All Articles Tagged "online dating"
I recently read about a couple, Nathan and Gabrielle, who connected on Snapchat. Their chemistry was so powerful that Nathan proposed to Gabrielle before ever meeting her in person. He’s from England and she lived in Seattle. The proposal took place on Skype and Gabrielle received her ring by mail. They finally met in person one year after their chance encounter on social media, which is when Nathan proposed again. And months later, the pair tied the knot in the living room of Gabrielle’s grandmother. Nathan’s relatives in England witnessed the ceremony by Skype. It’s been a few months since the wedding, and the couple is living together in a home they own in Washington.
While this is definitely a unique situation, I can’t front like I never started a long distance relationship with someone I’ve never met. During my teens, there were a couple of guys I called my “boyfriend” before ever actually meeting them in person. My boss shared that she also found herself in a similar situation during her teens after being connected with a friend of a friend by phone. You know how it goes, you chat with a guy for weeks or months on your mama’s phone; however, you rarely got a chance to meet him in person because your mama didn’t play that. So, either the “relationship” fizzles about as quickly as it began, or you finally get a chance to meet, and well, he’s nothing like what you expected.
I do, however, wonder how these things work once you enter adulthood and are out of your mama’s house and free to move about as you please, though. I mean, as a teen, your ability to travel is limited by what your parents will permit. But what pushes grown folks to enter into relationships before having actual face-to-face encounters? And what happens in these relationships? Are these usually catfish situations? Do you eventually end up meeting the person? Can solid relationships be formed this way? Or, are people left with regrets like Laurie Sandell, who shared her experience in a brutally honest essay for Marie Claire titled “I Wasted 2 Years On A Man I Never Met”? Unfortunately, Laurie didn’t have the fairytale ending that Nathan and Gabrielle did. After two years, she learned that her sort-of-kind-of-boyfriend was never serious about her even though so obviously longed for some type of future with him. Even worse, she didn’t accept that this is what was happening until she learned that he had secretly been having phone sex with her friend. Again, this is also probably a unique situation.
As always, we love to hear about your experiences, so feel free to spill below. Have you ever entered a relationship with someone you’ve never met? How did things turn out? Do you have regrets?
How does a former pageant queen go from dealing with the drama of an ex-boyfriend on national television as a cast member of MTV’s Real World: Brooklyn to doling out relationship advice on the TLC program Love at First Swipe alongside beloved TV personality Clinton Kelly? If you ask Devyn Simone, it’s been a long time coming. The Kansas City-bred beauty is an online dating veteran. She was making connections in Yahoo! chat rooms and on MySpace when folks wouldn’t even consider such a thing.
“I went out with it all,” Simone told me over the phone. “Young, old, rich, poor, American, illegal immigrant–you name it, I went out with it at some point.”
And those relationship ups and downs gave her not only a wealth of knowledge that she shared with friends before sharing it with people she counsels one on one and on the show, but it also helped her find her fiancé. And yes, she found him on Tinder, the app most people brush off as a place to find a Netflix and Chill partner. But, in fact, Simone knows happy couples who met on Tinder and a few married ones too. So how can the rest of us make such connections and make them last? “It’s a matter of having the tools and knowing how to make them work to your advantage,” Simone said. “You can’t just look at an app and rule it out and say, ‘That’s just for hookups because I know people who have hooked up on it.’ You can find the love you want on that app as long as you know who you’re marketing to and how to do it correctly.”
The Big Don’t
“The biggest don’t that I find is people not actually thinking about what they want,” Simone said. “And I know that doesn’t seem tangible and it’s not a ‘Do this! Do that!’ But if you don’t know who you’re trying to attract then you’re never going to get it. That’s like going to a job interview and not knowing what position you want. I’m going to market myself very differently if I’m applying to be the COO than if I’m applying to be the facilities guy. There’s nothing wrong with either position, but I can’t just go in there with a broad range and expect to get offered both. I have to cater my angle to something, and people do not do that. So they either try to be everything to everyone or they just don’t try at all.”
Finding A Serious Man
“I’m a straight shooter and I would be lying to you if I said, ‘If you do x,y and z, you’ll never go on a date with a jerk again,” Simone said. “There will be some frogs in there. But you can cut down on your interactions with the frogs by judging their behavior. So if you match with someone, pay attention to how they behave. Do they send you a ‘Hey, what’s up?’ message or do they send you a message that shows that they actually took the time to read your profile?
