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 racist 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…”

or

“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 everytime 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 inbetween. I work at the local library so I don’t have a lot of money to spend on the online dating sites. They have something called an “eHarmony promotional code” and I found one at Married Romance website for eHarmony a few weeks ago. 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 monther, as now is the daugther. 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.