Online Dating While Black and African


To Bee Honest…

“I keep hearing that the majority of relationships start online now.”
This was the response from a very close friend when I told him I had decided to join an online dating site. With that reception, is it any wonder I actually continued on my online dating path?

I had ended “something” in late February/early March, and decided a good way to get past things would be to meet new people. Seeing as I spend most of my time at work or at home, it occurred to me that online dating would be the best way to go. To bee honest (see what I did there? Haha), I really just wanted to entertain myself in the evenings and weekends, I can’t say that I expected to meet “the one” or anything like that.

The first step was setting up my profile.For my display picture, I decided to get advice from male friends. I mean, why not go straight to the source, right? I got all sorts of feedback from: “No! That picture screams ‘look at my cleavage’” to “the background of that picture looks sketchy.” Anyway, after several tries I finally found a picture that “worked,” and the next step was describing my perfect match. Now, I am a very picky person—might explain my current state, but who cares? Here was the perfect opportunity to explicitly state what I was looking for; I definitely wasn’t going to pass it up.So I laid out all my preferences—age range, height range, body type, religion, smoking and drinking preferences, ethnicity, education, etc—believe me, I was very specific. I was already agreeing to meet random strangers; I figured there was no reason to leave anything else up to chance. So, with all the preliminary stuff out of the way, I was ready to get my online dating on . . . Bring on the messages, emails, likes, winks, etc.

It’s only been a month or so since I started this, but I have definitely had some noteworthy experiences already. So far, I can group the men I’ve met into three categories:

1.The “Clearly Can’t Read” Men

I made it a point to tell y’all how detailed I got in my preferences. Like, I know exactly what I am looking for (as far as things that really matter), and I was not afraid to lay them out in black and white. So why else will you message me if you are lacking in every single category, unless you just cannot read? I’ll give you an example. I am a pretty tall lady—on a good day I’m 5’10, although it’s mostly closer to 6’2 since I’m rarely out of my precious four-inch heels. Soooo, when I say I’m looking for someone between 6’2 and 6’6, why the heck are you 5’8 and messaging me?

Okay, maybe that is superficial. Let me give you another example. I said I was looking for someone with a masters or doctorate degree. Or at the very least, someone with a bachelor’s degree in something. Anything, really. I wasn’t picky enough that I laid out preferred professions—although I am happy to do that, if need be. You can imagine my surprise when I started receiving messages from—and I’m trying not to be insulting—less than appealing characters. Come on, I say college or graduate degrees, and you come at me with a high school diploma or “some college”? How else can I explain this away? So again, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they can’t read.

Maybe I’ll give another example to stop anyone from thinking that I am being petty. I am 24, so naturally I gave an age range of 28 to 32. Why then did I receive a message from a 20 year old with this profile?

Can't read

Once again, my conclusion is that he must not be able to read.

2. The Creeper McCreepersons

Okay, so we’re talking about online dating here. No doubt there were going to be a few creeperzoids out there. Of course this is immediately confirmed when the second message I received was from a 55 year old real estate agent, telling me that he was interested in me. Now maybe this is not creepy-creepy, but please, sir! Surely, I would have joined (and yes, this is a real website) if I was looking to date my dad.

Still on the creepy note, you know how sometimes you read things that make the hair on your skin crawl? That’s how I felt when I read this summary from a guy that claimed to be interested:


Well, I should really say fear mixed with a little bit of amusement. Let me follow this up by saying that I live in a small, predominantly-white, college town. Even more important, I live in the South. Not the deep-deep south, but deep enough and small enough that you stand out as a minority. So when I read this “exclusively interested in black women” line, naturally my radar went off. The Christian part is fine, of course, but combined with this exclusive talk, and the no drinking or clubbing business, I had a hard time not picturing some sort of fanatic. I hate to say it, but even worse thoughts came to mind. But we’re supposed to be “evolved,” so I won’t share. Suffice it to say, CREEPY!! Also, anyone who knows anything about me and my predilection for all things wine . . . well, this wasn’t going to work anyway.

3.The Potential, But Not Quite

The last group consists of those that check enough boxes for you to respond to their messages, and maybe even agree to a date. Once you can, in good conscience, progress from the back-and-forth messaging, to setting something up in person, it’s typically a good sign. I mean, that’s the whole point of this—meeting people, forging relationships, all that great stuff. I’ll use the first date I went on as an example.

Brief synopsis—33 year old, 5’11, undergraduate degree in something IT related, currently works in that field, very athletic (played college football), and “spiritual but not religious” (whatever that means). He clearly did not meet my criteria is some aspects, but I had been warned not be too rigidly tied to my preferences. So I decided to respond to him regardless. After exchanging a few messages, he asked to meet for drinks and I agreed.

Initial observations: so by 5’11, you really meant you’re 5’8, right? By athletic, you meant “I used to be athletic when I played football nine years ago, now I’m just kind of . . . mehhh.” And by “spiritual but not religious” well, I guess you meant just that. Okkaaayyyy. My superficial hesitations aside, I figured I was already there so I might as well give it a go. By the end of the night, I noticed a few things: dude drank too much (which is saying a lot coming from me), wasn’t particularly interested in having an intelligent (read here, semi-intellectual) conversation, and obviously wasn’t paying a lot of attention because he kept asking me the same questions over and over again. His one saving grace though, he watches soccer and he is a Chelsea fan!! I’m sure I don’t have to say that I wasn’t jumping up and down in excitement after the date.

Despite my disinterest, I decided to give him a second chance, and went out with him again a few days later. If I thought the first date was bad, the second date was a disaster!! I’ll fast forward to the bad part. Ol’ boy got drunk before the end of the night and hit me with: “so you live close by”; “you’re so beautiful”; “I really like you, and I typically don’t like people”; “I’m so glad you came out”; “so, do you live close by?” Needless to say, even his Chelsea fandom couldn’t get him out of that one.

I feel like I need a disclaimer after writing this because I’m sure there are a ton of normal people out there. I even know a few people that have had meaningful relationships develop from online dating websites. All I’m saying is I guess I haven’t been lucky so far.
But stay tuned, my three-month trial isn’t over yet. No doubt there will be more interesting experiences. Maybe even something more 😉


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