As they sometimes say: The struggle is real.
In this case, the struggle of being a Black woman trying to find love or at least the seeds of it in the dating pool.
I have been on BLK, Bumble, Coffee & Bagel, Hinge, Tinder, and Zoosk. Fifteen to 30 minutes for a daytime date, for tea/coffee, errands, or a walk around Portland. My profile descriptions are honest and brief and my photos are full of smiles and fun adventures. No group photos and mostly full-body pictures. I give depth and substance, always hoping for the best. Turns out men—white and people of color—are more interested in drinking and going back to mine or their place for sex than they are in my name, let alone my career or hobbies. Even as a self-proclaimed commitment-phobic non-platonic dating partner it’s been a bit much. If their misogyny isn’t suffocating me, their fragility or insecurities aren’t drowning me, then their lack of emotional stability generally seals the deal and ends the date abruptly.
I had been in a relationship not that long ago, so how did I get here? Maybe that’s the place to start.
On June 1, 2017, I became single after 17 months of dating a mixed-race, light-skinned fuckboy who was born in Maine and “raised” by his white mother. According to urban dictionary a fuckboy is the type of guy who does shit that generally pisses the population of the earth off all the time. The woman, also mixed race, who was sleeping with him contacted me that morning at 9:51 a.m. to apologize for being caught. I didn’t know what she was talking about. Turns out the cheating hussy’s friend sent me a message the day before, on Facebook messenger, telling me that the hussy and my then scum boyfriend had been sleeping together for more than three months. She said neither of them would tell me the truth and she could see I was a good person and didn’t deserve this treatment, so she needed to tell me. She even sent me a photo of the two of them from earlier that week, half dressed in his bed, as proof. I felt immediate respect for this stranger I would never meet in person.
Once the truth was out, the other woman couldn’t help herself. Her guilt and shame came pouring out with no immediate end in sight. She spent the next 24 hours spilling everything she could as I asked all the strategic questions I could think of. I wanted desperately to put some pieces together for myself about the last few months and our fuckboy’s odd behaviors. She was so eager to be seen by someone, her fingers did all the talking.
Other Woman: I’m sorry for what my friend sent. Never meant to hurt you. She said she sent you a message on Facebook? I’m sorry René. (I was in shock at first. I called him immediately to find out what on earth was happening. He was at work, no answer. Several moments later he called back and of course had all the answers ready for my interrogation.)
Cheating Ex Slimeball: You drove me into her arms, you became emotionally unavailable to me. When you decided you didn’t want to have children with me, marry me, or move in to my apartment I realized we wanted different things.
Other Woman: He told me to be patient but then I saw he wasn’t doing anything about it or talking to you. I didn’t want to be the other woman and I didn’t think it was fair to you. I struggled to tell you. I vented to my friend and she took it upon herself.
I had felt something was wrong for weeks before that day. In fact, 10 days before this incident I had even asked my then douchebag partner if there was something he wanted to tell me—anything would be fine so long as he was honest with me. I made it clear I could feel a change in “us,” and that I wanted to fix it. He denied my concerns and told me it was my fault I was feeling this shift. That I was dragging past relationships into this relationship and not giving him a fair shot.
I believed him, internalized it and thought nothing about him mentioning T.K. (aka “other woman”) more often. So much for slowly building a friendship with her over the last year. Needless to say, after I found out, I was beside myself. I informed all the people in my life that needed to know, got super drunk and high and I went to sleep that night wishing so much harm on him as I played all the possible moments of dishonesty in my head and heart over and over again. After about 48 hours I was a new woman. I was ready to get back on that dating wagon.
However, I was at my summer job in the Western foothills of Maine, so dating was on hold until I got back to Portland, the most culturally diverse place in Maine before Lewiston. Starting in early October I began dating again, an average of two dates a week. I know well that dating is a numbers game and it is rigged against me and women who look like me, so I let go of all my neurotic planning methods and tendencies and said “yes” to almost every date offered.
And as I said at the beginning of this piece, the dating hasn’t gone well and trying to find a Black man or any man of color has gone even more poorly.
I started talking to other women of color about their dating experiences and found the more I talk to my Black female friends—not just in Maine or New England but all over the country—the more I hear them saying they are having difficulties finding a partner, especially if they’re Black, and especially if they want marriage—in a way that our white friends aren’t struggling so much. I am constantly questioning my worth in the dating world in a way I don’t question my worth anywhere else.
In a country where Black men are roughly seven times more likely to be killed than Black women and Black men are twice as likely as Black women to seek marriage outside of their race, the reality of my choices feels so slim. OkCupid statistics reveal that Black women are the least desirable demographic in the dating pool, next to Asian men.
I have been on over 50 first dates since October; only two have been men of color and all of them have been in Maine. I am realizing I want to find a Black man who wants to love me and is worthy of my love. I am not completely convinced I have to leave Maine to find this, but with each new app or new unsuccessful date I am losing hope.
If this piece or this blog resonates with you, please consider a one-time “tip” or become a monthly “patron”…this space runs on love and reader support. Want more BGIM? Consider booking me to speak with your group or organization.
Comments will close on this post in 60-90 days; earlier if there are spam attacks or other nonsense.
Photo by Mayur Gala on Unsplash
4 thoughts on “Looking for Black love in a sea of white apps”
Dating is hard in general, but I agree it’s harder if you’re a POC in Maine or any other primary white state.
I’m confused by this article though, because it appears to largely be focused on the narrator’s past relationship and how it ended. Other than mentioning that one was in a relationship that ended, why give a detailed explanation of how it ended and what does that have anything to do with the narrator’s difficulty as a black woman dating in Maine? Is she blaming her last relationship for her difficulty with dating or the fact she is a black woman? It gets confusing to what her point is when she gives such a long explanation of her ex cheating and the other woman.
It almost sounds like she is blaming them.
I think dating sites have increasingly become hook-up sites and so using any of them as a platform to date is likely to result in high percentage of negative outcomes before experiencing a positive. That could get exhausting!
Sometimes one has to go through a period of being single for awhile to gain an appreciation and new reflection on dating. People on average seem to be single for several years before finding someone, unless their expectations are low.
I say, don’t give up!
There are many prophecies that speak about a time when women will be left alone physically, spiritually and emotionally. I’ll have to go find some specific quotes on this, but it seems to be a part of the transitional process we’re going through on multiple levels at this time. Diary of a negress did a great post about this sometime last year actually :https://diaryofanegress.com/2017/05/27/an-important-message-to-the-black-woman/
If you aren’t spiritually in tune with the energy of this time, you may not fully understand what’s happening, I know I struggle with it and I knew to expect it. I don’t think now is the time to be looking for anything like love or intimate relationships, not in the sense that we’ve come to understand from the western perspective. Certainly it’s lonely and difficult, some days it’s downright heart breaking, but when I consider it, there’s no doubt in my mind that what I need and require of a man and a loving relationship does not currently exist. If we don’t quickly recognize that we’re trapped in a loveless, mindless world that doesn’t value true relationships (meaning friendship, family community, and romantic) , we’re never going to get free of it and we certainly will not find fulfilling intimate partnerships. I’ll come back with links to some of those prophecies I mentioned.
Great article. Been in Maine 15 years relocated from Boston. I enjoy writing.
Well unless you have not already figured this out in states like Maine where black men are a novelty, white women flock to them and that’s are their first choice for whatever they are seeking. Sad but true for you sisters in maine
Comments are closed.