged "online dating"
Ever wondered what it’s like to give Tinder and other popular dating sites and apps a try? Interested but skeptical? Well, in the Tinder Chronicles, one author gives you all the tea on what the so-called eligible bachelors of these sites have to offer, and shares what it’s like to look for love in online places. Stay tuned…
My name is Theresa, and I love love. I love being in love. I love the strength that being in love with another human being gives you. Did I mention I love–well, you get the point. I’m a relatively and recently single 29-year-old woman, living in undoubtedly one of the toughest cities in the world. If the stock market can tumble here, you can bet that my love life has taken a nice ol’ nosedive. That’s right, folks. I live in New York City. Statistically one of the hardest cities to date in.
And then there’s me. Critically disadvantaged as a brown girl working way too hard in an otherwise unforgiving environment. While it’s perfectly okay and convenient to go the FWB (friends with benefits) route, it’s just never really worked out for me (trust me, I’ve tried). So I’m on the hunt for an actual, meaningful connection with someone I can build and develop a real relationship with. It might be worthwhile to mention that I’m Nigerian. That said, my “When are you getting married” radar is beeping off the charts thanks to the judgments of my family members. This is further compounded by the fact that I am seemingly one of the few (if not the only on occasion) single one of my friends.
I’m a relationship gal. It’s what I want. I’m pretty open to a lot of things and people because, fundamentally, what I hope to find is a good man. Easy, right? Nope. I’ve encountered quite a few deceitful dudes. Between the guy who lied about being in a relationship and the fool who straight up tried to pursue me while married, trying to get out and meet people the old-fashioned way hasn’t always reared the best results. So I figured I’d give the wonderful world of Internet dating a try–again. It might be worthwhile to mention that this isn’t my first rodeo. My last boyfriend and I met on a phone dating chat line. We were together on and off for about five years (he had commitment and honesty issues). But had I done the whole swipe left, swipe right routine to find a match? Nope.
So I stepped back out of my comfort zone and decided to give Tinder a try. And while online dating is already interesting, Tinder is a whole other beast. I realized this after one of my first successful matches turned into an actual date.
Tinder is very appearance heavy, so you have to put your best face forward. It’s a constant thumb game of “swipe left” and “swipe right,” so if you don’t come correct with your bio and aren’t at least fairly good-looking, you might find yourself being passed on. (Matches in Tinder occur when both parties swipe right for each other.) It’s a very weird ego trip when you first start. I was getting “matched” left and right like I’d won the lottery. The issue, however, is that I was getting matched with a bevvy of good-looking men who indicated interest, but failed to follow through with so much as a “hello.” Seriously, crickets exist on Tinder and they are loud as all hell.
But before you call me a high-maintenance princess, know that I was an active participant and often started the conversations. I’d open with a compliment, a witty remark about something in their bio if there was something to work with. Sadly, a lot of my efforts went unmatched (pun intended).
But I was pleasantly surprised one morning when I matched with a guy, and my notifications alerted me that he sent a message as well. I was intrigued. Men who actually message back on Tinder? I guess white elephants do exist.
We’ll call him “Melle Mel.” M was cute. A little away from what I consider my usual type physically (tall, dark, husky and bearded), but his bio was interesting, and he was otherwise handsome. We started off with some witty banter about my cooking skills and working out, and he eventually asked if he could call me. So I gave him my number, and he was pretty swift with that first call. We spoke for hours, getting to know one another, and I was pretty impressed.
Through our correspondence, I discovered that he was vegan. Not just vegetarian, but vegan. Listen, I’m all for drinking green smoothies, taking wheatgrass shots, trying chlorella capsules and alkaline insides, but I also love a really good piece of chicken or a juicy medium-rare steak. I’d never dated a vegetarian before and thought we would be at an impasse with dietary needs/preferences. Especially because he’d just spent 15 minutes telling me how his ex would eat meat behind his back and lie about it, hence the reason they broke up. I barely knew him and he was already very judgy and gung-ho about my carnivorous side.
Nevertheless, we got past that hurdle and he asked me out on a date to a really great vegan restaurant he thought I would like. I accepted. (First Tinder date?! Woot woot!) We met at the restaurant, and thankfully, he was who he said he was (still, I’d forwarded a picture to my best friend and told at least three people where I was in case ish got real). During brunch, things were going great. Awesome conversation with a handsome guy and great food (I even sincerely considered eating just a little less meat). It seemed like we were seriously vibing.
