All Articles Tagged "online dating"
#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.
You’re online looking for love, but plenty of people are on there looking for something else (like your address and credit card information). It’s frustrating that you have to watch your back when you’re also trying to be emotionally open, but it’s a reality of online dating. Here are ways you might be at risk while trying your hand at online dating.
Thanks to modern technology there are so many ways to find love. If you don’t run into “the one” at the grocery store, there’s always the internet.
Online dating has definitely become popular over the years with more folks looking to make their virtual search a romantic reality. Should you be interested in giving it a try, here are a few things to consider.
Kenya Moore isn’t the only celebrity having no luck with matchmaking. These stars said that when they tried to seek help to find Mr. Right or Mrs. Right, things went horribly left for them.
Analog Girl Dating Digitally: I Tried OkCupid, Tinder, And ChristianMingle And The Results Weren’t Pretty
After a year of being single, I figured it was time for me to get back out there and try dating again, but honestly, I did not know where to begin. It has been a while since I worked on building with someone in terms of dating. My last relationship began when I was 17 and ended when I was 23. Dating was a lot different for teenagers back in the early 2000s and was still a little more traditional. We did not have access to all the social media sites and mobile apps that we do now. Long story short, all these years later, I decided to try something different. I like to try anything at least once, and since I spend much of my time online, I figured, why not online dating?
What’s your sign? Do you have a preference for a race? What is your annual income? Hobbies? Describe your perfect date. Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you do drugs? Have children? Want children?
Those were just a few of the many questions I had to answer when I created an account on OkCupid. I answered each question as honestly as I could, and I was matched with more than 200 “suitors” based on my answers. As I swiped left and right, I was not impressed with what I got. I “met” a couple people who were interesting at first, but that quickly faded.
So I got hip to the Tinder trend and found that most of the guys were only interested in women who were DTF (down to f**k). I was disgusted by most and found myself wasting hours swiping left. Then I realized no one gets on Tinder looking for love. What the hell was I was I doing?Most of the people in the Tinder crowd are just looking for quick and unattached dates that lead to random hookups. That was not my scene.
I needed someone whom I could spiritually connect with, someone whom I could carry on an interesting conversation with. So of course, I went to Christian Mingle where I met people with usernames like BoazLookingforRuth14 or LookingForMySecondCord35 (not even kidding). Despite the biblical monikers, I was disappointed to find that most of the men were no different from the ones on OkCupid or Tinder, despite the “Christian” angle. I did get the occasional churchy dude who was too much for my blood, as well as the Sunday Only saints. All in all, I was not too intrigued.
Not long after setting up these different profiles and trying to give this new way of dating a chance, I found myself completely over it.
You spend hours filling out these profiles, answering so many questions about your personal business in the hopes of meeting the right person. Or, if you are lucky, at least meeting people who will hold your interest long enough to consider even meeting them in person, but in my case, you find nothing satisfying. Where was the love at first “meet”? Where was the instant chemistry from those Match.com commercials? The cheesy smiles and flattering pick-up lines? I realized that online dating doesn’t work for most of the same reasons that traditional dating doesn’t, and that’s because there is a lack of time to really evaluate what it is we are looking for. Are you looking for something that could potentially be long-term or just a fling? I came to the conclusion that what I was looking for wasn’t going to exist in my world via the web. I did not want everything laid out for me in a series of 1,000 questions. There was no excitement in getting to know someone if you already had all the answers to them. There was also the paranoia of getting catfished. I mean, think about it, you can be anybody you want to be on the web.
I began to miss and even prefer the mystery of being approached by a complete stranger whom I found attractive. I missed the few moments of discernment I had to use to decide whether or not I would give him my number. I missed planning dates rather than spending months talking online or on the phone, but never “seeing” each other. I missed the assurance of knowing I am giving my phone number to a genuine person rather than someone I barely know who I’ll end up curving eventually. I am an analog girl when it comes to finding love, so online dating is not really for me. However, in this new age, there are ways to build a solid profile that could still attract some genuine people. It involves the same honesty you should have when meeting someone face to face. It involves the things I did not get from the fellas I encountered online…
You can start by being upfront with what you are seeking. This allows those who are looking for similar things to message you while those looking for something entirely different can easily skip over you. Be specific when answering questions. If the question asks what your favorite hobbies are, share a memory. Be consistent when engaging someone. Don’t log on once, have a good conversation with someone and then fail to log in again for a few weeks or even another month. This is the quickest way for someone to lose interest. Also, please, take advantage of spell check. Use proper grammar. I know we all make mistakes, but if he or she is saying, “U is beautiful” or their introduction to you is “What’s gud ma.” then just take that as a red flag and keep it moving. Also, keep your answers short and sweet and straight to the point. No one wants to sit and read a profile that looks like a graduate thesis. People tend to be more visual when it comes to online reading, so don’t forget to make sure that your pictures are presentable, clear, and show your fun personality (if you have one).
Online dating is tricky, and for me, a little too impersonal. However, I know that some have had luck meeting a special someone through such means. What has your experience been if you’ve tried it?