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Washboard Abs of Pleasure, or Online Dating is Humiliating

In an effort to get over my Love in a Hopeless Place, I tried online dating for a minute. It was disappointing. Actually, it was…disorienting. Successful online daters, I have questions. First of all, let’s address this “successful online dater” thing. Everyone knows someone who’s found love on these sites, but it’s always like the cousin of a coworker of a girl in your spin class. Urban legend much? And not to get racial, but most of the women I know that it’s worked for are white (please god, someone leave a comment and prove me wrong!). Which must be because there are scores of white men dating online — good looking, moneyed, strong-shouldered. Most of the men that are matched up to my profile are white, which I’m a hundred percent down with. But it begs the question…where are the quality black men?

The ones I’ve run across are so embarrassing I’m losing chic points even discussing them here. I’m talking about profile pics featuring shirtlessness. Basketballs. Poses involving leaning up against bad cars or holding wine bottles (or both). My friend Charlotte summed it up perfectly: “It’s a lot of Al B. Sure types promising magic nights, Godiva chocolate and washboard abs of pleasure.”

Not a real online dater. This guy's from a stripper site. But he's scarily spot-on.

But then I came across a winner. Flawless walnutty brown skin and almond shaped eyes. A radiologist from Ghana via London. Yale. Kayaking! Pics of him tuxedo-ing at a benefit with expensive-looking friends! Funny, sexy emails. Yeesss! I met him at a coffee shop in Tribeca (always coffee first, drinks are too much pressure). First problem? No straight man needs to be anywhere at one in the afternoon wearing a fringed, lollipop red day scarf. And a little fedora. He looked like Ne-Yo. The glare from his buffed nails was blinding. Somebody get Dr. Dandy outta here. And yet, I tried to make the most out of it — no reason to waste this hairdo:

My go-to 'do for when I need to look alluring. Volume, volume, volume! This is so old school, but wind three sections at the crown of my head around a fat curling iron, and put them each in a pin-curl while the hair's still warm. After it cools, I flip my hair upside down and spritz allover with Hair Rules' new Volumizing Spray. Totally soft and unsticky, it's the first of its kind to create fluffy body in textured hair, whether its straight-styled or wash-and-go curly.

We chatted a little — actually he chatted, asking me nada about myself — and he was obnoxious on a level I’ve rarely experienced. I had to share this little snippet.

Me, bored: So how long have you been on blankety blank site?

Dr. Dandy: Awhile, but I have to admit something.

Me: (you’re gay) What?

Dr. Dandy: You’re the first brown woman I’ve asked out in years.

Me: How odd. Why?

Dr. Dandy: I have in profile that I really only want to date girls outside my race.

[Note: I barely read his profile. I saw “Yale” and “radiologist,” and jumped. I’m not proud of this.]

Me: Sooo…what do you think I am?

Dr. Dandy: I figured you were mixed, so I thought I’d give you a chance (huge belly laugh).

Me: Nope, regular black girl. From DC, no less. Black black black. My middle name is Aisha.

Dr. Dandy: I guess my radar is off, hardyhardyhar (another guffaw)!

I’m totally grossed out, swishing a straw around in my Orangina and formulating an exit line.

Dr. Dandy: How old are you, may I ask?

Me, adding on four years to bother him: Forty. You?

Dr. Dandy: Forty? Hrmph. I’m thirty-one.

Me: Oh, you’re a baby.

Wait for it…

Dr. Dandy: Don’t call me a baby. I’m a grown ass man. Don’t ever call me a baby.

What kind of man speaks in a vaguely threatening tone to a woman he’s just met…and in reference to such an innocuous comment? I didn’t say what I wanted to say, which was “Your grasp on your manhood is so tenuous that it all falls apart when a complete stranger calls you a baby? Your daddy beat you at one-on-one a couple times too many?” Instead, I stared at him for a second, blank-faced, and then said, “You really need a nap.” And bounced.

Should we even discuss the “I don’t date girls outside my race” thing?

Officially taking an online dating break until further notice. These men out here are batshit!



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  1. Nikki
    April 26, 2012 11:17 am 

    Tia! Normally, I don’t comment but I wanted to tell you about friends of mine who met on eharmony. Candice is a girl I grew up with, a friend, not a friend of a friend, not my admin’s sister in law. She met and found love on eharmony. They got married and they are in love. The two are normal Black people. Granted, they are the only couple I know that exist, but they do exist. Stay hopeful, maybe it won’t be through online dating, but you will find another love.

    May I present to you Candice and Jimmy, the urban legend, the Black Manolo Mary Janes, the tooth fairy of Black Love—



    • April 26, 2012 9:58 pm 

      I’m CRYING at the Black Manolo Mary Janes of Black LOVE!!!