The check comes, and as a rule of thumb, if you do the asking, it just makes sense that you should do the paying. As he’s about to handle the tab, he pulls out a printout of something and certainly not discreetly. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a Groupon. A big ol’ tacky Groupon coupon.
Here’s my take on this: Everyone’s money is different, and I’m not the kind of gal to suggest going to a restaurant where I can’t pay for my meal if things go south. And I’m certainly sympathetic when it comes to being a little broke and still wanting to date. Such is the dilemma one faces living in an expensive city.
However, I abhor the idea of using coupons and social discounts for dates. If we’ve been together a while, and you’ve seen me in sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on–then we’re good. But no coupons on a first date. It’s a hard line for me because with all the free things one could do in this city to bond and get to know someone if your money isn’t right, I’d much rather we sit on (Brooklyn) museum steps and talked instead of faking the funk in a pricey restaurant.
I hate to say it, but I was turned off. And while I was still courteous and closed out the rest of the evening on a positive note, needles to say, his embers dimmed, and I decided not to see him again after that. Despite an otherwise first fun date, with Tinder, I was already 0-1.
But as I prepare for future outings, I wonder, is it ever acceptable to go out on a first date using a Groupon, especially if it wasn’t discussed prior?
Women who frequent dating sites have noticed that some men—a lot of them, actually—tend to take their time when it comes to contacting women with whom they’ve been matched. Now there’s data to back up this observation.
Researchers with the app say that messages sent within the first 24 hours of a confirmed match are twice as likely to receive a response; however, most people are taking up to 2 ½ days to get the conversation started. And as previously stated, men are the worst offenders.
Apparently, data collected from the app has proven that users are 50 percent more likely to exchange numbers if they are nudged to interact with their matches early. Researchers tested timed matching in Denver, Omaha, Houston, Atlanta, and Dallas, and surprisingly, both the number of conversations and phone numbers exchanged jumped by 50 percent.
To put an end to the games, Hinge will be introducing a new feature today called timed matches, which gives users 24 hours to start a conversation with their confirmed matches, and 14 days from then to exchange numbers before the match disappears.
“We want you to move past the match and meaningfully connect. This feature helps our users quickly figure out which of their matches will turn into something more,” said Hinge CEO Justin McLeod.
Good to know.
Would you skip over the dating profile of a man who meets all of the requirements on your list of non-negotiables because he doesn’t know the difference between “you’re” and “your”? What if his spelling wasn’t up to par?
According to a recent study conducted by popular writing application Grammarly and dating site eHarmony, just two spelling errors in a man’s dating profile can reduce his chances of getting responses from women by up to 14 percent. The spelling and grammatical errors included in dating profiles belonging to women, however, did not appear to have an impact on their ability to connect with positive matches.
Grammarly and eHarmony gathered these statistics after reviewing 10,000 of the dating website’s male and female matches. While 50 percent of the matches engaged in two-way communication, the other 50 matches either resulted in one-way or no communication at all. The answers to long-form questions on the dating profiles of each male and female match were then analyzed by Grammarly’s automated proofreader.
Ironically, women were two times more likely than men to make grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors per 100 words published in their dating profiles. The study also revealed that both women and men found a potential date’s ability to construct a proper sentence to be slightly more important than confidence levels.
In our fast-paced and time-poor society, technology has come to our aid offering us a myriad of ways to get more done in less time. Developers have hacked solutions to even the most personal and intimate parts of our lives, dating and sex, promising to deliver a soulmate (or f-ckmate) in a few clicks of a button or swipe of a finger.
I will admit that I initially was a skeptic, but after several false starts with men whom I’d met organically, I eventually gave into the temptation of an algorithm relieving me of the burden of picking a match. In the past nine months I’ve trialled three of the most popular online dating platforms: OKCupid, Match.com and Tinder, each for a period of three months. Despite sitting under the same parent company (IAC’s Match Group) each platform maintains its own distinct flavor. Based on my experience with all three, this is my take on each service.
(Bear in mind that I’m a 29-year-old, heterosexual, Black female so my experience is viewed through this lens.)
