Does colorism play a role in dating? Do successful CisHet black men tend to marry non-black women? Do Black women have a harder time finding love? Today on the podcast we dive into all things dating with matchmaker Tennesha Wood. Tennesha is the founder of The Broom List, the first and only matchmaking service for Black professionals. This is the second episode of our Dating & Relationships series and you don’t want to miss it!
What we cover:
- Common struggles with dating while black
- Whether or not colorism plays a role in dating
- The top 2 overlooked places to find love (hint: must love dogs)
- Tennesha’s success rate as a Black matchmaker
- What matchmaking actually entails
- How can you make the most of online dating?
- Will you find your perfect partner with a matchmaker?
- What is it like to work with a matchmaker?
- Should you be open to relocating for love?
- How flexible do you need to be in relationships?
- What are appropriate dealbreakers to make when dating?
- Why is it harder for black women to date?
- How does colorism impact dating in the black community?
- Is it a red flag if a man is over 35 and unmarried?
- How much does matchmaking cost?
- How much time and energy should you put into dating?
- What questions to ask on date 1
- & MORE
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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Jessica Jones: Let's talk about the state of dating today.
Do you feel like online dating has made things better or worse
Tennesha Wood: in general? I think that online dating has actually made things better because it's just provided more access to people that you would've never wise, never otherwise met. .
Jessica Jones: You also, I saw in some interviews that you mentioned the fear of dating again, you called it fota, , that people, mm-hmm.
were kind of rusty after the pandemic. Can you
Tennesha Wood: talk a little bit about that? Yeah, so I think after spending, how, how long even was the pandemic? Like two years I think. Yes. I mean, it's still happening, but after spending two years in the house, you're in your sweats, you're working from home. Um, you weren't really having the same types of interactions.
You weren't going out to bars, you weren't being social. And so when people were ready to get back out there, there was this natural fear of, you know, not only how do I approach people, how do I talk to people? . You know, do we, do we hug now? Am I supposed to wear a mask now? Is this a handshake? Like, so it added this extra level of just discomfort and fear when it came to just human interaction that we've all been used to on a certain level.
So it wasn't even so much about dating, but we're like, in this new post covid phase, how do we interact? And then you add the dating layer on, of course, on top of their, you know, makes it all the more nerve wrack.
Wendy Lopez: I wanted to circle back to the state of dating because just from like personal experience and like what I've heard from people, um, it seems like there's.
Options. But then there really isn't it because, um, I don't know, it's like people tend to like easily disregard so many potential candidates online because there's this culture of, um, aesthetics being a priority and they're just being so many fish in the sea, cuz you have access to so many people. But then mm-hmm.
I don't know, I feel like maybe you don't put as much energy into like, getting to know, you know, a few key people. It's just like, all right, I'm just gonna keep swiping and keep swiping. What are your thoughts on that? Because that's a struggle that I've had with online dating in the
Tennesha Wood: past. Mm-hmm. . So that phenomenon is called the paradox of choice, where when we are given too many choices, we naturally forego or pass on more of those choices because we believe there is an endless bucket of options.
And so if we knew there was only, you know, five. , we wouldn't, we wouldn't swipe by so fast. We would say, all right, let me legitimately examine these five options and see which of these five are the best. But as you know, you can spend all day swiping if you wanted to. Um, so I think we have to remember that these are people behind these profiles.
These are genuine, legitimate people with lives, families hopes. . It's not just this avatar behind a screen. And I think, again, based on the endlessly of options we've gotten used to this, it's not real. It's almost like playing Candy Crush, right? And so I think when we come at it like that, where we think this is a person, this is a person who could potentially be the person I end up with and treat it with a little bit more care, I think that starts to shift our mindset a bit.
And I also think. . A lot of people experience this burnout, and that's when they start to treat it like that. So it's like you really have to limit your time that you're doing this as well. So if you're just going on there every day and you're aimlessly swiping, like you get burnt out, you start to think of it as a game.
Whereas if you go on there and you know what you're looking for before you even get on the app to swipe, it makes it so much easier and you set a limit, right? So, I'm gonna swipe, you know, through 20 people, or I'm gonna swipe for an hour and these are the things that I'm looking for. You know, it's so tempting to just look at the photo, think I'm interested or uninterested, and then swipe right without sometimes even reading anything that that person wrote.