  2. April 26, 2012 11:40 am 

    Two of my girlfriends have gotten married to guys they met online dating, and they are great men, so don’t give it up all together. Also, I really think it depends on the sites you go on.

  3. April 26, 2012 11:42 am 

    Tia- your writing is WILDLY enterraining! Thank you for this early morning laugh. Not sure if this helps – my Mom’s best friend did meet her husband on an online site. True story! I attended their wedding. She is from Trinidad. He is Latino. Still happily married ten years later!

  4. CousinAnnie
    April 26, 2012 12:25 pm 

    I had no good experiences with online dating, but I did meet a guy once who was perfectly fine (just not a match for me) in person, and then saw him on OK Cupid after I had already been on a real world date with him.
    Also, Erin has a good friend who’s Indian and met a really nice black man on Match.com. They’ve been married for like 5 years or something. They seem to be a perfect match. Just putting that out there. But I totally get it if you don’t try it again. Online dating was incredibly discouraging for me. Thank goodness I finally met someone (not online!).

  5. Moni
    April 26, 2012 1:30 pm 

    My cousin met her fiance on match.com. Their wedding is this summer and they are absolutely perfect for each other. Like you, I had no luck at online dating and met my love at a random networking event!

  6. April 26, 2012 1:39 pm 

    What a straight up ass. I love your exit line.

    When I was in med school, my 2 best friends (who happened to be white) did Great Expectations (pre online dancing, dang I am old); both met their wonderful future husbands within 3 dates. They had these books, you paid a fee and picked who you wanted to meet, sent them a message, if interested, they message back and setup a meeting. So I thought I’d try it; full disclosure, dad paid for it because at that point and I quote “the odds of your overeducated self getting married are getting smaller and smaller, honey.” Anyway, I gave it a shot.

    Black men were few and far between and none wanted to date a black woman. Dated a white guy for about 1 year. Plus–he was a fireman and fairly fine. Parents were really nice. Negative–turned out to be truly crazy, bipolar disorder, controlling, freak in bed (S&M tendencies, oh hell naw). Not good at all.

    5 years later I tried match.com. Lotta talk with no follow through I found. No one actually wanted to meet. I gave up.

    I finally found my husband at the age of 35 in a lesbian coffeehouse. True story. You never find them where you think you will.

  7. Saran
    April 26, 2012 1:59 pm 

    I’m sorry you had a bad experience, but your retelling of it was hilarious! For kicks, I think you should send him a link to this post. LOL Yes, I know I’m bad…

  8. Erin
    April 26, 2012 2:00 pm 

    On the urban legend front my GOOD FRIEND (I saw her Monday)/former coworker/friend from college met her husband after less than a month on Match. She’s Egyptian/Sudani (via Jersey) roughly your build and complexion. Met her a med student…who became chief resident of his program…soon to be a full-fledged cardiologist. Black man who knows it. Can sing like Bobby Caldwell and is fun at parties. I would tell you about his body but he’s married to my friend. He held her father’s hand as he was dying of cancer and promised to take of her and her mother for always. They got married in a gorgeous loft space in Midtown at sunset three years ago. John Legend sang their first dance song.

    Note: This has decidedly NOT been my experience with online dating but it’s enough to keep me curious. (Although…yeah, the reality has been enough to keep me curious about moving somewhere far away from this city.)

  9. Keesha
    April 26, 2012 2:39 pm 

    Didn’t actress Essence Atkins meet her husband online? I can’t remember which site. But they’re (seemingly) happy with a new baby!

  10. Anonymous
    April 26, 2012 2:49 pm 

    Met my hubs online. And we’re both Black lol.

  11. Maya
    April 26, 2012 2:53 pm 

    This post made me laugh so hard– thank you for brightening up my morning 🙂 For what it’s worth, I have several friends who met their (great) husbands online, so I can assure you that it’s possible!

  12. April 26, 2012 3:08 pm 

    LOL! I am so mad at you that you made me picture this http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/michellehijar/in-living-color.jpg
    I’ve tried a few of those sites and yes most of the matches they put you with are white guys. I have nothing against it, but mix it up a bit. Throw some brothers and some latinos in…hell a few asians! I went of one date with a guy I met on Plenty of Fish a couple of years back and after talking to him a bit I figured he was okay. Wrong! TMI from him within 30 minutes of sitting down for drinks. His cult like Jehovah witness experience, his old drug habits, etc. We never spoke again and that was our one and only date. There are alot of talkers on these sites too. I never responded to: Obvious cut and paste greeting probably sent out to as many woman as possible. Any profile that looks too good to be true (usually fake), guys who hide their faces with sunglasses or turning away from the camera (married), or guys who put “separated” on their profiles as their status. I’ve given up on them, but hey…maybe I run into someone one day.