OKCupid – Everybody and their mama
A traditional dating site with an added swipe-to-like functionality.
a) Cost: Free or pay to upgrade to ‘A-list’ membership starting at about $5/mo.
b) Good for: hook-ups/ casual dating/ serious relationships/ marriage
c) Ease of setup: Easy
Sign-up is by email address or Facebook account to expedite the process. While there are sections in the profile that prompt the user on what to write about (e.g. What I’m Doing With My Life, I’m Really Good At, The First Thing People Notice, Message Me If), there’s no requirement that all sections must be completed. OKCupid also has a plethora of Match Questions that the site encourages users to answer in order to better match community members. Filling in these questions can be time consuming but, again, it’s not mandatory. I really like that OKCupid gives the user flexibility in deciding how much or how little they invest into their profile, making the setup process fairly easy and adaptable to each user’s patience tolerance.
d) User experience
OKCupid’s profile design is clean and follows an easy-to-read, top-to-bottom layout (reminiscent of the old pre-Timeline Facebook). The site is intuitive and easy to navigate, and the same goes for the mobile app. I was impressed by the creativity of the Match Questions and quite enjoyed answering them and reading other member’s responses to the questions.
OKCupid feels a bit like a party that everybody is invited to. The upside to this is that there is a lot of engagement and a wide selection of members to interact with. The downside is that the site does not seem to have a specific target audience so you end up with a mishmash of people with wildly different intentions- some are looking for one-night stands, others for marriage, others for a dominatrix…
Also, because there isn’t a price hurdle to participate, you get everything from the investment banker to the “self-employed” dude still living in his mom’s basement. Because of this, the experience becomes not unlike shopping in the sales rack section of a clothing store – you might find something good that fits, but you really really really have to search for it.
Overall score: 3/5
Tip – Don’t pay too much attention to the Match Score; I’ve had some unpleasant experiences with guys who presumably were a 90% match – pshhh 90% my a–!
Match.com – Yawn
Your typical traditional dating site.
a) Cost: Free to browse and send winks only. For full subscription membership, pricing varies depending on the purchased plan but the general price range is $20/mo. – $40/mo.
b) Good for: serious relationships/ marriage
c) Ease of setup: Not so easy.
Sign-up is by email address. In setting up a profile, there are mandatory fields that must be completed- some requiring a minimum number of characters (boo!). Your profile is also not immediately live once you’ve filled it out. It undergoes a quality check prior to going live and each time that you edit your profile in the free writing section or change your pictures, the changes have to go through review. If you aren’t feeling particularly inspired to write about yourself or generally lack patience, getting through the mandatory fields and waiting a day or so for your profile to be completely live can be annoying. The compulsory writing sections and waiting considerably dampened my initial excitement about signing up for the service.
d) User experience
Compared to OKCupid, the Match.com site looks and feels like a half-finished side-project. It’s uninspiring color-scheme and layout makes for an unpleasant site navigation experience. What I did appreciate though were the pointed questions focusing on the common relationship deal breakers: religion, kids, income etc… This makes skimming profiles a lot quicker and easier because you’re not inundated with so much information.
I’d say that the majority of the people on the site are looking for some type of steady relationship (or at least this is what they say). The guys on the site seemed to be fairly decent because I never once received unsolicited salacious messages, whereas on OKCupid those types of messages were the norm.
Unfortunately, I found that there was low community engagement on Match.com; it wasn’t uncommon to come across profiles with members who’d been inactive for days or even weeks. Because of this, I never actually went on a single date during the three months that I was on the sitr. In the meantime, my bank account balance was $90 less.
Overall score: 2/5
Tip – try eHarmony.
Tinder – For the attractive and lazy
Tinder is like the Uber for booty calls – incredibly efficient. Just swipe right to like and left to pass.
a) Cost: Free or pay to upgrade to ‘Tinder Plus’ starting at about $10/mo.
b) Best for: hook-ups/ casual dating
c) Ease of set-up: Super easy.
