Op-Ed: Are Hinge and Bumble Worth It?

I held off seriously dating anyone until my mid-20s because I feared not being taken seriously. Being a Black, thick woman, my body is often seen as a fantastical playground for men to objectify. It’s not uncommon for society to sexualize bigger bodies. I prayed potential partners were choosing to court me for my true self rather than my curves. I’ve always been a confident woman, and my self-worth soared after incorporating fitness into my life. But I had this fear of rejection. Growing up, I was never boy-crazy and truthfully, no boy was ever crazy for me. The real me that is. However, I could not allow myself to be lonely.

A friend of mine told me to try online dating. I was skeptical because up to that point I had only dated two men seriously. I regretted both. Also, I heard horror stories about different dating apps. But I couldn’t let someone else’s experience hinder me from finding love. So, I downloaded Hinge and Bumble and started exploring my options. Surprisingly, the apps entertained me, but some of the men were a disappointment.

Bumble: The Perfect Suitor is Hard to Find

Photo credit: El gringo photo
Photo credit: El gringo photo

My Bumble experience was dreadful. One of my first matches was with a man with a multicultural background who was not Black. We shared our love of Real Housewives of Atlanta and Caribbean food. Eventually he started to use African-American Vernacular English. This was an immediate turned off for me. I ghosted him. I felt terrible because we talked for a few weeks. However, I refused to be fetishized for my Black skin. Next, I met a man who was 6 foot 3 inches, had a muscular body, and beautiful brown skin. His voice made me warm when we talked. However, he was three years younger than me. His age didn’t bother me until he invited me to a popular nightclub for our first date. I couldn’t take him seriously. I realized Bumble left me dissatisfied.

Bumble BFF: Finding Friends Virtually

I never considered finding friends on the app but have asked myself, “Is it worth it?” Bumble offers a friendship service where men and women can search for people who identify as the same sex and are looking for platonic relationships.

PR rep and copywriter, Francesa Baker has used the app and notes Bumble BFF might be best suited for younger individuals. She said finding a friend using the service is similar to any regular dating app. One of Baker’s friend matches called her multiple times a day. Another called her crying after one meeting.

“I’m not your therapist,” she told 21 Ninety.

Hinge: With One Swipe, You May Find the One

Photo credit: Anna Shvets
Photo credit: Anna Shvets

I downloaded Hinge around the same time as Bumble and used both apps simultaneously. On Hinge, I matched with some distasteful men. I was asked to be in an open relationship by one man. Others lusted over my physical attributes. I began to feel exhausted with the app. That is until I matched with a man who loved spicy food, higher education, and traveling the world. Not to mention he was fine. He had glowing, ebony skin and a slender body. When he stood, his lean legs towered over me. Also, his West African heritage made him emphasize every syllable when he talked. I thought, “I found the one.”

We met at Mastro’s restaurant and had a lovely dinner. We talked for hours, even though we sometimes made each other nervous. During that dimly lit meal, we stared into each other’s souls. He continuously told me I looked beautiful that night.

After our date, we remained friends. He travels for work, so our schedules did not align. However, he taught me there are respectable suitors in this world. Being a hopeless romantic in a world full of situationships can be exhausting.

Out of the two applications, Hinge was the better option with more potential suitors taking dating seriously. Even though I eventually deleted the app, I still believe in love and I may just download it again in the future.

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