    April 26, 2012 3:11 pm 

    A good friend of mine will be celebrating 5 years of marriage Memorial Day weekend to her beau who she met on Match.com. I was actually a bridesmaid in the wedding. Another friend just married her online beau on St. Patrick’s Day this year. Her new last name is Greene..how appropriate. It happens to people in your circle or it will happen. I’ve tried online dating and I’m contemplating doing it again. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of it. I’ve done EHarmony, Match, Black People Meet, Big Beautiful Black People Meet, and Large Friends. The last two are for people who are attracted to plus sized persons. No love connections on any of them, but lots of stories and dates. Maybe I’ll sign up again…maybe I won’t. Dating is hard enough as it is. Ugh…

  14. Kimberly
    April 26, 2012 5:34 pm 

    Tia this post had me cracking up. I tried online dating a few years ago. Never. Again. I really do not think I will meet my Mr. Right via a dating site. The amount of fools I encountered made me lose all hope.

    One guy posted his cousin’s picture so imagine how confused I was when he introduced himself. I was like who the heck are you???

    Another brotha stated in his profile that he was 6’2″, he was actually just a hair over 5’5″. Was I supposed to just not notice that he was only 3 inches taller than me???

    Sadly the best dates I had were with white guys. They weren’t love connections but I had fun.

    I’m going to send this post to my friend who also navigated the world of online dating last summer. She deleted her profile after eight weeks.

  15. April 26, 2012 7:29 pm 

    Tia!!!!! I HOLLERED laughing at this story. First that date was a mess. And why is it that all the men that Black women probably would want to date anyway have to make it known that they only date outside of their race?? *points to nearest seat for raggedy fools to have*

    love will come again Flyy Girl, don’t you even fret.
    stay FLYY.

  16. April 26, 2012 10:02 pm 

    I cracked UP through this whoooole post. LOVE reading your posts, Tia 😉

    I tried online dating some years ago, met a nice guy I really liked (we hit it off well but later broke up), but the whole online dating thing is exhausting. Sometimes you go on and see the same guys over and over again. Plus I like the idea of meeting a guy through work or some other instance where you see a guy often and develop a crush—which you can’t really get online and since I work in beauty and fashion the guys I run into are far and few in between or ain’t into women…lol.

    • Nicole
      April 28, 2012 2:45 am 

      I love you Danielle! lol

      TIA…My close friend met her husband on FACEBOOK! Love connections do happen online. Love your writing!

    • Nicole Melton
      April 28, 2012 2:46 am 

      I figured I’d better add my last name so Danielle wouldnt think I was some weirdo online commenter stalker. lol

  17. T
    April 26, 2012 11:45 pm 

    I have a habit of avoiding men of dating sites that list a mix of different races instead of saying “No preference”. In my mind, it usually means that they are not looking for a straight-up-and-down black woman. Could be wrong, but that’s always my interpretation. And, yeah, the attitude was unnecessary. NEXT!!!

  18. Misslady
    April 27, 2012 12:55 am 

    Dear Tia,

    I’m in the same boat with you! Don’t give up continue to write and do what you love, I will pray that god does the rest for both of us!

  19. Portia
    April 27, 2012 1:02 am 

    I have to say, I feel you 100% about the brothers online. I’ve been dating online off and on for about 2 years (with some met-on-the-street-and-went-on-a-date in between). The brothers I would come across would be one of two extremes: so raggedy I could’t be bothered, or so full of themselves because they had their stuff together that I couldn’t be bothered. I also went out with I man I’m convinced was gay. I actually devised a strategy- I would online date white men only, and date brothers I met in person only.

    Fast forward to 2 months ago…I met the nicest guy- and he’s black!! West African to be exact (these seem to be the only decent ones), an engineer (I’m a lawyer, btw, so we mesh well educationally), tall, easy on the eyes, and most importantly, a true gentleman and sweetheart. We’ve been official for just over a month, which isn’t a long time but it’s a start. Moral of the long ass story? Don’t give up! It is a numbers game…

  20. MsMarie
    April 27, 2012 4:58 am 

    I’m sorry that you wasted your precious time on such an ass, but that story was hilarious! I’ve actually met some great black men online. I’ve had 2 long term relationships with good (black) men that I met online. Of course there were many many many crazy/scary experiences in between but they do exist!

  21. MsMarie
    April 27, 2012 4:58 am 

    Super cute hair btw!

  22. Christa
    April 27, 2012 10:49 am 

    Tia, I have to tell you that this incarnation of SYB is as entertaining as the first version. Except now you are displaying a refreshing level of honesty and incite. Thanks for the laughs.