But think about it the same way you would if you were on an actual date. , what sorts of things would you wanna know about this person? Well, what are you looking for? You're not, you're not just gonna go on a date with somebody, look at them and be like, uh, there's nothing else I need to know. . That's it. And so I think if we started treating this a little bit more, like we would an in-person interaction, it, it would help with that.
Wendy Lopez: Just humanize people because it's, I agree. It is kind of like a Candy crush, , or like, you know, you're like, oh, I'm bored. Let me do some swipes. And it kind of becomes, uh, dating has become a lot of that mm-hmm. . And so it's almost like you have to be really intentional about like, okay, when I go in there, um, these are just some things that I'm gonna keep in mind.
Mm-hmm. just to, um, really humanize that person and give them a fair shot too. .
Tennesha Wood: Yeah. And do you know most people, I think that on average, most people look at a profile for less than six seconds before deciding which way to swipe. They spend a little more time when they're ex, when they're exam, when they think it's somebody that they don't want to go out with, they'll spend a little more time and dig a little bit deeper.
But if it's somebody they do, they decide right away . And then if somebody, they don't, they might read a little bit and then swipe. on average, it's like less than six seconds that we're actually spending on these profiles. Yeah. Well, I
Wendy Lopez: wanna talk about matchmaking because you know, that's an option too. Um, it's an option I couldn't afford when I was dating
I wish I could have. Um, you're the founder of the Broom List, which is Yep. The first and only matchmaking dedicated to paying black professionals. Tell us what the process. Matchmaking looks like. Is it, do you think more effective than going the online dating route? How did you get into it?
Tennesha Wood: Yeah, I think it definitely is a more intentional route.
Um, part of that is that, you know, people do, it's an in, it's an investment, and so people do pay for the service and because. I think, you know, they have more skin in the game and they put more into it. Right. Um, so, and our process is, is pretty intensive in terms of the vetting that we do and the people that we work with.
So, , you know, I sort of do all the work that you might on the first couple dates. Um, so before you even go on, you know, date one, I do that work ahead of time to make sure that this is a person who, um, has similar values. They want the same things out of life. You guys have personalities that would mesh.
It's somebody that you're physically attracted to. . Um, and whatever other parameters my client sets as set as things that are important for them, I make sure those things are in play. So I do usually a two hour vetting with each client at least. Um, I do a home tour, so where I look around your house, like m t v cribs, um, and then I do a reference check where I talk to a friend or family member.
Wow. So I do this for all my clients and all the people that I connect them with. And so at the end of that process, I set up a. , um, usually in person if they're in the same city. Um, and I've done everything from like indoor rock climbing to ax throwing, um, to just dinner and drinks cuz a lot of my clients are like, oh, I'm not trying to sweat on a first date.
So dinner it is. Um, and then I think what's important about the process that you don't get. from just needing somebody online or, you know, from going out on a date is the feedback. So after the date, I talk to both people. Um, I talk about what they liked, uh, what they talked about, what they thought they had in common, if there was anything that they didn't like, and just get an overall feel for how both people saw it.
And I always ask. , is this somebody that you want to see again? Um, because I don't like ambiguity, I just, I think it's a waste of time. I like knowing where everybody is at. Even if somebody says, no, I don't wanna go out with them again. I wanna know why. So that I could share that information with my client or their match.
Because maybe there's a, a roadblock or something getting in the way that you're not even seeing that that is a potential turnoff for, um, for a match or a. . Um, and we need to know that. So you don't really get that unless you're bold enough. And I, I encourage this. If you've ever dated somebody or been on a date and somebody didn't wanna go out with you again, and you thought there was a connection, I would encourage you to ask why.
You know, I had a really great time, but you know, I never heard back from you and I respect that, but I'm just curious as to.
Wendy Lopez: Yeah, I did that once and uh oh, love
Tennesha Wood: that. What happened? ,
Wendy Lopez: I feel like I was kind of gaslighted a little bit, like, oh, you're crazy. And I was like, okay. You know, it's just so awkward with, um, , I feel like just meeting.
People online. I think it was just, I don't think there was anything, you know, particularly I thought the day went really well. I felt like I was led on to think that it went really well, so why wouldn't it get a follow up? And then this dude just kind of ghosted and then I was like, oh, well I thought it went really well.
What happened? And. . Yeah. He was like, it did go really well. Kind of like just making it seem like I was tripping. . Um, yeah. And I was like, okay, this is weird. But I feel like, again, it was like that whole culture of like, all right, onto the next date. That's how I felt. Mm-hmm. . Um, you know, but I think that is a, I think it's, yeah, I feel like you got some peace of mind too, because when you think it goes really well and then someone just kind of doesn't hit you back up, you think there's something wrong with you.
