Ah, love. Also known as “Why Cupid would never want to visit the physical realm even if he wanted to”

Actually, he would probably say, “Hey, I’m just responsible for people falling in love. Y’know there are other gods, right? Like, for lust. And greed. And indecision. And bad decision. And…do you really want me to run down my family tree?”

Dating is not easy. Quite taxing, actually. It’s hard to find someone who is a compliment to your personality and experience and a great friend and is romantically compatible. Odds vary by race but being Pagan shrinks the dating pool even further.

Eurgh.

Ye gods. This sucks.

Ye gods. This sucks.

When you study in the metaphysics and esoteric, you start to normalize your experience from all the time you spend. This can make it tough because of media representation of magick and metaphysics colors the opinion of many so you have to talk with a heavy filter or be very good at gauging personalities and potential reactions. And it sucks when you get questions that basically boil down to “Sooooo…you don’t actually believe this stuff, do you? Oh geez, I’m talking to a crazy person.” Yeah, folks are pretty judgmental. And this is talking to people in person.

It seems the common solution often given to folks with unusual backgrounds (and/or social tendencies such as being introverted) is to do online dating. Dr. Nerdlove writes plenty about online dating, however it can be reminded that isn’t a guaranteed cure-all. While with online dating sites like Plenty of Fish and OkCupid, you can pinpoint select race and religion so you can find another Black Pagan to hopefully gel well with…or at least a Black Buddhist or Agnostic, they’re still people. It’s just this time they are behind screens and with avatars. But, also screening out who you don’t want to talk to gets a bit easier, especially if you pay a small fee to help boost your filters – something women should definitely know to handle the harassing dudes that will inevitably roll into their inbox. More on that later.

There are group specific dating sites such Black dating sites and Pagan dating sites. Pagan dating site are the absolute crappiest if you’re not White because that’s pretty much all that shows on the site. If someone goes, “That’s not automatically a drag,” how these folks talk in terms of opinions and life experience show you would probably be the first Black person they would meet or at least the first they didn’t receive a service from. Pretty much, you’re risking going out on a date with some possible Darren Wilson supporter that claims they know voodoo because of some Llewelyn book and swear up and down they’re not racist but Ferguson is overrated and SNL is brilliant multicultural comedy. Not worth the potential risk. And that’s from the folks who are not super creepy/all screws way loose. Remember, really predatory and abusive people like alt-lifestyle dating sites because they think they can hide their problematic ways under “being eccentric” or behind the “live and let live” thinking with little blowback. And they’re not that wrong, sadly, because some Pagans still believe that any cultural policing is bad policing as if it automatically brings harsh vibes when really active policing to ensure little to no infiltration of bad folks is great policing. Not everyone needs to be welcomed.

Black dating sites aren’t really great for Black folks well outside the mainstream Black experience. If you’re not Christian – or at least Muslim – and most definitely if you’re part of any alternative culture such as goth or punk, you might as well pass. (As for goth dating sites: same problem as Pagan ones, just add bats and black clothes.)

For the most part, that leaves you with online dating sites like OkCupid and Plenty of Fish. However, still you’ll see guys like this:

Why? For his "Most secret thing I'm willing to admit", I'm sure it's "Where I buried my past girlfriends, dates and denied crushes. And you next."

Whhhhy? For his “Most secret thing I’m willing to admit”, I’m sure it’s “Where I buried my past girlfriends, dates and denied crushes. And you next.”

And speaking of nutters like these because feminism/womanism can’t move fast enough, let’s talk filters. This is specifically with OkCupid, bear in mind. Using the settings in the messages section, you can set filters up so that guys who use less than 20 characters (throwing a random number out there, you can choose various character counts) and/or rank less than 70% match go straight into the digital bin. Pay the site 5 smackers ($5) and you can up the filters to be more sensitive, even filter out messages that include specific wordings of your choice like “beautiful”, “sexy” and slurs, whatever you want. This will help you find folks you actually want to talk to. If dudes are going, “How do we talk to you?!” Like we’re human beings: read the profile and start genuine, respectful conversation on their interests and not how they look, genius.