  23. Tee
    April 27, 2012 6:47 pm 


    I feel your pain as a single educated Black women in NYC I am convinced that every guy out here is gay until proven straight. I don’t know what’s in the air lately but New York is definitely the new Atlanta. And there is NOTHING wrong with it if that’s your preference my problem is these guys don’t seem to know that’s their preference! They are making them softer then Charmin now a days.. I blame Drake!

  24. Karen
    April 28, 2012 12:21 am 

    As I read this post, I felt like I was watching one of my date-meetings fed back to me through my DVR! Hilarious! But all too true. I agree with your assessment of the lack of available (read: single and unattached, educated, well-mannered, classy) Black men online. I’m currently taking a break, but I haven’t given up hope – a very good friend of mine met her husband on e-harmony – he’s a nice guy and as normal as any guy is probably going to get 🙂

  25. April 30, 2012 4:06 am 

    Tia, I cannot tell you how many times I laughed out loud reading this post! I, too, have a friend of a friend who met their SO online. The sorority sister of one of my friends met her boyfriend of a year on Match.com…and he’s Black! Lol They seem happy but I have to say, it all got a serious side-eye from me for the longest! Recently my girlfriends and I helped one of our girls go through her eHarmony matches and it was FULL of the scariest, twangy-est, S-curl wearing Black men I’ve ever seen! It may work for some, but I’m convinced that online dating is the devil, lol!

  26. charlotte
    April 30, 2012 3:18 pm 

    Oh my god, I just read this. I am laughing so hard. I love that you are drinking Orangina, swishing a straw around archly, like Sharon Stone, like while “chatting” with this yahoo radiologist, who is clueless that he’s wandered into terrain totally out of his league, what with that weak attempt at manipulation (“I’m flattering you! While also letting you know that I don’t want to date you! Because you’re brown! But you’re so hot! So I’ll make an exception!!!) And I’m SO proud i’ve been quoted by you… the ULTIMATE honor.

  27. Coco
    May 2, 2012 12:28 pm 

    I’m sorry you had that experience, but I’m so glad I’m not alone! It’s not that much better in DC girl. I’m new to the whole online dating thing too and it is exhausting. There seems to be something “off” about the men I’ve met online. Every last one of them seem afraid to actually pick up the phone. It’s always a random “hi how are you?” text. They tend to be pretty awkward or disturbed in person. I’ve noticed that a lot of black men identify themselves as mixed, multiracial or half native american in their profiles. I feel kind of sorry for them. Then there are the ones who try to pass themselves off as 35, when the photo they’ve put up is obviously a scanned photo from 1993. As if the box top fade wasn’t a dead give away. And yes, the bathroom pics of the shirtless 22 year old. I get those frequently. I never respond, but hell, I do check the pics out. I ain’t dead yet.

    • Candice
      August 4, 2013 7:27 pm 

      Omg I was JUST saying the same thing: it seems lately MOST of the Black men I see claim to be Native American, Pacific Islander, White/European Descent and Black. Like WTH!?! You are clearly as Black as Black comes, no one is buying you’re mixed with all these ethnicities, so why make a fool out of yourself. Online dating, for me, has exposed just how messed up these Black men are now-a-days and making me want to give up on them altogether.

  28. faith
    May 2, 2012 5:03 pm 

    hi tia,
    totally unrelated but i tried your “alluring look” hair approach with a blowdryer last night and it came out great. i will no longer go to bed with wet hair bc i’m lazy now knowing how easy it can be to look put together with minimal effort. thanks!

  29. May 2, 2012 6:44 pm 

    this was HILARIOUS. i was literally laughing out loud. first of all, i think he was gay…i know i wasn’t there, but that is what my “spidey senses” tell me. i remember hearing that a lot of men on the dl date women outside of their race so that when the women starts to become suspicious, the men can always chalk it up to a “black thang they wouldn’t understand…” he sounds like one of those dudes, that the non-black girls can have with no arguments from us. lol. i have a blog i think you may enjoy http://www.hautemamainthecity.com i am a newly divorced mother of 5-year-old navigating my way through motherhood, career, dating, and fabulousness. check it out! i hope you enjoy.

  30. Pat
    July 14, 2012 8:04 pm 

    Just found this blog and am totally sleep depriving myself reading it. I have multiple girlfriends who have found their husbands online. The closer in and around 40 you get the more probable that you will meet someone serious and reasonable on line. Also there is a definite trick to the whole thing about attracting and choosing worthy men. I really suggest hiring a dating coach (yes it sounds stupid but it increased my dates from 2 a year to like 30 a year so that I could have a higher chance of meeting a great guy and I did.) No lie though, it took a minute. One must not be luke warm about wanting it.