Soul Swipe 101: How I Swiped in The Right Direction
I had whole-heartedly given up on any prospects of prosperity with the below thirty degree climate of New York City’s eligible Bachelor’s. It had been two years since I moved back home, and I had enough of the empty text messages and situationships that resulted in nothing but surprise IG relationship statuses and WCW’s. The “did you know he had a girlfriend?!” topic starter became the norm amongst my circle of friends, across state borders. I had taken an oath with some of my friends from college to start “leveraging these n*****”. This did not entail stooping to their level of savagery but more so enhancing the standard of it. The problem with this is that I don’t have a savage bone in my body, unless we’re referencing my double-jointed hips.
I was also in school full time, juggling two part time jobs and had little tolerance for foolery. I was getting older and I did not have the energy or the stamina to entertain anyone who wasn’t trying to feed me or make my happy place - happy. Spring had sprung and while it was no longer cuff buddy weather, I still found myself longing for some male attention. See the thing is, I’ve been single my whole life, unless we’re counting a three month stint in high school with a guy who always made me laugh but never made heart go boom the way Nicki sang about it. Being chronically single blessed me with the ability to be comfortable with myself. Solitude isn’t a bad thing. We are branded to think that singledom is pitiful and undesirable when such is not the case. Single means you don’t have to share that bottle of wine and if you wanted to initiate your “hoe-tation”, Issa Rae would be the first one to tell you where to sign up. I didn’t hate being single but every now and then there would be that little voice in my head that wanted to hear a guy call me beautiful.
So, spring had arrived and I had about 100 megabytes left on my iphone. Perfect, just enough space to download Soul Swipe. I had heard about Tinder but I felt like it was used primarily for one night of bliss and quite frankly – I wasn’t looking for that. Or perhaps I was and I just wanted him to be caramel instead. I heard Soul Swipe was black owned and with Obama on his way out the Big House, I put my fist in the air and hit download. I had to be strategic about my process. I wanted him to be a man and look like one. My criterion was specific: you had to dress well, not like Camron in 2001. You had to look like a gem without being conceited about it. I need to know who you are – no group pics please. If you posted a photo with you and one or more women – Issa nah. Children? – Double nah (Sorry, not ready for those either). My strategy was to limit as many fuckboys as possible, however, in 2017 we know they come in all shades, and sizes with degrees attached to their name and all.
My first date was the most fun I had on a date in my life. We laughed, we drank, we ate, we drank… he ended up knowing the bartender so the drinks didn’t stop and to make it better – one of the bar tv’s was playing videos from the 99’s and 2000’s – double win. I felt like God had curated this date for me. To restore my hope that decent men existed without having a girlfriend or lingering ex hidden in their back pocket. Despite the fact that he admitted to facebook stalking me and then proceeded to tell me bits and pieces about my life as the date went on – he wasn’t half bad. He sang and played in the band for his church, lived in Harlem AND was a school teacher. AAANNNDD he had a baldy. Did I mention he was chocolate? This guy was wrapped with a bow on his shiny little head. Before I could completely unwrap his package – I never heard from him again. Yup. During our date he told me he had broken up with a longtime girlfriend of his some months back but that he had moved on. I didn’t believe him then and after I never heard back – I really didn’t believe him. When I wrote him a few days later asking what was up, he said his phone was broken and it would be a while before I heard from him again. Yeah – okay. I chalked it up to the game and thanked God for the free food, drinks and good music. I happily signed back in to my bae magnet.
The second guy I met was SUCH a gentleman. He planned our dates, did everything he said he would but I couldn’t get “into it”. On paper he met all the qualifications but as I sat across from him, I couldn’t help but put him in the friend zone. Months later IG gave me the answer I didn’t know I was looking for. He posted a picture of him and his new boyfriend. The post amassed over three hundred likes. I think that was his coming out announcement.
My third guy was super chill. I’d call him super cool too but he lost that title when he too ghosted me after about a month. He lived in Jersey and drove up to see me. I was still in school and had trouble making time. He agreed to go with me to an AA meeting for my class assignment, which earned him hella points. Unfortunately, we drove around to two churches and none of the meetings were in session. So what do you do when you can’t find an AA meeting? Go to the bar. We had a couple drinks, ate and headed out. We spoke on the phone a few times after that but he started becoming unavailable. I was disappointed primarily because he was cool and I liked his energy. He was a photographer and a high school teacher. He had a fro smaller than mine and he didn’t stress about anything. We could talk about anything and I found myself looking forward to our conversations. I started to see a girl pop up on his snapchat but I didn’t press him about it. We were both single and mingling. I chalked him up to the game as well.
The next guy I met up with didn’t land in my inbox via Soul Swipe. I met him at a birthday dinner and he asked me out. There is actually nothing negative I could say about him. In fact, it was me who chose not to see him again after our first date. He lived in Jersey and drove to Harlem to meet me. We had a lovely first date but in my heart I knew I couldn’t deceive him. I had gone on a date with another guy about a week prior and something about the other guy I couldn’t shake. I felt like this other guy was worth seeing again…
The fourth guy I swiped right on was different than the last few. In fact, I didn’t pay him much mind because he was a self proclaimed “bad texter”. I shrugged him off and boarded a flight to Atlanta for my girls birthday. This bad texter slid in my messages about two weeks after he ghosted on me. He asked to take me out on a date and I told him after Atlanta I was headed on a two week Mission Trip and he’d have to wait until I returned. Catch flights not feelings right? He obliged and said the least I could do was text him for his birthday. I made sure I turned my international plan on and sent him a Happy Birthday text. When I got back we made plans for dinner at Soco. He was a few minutes late but I didn’t hold it against him – at least not entirely. First impressions are important. I mentally noted it and walked in behind him. We talked and ate and I couldn’t help but think about how much he had to say on a first date and how serious he was. I was just trying to eat forreal. I mean who talks religion on a first date? I tried not to think much of it and asked him if he wanted to go to the movies. Finding Dory just came out and I am the biggest kid on the inside. He said yes and I grinned from ear to ear. Fast forward to a year and five months later, Ant Man is mine and I didn’t think that swiping right would land such a gem in the palm of my hand.
Anthony has been and still continues to be a prize that I’ve long awaited. He’s smart. Nerdy. Wore glasses until I accidentally sat on them. Gives me the side of the bed that the fan blows harder on and asks me if I’m hungry every time he sees me. He encourages me to try new food despite my opposition. He doesn’t argue with me when I say Beyonce’s the best ever and he understands that I will choose Yonce and my dog over anyone, any day. He gets me – for the most part. He’s also cute and taller than me (double win).
I firmly believe that nothing comes before its time and that everything we experience speaks to our greater purpose. I am not sure where our relationship will lead but its existence alone is remarkable. In a time where we yearn for the latest Shaderoom posts and scroll through everyone’s picture perfect life, I am happy to have found something real and authentic. Our journey is not perfect, and with this being my first relationship, I have much to learn. However, in a city population of 8 million where your chance of finding love is practically impossible, I am happy to have swiped right on my gem. Relationship life is sweet, but that doesn’t mean singledom isn’t Miss Patty’s Sweet Potato Pie good either.