Going on Dating Apps as a Black Woman Can Feel Like Searching for the Bare Minimum

I kept my eye on the time left on the clock. According to Bumble, each of the 25 conversations that I had on this dating app attempted to start with men who had matched me were about to expire. I had five minutes left, and even though I knew my odds were slim, I was still hopeful. Maybe they had misplaced their phones. Maybe work had gone late, and they were finally about to clock out. Maybe, just maybe, they were sitting at home, staring at their own countdown clock, attempting to craft the perfect message in response to mine.

Time was on my side. It had to be. Surely these 25 guys didn’t all think that I wasn’t worth the time required to message back. I have a nice smile, or so I’ve been told. I wear my hair short, but it frames my face nicely, or so I’ve heard. I have a great sense of humor and I’m a big beer drinker, as evident from my midsection. All these positive observations were somehow referenced in my Bumble profile, whether presented in a carefully crafted profile photo or written in a witty sentence. I mean, I’m not perfect, but it’s clear I’m valuable and have potential.

I had put myself out there-on an app that specifically wants the woman to message the man first, so as to avoid unwanted conversations-and I received nothing back. Read more