Tinder automatically pulls information (first name, age, interests, friends) directly from your Facebook account. Your first name and age will be displayed on your profile card along with the profile picture(s) you choose. Tinder uses information about your interests and friends to determine whether you have mutual interests or friends. People can only see what they have in common with you. You don’t have to write anything additional in your profile if you don’t want to and there are no match questions to answer. Tinder gives you creative license to write whatever you like in your profile- no prompts, just whatever your heart desires. You can be up and running on Tinder in five minutes.
d) User experience
Once you stop hating yourself for signing up for Tinder, it actually can be a lot of fun and slightly addictive. The app is incredibly intuitive and well designed. Swiping through the cards feels more like you’re playing a game rather than searching for a date; when you do get a mutual match it feels rewarding in a sense. Tinder really has nailed it when it comes to delivering constant hits of instant gratification that keep you swiping. The results also speak for themselves: within 30 minutes of downloading the app onto my phone I had a slew of matches and a date lined up. What I absolutely loved about Tinder is that you have more control over who can communicate with you; you can only message with people you’ve “liked” and who’ve “liked” you back.
If you ever had any doubts before, Tinder gives you assurance that there’s an ample supply of d-ck out there for the taking. Most guys I’ve spoken to on Tinder are on it for casual sex and most of them are frank about it, which I appreciate (beware the wolves in sheep’s clothing on OKCupid). I found the guys on Tinder hotter than the guys on Match.com or OKCupid, which I also appreciate! I’ve met some reasonably respectable, employed guys on Tinder – they are not all creeps contrary to popular belief.
Overall score: 4/5
Tip – You can “unmatch” people on the app to erase them forever if they turn out to be a douchebag.
Choose your dating platform wisely to get the most out of online dating. Good luck!
#RelationshipGoals: Yes, I Swiped Right To Meet You, But Why Is It A Problem That I Take You Seriously?
Tinder is known as a hookup app, but can you take the people you meet on it seriously?
After yet another failed date, I laid out on my couch, iPhone in hand, tapping away through Snapchat. I closed the app and scrolled through my phone. I tapped on my social media folder and stared at the red flame on a white background, aka Tinder. I’d originally downloaded the dating app a year prior for an experiment between my friends. I had completely forgotten about the many swipes that I made, left and right.
There were well over 20 matches and only four of those men wrote me messages. Three of those messages were a variation of, “Hello” or “Tell me about yourself” or worse, “You’re an angel in a world of mere human beings. I want to make you the queen of my world.” Sure, it sounds sweet, but that dude has copy pasted his version of poetry to countless women, waiting on the numbers to be on his side.
But the one man who took it upon himself to notice minor details of my profile so he could perfectly cater his response to what he learned about me–that’s the message that deserved a response. “Danielle, I know there’s more behind that gorgeous smile. I really want the chance to see what you’re made of. I’m a grown ass man, but I can admit, I like picnics too. I’m Ted.”
It was funny without being obnoxious. He was smart enough to see that my name was fully displayed and he could address me with it instead of asking my name. He also flattered me by mentioning more than my obvious thickness. Ted stranger stood out. Then I clicked on his profile. His looks were average at best. He wasn’t overly handsome, nor was he unattractive. “Eh,” I said out loud, not really feeling one way or the other about his physical appearance. One photo was of him smiling in a suit, the other was a more serious face, in a grey hoodie. “He’s versatile,” I laughed to myself.
I wrote back to Ted, “What I’m made of, cute. Sugar, spice and a dash of shade. LOL! What’s your favorite place to picnic in New York Ted?”
He immediately wrote back, “Tasty mix. I’ll be the judge of that. And I’d rather show you that picnic Ms. Danielle.”
And there our witty conversation kicked off. With each reply, the hearts in my eyes grew bigger. And then he says, “I want to hear your voice.”
I made a joke about having a manly voice before I sent him my phone number. He called me five minutes later. I imagined him at home, laying on his back, holding his phone over his face, smiling at my profile pictures and reading over our Tinder chat, smiling even harder…because that’s what I was doing.
My phone rang. “Hello?” The corny smile was still pasted on my lips.
“Danielle,” Ted said, taking a breath as if he was relieved that I was only joking about the manly voice.
The conversation flowed as seamlessly as it did when we texted through the app. And then I asked, “How tall are you?”
As a woman who stands tall at 6’0,” a man’s height is very important to me. I like to feel like a lady, you know, dainty and needing to get on my tippy toes and still struggle to reach my man’s lips.
“Seriously?” Ted responded. I knew his question meant that he was short. “I’m 5’2″.”
“Yeah right,” I said.