And make them call. I know people think it’s outdated. It’s not. There is no excuse for someone to not be able to use the phone because they all have cell phones. This is part of the weeding out process. So, you match with a guy, you’re chatting online, you think he’s cute, he seems cool, he wants to go out with you. What’s your response? You say, ‘I don’t go out with anyone I haven’t spoken to on the phone with first.’ The reason is, if he’s serious about getting to know you, he won’t mind giving you a call. If he says he’s going to call you and he’s serious about going out with you, he will follow through. And when you’re on that phone call, it doesn’t need to be long. Five or 10 minutes. But women’s intuition is still the best thing because it’s a good indicator of what is to come. So when you’re talking on the phone and something doesn’t feel right, if he said he lives in an uptown penthouse by himself, and you hear kids screaming in the background and his mom yelling his name, that will let you know, ‘Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t go out with this guy.’ So a 10-minute phone call can save you 30 minutes of getting ready, 15 minutes of travel time, and an hour of a date you didn’t want to be on in the first place.
What women don’t understand is that we have the upper hand. Do you know that there are twice as many men as there are women on dating sites and dating apps? That’s why they’re spamming your inbox, because the odds are already in our favor. So, you have the power to say what you want. Don’t be afraid that, ‘Oh, he’s going to go to another girl if I try and make him call me.’ Or ‘Oh, he’s going to go to another girl if I say I’m not available tonight.’ If a guy matches with you today and he asks you out tonight, don’t go with him. Don’t. Because he’s put no real effort in to try and get a piece of your time. I don’t care if you don’t have anything to do, tell him you’re busy and schedule it for another day.”
The Profile Pic Problem
“There are four main photos every profile should have, given if that particular system allows it,” Simone said. “A headshot, which is typically your main profile pic, a full body shot, an action shot, and a social shot. You need all four because they all convey a certain thing about you either physically or your personality. And photos speak volumes about a profile. As far as having very bad photos, that goes back to not knowing your target audience. Think about the guy you want to attract and think about what he would think of that photo. I believe that you can ask for whatever you want in a relationship because we all deserve to be happy, however, for everything that you ask, you must be willing to give. I don’t mean ‘put out’ give. I mean, what are you bringing to the table? What is your profile saying that you bring to the table so that you can match with the quality guy that you want? That includes your photos.”
The Best Kind Of First Date
“I really like day dates, like early day. It gives you options,” Simone said. “It’s not considered to be as romantic so there’s less pressure for there to be an overwhelming chemistry. It also forces you to be a little creative. So, my fiancé and I, our first date was actually in Central Park, and he planned a picnic. And I will admit, the first hour of that picnic was probably awkward as hell. But we stuck it out. And because there were multiple stages of the date, that was great too. So if you’re doing an activity, maybe there’s a free concert going on and you decide, let’s grab a hot chocolate and go to this concert. It gives you time so that if you like each other you know have something to look forward to because you’re going to spend more time together. But if you don’t like each other, because it’s not a romantic candlelit dinner, it’s actually pretty easy to bail out quickly. He won’t be as offended because it’s the middle of the day so, usually, people don’t have large blocks of time available. But if you like him, a day date can turn into a night date.”
Don’t Get Discouraged
“People attribute too much of the negative to the dating app or site itself and don’t really look at the personal behavior,” Simone said. “But in a relationship, if you met a guy at the bar and the relationship doesn’t work out, you don’t say, ‘I’m never going to that bar again!’ You usually attribute what went wrong with the relationship itself and try to figure out why it didn’t work with that person, what it was about them, what it was about you, and then you move on. So with online dating, there were times where yes, the relationship fell apart, and it was heartbreaking. But there’s literally 91 million people using online dating apps and sites. That’s the most encouraging thing because it’s like, on to the next one!”
If you want more tips on doing online dating the right way, check out Simone’s site, DevynSimone.com. She provides one-on-one coaching, helps you build up your profile, and teaches people how to communicate better when dating online. Also, be sure to check out Love at First Swipe on Friday nights at 10:30 p.m. on TLC. Check out a preview below:
You know you have words that make little lights go off in your head when you see them on a guy’s online dating profile: patient, social, ambitious…
Describing oneself is hard and you have to choose just the right words that show you’re self-aware enough, but you don’t sit around contemplating your own personality all day. You want to pick adjectives that depict you in a good light but don’t sound like you’re bragging. You want traits that show you have a dynamic personality! But that can quickly verge on split personality if you go overboard. And, finally, you just don’t want to use that many words. So words that encompass several other words are always helpful. Without realizing it, men are analyzing your profile and the ways you choose to describe yourself just as intensely as you are. Here are some buzzwords women should include in their online dating profile, and some not to include..
