Thursday, June 18, 2009

Online Dating Bytes

Three new posts in as many days? I'm on a roll! I've got more to post, too! I should hold back and just post one every week and then at least I could be consistent, but... I'm gonna go ahead and post them as they come to me. I'm going to try to do at least two posts a week from here on out, but I've made that promise before... several times. And I've never held up my end of that bargain. So, I'm gonna stop lying and just commit to posting when I can. And hopefully "when I can" will translate to at least twice per week :)

As I was walking home from the train today, I was hit by the most overwhelming sense of loneliness! It was a gut-wrenching feeling that left me scared shitless. It’s not that I haven’t experienced this feeling before, but today I noticed it had a new intensity that I was not at all prepared for. I mean, I’m 30 fucking years old with no man in sight! To me, that’s sad. And it’s scary! If anybody had told me when Mr. Ex and I went our separate ways 2.5 years ago (describing it as “going our separate ways” makes it sound so civilized, and it really wasn’t at all) that I’d be single at 30 with no prospects on the horizon, I would’ve found that laughable. Today, it is my reality. And it sucks. Sometimes I’m okay with it… sometimes I’m not. Today was one of those “not” days. *sigh*

I guess that’s the same feeling (or something similar) that my homegirl was feeling when she notified me that she was going to start actively participating in online dating. I listed as she explained why she had decided to go that route and I actually provided her with some pretty sound advice on the issue. But I wish I could’ve been more supportive of her decision. It’s just that my homegirl is a black woman, and she’s seeking an educated black man. Online. And I have my theories about why she will be more likely to get struck by lightening than to find a man that meets her standards through an online dating site.

So, of course I’m not just going to tell you that I have theories about a particular subject and then not tell you the theories right?! Well, my main thought about this is that in theory, online dating is a great concept! It gives you an opportunity to make contact with a potential suitor… without actually having to make physical contact. That’s awesome! It also easily connects you with people that you might not ordinarily meet. For instance, maybe your soul mate lives in Philadelphia and you live in Atlanta. In the “old days” before the internet, you would only have a chance of meeting that person if you went to Philadelphia or if s/he ventured to Atlanta, or if a mutual friend introduced you… something like that. The chances that you’d cross paths with that person while sitting in your living room were pretty damn slim! But now, all you have to do is logon to Match.com or BlackPeopleMeet.com or Yahoo! Personals, set your search terms to meet your criteria, and you are instantly connected to likeminded singles around the world.

It works for a lot of people! On a weekly basis I read the B.I.O. section of the Washington Post Express, which is where the paper publishes wedding announcements. I would say that probably 80% of the people featured in B.I.O. met online! I also watch “Platinum Weddings”, “Bridezillas”, and “Who’s Wedding is it Anyway”, and a large majority of those couples also meet online. But the thing is, most of the people that publish their announcements in B.I.O. and are featured on those wedding-focused reality shows are… well… they are… not black. I’ve heard of and have known personally so many people who met their significant other/spouse on sites like J-Date or Match.com or whatever, but those people are all white!

See, black men… black men in DC especially… aren’t really hurting for dates. And, if they want to become involved in a relationship, it’s really rather easy for them to meet a very deserving woman just by walking out of their front door. It really is that easy. Around this town, a guy can trip over 10 beautiful, successful, educated, witty, and VERY SINGLE women just going from his house to the grocery store. The market is flooded with these types of women. And all these women are looking for the same (or similar) type of man. So, my thought is that any man worth his salt who even remotely meets the standards that women have set for being “eligible” won’t need the assistance of the internet to find a date.

I belong to this social group on Facebook that’s always sponsoring speed dating events in DC. Every time they host something, the group always sends out an email that says something like:

“Speed dating event in 2 days! Registration for women is closed. More men needed!!”

See how sad and pathetic that is? Women have overwhelmed the registration for the event while men are elusive. And if men know that tons of women are going to be in a given spot, why wouldn’t THEY be flooding the group with registrations? The answer is that men don’t need to participate in something like speed dating because they’re not desperate for dates!

So, what makes a man eligible? Well, if he’s employed, reasonably good looking, semi-literate, clean, and… well, really, for a lot of women, that’s about all it takes. Sad, huh? Yeah, the bar is set pretty low. I guess I should add “breathing” to the list. Anything else? Hmm… maybe I should add single, but then again, for some women that is not a requirement (shocking!). Any man who meets these minimum requirements probably has at least two women in the queue. While women who bring a lot more to the table than this are sitting around twiddling their thumbs on any given Friday or Saturday night.

But I digress…

Those same men are not going to end up paying money to participate in an online dating service when they can pull chicks for free. So who are the black men who actually throw dough at services like Match.com or Eharmony.com or BlackPeopleMeet.com? Outside of the (very rare) exceptions, the black men you’ll meet on the internet are likely womanizers, illiterate, seeking random sex partners, or socially-inept weirdos. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.

I kept this theory to myself but I eventually ended up sharing it with my homegirl. Especially after she started sharing some of the messages she was receiving. Which proved my theory.

Like I said, in theory, internet dating is AWESOME. Like, I mentioned J-Date before. Just in case you were wondering, J-Date is a dating website that pairs up Jewish singles. My coworker met her husband on J-Date. My colleague who’s a few years younger than me met her fiance on J-Date. Apparently, she has three friends all around her same age who are all engaged and they ALL met on J-Date. After hearing these stories, I am thinking – wait a minute… you just go online, plug in your search terms and walk away with a cute guy and a 2-carat Tiffany engagement ring?

Sheeeeiiiiiiiit! (a la Clay Davis)

Sounds like a sweet deal to me!

I wish there was a J-Date for black folks. A B-Date, if you will. But unfortunately, as soon as sites pop up, they become hoodielicious (a word from my good friend) and or slutted out with people posting half-naked pictures and making open propositions about random sexual encounters. Just take a look at BlackPlanet. It has become a thugged out haven for illiterates and semi-professional prostitutes. And then, there’s BlackPeopleMeet.com. It started off pretty well, but as I was helping my homegirl sift through profiles on that site, I realized that none of the decent looking me on the site knew how to spell. But, wait… I guess that’s okay because it’s actually not one of the eligibility requirements I outlined above. *rolleyes*

I can’t tell you how many times a week I hear the question “Where are all the good black men?” It gets old. I’m tired of hearing it. And, I’m not one of those people who believe that there are no “good” black men out there. I think they’re out there... I just don’t think you’ll find him online.

28 comments:

Elaine said...
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DinDC said...

I will say that I met my bf, an attractive, EDUCATED, single black man with no kids (bonus) on BPM. I've actually had great success with that site.. so all is not lost.

DinDC said...

Holy crap.. so i've spent literally the past two days reading your blog non stop (a la work hours) and I JUST realized who you are!!! I went out with you lex and ki a few times back on 07. AMAZING! Such a small small world. Anyway just wanted to tell you your writing is both BRAVE, and engaging so keep it up!!!

Lovely Brown Girl said...

DinDC, I think I know who you are! Hey! I hope all is well with you. Thanks for reading! I hope you'll stick around :-)

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Sonakshi25 said...

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Tyler Snider said...

online dating can be cool
I met my girlfriend online (and few before)
there are some weird people that you can ran into, but I guess that's no different from meeting people in real life
linden

Amy Murrel said...

Online dating sites is increasing rapidly due to the great demands of people who prefer searching their true love through online dating. It's really a great opportunity for those single people hoping for their luck but not all of them guarantee you to really meet your partner. All you need to do is to do a little research and a little patience because patience is really a virtue. Anyways, thank you making this inspiring post, I do hope that you can really find your true love.