So I think it's good to ask those.
Tennesha Wood: Exactly. Exactly. And the worst thing is just, you know, not knowing and holding on to hope of, oh, I thought this could be something. And then you go into your head, there's all these questions and I'm, I'm just a huge advocate for knowing where you stand. And sometimes that is gonna lead to rejection, but that's okay because that wasn't your person.
And now you can move on to finding your person. Exactly, exactly. When I was dating,
Jessica Jones: I would always. tell people if and when. I wasn't interested in moving forward, even though for me that was so uncomfortable to do and I think, oh my God, they're gonna, I don't know, go off. But they always said, oh, thank you so much.
I really appreciate it. It's really refreshing for someone to not just ghost and disappear, but to say, you know what? It's just not gonna work for X, Y, and Z. Um, but you're a great person wishing you best of luck. So I appreciate
Tennesha Wood: that advice. . Yeah. And, and people, people really, really do appreciated it. Like we appreciate knowing the truth, even when the truth hurts.
And I think if we were to get over this ghosting thing a little bit more, I honestly feel like, again, that would humanize everybody. And then you could be friends, right? Like you meet people, you go out with people that you're like, They're cool. Nothing wrong with him. Nothing wrong with her. It just wasn't my person.
But it doesn't mean it needs to be thrown away all the time. It's not. We're on our way to the altar, or it could be nothing else. There's so many great people that you miss out on by doing it that way. Yeah.
Wendy Lopez: Have you ever been in the process of like trying to match make, and then you're like, damn, this person would actually be a good fit for.
I feel like that would be my dilemma and that's probably, I don't have a matchmaking business. .
Tennesha Wood: You're like, I want 'em all right. There's definitely, there's definitely guys who I am like, wow, you are an amazing catch. Like, you know, I definitely, I have my favorites, like I have my guys who I am. , I y you should not be single.
Like I have to find you the exact right match, but, uh, I feel like I have found my right match for me, so, so I'm not still looking, but there are some favorites. . How flexible
Jessica Jones: do you have to be in order, like for people who are wanting to be in a committed relationship? Mm-hmm. , do you feel that they should open themselves up to.
people in other cities and move for love. Cuz I know, and I hope it's okay to say, but before the call, you had said that you recently moved to Atlanta because of your relationship. So do you encourage people to consider that as
Tennesha Wood: an option as well? Absolutely. Hands down. I look at it like this, it is the hardest thing to find the love of your life.
I think you can find a new job. I think you can find a new. . And I think, you know, I'm not gonna say all those things are easy, but I think they are definitely easier. So when you find who you believe is your person, um, move if you need to, the rest will work itself out. Um, but I do hear people often sort of stuck in this mentality.
Yeah. But I mean, you know, she has to be willing to, to move to New York or I'm never leaving New York, and I'm like, well, are you so happy in New York that you would give up a potentially great relationship and somebody to spend your life with? Like, is, is that, is it, it's so, it's, it's this ultimatum that they already go into the relationship with.
You know, here's, here's my life, here's how it is. If you don't fit into my life exactly as it is now, this can never work. And that's not a good way to start any relationship. You know, there has to be a degree of flexibility. And so whether that be location, whether that, You know, certain preferences, you, you, you have to go into it with just flexibility and openness to what it could look like.
You know, I'm not suggesting that you change who you are or give up values that are important to you, but every single factor cannot be that important to you, that you have no flexibility behind it. So when you're going into any dating situ, Think about, well, what are the three most important things to me?
So if I had to pick three things and I knew those three things were guaranteed and everything else might have to be negotiable, what are those three things? And this is what I tell my clients. Like, what are your absolute, this has to be in place. I could never be with somebody who doesn't have these three qualities or factors.
And if you're just choosing three, are you gonna make location one of. just deal breakers. That's gonna be the, the hill, you know, that's gonna be the hill we die on. Um, so I really encourage people to, against, you know, the location thing and, and, and making that so important. Um, I really encourage against the, the height or strictly physical attraction thing, cuz that, that, that changes, that, that differs, that fades.
Um, and so when you think about what the three things. that'll help to guide you in terms of where to be flexible and where to be firm. Yeah. Create advice. Yeah,
Wendy Lopez: that's a great point. Yeah, because what I noticed too is that some people even change their location. They're not even like putting where they physically live or where they are.