“How do you know that?” Ted’s voice was still lighthearted, so I knew he was joking. I needed him to be joking. This perfect man with qualities that complimented mine needed to be above 6′ to continue to ride this ride.
“Your head is way to big for 5’2″,” we both laughed.
“You’re right. I’m taller,” he hesitated. “I’m 5’7″,” I could hear the disappointment in his own voice about his height deficiency.
“That’s fine,” I said lifting my voice at least three octaves.
“There’s always something, isn’t it?” Ted paused. “Something always keeps you from ‘The One,'” His disappointment revealed his desire to actually make a strong and lasting connection with someone. After dealing with way more than enough men who want to “hang out” without anything that even resembles commitment, I figured Ted would be a pleasurable departure from f-ck boys. So he and I continued to get to know one another over the phone.
Each conversation brought us closer. We discussed intimate details from our past, present and shared what we desire in our future. Our thoughts aligned. Our ideals were made for one another. Ted even started calling me his. “You’re not mine?” He laughed during one of our pillow talk sessions.
“No!” I smiled and my goosebumps played hopscotch up and down my body. “I could be…one day. Whenever the one day comes that we see each other in person?” I was telling more than I was asking. Ted and I kept our phone flirtations going for two months. We spoke daily as if it was our religion. I believed in him.
“You’re right. It’s time,” Ted agreed, but I felt the hesitation. “My parents are leaving the country for a while, so I’m headed down to D.C. this weekend to be with them before they go. Let’s make our face to face happen when I am back in town, cool?”
It had to be cool because I wasn’t going to beg this man who has only given me a handful of photos and his voice to see me, even though I wanted nothing more than to meet him in person and hug him and feel our chemistry live and in the flesh.
Ted went off to D.C. that weekend and I reached out to him Friday morning, like I’d grown accustomed to and there was no response. I waited for him to call me later that evening as he normally did, but my phone didn’t light up with his name. I let it go because he was spending the weekend with his parents. I decided that I wouldn’t reach out until Monday.
Monday morning I sent Ted my usual morning message and wished him a powerful day. No response. All day long…no response. Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday, Friday…another weekend, no word from Ted. Now, I was teetering between irritated and concerned. I left him a message claiming to only be the latter, hoping he would respond, if only to let me know he was still alive. No response.
Another week passed by without a single word from Ted. I decided I would send him one last message to let him know how rude it was to get me used to a certain level of communication and then snatch that from my grasp. I sprinkled my frustration in humor, hoping he would think I was joking, but still wanting to hear from him. When another week went by, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Ted and I had conversations about our individual issues we’ve experienced in relationships. He knew that I’ve dealt with way more than enough men disappearing and that I was sensitive to that. So I decided to bring it up in my final message to him:
“I definitely thought this would happen….you disappearing on me. You know I’ve dealt with men going away and never coming back. You actually promised me that you wouldn’t do what those ‘idiots’ did. You said that even if something happened and you couldn’t get back to me, you would let me know that things were crazy, hectic or unexpectedly difficult. Remember?”
And like that text was laced in magic, Ted replied:
“I don’t know why you thought ‘this’ would happen, but between my business and tending to my parents, who just left the country yesterday for six months, I have been extremely stressed and busy. I didn’t mean to purposely do anything towards you and I apologize if you feel that I have. That being said, I think it’s obvious that I don’t have the time to put in at this point for what you are looking for and I don’t want to disappoint you again.”
It was the perfect goodbye text. He made himself look like a saint, who didn’t mean to ignore me for three weeks. He made me look like the desperate woman who wants love so bad, she forces it with every man she meets, even if she hasn’t met them in person. I felt like an idiot. I was putting all my eggs in Ted’s basket because we flirted (even though it was everyday).
I felt like I was only following his lead and with this message, I immediately felt like our feelings weren’t mutual. I replayed our conversations from day one over and over in my mind and couldn’t place where I went wrong. I let Ted’s consistent conversation make me feel like our chemistry translated into a budding relationship and that was something I’ve done time and time again–romanticizing the scraps men give me for the sake of my own romantic sanity. It’s not ok.
When you want something real with someone, you can’t live in a fantasy world. I have to learn to be honest with myself and what’s actually going down between me and a man before I’m getting my feelings involved.
