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Dom and Roland

Source: Dom and Roland / facebook

Though pandemic-triggered lockdowns have become associated with isolation and loneliness, there are quite a few anomalies. Just ask Domonique and Roland of New Orleans. The love birds crossed paths on Facebook Dating just before COVID-19 hit American soil and their romance managed to blossom through the lockdown.

“For me, I just moved to the city of New Orleans. I was already on Facebook and one day, on the side panel, I saw an ad that said, ‘Try Facebook Dating,'” Roland tells MadameNoire by phone. “I decided to give it a try so I set up a profile since I was in the city and I wanted to explore it. I’m from Louisiana but I’ve never actually explored New Orleans. I was single and at first, I just wanted a friend to explore the city with.”

Around the same time, Domonique had also signed up for Facebook’s dating platform.

“I was also looking for a person just to do more things with because I’m adventurous,” she says. “I just wanted somebody to share that with. So when I saw that Facebook had a dating site, I’m like okay, this can be good because, on Facebook, you’re able to see more about somebody’s life that you can’t see on other dating apps. So that’s what led me to Facebook Dating.”

The pair hit things off by using one of the app’s popular icebreaker questions, which quizzes daters on what superpower they desire the most.

“I was very interested when I first met Dom. There were a few other people I met before her but for me, I knew what I wanted. I didn’t get any deep connections. Everything was kind of shallow,” he says. “When I met Dominique, I crept on her regular page and I saw she was doing motivational talks, talking about meal prepping and eating healthy. That interested me, but I didn’t say anything. Domonique actually sent the icebreaker question. At first, I was going to respond with a pickup line but I decided to answer the question because I was looking for something real.”

Once the ice was broken, the couple had their first date at a restaurant where she worked. Then, the pandemic hit. However, lockdown proved to be a plus for their budding romance.

“It was actually pretty amazing,” he recalls. “Not to make light of the pandemic, but it was a great opportunity for us. We were both out of work for some time. We were able to see each other more and figured each other out a lot quicker than we would have had there not been a pandemic.”
“It was actually really fun because we spent the pandemic together,” Domonique adds. “We weren’t apart. I didn’t have to be alone and he didn’t have to be alone. My job actually ended up giving away all of the food that they had in our fridge at work.  So we just stayed in and we cooked and cooked and talked and got to know each other. It forced us to get to know the ins and outs of each other. That was good for us. We got to peel back all of those layers and it wasn’t negative and we ended up having a child out of that.”
Domonique and Roland are also engaged to be married. And while some may say that they are just two of the lucky ones, Jhamira and Von of Michigan, who are also expecting a baby soon, share a similar story. The couple found their way to the dating app in September of 2019 and connected just before the pandemic hit.
Jhamira and Von

Source: Jhamira and Von / facebook

“Facebook Dating connects you through things you have in common, so we were able to bond over our interest in anime and video games,” Jhamira says. “We both grew up watching the classics — Fullmetal, Yu Yu Hakusho, Hunter x Hunter — and playing our favorites games. Von loves Final Fantasy and I’m obsessed with The Legend of Zelda. Once Von got my list of favorite anime series I could tell he instantly liked me. I loved how we could talk about anything and everything together for hours and even have heated debates about the world without things getting personal. We truly bonded so much through conversation and that’s so important, for a couple to like each other as friends.”
Their romance would continue to blossom throughout the pandemic, but Jhamira admits that juggling motherhood and pandemic dating proved to be challenging at first.
“My son just turned three in January and he has reached that stage where everything upsets him and tantrums are his only way of communicating with the world around him. Even before the pandemic, I worked from home, so now I have been in the house double time and it’s been really hard on me when it comes to having to be a mom,” she confesses. “I think it’s hard on my son too. We can’t take him to go play, or go to restaurants. He can’t even go to see his family members. And with me being pregnant and due in March, my emotions have been everywhere. I’m definitely trying to adapt to the new ways of the world and I’m hoping things are better after pregnancy. We try to find creative ways to keep him busy and engaged, but sometimes it’s a real struggle. On the bright side, I’m glad we get to spend so much time together and focus on helping him build important skills.”
For those who are curious about giving Facebook Dating a try, both Jhamira and Von recommend that daters push fear to the side and try something new.
“I would say to take some chances and try new things. This pandemic has shown us that life can do a complete 180 at any time and you don’t want to look back and think about how you thought it would be silly to try online dating, even though so many people are finding amazing lifelong partners this way,” Von says. “Facebook Dating makes it so easy to see what’s important when it comes to dating. Other sites kind of throw too much on there. I like how you could customize the colors and overall look of your account. These little things let me know certain details about the people I was looking at.”

“If there ever was a good time to try online dating it would be now,” Jhamira adds. “If you’re nervous about using Facebook as a dating site, just know that one of the features of Facebook Dating allows you to remain unseen by your Facebook friends and you can adjust the privacy of your dating profile. This is the new way of life and it’s not bad at all! I owe Facebook for allowing me to connect with such a wonderful human being. We joke all the time about how we probably would’ve never met if it wasn’t for Facebook. I think about that all the time. Now we are engaged and expecting our son in a few weeks all thanks to Facebook Dating. Allow yourself to step outside of what you’re used to and give yourself a chance to have fun! Dating sites don’t always have to be to find a soulmate –  you can simply use them to find great people and great experiences.”

Have you tried Facebook Dating yet? What are your thoughts on it?
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