They like opt in to, you know, , other people in different cities, and um, and then they're like, oh yeah, well I travel here twice a month and so maybe we can like go on a date when I'm in town or something. Um, you know, I think whatever works, but also like New York, I feel like, you know, is there's a good amount of options.
Supposedly, I don't know that can backfire though in New York, but I feel like there are certain places where I'm like, oh man. Like I could see myself being like, I gotta relocate. Like, cuz my friend, she lives in Boston and um, she was showing me like her apps and stuff and I was like, oh my God. Like they're, they really weren't that many solid options to be excited about.
And so I could see where it makes sense to be like, all right, well, , you know, maybe I'm visiting a city and I'm going on dates there and you know, you see what happens.
Tennesha Wood: Mm-hmm. , and I mean, even now I think the, the benefit post pandemic is that a lot of workplaces have gone fully remote or at least part-time remote.
And there's more of an understanding of, uh, a digital and flexible. . And so I, with that being said, like a, a lot of the clients that I have work from home and so they do have the flexibility to say, yeah, I can be, you know, where I live for two weeks. Two weeks, and then I can be somewhere else. I can, you know, work from DR.
Or wherever. . And so I, I think now more than ever, the location thing is, is becoming a, a non-factor. And I think we should embrace that. And it, it just literally are opening up so many more options just by changing that one factor. Yeah, and I think especially,
Jessica Jones: Is black people and you being a matchmaker focused on black people?
We are not everywhere like we tend to be in certain cities like Atlanta, dc, New York. So I think if you are someone who is black and or looking for a black partner, I think it's helpful depending upon where you live, like you're saying to open, open things up.
Tennesha Wood: Mm-hmm. , I have a question
Jessica Jones: about this whole narrative of black women.
having a harder time with dating, having a harder time finding love. Is this your experience or what are your thoughts on that? As a matchmaker, and I think this is when I see the articles and things, or I have seen them, it seems to be that they're re referring to heterosexual relationships more so that we're
Tennesha Wood: having a harder time.
What are your thoughts? . Yeah, I mean, I think we do have a harder time. What I think, uh, is, is the, the where I think the perception is wrong is why we're having a harder time. So I think it's often there are just not enough black men that are on the same level. That is the narrative. But if you dig into the numbers,
It's actually not necessarily true in terms of if we're talking about somebody who is educated within a certain income bracket and is also unmarried, like they're relatively equal, right? It's not astronomically different. . But the, the problem is, as black people and as black professionals, we're not always having the luxury of being in the same space at the same time.
And what I mean by that is, as you ascend in your career, you are t you are typically not around as many black people. So, you know, let's say I, you know, work for a corporation, I've now gotten promoted. I'm. director, so I make a little bit more money, so I decide to get a better place in a better neighborhood, right?
All these things on and all these factors affect the amount of black people I am just naturally around. So if I move, if I switch to a different neighborhood, maybe it's a, you know, a better neighborhood, better in quotes. I may not be around as many black people. So when I walk into the coffee shop and I'm interacting, I don't have the opportunity to say, Woohoo.
Look at, who's that over there? Let me see what's up. You know, when I'm at work and we go to happy hour after, and you know, there's coworkers and other people in the neighborhood. Not a lot of black people there either. So we just have to be more intentional about one where we spend our time. and, and two, creating those spaces, which is what I'm trying to do with the Broom list, is create that space and say, yeah, we all don't work and live in the same place, but let's be in the same space intentionally, and that way we can meet each other.
So I, I wanna work to like squash that myth a bit because I think it, you know, It's, it's, it, it brings us to a pessimistic place. Exactly. So when you believe that something is not out there, you start acting in such a way, you know, you become really negative about it, or it's just like, well, I'm just never gonna find the thing because, well, it just doesn't exist.
And then you, you sort of give up. But I want people to know it. It is out there. It does. . I talk to these men every day and like I said, I have my favorites where I'm like, how is this man ? Like, um, so it, it's there. It is definitely there. It's just not always in our, we're not just not always in the same space at the same time.
Well, let me
Wendy Lopez: bring an added layer of pessimism here. Um, . Cause word onto the street is that black men don't be checking for us. I feel like these are the conversations that a lot of my girlfriends have like, Black men, especially when they get to a certain level of, you know, quote unquote success. It's like they're checking for non-black women.