The other day, I opened up my Tinder app and went into my messages. I scrolled past all those matches who didn’t even take the time to say hello and scrolled down to Ted’s messages. I clicked his profile. The man who told me he was too busy to give me what I wanted had just signed into Tinder five minutes prior. I guess he’s got time to swipe?
The 2014 publication of Christian Rudder’s book, Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One’s Looking (Crown), confirmed in hard facts what many heterosexual, single Black women already suspected about the online dating game: the odds are stacked, and not in our favor. On the OkTrends blog, Rudder reports, “82% of non-Black men on OkCupid show some bias against Black women.” Rudder goes on to say in his book that this means, “being Black basically costs you about three-quarters of a star [out of five] in your rating, even if you’re at the top.” Rudder’s findings certainly back the lackluster experience that I’ve endured on online dating sites, but even despite the cold hard data, I couldn’t help but wonder if other races of women really get more love. So what better way to find out than to become a woman of a different race online and experience it firsthand?
Meet Online Stephanie
I created Online Stephanie to see if the grass is greener on the other side of the racial divide. Stephanie is an unassuming looking, moderately attractive white woman with dark brown hair and a warm smile. Her personality and hobbies are exactly identical to mine: she listens to Beyoncé, practices yoga and is a self-described health enthusiast. She’s looking for the same type of guy as me: at least 5’9”, athletic build, college educated with no kids. Here’s how Stephanie fared in one week compared to me.
- Number of Profile Views
Stephanie got 27 views in one week. I got about 34 views per week.
- Low-Grade Interactions Received (e.g. winks, photo likes, and favorites)
Stephanie received more interactions than I did on a per week basis.
- High-Grade Interactions Received (email)
Stephanie received 5 emails in one week compared to my abysmal 1 email per week.
- Quality of Emails
Stephanie’s in-mail messages were generally crafted better. Men would actually take the time to write an entire personalized paragraph to introduce themselves, whereas a good portion of my in-mail was incoherent gibberish like: “How you are beautiful eyes and your beauty beloved charming you the most beautiful angel.” Say what?
- Quality of Suggested Matches
Stephanie got more slightly better looking matches than I did. She also never ran into an issue where a match’s profile specifically excluded her race from the ethnicity preferences, in comparison to me where I’d often see Bllack women specifically excluded from ethnicity preferences.
When comparing both online dating experiences, the most curious thing that came out of it for me was that even though my number of per week profile views beat out Stephanie’s, this did not translate into more interactions. It seems like men are happy to look at a Black woman but won’t initiate flirting. On the flipside, men are spurred into action when presented with a non-Black face. We’ve all heard the urban legend that Black women are angry all the time and have attitudes so perhaps this is why men were hesitant to interact with me; but having said that, Eurocentric standards of beauty still dominate our culture so at the end of the day Stephanie’s higher conversion rate might be attributed to perceived “attractiveness” rather than “approachableness.”
Regardless of what the men were or were not doing, I have to say that the best thing about being Stephanie was feeling like there were no limitations on the races of men she could date. Stephanie never had to check if men were into white woman, they always were. Being white took away that extra hassle of having to carefully scrutinize a guy’s profile to gauge just how racist he might be. I guess this is what we call white privilege, right?
As a whole, Stephanie’s online dating experience felt better than mine, but only marginally so. At the end of it all, of the men who had initiated some form of interaction, there wasn’t a single guy whom I would have picked for a date. Stephanie would have ended up watching Netflix alone on a Friday night, just like me. So yes, even though there is a pervasive discount applied against Black women online, maybe the result of it doesn’t matter all that much in real terms. Online dating sucks… for everyone.
Recently when I was hanging out with two of my most decent, honest (if I do say so myself) male friends I overheard them checking their online dating profiles. If I can be honest, they didn’t seem so decent after that! I couldn’t believe some of the things they were saying about their habits when it comes to online dating. I had to ask them, “Do all guys do this?” I got a resounding, “Oh. Absolutely.” Yikes! Here are 15 real and unfortunate online dating habits of guys.
We’ve seen an increase in mobile dating apps such as Tinder, SoulSwipe and OkCupid. Even eHarmony and Match.com jumped on the mobile dating app bandwagon and adopted the swipe system. It allows you to swipe right for profiles that interest you and left for those that don’t without the guilt of hurting someone’s feelings. But for Brian Gerrard, he realized that he didn’t see a lot of people who looked like him on such popular dating apps. He believes that was a factor in the lack of matches he seemed to be getting on apps like Tinder.