As told to Veronica Wells
Before there was Tinder or Soulswipe, there was AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) and Chatrooms. And if you think it’s easy to lie and catfish people today, through dating apps, the ease with which you could lie in a chatroom was exceptionally simpler. For the young ones reading this, chat rooms were online hangouts where people from across the country and world could communicate with each other in real time. Think texting…but on the computer… with hundreds of people. Many of the chatrooms were based on age and interests but there were no settings in place to insure that the person entering these rooms was telling the truth. Furthermore, when someone asked you A/S/L? (Age, Sex, Location), you could say whatever you liked. It was a creative spirit’s dream. You could literally take on a different persona every night if you so desired.
It was through this digital world that I had my first romantic interactions with men. Yes, I’m convinced that as a preteen I was chatting with grown men. Most of them believed I was 18, legal. Occasionally, I would enter a chat room with children my age but that was as a last ditch effort. The people in those rooms were, at best, immature and, at their worst, insanely boring, unable to hold a full, engaging conversation.
So I talked to the older crowd. Or people like me, pretending to be older. Before you start judging, calling me “fast,” know that I wasn’t alone. In her memoir, actress, producer and comedienne Issa Rae shares a shockingly similar experience. And she turned out just fine. But I’m getting sidetracked. Point is, all of my relationships have all started online. And when I started being honest about my age, the internet boos started calling me. And we went from there, developing semi or completely noncommittal romantic relationships in real life. All of which ended because the men were either mentally and socially unstable, f*ckboys or a combination of the two.
This was the case all throughout high school, college and even my early twenties. Truth be told, I still meet men from the internet. Tinder is a beautiful thing. But you only talk to someone on Tinder for so long before they’re trying to meet up. And this is where the problem lies.
Basically, I’m scared.
My new Tinder boo is literally everything I’ve been looking for. Bookish with a love for Boosie. Hood but with a good head on his shoulders and a heart for the people. The dude was literally nominated for a national award for his community service efforts. And this is no gas. I’ve been using the internet a long time, I know full well how to verify. On paper, he’s perfect. But instead of his qualifications making me eager to meet him. I’m terrified.
I’ve started to make excuses about why it’ll never work out between us. He travels too much. He—well, travel too much is really as far as I’ve gotten so far. He’s invited me out three times now. And each time I make an excuse as to why I can’t go. Truth be told, I just moved into a new place and it would be a bit inconvenient; but the more honest, realistic part of me knows that there is another reason why I’m so hesitant. I’m scared he won’t like me. I’m scared he won’t be everything he thought I was. And I’m scared… just scared. Things are so much easier when you’re on the phone, Skyping or chatting on the internet.
But then again, easy doesn’t usually lead to lasting, fruitful results. Maybe it’s time I take my relationships to the real world.
A lot of people find love online. But a lot of people—like the majority of those who try online dating—only find awkward, painful and exhausting experiences. And that’s because the nature of online dating sets you up to fail. Here’s how.
It has been a couple of months with Tinder, and I’d like to say I’m getting the hang of it. Swipe left, swipe right. He’s nice, he’s not. No problem. While navigating the app last month, I came across a man I immediately considered attractive. He’s tall, dark, big nose like I like ’em, and Sicilian. I’ve never had much luck as far as interracial dating goes, and always seem to attract the jungle fever mongers. You know, the ones with weird motives or those going through experimental phases. But I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that we matched. Let’s call him Marco.
Marco wasted no time in reaching out and saying hello. We struck up a really nice conversation about our mutual interests (we’re both in the design field) and our backgrounds. And I was intrigued by the fact that most of his relationships had been with Black women–Nigerian women most of the time. We connected on a lot of levels.
He asked to call, and we continued our conversations over the phone. I was worried about a possible language barrier, but we did just fine. Shortly after, he asked me out on a date, to which I obliged.
Our first date was amazing. Great laughs, good food and those ever wonderful butterflies began to flutter. You know your date is going well when the restaurant is about to close on you and you’re incredibly oblivious to said fact. That‘s how great things went.
We kept talking through most of the night, doing so on a rooftop overlooking the Manhattan skyline, and he even took care of an Uber ride home for me. What could possibly be wrong with such a romantic? Nothing. Oh, except for the fact that Marco lives in Italy and was only in town for a work trip. Yes, all the way in Italy. I’m not a fan of long-distance relationships and as such had no expectations leaving the date. I met a great guy, and that was it.
I knew he was leaving a few days later, and really didn’t bother to form any sort of attachments. We said our goodbyes and that was it. Now fast forward a week later and I received a long message from Marco. I left an impression, and he seriously wanted to see where things could go. To be honest, I was curious, but I wasn’t sold on the idea. What with him being a whole continent away and what not. But like the Kay jewelers ad says, keep your heart open and, well, you get the idea.
