Photo: The Root

The World of Online Dating Isn’t Pretty, So Why Are We Trying to Doll it Up?

The more Smoochr, the better

I tried online dating a couple of years ago and failed miserably. I even wrote about it.

I also dragged an ex-friend to try out the chaotic service of speed dating and that also proved to be a disaster. My conclusion?

I am just not cut out for any of that shit.

But — thats because I am not as exploratory as I need to be to navigate the world of online chatter and clicked hearts. The friends that I have that actually do excel in that arena — aren’t necessarily snuggling up to their boos right now — but they managed to enjoy memorable dates that led to short-term relationships.

I’m an old-fashioned girl.

I recall the joy of my neighborhood crush showing up at my house because he needed to see me so bad. The feeling of peering through the window as he stood there waiting for me to open the door. The energy that left us and connected the possibilities of the afternoon was almost too much to bare.

Those were the days.

After enjoying the benefits of physically being in touch with the one you’re crazy about — it’s hard to regulate that excitement to a screen and keyboard.

Even if the images give you hope and send your mood soaring as you ponder whether or not you’re being sensible or dreamy.

I am also an online snub.

This quality automatically seals my fate when it comes to forging satisfactory connections through the wirings of the internet.

I don’t trust people that easily anymore. Or maybe getting older has depleted my allowance for bullshit.

Either way — I harbor very low expectations when I give in to web interactions and when it comes to online dating sites — the forecast is even more dire.

So, imagine my reaction when I peeped the slew of pieces about what appears to be a new online dating app for people of color — Smoochr.

From Blavity to Essence — all the assigned writers were seriously offended that this new portal was targeting the very principles that we ordinarily reject with disdain.

I had to check this out!

Once I did — I found no reason to be appalled or dismayed by my findings. Smoochr initiated the wrath of Black Twitter for obvious reasons.

As a Black woman — I suppose I am required to feel exactly the same way as my compatriots and usually I do — but in this case — I have to own my nonchalance.

I completely disagree that Smoochr (love the name!) is some weird ass dating app that worships the concept of the “brown paper bag test” — simply because the curators provide options that go beyond the norm.

What is the norm, anyway?

Here’s the thing. If you’re willing to submit yourself to the fodder of online dating habits — then you must be completely open to the possibility that there will be stuff that you won’t necessarily be down with.

It’s part of the package.

That’s why I stay away. I don’t have the patience or the time to wade through foreign territory — in search of what I can find the moment I walk down the trimmings of downtown LA.

However, if spending hours online in search of Prince or Princess Charming is your thing — be prepared to be grossed out or pleasurably elated — all in one sitting.

The dispute amongst the clergy of Black Twitter and the pubs that cater to their editorial needs — is that the questionnaire is way too specific.

Participants get to really hone in on what they want and what they absolutely won't tolerate.

For example — there is a whole menu that gives us the ability to eliminate anyone who is “too dark” or “too light”. There is also the matter of hair texture.

How dark? How light? How coiled? How loose?

Are you prejudiced enough to want the lighter batch or do you prefer to frolic in the patch that presents the middle ground.

I am not against this tactic.

I fail to see how being able to effortlessly sculpt your “dream girl” or “dream guy” poses a threat to the Black American community.

I mean, if you are serious about finding your one and only — due to time constraints or pressure from over-zealous family members — wouldn’t it be best to cut through the empty formalities and get down and dirty with the grind of sifting through the options that you personally created based on the thoughtful filter — implemented for your benefit?

Online dating isn’t meant to be politically correct — because there are way too many people like you who are determined and ambitious enough to configure themselves into the prototype of whatever seems to be trending at the time of interest.

Personally, I am down for a site that makes this job easier.

Smoochr embodies a mindset that I find quite refreshing.

I have the power to choose “body type” “skin color” and whatever else a novice like me wouldn’t even consider — due to lack of experience.

We need more blatantly arranged dating sites that are not afraid to wade into controversial waters — because the task at hand demands a heck of a lot more than pictorials and Instagram lookbooks.

Smoochr isn’t playing around.

The designers understand the mission but you also have to meet them halfway as an avid user. How serious are you? If you hate their template — then give up your gig.

If you are not unsettled by their searing interface — then I am almost certain that you will find your match.

I’m looking for an end-of-summer boo — and the season is almost halfway over.

Smoochr anyone?

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