Confession; I am a serial online dater. I’ve been a faithful Tinder user for the past 4 years (after my last Tinder debacle I’ve decided to give it a much needed rest.) In fact you can also add OKCupid, Match.com, Bumble, POF, and even SoulSwipe to the list.
The online dating world offers greater odds of finding love than the chance of meeting someone at a bar. In the palm of your hand you can be “introduced” to so many people around your city or even the world; without having to lean in into someone’s ear because the music is to loud or squinting to get a double look because the bar is too dark. You can filter out what you don’t want and pick exactly what you like.
From my experience, I’ve received messages and reached out to a couple men but quickly I realized that most of the men who messaged me back were Black men (my own ethnicity) a few were Hispanic but barely any men who were White (the ones I received messages from often fetishized my appearance and sexualized me solely based on my race), Asian, Middle Eastern or Indian. The men I did connect with I would go on dates with, all have been black, and they have been interesting.
Let’s talk about “Kway”, he lived in Maryland but came to NYC for the weekend for a business trip and we decided to throw in a date during his down time. We met at one of my favorite restaurants; I walked up to find him in a t-shirt (shirt had a noticeable hole), house slippers (with socks) and basketball shorts. By the way, He looked completely different from his pictures. I know, many would have walked away but instead I pulled out my chair and ordered a drink. When our food arrived he ate his within 4 minutes and then proceeded to lift up his fork and put it in my salad… without asking! Let’s just say that was the first and last date with “Kway”. I can’t forget my date with ‘Allan” which started out great until the check came and he did not have enough to pay. And a few other dates that I’ll dive into another time.
Although there were many interesting encounters, I did have a good one which was filled with love and ended with heartbreak due to male insecurities (…that’s a another post.) I quickly had to face the fact online dating just isn’t my thing! In fact it isn’t for many black women.
Truth is, most daters on mainstream dating sites are white. In 2015, statistics showed that most white male user where looking to date someone who “share their racial background”. This means that most black women’s profiles are overlooked. In an OKCupid study, it was discovered that black men gave the cold shoulder to black women too. The study found that black men of all ages were 10 times more likely to initiate contact with white women. A similar study released by OkCupid found that Black women are the least replied to group, however, they are the most likely to respond – a quarter more often than other women to be exact. The overall statistics revealed that most race and gender blocks, except for Black women, seem to have a preference for other races. This sends the negative message to black women that no matter how educated or beautiful you are, you’re still black and that makes you undesirable.
It’s one thing to be passed up because your dating percentages don’t match, or because of a hairstyle or an weird obsession with reality TV but it’s another to be passed on because of race. Online dating has dehumanized everyone! The goal of online dating is objectivity but truthfully it forces people to make rash decisions based on a photograph or an assumption rather than getting to know someone. These snap decisions leave many women especially women of color with a very small section to pick from, or men that pick them.
I deleted all my dating app accounts and faced the fact that I’m not the audience this was created for. When I asked a guy friend “where are all the guys to date?” He quickly replied “I’m not sure but I know they aren’t on Tinder.” There’s a bit of magic in real-life encounters.
Tried online dating before? What was your experience? Let’s talk about it…