Marco and I had regular phone conversations and eventually coordinated Skype dates. I started to look forward to seeing him, and it was clear that he felt the same way. Marco never minced words and always let me know that he liked me and cared for me. In all honesty, this was actually great, all things considered. We even talked about a schedule as far as being able to see one another and Marco visiting before the end of the year.
But then things slowly started to get uncomfortable–and annoying. On one of our Skype dates, Miguel began to go on and on about how beautiful I was and such. I was used to the compliments. However, on that particular evening, he asked to see me naked. I politely declined. Cybersex, for me, is usually a perk reserved for actual committed relationships and marriage. Needless to say, several other attempts to coax me into doing this were met with irritation on my part. The comments about my curves were getting creepy. And then there was the time a Skype discussion began, and Marco appeared with no pants on–or underwear. He was trying to force cybersex to happen, and it was one of the least attractive things I ever did see from an attractive man. Way too much.
Of course, after I’d rebuffed his cyber advances, our travel plans to see one another veered off course. In the time that he was supposed to be visiting, he’d traveled elsewhere and pushed back his trip to New York. He clearly felt some type of way. Needless to say, the distance between us started to grow as big as the actual distance between us geographically. We’re still cordial with one another, and he does check in from time to time, but I had to move on. I guess that’s not amoré.
Ladies! If you haven't seen the first episode of our Special Edition of Ask a Black Man, click here. The first episode was all about "The List" and our next episode is all about Dating and The Internet. The men cover topics on how to find love online, what apps to use, and the do's and don'ts of online dating. Make sure you tune in on December 8th to find out their thoughts on how you can find love online.
Want to know more about the men on this special edition? Make sure you read their cast profiles, here.
Be sure to check out FYI's new series #BlackLove on December 8th @10:15/9:15c
Want More Ask a Black Man?
After dealing with my fair share of losers — men interested in the fact that I’m cool and fun and that’s about it, men who weren’t sure of what they want but would rather string me along than let me go, and last but not least, men with too much emotional baggage they haven’t unpacked — I decided to try something different. With all the good that technology has done, I decided to set my sights on the interwebs in search of love. I signed up for an OkCupid account in December and I thought there was no way it could be as bad as Tinder since the profiles were a lot more detailed and not pre-made from Facebook.
While creating a profile, you had to answer a series of life questions like, “Are you happy with your life?” or “Could you date someone who’s really messy?” and “You’re sleeping with your significant other and it’s cold in the room, what do you do?” The answers are already pre-made and you select the best one for yourself. As you scroll through profiles, you’re given a percentage of how much of a match you are from 0 percent to 100 percent, but that’s also dependent upon the number of questions a possible match answered and if they answered the same ones as you. So you might be a 100 percent match with someone who only answered one question, and it just so happened to be the same response you gave for that particular question. Long story short, I began to see a trend in the men that I matched with and the profiles I scrolled through.
I noticed there were five types of men I kept meeting on OkCupid. I kept swiping past the Trap King who takes pictures flashing wads of money, wearing heavy gold chains, iced grills, and holding dime bags. He would either be posing in front of a luxury car as if he was taking a picture for his mixtape or sitting in what looked like a club or lounge. No thanks.
I was frustrated by the guy who literally couldn’t spell to save his own life. You can imagine how hard it was reading through his profile when he would message things like “Am gud, jus chillin tryna find wify sumbodi to kick it wit.”
Then there’s the Average Joe who looks pretty safe, but isn’t much of a talker when it comes to making good conversation. According to his profile, he plays life safe. A little too safe sometimes. He’s a regular stick in the mud, not really into travel and adventure.
Then there’s the I’m Just Gonna Try My Luck guy with a name like “Booty Bandit,” who knows full well that rejection is on the horizon. But he figures since he’s hiding behind his computer, why not try? This is the guy who clearly didn’t read the profile that took you a good hour to complete outlining your deal-breakers.
Last, but not least, there’s the New To This Country guy whose passport is as big as his ego and feels that the first thing women want to hear is how obsessed he is with their thighs.
In my frustration, I began to wonder if I was being too picky and spending too much time picking these guys apart. What exactly was I looking for in these men? I realized how hard it was to come to a rational judgment of someone based on a profile. And no matter how many hours you spend filling out those survey questions, uploading some of your best pictures, and giving as much background information on yourself as you possibly can, there is still something so inauthentic about online dating.
There is something to be appreciated about having an attractive stranger approach you and exchange small talk that slowly escalates into some really deep conversations. There is something to be appreciated about exchanging numbers and making plans to continue the conversation over dinner on another day. I say all that to say, there is something to be appreciated about meeting an individual in person rather than online. I, for one, have learned to value making plans with someone I’ve had the opportunity to meet–rather than making plans with Lord knows who hiding behind an app or computer.
Has anyone else had any online dating successes or failures?
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.