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Posted under: Culture News

Love At First Swipe: See How These Black Couples Found Love On Bumble

These stories will make your heart swoon.

 With the near constant barrage of heartbreaking imagery dominating the news cycle and our timelines, we often need a reminder that our lives and stories are not solely defined by pain and strife. We are a resilient people and we know that #BlackJoy is an act of resistance. It is our intention to float some light and love your way, with the hope that these beautiful stories of #BlackLove bring a smile to your heart.

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Although online dating has gained popularity over the years, many Black singles are still skeptical about their chances of finding love on a dating app. We’ve all heard of online dating experiences that consist of two people matching, having a casual chat, and then quickly fizzling out-- which begs the question, can Black people find love online? 

The Blavity team set out to get some answers, and along the way, we met four amazing couples who have navigated the online dating world successfully. Bumble has been the source of countless Black Love stories that’ll make your heart swoon. Check out how these four couples created authentic conversations, kept a positive mindset and set their profiles up for success on Bumble.  

KAYLA + IRA

After matching on Bumble, Kayla and Ira first met in person at a New Year Eve’s party in New Orleans back in 2017. When they returned back to Austin, the city where they both live, they didn’t talk much, but Ira would occasionally send Kayla Snapchat messages. A couple of weeks later, she made the first move for a second time and asked him to hang out again. Since they both were cheerleaders in college, they met up at a local cheerleading gym to do stunts, and they’ve been together ever since.

Photo: Kayla and Ira
Photo: Kayla and Ira

See how they made the app work in their favor and what attracted them to each other’s profile below: 

What made each of you consider Bumble out of other dating apps?

Kayla: I really liked that I had control over making the first move. I wasn’t interested in being bombarded by messages or sifting through people just looking to hookup.

Ira: I liked how clean and friendly the app was. I liked that girls had control of the first move and it made me feel like whoever accepted the convo basically “swiped on me twice” so it gave me confidence knowing they liked me enough to do that. 

How did you make the app work in your favor?

Kayla: Being that we’re in Austin, there aren’t a ton of black people in the area, so I had to do a lotttt of swiping to find him. The same way most people swipe based on attractiveness or hair color or height, I kept swiping but stopped on every single black person I saw. I figured even if they weren’t someone I was interested in dating, I could at least reach out and expand my friend circle, which was seriously lacking having just moved to the area.

Ira: I made sure that I wasn’t on Bumble unless I was open and ready to meet someone new. I know people who leave their profile open all year round on dating apps and end up messing up their or someone else’s experience because they weren’t mindful. In my case, I re-downloaded Bumble when I was open to new connections and Kayla was in my queue from almost six months prior. It was a blessing, obviously. But long story short connect when you’re open and ready and update your dating apps if you aren’t!

Do you have any tips for creating your best Bumble profile? 

Kayla: Show the real you--in your photos and your bio! I wear wigs a lot and am always changing up my hair, so each of my pictures had a different hairstyle. I wanted to make sure any guy that was interested in me wasn’t looking for me to fit into a specific box or type because that’s not what I look like all the time. I’ve always felt like it’s better to show people who you are upfront and they’ll decide for themself whether they like it or not.

Ira: Ditto! This ties back to one of my earlier answers: be true and be genuine. When you focus on activities that you love like sports, events, activities, relaxing, etc. it paints a welcoming picture (no pun intended) of who you are as a complete person. The last thing you want to do is come across as someone who cares more about photo editing and angles, as opposed to what you really care about. 

As final tips, the couple emphasizes that Bumble users should let their originality shine. Don’t get too worried about the perfect conversation starter or being funny. They both think it’s important to be upfront and real. Being true and genuine will take you a long way.

KANOBI + SAYEH

Married couple, Kanobi and Sayeh met through Bumble on September 21, 2018. The two met up at a local restaurant for their first date and had a great time laughing at each other's jokes the whole night. After keeping in contact with each other over time, the two soon realized they had a real connection and decided to become an official couple on November 22, 2018. Not too long after, they decided to spend forever together and eventually got engaged a few weeks later on December 3, 2019. 

Photo: Kanobi and Sayeh/Francisco Vazquez
Photo: Kanobi and Sayeh/Francisco Vazquez

Check out the couple’s advice on how to use Bumble to its full potential and their take on how to create a genuine conversation on the app:

What made each of you consider Bumble out of other dating apps?

For both of us, Bumble seemed the most user-friendly and genuine place to meet people, so it was our preference over the other dating apps out there.

What attracted you to each other's profiles?

Kanobi: It’s funny, Sayeh’s profile came off a bit pretentious to me at first glance (laughing out loud), but I decided to swipe right anyway because something in his smile just wasn’t matching up with exactly what was written. After getting to know him, I realized that he was just really quiet and he was trying to exude a more confident and outgoing version of himself through his profile. 

Sayeh: I was really attracted to her face and the variety of photographs that she had posted. I also really liked that her bio appeared to be authentic. It allowed me to get a better idea of who she was as a person and conversation starters we could have. 

