For young black professionals, students and nonprofessionals, earning a living and having a healthy dating life in the District at the same time can be a challenge. So in the tradition of millennials everywhere, we briefly tested and rated some of the most prominent dating apps — including some specifically aimed at people of color.

Here is how we rate them:

Tinder – If you’ve experienced online or app dating this is probably your reference point. Tinder gets a bonus for probably having the greatest volume of daters at any one time — as well as being relatively diver. If you’ve already given up on black love and are open to interracial relationships or hookups this is the app for you.

Plus: Lot’s of dating options. Possibility for interracial hookups.

Minus: Expensive. Possibility for unwoke interracial hookups.


Zoosk – Having been founded in 2007 by Iranian immigrants Shayan Zadeh and Alex Mehr, Zoosk isn’t racially targeted. However, it does cater to a wider range of ethnicities than your average dating app the following notwithstanding. One of Zoosk’s signature features is a facial verification option that allows profile photos to be verified by realtime video. Yes! No more catfishing!

Plus: Lot’s of dating options. Possibility for race specific hookups.

Minus: Overshare much? Some users choose not to share accurate pictures as they work in sensitive communities (government, law firms, schools, etc).


BlackPeopleMeet – You’ve tried the rest, now try the best. BPM is the most renowned dating website and app that focuses exclusively on black communities.

Plus: The OG of this black dating game.

Minus: Security. BPM and People Media have had several high profile security breaches over the years resulting in upwards of 30 million users very sensitive personal information being exposed.

==== – My mother always said — quality over quantity — a motto MELD takes seriously. Although all the apps listed give you an opportunity to chat and ultimately meet with your potential paramour, Meld is the only app that promises to focus on a specific socioeconomic class — the rare and exotic, single young black professional. Featured in Fast Company and Ebony among others Meld appears to be legit.

Plus: People you find attractive with the actual finances to date like an adult.

Minus: Professional what? Exclusionary much?


Bae – Well let’s get specific. Bae was created by three African American males Brian, 28, Justin Gerrard, 30, and Jordan Kunzika, 22, to target what they felt was bias in other dating apps. “For us by us” — more than just a semi extinct clothing label. But it is also a successful marketing strategy as Bae was recently purchased by “if(we)” one of the hottest tech companies in Silicon Valley. Also Bae is the only dating app with street cred as they were launched at Howard University in 2014!

Plus: Developers worked specifically to eliminate issues daters of color had on other larger sites.

Minus: Although their growth has been exponential, users will still face a smaller dating pool than that of its competitors.


The Verdict: Dating apps have certainly put the transaction in transactional relationships! But with the average millennial in the District working much more than the standard 40 hours a week, sometimes quicker is better. Call me old-fashioned, but I suggest a bar, coffee shop or bookstore as the next place you should log into for romantic prospects.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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