So I Tried Online Dating…

It’s not as bad as you think it is.

Can we just reflect back to when there was no social media right quick? I remember I didn’t get my first cellphone until I was 18 and a college email address was required to sign up for Facebook. Now here I am today, sharing my story of online dating.

I’m a homebody because I spend most of my time being a mother so it’s difficult to go out and meet people. I’ve generally worked in corporate environments where there are very few black men. Not saying I have to date just black men, I’m saying only black men approach me. And very few black men means even less are actually interested. With those who were, there would be a little flirting in the conversation but nothing more. Eventually one of them told me that my problem was I was not “side-chick material” (that of which he was probably interested in me being). Hell, the way he said it, I don’t know if I should have clapped or cried. Maybe that was my problem. When guys realized that I wasn’t for any bullshit, or they decided to focus back on the mates they would have omitted to tell me about, the pursuit stalled. And I would still be single.

Over a month ago, a co-worker told me how she met this guy she really liked, so, of course, I asked her where did they meet.

Co-worker: “So, there’s this app….”
Me: “GIRL, HELL NAH!”

She tries to convince me that the apps aren’t that bad; some could be for just hooking up and some are there for people who are looking for real relationships. She suggested I make a profile just to see what happens. So I sign up for, in all, Coffee Meets Bagel, Plenty of Fish and most recently, okCupid. As I’m filling out my profiles, I’m still thinking this shit is pretty desperate.

I don’t think there are a lot of people on Coffee Meets Bagel, resulting in no good matches, so I eventually deleted it. Most men on Plenty of Fish don’t even read your profile to know more about you, if you’re “attractive”, that’s all that matters. People on okCupid seem to know how to conduct an actual conversation versus those on Plenty of Fish, plus it has a better looking interface. Even with all the messages you’ll get, it is still a process to find someone you may like. For one, everyone isn’t your physical type. Then out of those who are, you should seek a good conversation to want to continue it over the phone. Then out of those phone calls, they still have to be an interesting “candidate to want you to meet them in-person. Just through phone calls, I found out a couple of guys were in trouble with the law multiple times—one had a warrant in North Dakota, another guy lived with his mother, didn’t have a car and was missing a front tooth (FaceTime), and another was in a shitload of debt, had a roommate and shared his bedroom with his teenage daughter. Just no. I started to wonder why were there so many men looking for a woman when they didn’t even have their shit together. And having shit-together doesn’t necessarily mean having everything, but it’s easy to tell when a man is comfortable with his complacent lifestyle.

There have been guys I’ve met and/or talked to consistently though, in hopes of liking. But of course with talking/dating/whatever you call it, you may just not like them or they fall off before you do.

KB

Right when I was about to deactivate Coffee Meets Bagel, KB hits me up. We met for brunch in the West Loop, where he also lives. I really couldn’t gauge who he was as a person, other than him being busy. And once a guy comes off with too much of the busy role, I’m not going to want to. I really think he expected me to be immediately attracted to him just by his money and “success”. No.

D’Juan

D’Juan is educated AF, good job, good credit, and loves to travel. How fitting because his ass came with baggage. He had two children under 3 years-old with different women. He openly claimed the older one and later admitted he had another one. Currently, he still treats the younger one differently. D’Juan also had insecurities. He’s been cheated on. After awhile, he would ask if I talked with other men, or cracked a joke about it being another man when I answered my other line. I didn’t even meet D’Juan in-person before his insecurities took over and that’s fine, because I was not comfortable with his little parenting situation. Not just with that fact that he had two kids under 3, but also, I personally know what it feels like to be that younger child. I’m not rocking with that.

“Trevor”

When you’re getting to know someone, you’re chill. “Trevor”, as I will refer to him, initially turned me off with his strong personality. But he was persistent and I got to know him better in-person. Trevor was also very outspoken on how he wanted his date to look for every outing. The wild thing is, he was never dapper — just an over-sized button-up and baggy jeans, and he’s overweight. He has a lot of a damn nerve, but this also makes me feel like I have to look presentable according to his standards. Then, we have disagreements because we have different ways of thinking. When you see signs like this and ignore it, you can’t be upset when it blows out of proportion in the future. Other than the dope dates and him being the one I was the most comfortable with, I’m feeling the cons are outweighing the pros.

Amir

Amir hit me up as the self-proclaimed “best man on the site”. As I was trying to distance myself from the asshole that was Trevor, I leaned more towards getting to know Amir. But then I saw Amir was a bullet waiting to be dodged. Not only did Amir jump the gun like he just knew I was going to be his girlfriend, he also let it be known he wanted to follow old school household traditions. In his words, he wanted, “his peace after a long day”, “a warm meal every other night”, etc. — that shit. I understand gender roles but men only care when it benefits them. But let you tell one of these new school dudes that he should take care of all the bills because you don’t want to work anymore and watch how he ridicules your inconsiderate ass to shreds.

On our first date to breakfast, as I order my eggs, Amir asked, “No cheese?!” and I replied “No”. While laughing, he asks me what are any “other unusual, non-Black things about me that he should know about.

I didn’t get the Blacks-only memo that I was supposed to have cheese on my gaddamn eggs…

He then asks me what happens if, for instance, we are home and he makes breakfast and puts cheese on my eggs, would I just throw it away. I tell him, if you are my man fixing me breakfast I’m going to eat it, but also, if you are my man you would know or at least ask if I wanted cheese in the first place. The conversation went from my favorite foods (I guess seafood not being my first choice is unusual and non-Black too), to my favorite color (I don’t have one which he thought was strange), to him then asking me why did I grit my teeth on the fork because, apparently, there’s some research that states doing that will discolor my teeth green.

I just cannot.

It’s bad enough my pancakes were pale as shit and my replacement was taking forever and now I have to sit through this annoying conversation. I was already turned off 5 minutes after I got in the car because he asked about my clipped fingernails like they were too low for him. I also sensed that he was controlling and verbally abusive from stories he told me. I have never been ready to end a date since 2004 when a coworker set me up on a blind date with an ugly dude. He was definitely not the best man on the site, not for me rather.

Brendan

Brendan was from okCupid. He’s well-spoken and very sophisticated. Music and writing poetry was our thing. He seemed like a really good guy. He’s just isn’t as tall as I thought. Being caught up in a dope conversation kept me from paying attention to the details on his profile. I go to meet him in-person, and see this hand waving and I hear, “Andrea! Here!!”, so I look down and it was him…standing there. I wouldn’t necessarily call him a catfish because he was cute, but his pictures made him out to be taller than 5'1".


In conclusion, online dating isn’t the worst or most desperate thing you can do. It’s a “don’t-knock-it-until-you-try-it” thing. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing white men get over their supposed intimidation of approaching a black woman. Now, if these white men are sincerely interested, or just want to live out a fantasy of being with a black woman, I can’t tell. Obviously, I’m not interested in an interracial-anything right now because I haven’t responded back.

Oh, and you will run into some weird shit. One guy from okCupid told me he could tell I “tasted excellent” just as one guy from POF asked if I was interested in joining an escort team. Don’t let stuff like that discourage you from meeting okay people. As far as those “crazies” the news talks about, you can meet those same “crazies” outside at a bar. Use good judgment. Originally, you had to go out a lot to meet different people and even then you still may not always meet someone to talk to. These apps offer a more intimate way in getting to know at least one person. This online dating thing has been quite overwhelming to me, but it serves its purpose. I wanted to start dating again and now I can say that I am. Shout out to my coworker.