Gerrard created the mobile dating app Bae (Before Anyone Else) as a way to enhance the Black dating experience. For Gerrard, he didn’t feel like apps like Tinder promoted long-term dating, and he wanted to establish something that allowed people of color to connect and stay connected.
Dating can be extremely time-consuming, especially when you have a million things going on as most of us millennials do. Gerrard realized that online dating helped break down dating barriers, but more so, he realized that mobile dating allowed users to make connections anywhere at any time right from their phone. For a lot of us, our phones never leave our hands, so a mobile dating app seemed like a brilliant way to deliver Bae to everyone.
Using Tinder, Gerrard noticed that his Black friends were only averaging about seven matches per week while his White friends were averaging at least 60. With a background in media analytics, he found that African Americans were 10 times less likely to get a match than a non-Black individuals. So he wanted to make navigating these dating apps and having success using them easier.
When Gerrard launched his app in April, he had no idea that it would take off as quickly as it has. Within the first two months he had approximately 50,000 downloads, and the users of Bae continue to increase daily. Gerrard began a tour targeting historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and the amount of positive feedback, according to him, has been incredibly overwhelming. With the launch, Gerrard was able to curate all the matches, see how people were using the app and use that data to continue and enhance the app.
While the target audience is people of the diaspora (African American, Afro-Caribbeans, Afro-Latin Americans, etc.), which is basically anyone “who doesn’t sound corny using the word bae,” Gerrard assures that anyone can use Bae. So whether you’re Black or someone who loves Black men and women, feel free to download the free app available on iTunes and Google Play for Android.
So what’s next for Bae? Gerrard plans to launch tours to create more publicity for the app. This summer Bae is hosting a series of “BaeBQs” in NYC, as well as DC, and other hot spot cities frequented by young Black professionals. In the hopes of being more than just a dating app, but also a brand, Gerrard plans on hosting dating meetups and networking mixers as another way to create matches and make waves. This is just the beginning.
Have you tried Bae yet? If so, what do you think?
I feel like it’s been a gazillion years since I’ve had a first date. Married for two years and together for 4, I can barely even remember who I went on a first date with long before my husband. What I do remember though. is that outside of giving or getting a last name and a phone number, I barely knew much about a potential boo unless I met him online. Even when I was online dating, I only made it a point to study what they wanted the world to know on their personal profiles. I didn’t look to see if they also had a Facebook or LinkedIn profile and I didn’t Google them. I wanted to get to know them as organically as possible.
But was I being a bit naïve? I have friends who say they Google all of their first dates and even guys they’ve been on a few dates with. They say they want to get to know as much about the guy as humanly possible to see if they’d be a good fit. Call me crazy, but nothing about that sounds romantic. It kinda sounds a bit stalker’ish. But that’s just me.
I understand that it’s hard not to look someone up online these days – especially when so much information is at our fingertips. And in this dangerous world, I can even see wanting to know if the guy you’re meeting for drinks Saturday night is a convicted felon or a registered sex offender. Googling someone because you want to make sure he has no outstanding warrants or convictions is one thing, but scanning through all of his vacation photos on Tumblr or looking through his friends’ list on Facebook is something completely different…and a bit creepy.
Besides, what will you talk about on your date if you already know everything about him because you’ve memorized all of the content from all of his social media profiles? You already know what he does for a living because you researched his resume on LinkedIn. You know he loves animals and plays the guitar because you saw pics of his cute labradoodle and him strumming a tune on Instagram. You’ve even managed to determine who his closest friends and family members are by how he groups them in his photo albums or by who he tags in his update statuses. What’s left to learn about him? And it’ll be kinda hard to pretend you don’t already know all this stuff about him as he reveals these things about himself. Talk about awkward.
Part of the magic of getting to know a new guy is the process of mutual discovery. I was always thrilled when I learned that we had the same love for a particular tv show or genre of music, and I believe you just can’t fake that reaction. In order for me to fall in love, I have to be in the moment. Learning too much about your potential date before the date even happens robs you both of the chemistry you might experience because there’s no mystery. And there’s less to discover, which takes the thrill out of dating.
