No matter how old you are, navigating the ups and downs of dating apps can be quite the chore. From endless swiping to the high likelihood of being catfished — and then the conversations that eventually go to die on WhatsApp — not a lot of people make it past the getting-to-know-you phase on the app. So when these 40+ men told us they actually found love on dating apps in the year of Beyoncé 2022, you know we had to get the full gist.
“I didn’t think I’d find someone my age” — Dapo, 45
I met my girlfriend almost a year ago, after being on Tinder for about five months. My 17 year-old daughter had bullied me into signing upon the app as I’d been single since we lost her mum in 2009. I thought it was a funny app and I was judgmental of the people there because I just thought it reeked of desperation. However, all of this changed when I met Toyin, my girlfriend. She’s only a year younger than me and the best thing to have happened to me in such a long time. Would we have met randomly on the streets of Lagos? Well, we’ll never know now. But I’m so happy I took that leap of faith even though I was skeptical at first. It’s been a year and I don’t regret a thing. Let me tell you something: love is sweet.
“I was just looking for a good time and now I’m in a romantic one-chance” — Sheriff, 40
A relationship was the last thing on my mind when I came back to Nigeria for the holidays a few months ago. I’d been on dating apps for a while and for me, it was all about the sex — good time, not a long time. In Philadelphia, it worked well for me, so I thought I’d just do the same and have a bit of fun in Nigeria. That’s how I got here, opened a dating app and matched up with this babe in like a week. We met up for drinks and then I found myself hanging out with her every day after that. Imagine? All my Detty December plans in the mud because of a woman.
I don’t regret it though, she makes me so happy and I can’t imagine my life without her. I was supposed to go back in January, but my work is remote so I’m still here. I’ll have to go at some point, but for now, I’m happy and in love.
“My children and I give each other relationship advice” — Victor, 41
I met my girlfriend Pat about three years ago, in 2019. I’d been through a messy divorce just two years prior and I was scared to put myself out there again. Plus, my two boys moved in with me after their mum left the country. Deep down, I just wanted them to view me as a responsible single father, and I felt going on multiple dates would taint that image. After saying no to many matchmaking attempts from family, my younger brother convinced me to sign up for a dating app. Swiping left was difficult for me because I thought it was rude, but over time I got over it.
I met Pat around June that year and by the time the 2020 lockdowns started, we were living together. She gets me in a way that allows me to have space and just exist as my own individual. I love that; I needed that. My sons are dating as well and we have a group chat where we just talk about our relationship issues and try to figure out solutions.
“I’ve never been happier or more settled. He feels like home.” — Bassey, 45
Dating apps for queer people can be really tricky. We all know it’s dangerous because you could easily get tricked, harassed, extorted or worse, killed. But deep down, for most of us, it helps us deal with loneliness. I met my man on a popular queer hookup app. At the time, I was looking for sex, so we just became fuck buddies. People claim that catching feelings for your fuck buddy is common, but Jide wasn’t my first, so I don’t even know how it happened. We moved from sex to conversations to dates, and now we live together. I never saw myself as one of the commitment gays, but here I am in love and fully committed to one man. The funniest part is if he proposes today, I’ll probably say yes even though I know it’s not feasible .
“We work together, but we also met on a dating app” — Uzo, 43
My girlfriend and I currently work together, but we initially met on Tinder. I joined the app as a joke a while ago, but one thing led to another and I met this girl who just blew me away. I didn’t think it was going to be anything, I mean she’s like eight years younger than me and we have totally different interests, but something about the way we could talk for hours (I hate calls) pushed me to explore the potential. While figuring this out, her company acquired mine and now we’re colleagues. No one knows yet and that makes it even sexier. Are we in love? I don’t know. But I know we’re on a journey towards it and I’m so excited.