Women. And if they are black women, it's like light-skinned women or women who fit like this white beauty ideal. And looking at like, you know, very successful athletes and actors. It's kind of like a common thing that we see all the time. Mm-hmm. , um, . And I know for my friends, like that's a big frustration.
It's something that I've personally seen a lot where like, especially for my friends who are darker, they have a harder time with black men cuz they feel like they don't really be checking for them. Whereas I feel like with black women we're just way more loyal and when it comes to like black men than, and I feel like they're always a priority for us when it comes to dating, but I don't feel like it's it, you know, it's not the same way the other way around.
So what are your thoughts on
Tennesha Wood: that? Mm-hmm. . . And I think some of that is true, but I also think there's some myth in there. So 70% of married black men are married to black women, right? Hmm. So the large majority of black men that are married are married to black women. And so I think in popular culture, that's not necessarily what we see.
So when we're looking. athletes and actors and, you know, people we are just used to seeing in the public eye. That's not what we see. So we associate, okay, well, all the black men I'm seeing, I'm seeing with white women. But when I'm looking at things and I'm, I have a very curated social media, meaning I, I follow certain pages, I look at certain things, um, and what I am seeing when I am looking at regular people every.
People that, not athletes, not actors. Um, I see a lot of black love, you know, like, again, maybe that's cuz I, I have curated it in such a way, but I see a lot of black love. So again, I don't want to let the, the, the myth of what we see in popular culture, um, overtake the idea of what's actually happening. Now.
Are there black men who prefer white women and women of other race? , absolutely. But they're not really my concern. You know what I mean? Like, I, I don't think it's our job as black women to argue that debate, that fight that if that's what you want, you're not, then you're not for me. And that's okay. Like, do you, like, I hope you're happy.
Um, so I just think let's focus on the people that do want us, and let's not assume. , you know, nobody does cuz it's, it's just not the case. And I will say there is a degree of colorism that, you know, in the black community that we are affected by with what is considered, you know, the, the beau with the, with the beauty standards.
Right. Um, and I'm not gonna say there isn't, and you know, if I'm being a hundred percent honest, I don't, I don't know. Fight that battle. You know, I don't, I don't, I, I can't make somebody attracted to what they're not. But what I do encourage people to do when they tell me, I want a woman that looks like this, you know, light skin, curly hair, this, that I ask why I ask, is it because.
You think that's what's beautiful? Is it because that's what you think is the only thing that you think is beautiful? Like why are you attracted to that and and do you recognize what you might be giving up because of your attraction to only that like, So I, I, I more so try to make people understand their motivations for what they are attracted to, but I don't necessarily try to change what they are attracted to.
But I do think it's good to have people just understand where that comes from. Yeah. I'm curious about your thoughts on older
Jessica Jones: men. who are single. So for example, I lo I am, I feel the matchmaker of my friends. Like I love trying to set people up. And yesterday actually, , I met a guy who I was like, Ooh, who can I set him up with?
And he was, he seemed like a great guy, friend of a friend. And I text my friend about him and she was like, Ooh, girl. I don't know. Like he's. Over. I don't think she's like, he's over 38 and not married. Like that's a red flag. What are
Tennesha Wood: your thoughts on that? Um, how old was she? ?
Wendy Lopez: 38. 40
Jessica Jones: Is it a red flag for it for men? Is that a red flag or is that a double
Tennesha Wood: standard? Total double standard. Sometimes people have just not met the one. Right. But also a lot of the people I work with, they are in the, they tend to average age like 37 to 42. And the, the reason that they have not met the one is because for a lot of them, I won't say all of them, but is because they spent a good chunk of their, you know, twenties and thirties building up their careers and their educat.
And then they get to a place when they're like, you know, 37 and they're like, oh, oh my God. Like, I, I really want this thing. Um, and then they start to sort of feel the urgency of that. Um, so I would look at a person's life holistically, you know, and, and simply ask if you're curious. So like, you know, you seem like a great catch.
How can I ask why you haven't been married? Have you just never met the person? Is marriage something you even want? Um, before just judging it as a, oh my God, it's a red flag. He's 38 and never been married and 38 is not that old .
Wendy Lopez: I know, right? I feel like that's everyone, at least doubt, especially people are getting married in their late thirties.