Do you have any advice on how to keep the conversation going and remain authentic? 

Yes! Aside from the initial getting to know you type of questions, we played games like 21 questions that were curated for dating. We found that these exercises made us dig deeper and think outside of the box. This really helped us to grow closer and grasp a better understanding of who we really were as individuals and how we could evolve together throughout the dating process. 

When did you know that this could be something real?

Kanobi: As, humans, we all bring something from the past into our new relationships. For me, I knew that it was something real with Sayeh when he took responsibility for the baggage that I came with. He apologized for things that had nothing to do with him and it made me feel safe, loved, and wanted. He gave me the grace to grow into a new version of myself that I hadn’t known before. 

Sayeh: I knew things were real with Kanobi when I realized how far I was willing to stretch outside of my comfort zone to be with her. So, the further I went, the more I thought to myself, maybe I genuinely love this woman, which proved to be true. 

The couple admits that in order to find love, you really have to put yourself out of your comfort zone. Kanobi and Sayeh both say the right pictures and bio can take you a long way. It is a great way to be intentional about what you are looking for in a partner and help you to narrow down your search. Like some of us, they were skeptical about finding love online, but there's no denying it's possible. They're the textbook definition of black love goals.

Kanobi and Sayeh's Instagram  

ASHLEY + LAUREN

Ashley was initially attracted to Lauren because her profile did “a pretty slammin’ job” of fulfilling the “criteria” she outlined. She details that she was really attracted to Lauren’s smile and it still gets her to this day. Lauren also admits that Ashley was the most beautiful person that showed up on her screen. To this day she still looks at Ashley’s profile to reminisce on how their love story began. 

Photo: Ashley and Lauren/Lauren Longmire
Photo: Ashley and Lauren/Lauren Longmire

See how the lovely couple met on Bumble and their thoughts on how to approach today’s dating scene:  

What made each of you consider Bumble out of other dating apps?

Ashley: We are both queer women of color and are very proud of that, but it can make dating, in general, a little more challenging. Even before ever having known each other, we shared the understanding that if we were going to have active dating lives, that would involve quite a few apps. Tinder seems to be everyone’s go-to and for some people, it’s incredibly successful. But for many, it’s meant primarily for more casual connections. “Her” is an app made specifically for queer women to find each other and, while it has amazing potential, it’s execution is pretty disappointing. Bumble, on the other hand, is just as user-friendly as Tinder (if not more) while also giving off a more mature and intentional vibe. Can people still look for hook-ups on the app? Sure! But there also seems to be a greater understanding that most of the people on it are interested in something more, especially us queer folks.

Lauren: I've tried damn near every dating app you could think of whether I was searching for something casual, serious, or whatever my single behind was trying to do at the time. Bumble is incredibly user friendly and the interface is aesthetically pleasing as well. This app is super diverse as well which is important to me as a Black queer woman. I also like that you're kind of forced to make a move within 24 hours because sometimes we can overthink things. When trying to be flirtatious or initiate a conversation, you either shoot your shot or miss out on the opportunity of connecting with someone special. I'm super grateful Ashley messaged me first and didn't let the time expire because we literally wouldn't be together without Bumble.

What kind of mentality did you have when entering the online dating scene? How has that changed? 

Ashley: Both Lauren and I have had mixed experiences in the online dating world. Some were great and others would best be forgotten. But whether our connections ended as total disasters or amicable friendships, they’ve gotten us one step closer to finding each other. I don’t think either of us will ever look at online dating negatively; not only because we found each other, but also because it’s truly the easiest way for people like us to find other people like us. We’ve always had some sort of fondness for it, but it’s only amplified since having found the greatest love in our relationship.

We definitely understand others’ skepticism for it though. In some ways, it can feel like a loss to not be able to create connections as organically. But there is also much to be gained by simplifying the process and cutting through a lot of the awkwardness, to get straight to finding potential for compatibility. Which isn’t to say online dating isn’t awkward because it certainly can be. But it can also be totally worth it.

Lauren: I was single and dating for a while and had a very casual mindset towards everyone I was interacting with, including Ashley initially. Now, I'm a completely different woman! I have goals and envision a future with my partner. I feel blessed every day that I get to love her and spend my life with her. I went from being a skeptical, yet curious romantic to being full-on head over heels in love. As much as I love Bumble, I'm glad I'll never have to use it or any other dating app again.

The couple suggests users to not overthink dating online. It’s easy to get caught up on how you want to be perceived, but you have to be honest with yourself and not be so invested in coming off a certain way. If you’re excited about matching with someone, then let it show! Be open and transparent, and the app will definitely work in your favor.

