It’s a Friday night, raining and day number 4,221,979 of this global pandemic lockdown. Ideally, I’d be boo’d up with a fine, preferably black, man on my couch getting ready to queue up a movie or two before we move on to more—ahem—adult things.
Alas, I’m sitting on my living room floor, alone, in my panties, and listening to Pandora, with commercials. Currently playing: Fantasia’s Free Yourself. Ironic. I’ve been thinking of my ex more than usual this week, partly because I witnessed a wedding at the Black Lives Matter street mural on Fulton St. last weekend. It’s been nearly three months since I’ve been single again. I felt solo longer than that because he’d been deployed for several months. We barely reunited for two weeks before our almost two-year relationship crashed and burned Father’s Day weekend.
I’m ready to get back into the dating game. I purposely called it a game because that’s exactly what it feels like. I’ve been on and off dating apps since my twenties. These men claim they want relationships, but their behavior says otherwise. I don’t want to go back to an app, but there’s no other way for me to put myself out there. Even when we were allowed to roam about freely, I had to resort to apps. I was not meeting The One at the grocery store, subway, bookstore, movies, concerts, book signings, plays, comedy shows, Brooklyn Bridge, doctor/dentist office, work, Greyhound, Amtrak, Lyft share, JFK airport or other places.
Filling out a profile is one of the most tedious and embarrassing things ever. I pour out my guts explaining what I want in a partner and what kind of partner I am, even though I know most focus on my photos. I pour over those as well, scrutinizing myself. Do I look cross eyed? Is that a belly bulge? Do my arms look fat? How prominent is my forehead scar? I only post smiling pictures. I’m proud of my megawatt smile. Also, I look like the meanest, evilest substitute teacher or stepmom when I don’t smile in photos. Am I too hard on myself? Possibly…ok, definitely. I shouldn’t throw myself into such a tizzy because a lot of these men put in 0.001% effort when completing their profiles.
I’m hoping that the rain washes a man—a keeper for all the right reasons: funny, fun, respectful, healthy, loving, good communicator, age appropriate, loving, ready, willing and wanting a relationship, and yes, handsome, my way. It likely will not, and I’m feeling forced to either reactivate an old app profile, or log onto a new one. I cringe at the thought because I know what awaits me. Here’s a list of what I’ve frequently encountered over the years.
It’s just blank. Not even the basics of occupation, height, eye color or what they’re looking for are filled in.
They cherry pick the basic information questions, including major ones, such as being a parent or marital status.
Typos in profile
I need punctuation, good grammar, proper spelling of words, and for you to know the correct uses of they’re, there, and their; to, two and too; our and are; your and you’re. Also, capitalize “I” when referring to yourself. Know what i mean?
Profile in all caps
Why are you yelling at me?
Please seek therapy to work on your jadedness before you sign up on a dating app, spewing your unhappiness with any and everything in the world, including women.
Anti-Black women profile
It’s disheartening to read the profiles of men, especially Black men, who go on anti-Black women rants, generalizing, criticizing and stereotyping then end with a declaration not to contact them if the reader is a Black woman.
Fetishizing Black Women
My Spidey sense is activated when non-Black men write about their love and affection for Nubian Black Queens based on their chocolate skin, melanin. One once stated “the darker the berry the sweeter the juice.”
It’s an automatic skip when men write that they expect or require women to cook, clean, take care of him, the kids and the pets because he’s the breadwinner. Here’s the kicker: I don’t mind doing that, including ironing your work clothes, for the right person, but it should not be an expectation and it should be reciprocated.
Overly religious profile
If mentions of God and Jesus and Bible quotes are sprinkled throughout the profile, it’s a no for me, dawg.
So you really sat down to type all these F-bombs in your dating profile and have the nerve to say you’re looking for a lady because they’re rare and hard to find these days? Ok, sir.
There’s no way you like all types of food, music, movies and TV shows. You have preferences and favorites. Stop trying to cast a wide net to catch any and everything.
Just like Facebook, Instagram and other social media, dating apps have bots and fake profiles. I’m proficient in spotting them. Tip: the profiles will be the same verbatim.