Woman of Color and Online Dating

By LaTonya Jefferson

As an able-bodied person, and female of colour, I have met my fair share of misogynistic and downright crazy men over the years on the online dating sites. When I started 10 years ago, I would get messaged (match.com and the freebie online dating sites) with such gems as:

“I bet you have a nice black…”


“I’m looking for some chocolate tonight”

These types of messages would come into my email inbox faster that Jesse Owens ran track. I would cringe every time I saw even one word that would trigger me in the email preview box. I have learned to ignore these types of messages, but have found an even better solution. I tend to avoid the online dating sites, except for places like PerfectMatch and eHarmony. The reason being is that for the freebie online dating sites, you seem to get what I would consider to be a lot of trolls. It’s simple…..if you’re paying none or very little money for your online dating subscription, you’re probably (not always) either going to be a troll or just someone who is not looking for what I’m looking for. Dating sites like eHarmony and PerfectMatch tend to attract a more upscale type of men…yes there still are trolls every now and then, but those are few and far in between. I work at the local library so I don’t have a lot of money to spend on the online dating sites.

Because eHarmony is so expensive, I had to find a way to make it affordable. I did some research and found out that they have something called an eHarmony coupon that you can use to save money on your monthly membership. It saved me enough money to where I could afford a 6 month membership. PerfectMatch has the same discounts as well.

The other tip I wanted to share with you was to check with your local match-makers. I found a nice Jewish girl in the city that I live in, and matchmaking ran in their family. The grandmother was a local matchmaker, as was the mother, as now is the daughter. She hadn’t quite yet gotten the business off the ground (she worked from home), so I met her at Starbucks one day and she offered me a deal I could not refuse: Free. I would just have to give a testimonial on her website. Ok! So I did that for a few months and while the guys she matched me up with were of what I would consider “high quality” (men who were sympathetic to the feminist cause) at the end of the day, a love connection was not to be had. I’m still plugging away at eHarmony and PerfectMatch and the verdict is still out for those sites.

In conclusion, I just wanted to make this post to give a small heads-up to all my sisters of colour out there on the internet: Stay away from the el-cheapo and freebie online dating sites. They’re filled with racist cis-male scum and they will do nothing but trigger you the nano-second you open up your email.