Jessica Jones: Yeah. It's not old right at all. But it's just again, these stereotypes that like, oh, something must be wrong. with the person because they're not divorcing or whatever. Um, oh, I had a follow up question and I just forgot
Wendy Lopez: it. Um, well I'll jump in cuz I have a follow up question. Okay. I'm just curious, like what are your success rates with matchmaking?
Tennesha Wood: Yeah, so our success rate is 84%. Oh, we judge that. Yeah. So we judge that on, um, amount of people that meet somebody that's, that they continue seeing in some capacity. That's great. Amazing. I'm
Wendy Lopez: going to
Jessica Jones: Yeah. Tell everyone
Tennesha Wood: about you. Okay. So that's why, that's why the betting is so important cuz I don't, you know, by the time you get on the date, I want it to be somebody I almost am like a hundred percent sure about that.
You're gonna like, yeah, yeah.
Jessica Jones: Do you, in terms of pricing, and I was gonna ask this at the end, and you don't have to say exact pricing. , how affordable is this for people? Like is it a thousand dollars investment? Is it like a monthly
Tennesha Wood: thing? $10,000? Yeah, this, this always, I think people, people don't know a lot about matchmaking or at least as much as they do at this point about online dating and using apps, and so they really don't have a concept of the cost.
So sometimes it does surprise people when they see any matchmaker, not just me. I've talked to other matchmakers about this, and they're like, what do you mean it's in the thousands? So it's, it's in the th it starts in the thousands generally, right? And just dependent on. The service and how personalized it is can be more or less than that.
But you should expect to pay at least several thousand dollars for matchmaking, no matter which service you go with. And so, you know, that being said, it is an investment. And how I look at that is, well, how much did I spend on my car? You know, my last car was $40,000. And if you would've said to me, Hey, , I'm gonna introduce you to your partner and this is the type of guy he is, and you guys are gonna work out and you're, you're gonna be happy.
Uh, it's $40,000. Give up your car. . I'd be like, okay, um, I'll take the broken down car for the life of happiness with the man I want. Um, so I look at it as, as that, as an investment, right? So, and I think it's the most important in. that you will ever make because it will affect every other area of your life.
So the partner you choose will affect your happiness, your health, your career, your children, your family. So I think it is the single most important decision you will ever make is, is who you decide to partner with. Yeah. To make or. , and
Jessica Jones: you're working with people who you said are 37 to 42, which is so refreshing by the way.
And those people, most likely, as you said, have been focusing on their career. So they're probably in a place where they can make that investment. So it totally makes sense. And as soon as you said you do a house visit and you do a two hour, I was like, okay, yeah, this is gonna, this isn't gonna be like , you know, something that.
And it shouldn't be. Yeah. Like, it's not gonna be a dollar store type of deal. . Uh, but it, and the interesting thing is for me, I would like somebody who was making that investment if I was looking for a partner, because I know they're serious. Mm-hmm. Hmm. , um, .
Tennesha Wood: I was talking
Jessica Jones: to someone else, about trying to hook them up and um, if you're listening, girl, I'm sorry to air this, but, uh, she was saying that she didn't wanna pay for the dating, a dating app or whatever.
She's like, oh, I don't, I don't wanna pay for this. Like, they're making me pay for a couple months at a time. And I was like, girl, you have the money. It's probably like $30. You are looking for love. And if. You are trying to find someone on here like this is a better bet in my opinion, because they are paying for this too, and that means they're serious.
So I think what you're saying makes total sense about, you know, putting in the money to get the results that you want, and it is the most important investment you will make.
Tennesha Wood: Mm-hmm. And think about all the things that. we spend money on so frivolously, you know, so whether that's like a, I'm going on a trip for the weekend, or I'm going to brunch, or I'm buying this new bag, or whatever it might be.
In my opinion, these are not the things that are gonna bring us lifetime happiness, you know? Um, and so whatever it is that you decide to invest in and spend your money, . Really think about the long term of that. Think about what that is gonna bring you long term. You know? So, like I said, I spent $40,000 on my last car, but like, and I loved it, you know, for the first couple weeks I was like, Ooh, look at my car, look at me.
And then, and then I was just like, eh, it gets me around from point A to point B, you know? But with my partner, daily. I think, oh my God, I love this man. I think, oh my God, I'm so glad I met him. And like, so think about just long-term investment when you think about any purchase. But if you're thinking about matchmaking or paying for an app or you know, anything that will, that, that will bring you joy for throughout your.
