Around this time last year I along with my good friend LB decided to try out different dating applications to try and become more social and meet new people outside of work. I downloaded many apps including OkCupid, Tinder, Meld and SoulSwipe. The first two tries were not as successful as I’d expected, but I can say the second go round was better than the first. Earlier this year LB and I revisited this conversation as we discussed our non-existing dating lives and the many proposals and upcoming weddings we were witnessing.
She revealed that she’d be on a dating app again and had actually felt this time it was better. (I am unsure of which one at this moment, but I will post an update once I talk to her again). She mentioned that she had a few new texting buddies and had met up with one or two for coffee and lunch. We discussed our lives as educated young black women and how we needed to simply enjoy being young and free and not too tied up in work. I agreed that I’d give an app or two another try, BUT only after Valentine’s Day, because “I am not seeking sex and do not want any guys looking at me like I’m desperate and lonely on this holiday and taking advantage.” LB thought about it and said yeah that’s so true I didn’t think of that before.
After VDay I downloaded SoulSwipe and Cupid.
I did not open the apps until sometime in March. Once again, I was throwing myself into work, and found that I totally forgot about any potential fun through the apps. Mid-March I finally decided to open SoulSwipe and give it a go. Over a three or four day period I’d matched with over 30 guys. Of those 30 I had conversations with about a dozen and of those dozen I’d exchanged numbers with four (Eyes, Star, Africa and Proud Dad/Long Distance).
Guy number one was “Eyes.” A nice guy, father of an adorable little girl, legit job, church goer and aspiring r&b/inspirational artist. We talked for a bit, but I noticed that the conversations were becoming repetitive. A red flag went off when I asked him about his career goals as an artist and requested to hear his music. He stated he had nothing online, no artist pages or anything. I began thinking, this is a Catfish situation. I mean, I did have his number, I could’ve called him, but that wasn’t settling. My mind began to wonder if this was a “babymama” set-up or something. I just stopped contacting him.
Guy number two was “Star.” A laid back dude using the app for promotional purposes. No, he didn’t tell me that, but through conversations that’s what I’d gathered. He wasn’t a big conversationalist and didn’t really seem to want to meet up (which I was totally fine with). He’d sent me links to music videos and YouTube pages. I checked some of his stuff out, but decided not to contact him anymore. I’d been talking/texting him while I had jury duty (which was LONG and BORING). Once that was over I’d realized we had nothing in common or to talk about aside from music, and that wasn’t the only thing I wanted to talk about unless we’d meet up at local shows or concerts.
Guy number three was “Africa.” He was an educated funny man. Conversation with him was decent. He kept me laughing, was upfront and spoke his mind. I liked that. We tried texting, but our schedules clashed. When he’d text me I was either sleeping or at work. When I’d respond he was either at school or at work. It would take me a few days to reply. It may take him up to a week to respond. Aside from that, I’m sure we both were bored with the little conversation. I stopped replying.
Guy number four is “Proud Dad/Long Distance.” He’s cool, respectful, interesting, a proud single father who has an eclectic taste in music. From the beginning he was really open and the conversations varied. We began texting and (I think) a friendship grew. The all day into late night texts turned into Skype sessions and phone calls. I was a bit skeptical about all of this thinking is he really single, is the mother of his child really out of the picture, is this a HelloCupid (web series on Black&Sexy tv) situation? I told myself to stop overthinking it and just make a new friend. Before I knew it we were talking on a daily basis and making plans to meet. It was all so organic and no pressure.
Although I haven’t been on SoulSwipe for about a month and I still have yet to try OkCupid again, my opinion of these apps are somewhat the same more-so on the positive side now. It’s a hit or miss deal, but it depends on you. I found that having an open mind and not being so serious did help. Setting boundaries and having no real expectations are also key.
Please do feel free to share your dating app experiences!
– Viola Constance