Ashley’s https://www.instagram.com/ashleyelizabeth_11/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Instagram

Ashley’s YouTube

Lauren’s Instagram

Lauren’s https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCie6xwff2d48wUyS74Qkpmg?view_as=subscriber" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">YouTube

BRASCO + BEAST

Brasco and Beast were both attracted to each other because they found similarities in their lifestyles. They both practiced a whole food plant-based diet and were in the “second phase” of their lives. Since Brasco and Beast lived more than 200 miles apart, they met up at a halfway point for their first date, which consisted of lunch at a vegan restaurant and playing the newlywed trivia game. Next, they went on a private tour of a local distillery and ended the date watching Captain Marvel. The rest is history.  

Photo: Brasco and Beast
Photo: Brasco and Beast

Check out this couple’s tips on how they used the app to work in their favor, and when they knew their connection was real below:

What kind of mentality did you have when entering the online dating scene? How has that changed?

Beast: My perspective is that you must be open to something you've never been open to before to have an experience you've never had previously and be willing to grow beyond that which is familiar to you at this point in life. You haven't met EVERYONE you could possibly meet in your life, so be open to something new.  If what you've always done has been perfect, then you'd still be in that old relationship. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing the same way and expect a different result. On the first few dates, you don't start making plans to introduce yourself to their mom, or start wedding plans or start sharing every dark secret in your life. Remember this is a job interview, the first of several interviews. You are gauging them and they are gauging you and if instinctively something doesn't feel right, trust your instinct. God gave us instincts for a reason. Most of all, have fun with the process, don't make every date, every candidate, every meeting a 'do or die' situation. The more relaxed you are about getting to know someone, the more they are likely to see the great qualities in you that make you the awesome person that you are. Not perfect, just awesome--that's my two cents worth.

Brasco: When I entered the online dating scene my mentality was simply to start dating and to put myself out there for new experiences. I was coming out of a 20-year marriage so I wasn't looking for anything too serious and because I was still raising children I didn't have a lot of time available to date. It was important for me to approach online dating methodically - to find men who met my criteria and then go for it with initiating contact and start dating. I was not planning to settle down right away. However, connecting with Beast changed all of that. My mentality changed about three months into dating him and unexpectedly, I fell in love with him. I can't imagine life without him. He is my friend, my lover, my confidant and so much more. In this second half of my life, I feel grateful to have found love again in him - he is my Life Partner.

How did you make the app work in your favor?

Beast: From a man seeking female perspective, there are strategies that may not be the popular thing to say out loud, but are effective. With Bumble the onus is on the woman to initiate the first contact, so the men are on the tree to be plucked down by the choice of the woman. When a friend introduced me to the dating app he simply swiped to the right for nearly every profile and sorted out who he wanted from those who chose him first. As callous and random as that may seem, it has merit. You don't miss out on 'anyone' who has some interest in you. After making the cut, then the guy can dig more into the profiles to investigate if this is a viable candidate for dating, a relationship or a one night stand. And sometimes a 'bad profile' can do a disservice to a great potential partner because the reaction to profiles can be so knee jerk on first impressions. For example, perhaps the 'best' pic is buried as the third or fifth one and the blurry 10-year photo is the one that shows first. In my case particularly, I was seeking a specific situation in which I customized my search to someone who reflected my fitness lifestyle, vegan/ whole food plant-based diet, professional and seeking a relationship without wanting any more kids in my age group. That narrowed my search and I immediately honed in on exactly what I desired.

Brasco: I was a relative newbie to online dating before meeting Beast (approximately three months in) and I thought long and hard and was clear about my expectations before doing so. What attracted me most to Bumble was the fact that women make the first move. Like Beast, I customized my search for someone in my age group who reflected my fitness lifestyle, who was vegan, a profession and seeking a relationship without wanting any more kids. 

When did you know that this could be something real? 

It felt real when we began to quickly compare notes on things that were of high value to us in our lives: family, faith, friendship, solid finances. The gift of being in this second half of life is not being precocious or pretentious about anything and being candid about personal preferences from situations of a casual nature to sexual appetites. It's the ‘I’m too old to lie about it’ disposition; it cuts down the waste of time and energy.

The beautiful couple lives by this powerful mantra, "to thyself be true,” which means “the person you must least lie to is yourself.” They are also firm advocates for Bumble users to be “truthful and candid,” while dating and to be careful not to construct personas that will lead a person on if it is not a true reflection of who you are. One important note they continue to emphasize is for Bumble users to be honest about what they want out of the app. If you want a one night stand, short term or long term relationship, be upfront about it. Don’t be misleading. 

Beast and Brasco's Instagram

Beast and Brasco's YouTube

These lovebirds have proven that one swipe right can change your life. Black Love can be found anywhere, even in the virtual world. Now it’s your turn to put yourself out there and find #BlackLove on Bumble so you can share your virtual love story one day! Download the app here

Do you already have a similar story like these lovely couples, Blavity fam? We want to hear about it!  Submit your own Bumble success story here and tell us how you met your bae! 

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Brianna Rhodes is the branded content writer for Blavity. Feel free to contact her at brianna@blavity.com