Wendy Lopez: much time and energy should someone be putting into dating? Because I know for some people, like, you know, they go all in, but then if it doesn't work out with someone, they just end up getting really burned out. Or like some people keep spreadsheets, for example, of like the dates that they've been on
Yeah. I wasn't trying to shout you out. Like, you know, just like really going in on like, you know, taking it like super serious. So like, yeah. What are your, what are your thoughts on that?
Tennesha Wood: I think it should be taken, you should do it intentionally. , but like, don't let it stress you out. Don't feel like, okay, I just got home from a date.
Let me log exactly how it went and lemme give a, a star rating. Didn't by his name. And let make sure to send a follow up email. Like, don't make it a job. Right. Don't a job. Um, but do like, it should be fun. Dating should still be fun. Even if, when you have a. So to meet somebody and to find somebody that you genuinely value and connect with, that should all still be fun.
And if you are finding that you're not having fun at any point, take a break. If you are finding that you are interacting with people who you don't feel like you can be yourself around who you're not having fun with, that's a good sign that that's probably not your person. So keep that at top of mind.
Like, am I having fun when you're out on a. , really think about how you feel on the date and what that person brings out of you. You know? So am I feeling relaxed in this interaction? You know, am I feeling like I can be myself? Am I laughing, you know, like, think about these things, not, you know, don't put the pressure on of.
Um, I mean, does he, does he, is he the marriage type? Does he want Mar, does he want marriage? Does he want kids? Does you know, what are his five year goals and plans like Date one should really be about, am I having a good time? Am I getting to know this person? You know, you don't have to plan, you know, five years out on day one that's gonna stress you out.
Like, yes, it is important to. , understand that you and a person are on the same page, so it's okay to ask questions like, you know, oh, I, I, I love kids. You know, I, I spend a lot of time with my, my friend's kids and like, I can't wait to have some of my own someday. That's fine. That's sharing a part of yourself and hopefully they're, they also share that part of themselves, but don't put so much pressure on, you know, just.
Figuring out what this relationship has to turn into or has to be first date is really just having fun and figuring out. If you want a second, it can get more serious and we can dive deeper after that. So, Dating should not be stressful. I loved dating, like I loved going out on dates. Like, me too. Yeah.
Yeah. Fun. Yeah. Part of what I do is me vicariously living through my clients. Like literally I'll be like, um, I have a date tonight. Like, and I get all excited and I sit there by the phone waiting for them to get home so I could be like, oh my God, how did it go? ? Yeah.
Wendy Lopez: That's such a good point because like, there is like so much stress tied, tied to expectation really.
And I feel like when you enter it with the open heart, it's like it also affects the dynamics of the date. Cuz if you're entering it stressed out and like just kind of closed off, you're gonna give off that energy to the person that you're going on a date with.
Tennesha Wood: Mm-hmm. . Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. , just to clarify on the spreadsheet.
so the spreadsheet is not like I was very chill with
Jessica Jones: dating. It wasn't like, oh, da, da, da. If anything, the guys were more intense than me that I was dating. The spreadsheet was just a funny thing because me and my friend were kind of dating at the same time and we were trying to remember how many dates we had been on.
It doesn't even have names. It's like Apple One, like a guy worked at Apple and I can't remember his name. Apple. Two personal trainers, three. Like it was just stuff like that. And so it was just funny to kind of find that in my Google Drive. Um, and I have no recollection of any of these people. But anyways, so when it comes to someone who's trying to meet someone special, and let's say somebody is burnout from online dating.
Do you feel like people should broadcast that they're looking for love? Like tell your friends, family and say, Hey, if you know anyone, try to hook me up.
Tennesha Wood: Absolutely. I look at the, the dating game, very similar to the, the job game. You know, if you were looking for a new job, you would apply to different places you.
Tell your friends and family that you're looking for this type of job, in this type of field. Um, you would network, you would go out to networking events specifically for that industry. So I think you should use all available resources when it comes to dating, including still going out. So even if you're online, Still go out, still sit at a bar, still talk to people, still sit, still smile, still engage in conversation, like use that muscle.
Um, but yeah, your friends and family is a really important part of that too. Like if you let them know what you're looking for and the type of partner that you're looking for, like that's another set of ears and eyes out there for you. You know, as a matchmaker, I regularly. Go up to men, women in the grocery store, and I'm just like, Hey, just curious, but are you single?