On online profiles, make sure to be upfront about your religious practices so people can choose for themselves if they want to continue to talk to you. If they don’t, try not to take it so hard. Yes, not easy but a must. And try not to settle, if the person is squicked out by your religion or your practices, move on. Ditto to if you’re talking to folks outside your race if they seem to hyper focus on race issues…or just the fact that you’re Black and they still find you attractive. Remember, even if you think they’re great except for this ooooone thing, know that they really don’t like people like you – including you. Just because they’ll take you to a Janelle Monae concert and give you daily hugs, that don’t mean you won’t eventually wind up in their crosshairs. It’s not very hard to drop from “good Negro” to “worthless n***er” in a nanosecond. All you have to do is keep breathing and be a multifaceted human. That’s it. Might as well pass on folks like that but you really gotta develop an ear to really screen them out. That comes from experience by dealing with people.

Also, if they are Black just like you but still say internalized racist stuff like how you’re somehow not Black because you listen to Rock and like UFO pants or that how Black people would be murdered less if they just pulled up their pants – leave them behind. No need to hear from people to talk like they’re possessed by Strom Thurmond. Seriously, if they rag you with, “Maaaan, Black people don’t read,” or “how you Black and you don’t like RnB?” just give them directions back to whatever plantation they stumbled from. Don’t matter if they served in the house or on the field, they still wanna be trapped on the land. There is a whole world out there. Find someone better.

If you’re a guy, please read Dr. Nerdlove. Seriously. Too many dudes with really screwed up opinions about women (and some masculinity issues with homophobia that also stem from misogyny) are super common on dating sites. Too common. Can’t date a woman (especially longterm) if you pretty much learned about them through one sided songs, repetitive movies and near forever tropes in video games. Eventually, the dude spouting this stuff comes off as really rapey/creepy/dudebro/combo. Can’t express how much a bummer it is to see a guy that has diverse interests, a great personality…but is anti-choice, thinks less of women after they sleep with them (brah. Why be upset at the woman for sleeping with you? You slept around, too.), that any sex partner count the woman had above 1 is skanky and think women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved and wouldn’t date them even if they were a liiiittle pudgy…while the dude clearly isn’t virginal, quite hairy and could make Rick Ross look healthy weight. Thinking and sounding less like an MRA/”meninist” would vastly improve dating experience, even get approached. And remember, if a girl approaches with actual romantic interest, don’t freak out by saying she’s intimidating or by loudly humiliating her and most of all: don’t hit her. And not every girl that acknowledges your existence wants to get with you. If she asks for the time or makes small talk, she is simply being marginally social to another, locally placed human being (that’s you). If you wouldn’t want to imagine gay guys treating you like this (protip: they most likely never will), don’t treat women like this. Really simple. Not so simple? Read Dr. Nerdlove, he makes it simple. And entertaining.

Dating is super tough, that’s fact. Finding someone isn’t promised to anyone. There are, thankfully, spells to help attract potential suitors but here’s the part where I have to do the Pagan blogger thing about love spells:

 Don't cast spells on other people!

Don’t cast spells on other people!

Intangible things (relationships and dating (in general)) are good things to cast love spells on. Tangible entities … such as, y’know, people, not so good. It’s the metaphysical version of the chloroform cloth and tying them to your boiler in the basement. It wouldn’t be cool if they did it to you, it’s not cool to do it to anyone else, plain and simple. Don’t do it.

And if you don’t have anyone, try not to sweat it. While our society puts a lot of onus on finding someone  no matter what it takes, know that being single isn’t the worst thing to happen to you. Yeah, it’s cold comfort but true. Make sure that if you are trying to find someone, it’s not because you want someone to “complete you” or as a bandaid over your personal issues or to seek external validation of your existence and/or experience. Using other people as an emotional crutch and/or a therapist is never a good idea. It’s different from being emotionally supportive and present, two qualities to gun for instead.

Remember, all a relationship is, is simply a friendship with a romantic component.