My suggestion is to get the face-to-face dating underway and avoid the face-to-Facebook pre-screening. Once you discover that you’re not dating a serial killer, turn your computer off and allow things to flow naturally, not virtually. Too much information to early could kill any chance that you both have if you’re trying to determine if you’re compatible simply by checking things off a list of things you see on social media or information you’ve obtained by Google. Instead, focus on body language, his smile, sexual chemistry, rapport – all the things you can’t learn about someone from a computer screen.
In my experience, it usually doesn’t take longer than a first date with someone to know of there’s potential for more if you’re looking for a relationship. Twenty minutes into a conversation was enough for me to tell if there was a genuine connection and if there will be a second date. So take your time and stop Googling these guys. Hopefully they won’t have Googled you either and you both can get about the business of learning about each other the old school, pre-techy, “pre-dating” days. What you learn about someone online may be totally different from who they are in real life – so treat yourself to the genuine possibility of love at first sight, not love at first Google search.
All the single ladies (all the single ladies) (extra points if you sang that while reading it!), there is an epidemic that’s going on in the dating world. It’s not as hazardous as the bird flu, but can sneak up on you and catch you off guard if you’re not careful.
A friend and I first noticed it, and diagnosed it after she had a few confusing issues while online dating.
The symptoms are: potential partners who express the desire to grow their relationship with you, but don’t measure up to their promises. Highly educated people who are beginning to excel in their careers or studies, but still take a very immature approach when it comes to dating. The last one is when the person feels excited and think that they’re ready for a real commitment, but realize later that they weren’t fully prepared for the responsibility with handling someone’s cares and emotions adequately.
This epidemic tends to happen around the average age range of 21 to 33, and it can happen to people of both sexes. The name is “post-grad dating,” and I just want to keep you all updated on the seriousness of this annoying trend.
What brought us to this diagnosis? Well…
When you get older, but you’re still being brave enough to venture into the dating pool, your tastes might mature with you. The type of men that you were initially attracted to as a teenager might repulse and embarrass you now, and that’s what led my friend to online dating. Her idea of going into it was that instead of doing a hook-up site, she’ll go to a site that has a good reputation of matching people who are looking for the same things.
She wanted a relationship, and figured that a good place to find someone who wants one as well would be a site whose desires are to create relationships. However, with the different dates she went on, the men would express this desire of wanting to settle down, and they’d hold that facade for a good amount of time, and then revert to something that was just very reminiscent of the dating behaviors that college students exhibited.
Though I’m a little more apprehensive with dating, I had a head tilt moment with a guy I met at the library. My daughter and I are a part of different reading clubs, and when this guy struck up a conversation about books, I was thinking: “Okay. He seems all right.” But one day, while I was holding my daughter’s hand, he suggested that after I put my daughter to bed we could go to the liquor store, get some bottles and drink while watching movies. That made my internal turntable scratch to a halt extremely quickly.
I am a mother now, and what in the world do I look like, handing my daughter off to my mother to watch, while I go to some guy’s house and drink liquor in the middle of the week?! I don’t even think college-Kendra would have done that.
After nicely declining and a vent session of: “Girl, can you believe him?!” my friend and I realized that this was a transition period of dating for some people. They might feel too old to still be single, but their minds and behaviors are still relatively immature.
They’re not bad people, they’re just not prepared for the realities of inviting another person into their lives.
Now, there isn’t a cure for this, but there are ways that you can secure yourself against it.
First, pay attention to not only the words they say, but the actions as well. Maturity can be easily summed up with the ability to do the things that you promise, and someone who is flinging empty promises around might not be up to the standards that you have for your potential dating life.
Second, don’t compromise your emotional standards. If you have an idea about how you deserve to be treated, and someone isn’t adhering to them, don’t second guess yourself. You have those standards for a reason, and you deserve to be treated the way you would like to.
Finally, don’t play games. You know who play games? Children. So if two adults are engaging in child-like behaviors while they’re dating, then you’re going to just continue to perpetuate the cycle of “Post-Grad Dating.”
Now that you know, go out into the world, wiser, and more alert to the inner workings of the dating world. Try to keep yourself safe, and remember, symptoms can appear before it becomes more serious, so stay vigilant my friends.