If so, you know, I have clients that might be a good fit for you. I'd love to like chat a little bit more. Um, if I have a friend that I know is single and I meet somebody that is, you know, a good potential fit, I'm, I'm gonna connect them. and you know, any good friend would do that if they know what it is that you're looking for.
And so I'd say have as many advocates as you possibly can in the search for love. Hmm. . Well,
Wendy Lopez: in wrapping up, can you tell us about some things that might be helpful in preparing for the first date? Like do you think it's helpful to look this person up? I know that's a common practice, or maybe like FaceTime with the person before you meet up in person or, um, I don't know, just kind of like, give yourself a pep talk before you, like, go into this date.
What are, what are some things that might.
Tennesha Wood: I think from a safety perspective, it's always good to just do a little bit of a search, you know, so just Googling somebody, um, making sure that the things that you know, they've said thus far are correct. Like if they say they work at X company and you look up their LinkedIn or where they went to school, things like that.
Um, I think that's totally fine and, and you should do that if to, if that helps you feel safe. for some people it also helps 'em feel a little bit more at ease and a little bit more safe to have, you know, a phone or FaceTime conversation beforehand. I think that's totally fine. Um, I do think in interactions like that though, you don't wanna, you don't, you don't want it to be too much of a, of a date before the date.
Like you wanna save something for when you guys are in person. Um, because I think there's so much more nuance when you're in person and it's better to just judge somebody that way, um, versus, you know, over text or sometimes even over like zoom. There's, there's just little, little things that can get lost in translation.
So I think in-person dates are best, um, are best whenever our best one ever possible. Um, but what I do discourage against is when people, you know, are, 52 weeks back on somebody's Instagram and, you know, are making guilty Yeah. Are making judgements about that person based on that. And, and not only making judgements, but making decisions.
So, you know, oh my God. I just, I, I don't like the way that, that he dresses and you. It seems like he was still hanging out with his ex 52 weeks ago and, you know, creating these narratives and stories without ever having met a person I would caution against. Um, so again, do a, a scan that makes you feel safe about going out with this person.
Um, but don't make judgments or decisions on who they are, you know, based on what your, what you saw on their Instagram, you know, 52 weeks. . Yeah. Great advice.
Jessica Jones: I have one hot tip really quick. Mm-hmm. of the place that I think if you're sick of online dating, the best place to meet somebody and it's the dog park.
Mm. Yes. Since I got my dog and I go to the dog park all the time, I find there are such cool, attractive. People, you could spark up conversation, you could talk. It's easy cuz you're talking about their dog. People love their dog. So if anyone is looking for love, check out the dog
Tennesha Wood: park . Mm-hmm . And that, that actually brings up a good point in that whenever you go somewhere that has a specific interest, it's easier to talk to people.
So, you know, if you're really into wine and you go to like a wine bar, it's easy to spark up conversation of, you know about, well, do you like this red? Oh, well, I. , you know, I'm not a wine person like that, but you know, you can really get into talking about that specific topic or if it's at the gym, you know?
Oh, like do you normally, what? What sorts of workouts do you do? And for women out there, by the way, where I see a plethora of men is at the gym in the. Like that's true there. I feel, I am like, I am way outnumbered. Like so, you know, when we walk into spaces and we say like, it's like there's like 80 women here and two men, like at, at brunch on a Sunday, you know, girls brunch.
Yeah. Probably, um, you know, on a Tuesday at 7:00 AM at the gym. No, you're gonna be outnumbered. . There are a lot of people at the gym.
Jessica Jones: Okay. So where can people find you? How do they work with you? And also do, what types of relationships do you focus on? Just so people are clear, is this heterosexual relationships?
Do you focus
Tennesha Wood: on queer relationships at all? . Mm-hmm. . So I, uh, work with all black professionals. So whether you are heterosexual, uh, gay, queer, or however you identify in that way, um, I do work with all sorts of black professionals. Everybody that I work with is over 28, um, has at least a bachelor's degree.
earns at least 75 K. And then the most important factor is that they're actually looking for a serious relationship. So if you are at a place where you're like, I, I just wanna go out on a couple dates, um, here and there, this process probably isn't for you. So this is more for people that are looking for genuine and lasting connections.
That's what I help them find. Um, you can find me at thebroomlist.com or tenneshawood.com. My Instagram is @tennishawood. Um, and yeah, I'm always looking to work with great people, so please reach out if you are in a place where you are single and ready for genuine connection. Yay.
Wendy Lopez: Thank you. Thanks Tanisha.