Dating trends are forever changing, but have you ever wondered how they specifically affect Black women? There is no right way to go about relationships and dating. However, there are a few things worth paying attention to as the dating scene evolves.

21Ninety spoke with The Matchmaking DUO to find out how dating trends have shifted over the years and how Black women may be affected. Kelli K. Fisher and Tana C. Gilmore are the love and relationship gurus who make up The Matchmaking DUO. Through their agency Fisher Gilmore Matchmaking (FGM), they provide matchmaking services personally designed to accommodate busy, successful professionals. These are people who are seeking long-term love. How do they go about their successful matchmaking? They pride themselves on giving their clients a lot of what they want, and even more of what they need.

Fisher, one half of the duo is the date coach while Gilmore is the relationship coach. Together, the two offer a well-rounded balance for clients looking for love. They help couples find love using a deliberate, hands-on approach. The Matchmaking DUO was featured in “Love Match Atlanta.” On the show they matched high-profile singles while balancing their own personal lives.

The Matchmaking DUO on how dating trends affect Black women and their dating lives

Courtesy: The Matchmaking DUO

21Ninety: Could you share what your thoughts are about current dating trends?

Kelli Fisher: The trends in dating today center around the world being more fast-paced in general. When we look at dating, it used to be where you meet someone organically at an event, a club, church, school, or a personal introduction we call “friendtroductions” and there was an expectation that you both needed time (and lots of it) to get to know each other.

Now we’ve entered the age of technology with online dating, video chatting, social media, and everything else. What this means is that those singles who are embracing a faster pace where they’re fun, open, authentic, and show attributes that would make a great partner earlier in the process, are winning.

21N: Could you share your insight on those changing trends for Black women specifically?

Tana Gilmore: You can see this clearly if you look at the culture of how many Black women were raised hearing advice from elders. Some examples of these go-to phrases include “allow a man to court you”, “let him find you”, “don’t be too forward”, “focus on your work and independence” or even “don’t show too much too soon.” This is no longer working.  

The good news is that as Black women we are adaptable and one thing we do well and excel at, is learning information. So, here are a few DUO Matchmaker-approved tips we can share for those who want to win in this fast-paced dating environment and be empowered to make the shift:

  • Embrace technology
  • Lead with what’s unique about you
  • Make your personal life a priority as you have done with your career over the years 
  • Encourage the younger population to start entertaining serious candidates for long term love in college while studying. This is the most concentrated area where the majority have the same end goal and are rowing the same way.  

KF: Yes, exactly. I’d also add: 

  • Go into every date as authentic as possible
  • Shed any previous baggage 
  • Have fun and date multiples

21N: How have you each worked through reclaiming your dating life through changing trends?

KF: I was married for many years then divorced. When I divorced it was difficult because I became a single parent of 3 daughters ages 2, 7 and 8 and I also relocated the very same year from New Jersey to Charlotte, NC for a job opportunity. 

So, for many years I literally didn’t have time to date but when I re-entered the dating world I quickly realized how much had changed. Starting with all of the dating apps. With that I had to embrace a new the normal of dating multiple people. When I dated before I would give one person my attention but now the trend is more about enjoying getting to know multiple people until someone has earned the right (and made it clear) that you’re dating exclusively.

As I prepared for dating, I first had to take the time to find 2-3 sitters I could trust with my children so that I could have the flexibility needed to date and reclaim my personal life. In addition, I had to redefine who I was, what I was looking for in a life partner in this new season of my life; not only for me but also for my children. I had to think what qualities I bring to the table, and I had to do the work to be vulnerable again so I could show up as the best version of myself.

TG: The trends have certainly changed over the years and our job as matchmakers have made it a priority to stay on top of the trends, pulse and culture of this industry. As a married woman for more than 20 years, I still have to understand what the single population is experiencing. I go where singles are and interview men and women. I listen to chief complaints about dating and craft solutions of how I may be able to help and support. My job as a matchmaker affords me the opportunity to go out and put my flirting skills to the test. I have always been a huge flirt with a warm personality and men typically gravitate to me which allows me to have a conversation and bring them into our database for available singles. I am fortunate to have a confident husband who gets me and “understands the assignment”. It works like a charm!

21N: What are some ways that Black women can shift their mentality and make their personal life priority like they have their careers?

KF: Black women can shift their mentality by giving themselves permission to date more freely. Shed the old ways of thinking. We were told that love will just come if we stay focused on education and career. Like everything else in life, we need to be prepared to know how to date confidently and effectively. Be clear on not only what kind of partner we want but what kind of partner we will be to someone else, and understand that it’s OK to reach for the sky professionally but also walk in the power of our femininity at the same time. Our careers have us from 9-5 but we are beautiful Black women 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wanting love, family, and romantic connection is human and it’s OK to prioritize that goal as well.

TG: Some of the ways Black women can shift their mentality to make their love life a priority is by reviewing their calendar and asking themselves “where would a man/woman fit?” Most Black women are successful and have risen to the top of their career and game but when they roll over at night, it’s a stack of gorgeous pillows and cold sheets. I would advise her to set boundaries and give her job a specific time frame for working hours and the rest is personal time. It’s is equally important, if not more, to invest time in love and family as this is your legacy. You are replaceable at work but the joy, peace and gift of love isn’t.

Related: Dating Trend Alert: Gen Z Women Prefer ‘Situationships’, According To Study