5 Tips for Black Women Using Online Dating Apps

Dating for Black Women especially can be discouraging and a bit trying at times. The ratio of women to men is already unfair, so finding someone can be tough. However, finding someone is completely possible.

Dating apps have taken over the social world and provide a microwave way of meeting tons of people without leaving your bedroom. You can get as specific as you want from how tall you want your person to be, if you’re okay if they use recreational drugs, all the way down to what religion is a deal breaker for you.

Though Dating apps are convenient, as single Black Women, it is imperative to take certain precautions when it comes to meeting someone online. Here are a few tips to assist you on your journey.

woman smiling while dating online

Your profile should represent you in your best light. What this means is, make sure you’re showcasing who you are and not what you have. You can still be sexy and covered. Leave something to the imagination and show off that beautiful smile and those amazing cheekbones. If you’re showing every crevice of you’re body with little to no clothes on, don’t get upset when you’re approached because of it. Yes, you are free to dress as you please, but if you’re really looking for something serious, no one wants their future partner showcasing themselves for all to see. Presenting yourself as a lady also means creating a bio that is a representation of you. It is true that not many people read bios, but the few that do can appreciate an eloquent synopsis of a person. It’s essentially a preview into that person’s psyche.

In the dating world there is a tug-of-war about being too accessible and unavailable. When you’re always responding right back after a message is sent you appear needy; contrarily, when you take hours to respond you seem uninterested. However, on the dating app, keep the conversation on the dating app for a while. Don’t be so quick to give your number out, because you should be getting to know the person, and this can be done on the app. They may say “I don’t use the app often” or “I don’t get the messages” but don’t let that sway you. Simply tell them to turn their notifications on. Opening up your personal line to a stranger is risky because you don’t know who the person is or their motives. Take your time, and time will reveal all.

No matter how cute or attractive someone is, everyone has a past and a story. When getting to know someone don’t let your attraction to them overshadow the real questions that matter. Ask them about their relationship with their parents, ask if they have kids, if so, how involved are they (or if they want kids),ask what and who they believe in (if you’re religious), ask what they’re looking for, talk about jobs and career goals, talk about their upbringing, dealbreakers, and pet peeves. 

You don’t have to badger them or interrogate them with questions, but asking their favorite color, favorite TV show, or favorite song can wait; you need to know the main things now. First dates are great opportunities to see what a person is really about. Many people put on facades on a first date, but if you ask hard-hitting questions, there’s no way they can escape it. Ask the questions that will make you decide if you want to see them again. Would you want a second date with Mr. Deadbeat Dad?

In the land of catfishing, don’t skip this important step! Even if you all talk daily or text and send pictures, make sure that you video chat at least once. If the person isn’t interested in video chatting this is a major red flag. Before meeting in person you need to be sure that you’re meeting the person you think you are; and as a single Black Woman taking precaution is in your best interest. If they constantly make excuses or refuse video chatting, take it as a sign and cease contact! If the person is who they say they are, taking a few minutes to video chat won’t be a problem, in fact, they’ll welcome it because they’ll equally want to see you.

You are fine. You are single. You are a Black Woman. You have to check-in! Designate someone you trust to let them know when you’re leaving, when you’ve arrived, and when you’re heading home. Another important step before all of this occurs is to get three major pieces of information from your date: A headshot picture, the person’s full name, and their birthdate. Send all of this information over to your designated person just in case it’s needed (hopefully you won’t need it).

 Also, make sure that you all pick a public place that is well-lit and comfortable for you both. You’ll want to be around a well-populated area for safety. And if you all choose to leave that place and go to another venue be sure to notify your designated person. Keep them abreast of your every move. Another great tip is to turn your location on so that it’s available to your designated person as well.

Now that you are packed with knowledge and prepared with the tools you need to use a dating app, go explore! It can be a fun experience, but don’t forget the essentials. Always make sure that you’re intentional and clear with the person you’re dating, and always practice awareness and safety when you’re meeting for a date.

Dating Apps provide a safe space to specify what it is you’re looking for and simultaneously meet new people. Not everyone will be a match, but conversing with different walks of life can be interesting and fun. Don’t let the precautions lead you astray, it is possible to find love online; many people have success stories. Make it exciting and lighthearted, and who knows, you may just find someone worthwhile.

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Author: Candis Y. McDow

Candis Y. McDow is a 35-year-old Atlanta, GA native. She is a freelance writer, poet, and author. Candis has written for over 35+ publications, most notably Chicken Soup for the Soul, Cosmopolitan UK, Essence Magazine, and Yahoo! Her memoir entitled Half the Battle is available on Amazon.