“Maybe I am the problem…” – An African Girl’s Dating App Experience
Ahhh, I’ve’ avoided this post for a while now. But here we are. In November of 2021, I decided to download Hinge for the first time ever. My heart raced while I watched the app being downloaded on my phone. To me, I was starting fresh. I wanted to see what the hype was over Hinge. So I created my profile, making sure to select great pictures of myself and prompts that would garner attention. In less than 5 minutes, I received likes and comments on my photos. There was one man I matched with at first— he wanted to take me out on a date, but I never responded. He then messaged me a few days later and said, “If you’re not going to text me back, please unmatch me.” And, I did.
Hinge was weird at first, but the attention I received was thrilling. I loved it… too much. I met (virtually) non-muslims and a few Muslims— those are the stories I will tell you about. The first Muslim man I talked to was not someone I would go for. Let’s just say he was from a different background, and I was sure his family would disapprove of a Black girl. I went along with it though because he seemed very interested. When we first started talking, we both mentioned our intentions– I told him I was looking for something serious, and his intention was to meet new people. I should’ve ended it there, but I wanted to give him a chance. I was interested until our text messages became… What’s the word I am looking for? Odd? Weird? Bizzare? He texted me *with emphasis* every morning— “Good morning.” At first, I thought it was cute, but that was it. Just a good morning, and anytime I tried to talk to this man, he wouldn’t budge.
Our conversations would be as stale as the hot Cheetos left open for 2 days (sorry for this description, but you get the point). Finally, I was so sick of it that I confronted him and asked if he saw our relationship going anywhere. His response was that he got on the app to meet new people and to see who he vibes with. He then apologized for wasting my time. At that point, I was over whatever this was because my intentions were different. So, I stopped talking to him (NO JUDGEMENT, PLEASE).
I know you’re going to say I should’ve ended it a while ago and he did mention to me his intentions in the beginning. I know. He was the first of many downfalls for me. After him, I matched with other men, but it never went anywhere, which I am so grateful for. There was one Muslim man that made me reconsider. We connected so well, especially about basketball and books, that I had to give him my number. I didn’t know at the time I would be talking to a very inconsistent man. He was wonderful. We facetimed, and I learned that he was African like me, but I am West, and he was from the East. We talked for about four months (very inconsistent), but we also argued like an old married couple. It was one of the most toxic talking stage relationships (whatever you want to call it) I’ve ever been in. We argued over the most minor things. He picked on something I would say and would not let it go. It was like he wanted to argue with me. I liked him a lot, but I couldn’t take the arguments. There were so many issues that I will not disclose, but just know it was not meant to be.
Hinge was not the only dating app I used. I downloaded Muzz because I was tired of the non-muslim men. I thought Muzz would be different; I was in for a surprise. Out of 99+ men that liked me, I matched with one man from West Africa and a writer, and I was excited. To me, he was it. Our conversations were great, he was educated, ready for marriage, and religious, but something was missing. There is always something missing when I meet a good man. And this, folks, is where you exit out of this post and curse me out. I didn’t know what was missing. I never know what it is. I even pray about it, hoping Allah could make it easy on me, but I never know what is missing.
I am the problem.
Sometimes, I know what I want, but then there are days I contemplate everything I want in a man. Some days, I tell myself to stop being picky. But then I think, am I really being picky? Some days, I tell myself to give this man a chance, and I do, but then they turn out weird. Some days, I tell myself I know exactly what I want, but then I think, no I don’t think I do. Some days, I just stop thinking about it and let my brain focus on other things.
My dating apps experiences have been quite interesting. I was afraid to write this because I knew I was the problem. Will I stop using dating apps? Yes… I will. I do not think I will find the person for me on a dating app. Some of the men there are not serious. If you are someone looking to use dating apps, think about your intentions first. As a Muslim African woman, I would not recommend apps if you want to get married. This is my opinion, so do not come for me, please. For some, apps have worked!
If you are considering downloading a dating app, please be mindful and careful. In the meantime, let me go see a therapist and get my life together.
Written by Diaka Thiam
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