“How to Shoot and Sink Your Shot: A Manual for Online Dating,” by Adina Ferguson

May 19th, 2021 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

So, you’re five years into this online dating thing and still can’t figure out the algorithm, eh? Tired of being left on read or worse, attracting women who just want sex? Sir, you deserve better. And Online Dating Using Sports Analogies for Dummies is the perfect guide to getting a “W” and beautiful trophy your nana will love. So, grab your flavored electrolytes, and open your book to Chapter 1.

Chapter 1: Re-birth the Beard  

Thanks to your favorite homeboy, rapper, basketball player, celebrity chef, and Aquaman, beards are in.  And they’re not going out anytime soon (unless you’re Jason Momoa). To some ladies, a beard is kryptonite. After one stroke, she’ll be asking for your hand in marriage through emojis.

Did you just caress your little chin fuzz? Can’t seem to get your hairs to play connect the goatee? Get creative. Use a marker, your granddad’s hair dye, or have your barber glue in a few weave patches and moisturize that bad boy to your fingers go numb. Slap some cedar scented balm on it (but not too hard, remember, it’s yours but not yours) and let it grow, let it grow!

Who cares if the homies call you Chia Pet? At least you’ll have a date to the dog park this weekend.

Chapter 2: Show Your Wild Side

You know women can’t resist a rebel. We’re talking Johnny Depp mixed with a hint of Lil’ Wayne (minus the E.T. thing). Rule breakers are game changers. Tap into your inner bad boy and watch the sudden increase of cleave pics in your DM.

Now, there are a few rules. No firearms, floral bedspreads of $5 bills, or animated rings of smoke. This isn’t 2005. Get grimy. Take an usie with your pit bull, Princess Jasmine, as you two share a nap on the couch or plate of spaghetti on your semi-dirty floor. Snap the pic just before you two reach the center of the noodle recreating the iconic Disney movie scene. Caption it “This could be us…” and show your potential bae you’re #boutthatlife. She’ll be knocking on your door with a Swiffer wet jet before you can even logout your account.

Chapter 3: Reveal nothing

Listen playboy, the internet is full of your exes hiding behind phone screens stalking your page. Let her and your new internet crush sweat you. Don’t give away too much on your profile. Mystery is the new sexy. Ask Bruce Wayne or your uncle who finally told the family he lost his job months ago.

There’s nothing like a slow reveal to captivate a tenderoni’s heart. Studies show eligible bachelorettes prefer to read very little about a man. It’s all about the pics, baby (in your best Diddy voice).  So, how do you reel her in with your thumb work?  Instead of writing “Just ask”, try “I’m a private person who respects your privacy.  Message me if you want to live a private life of happiness.”

Boom. Batman saves the day and wins over another love interest he won’t keep after 143 minutes of destroying Gotham.

Chapter 4: Don’t Back Down

Your crew and Sharon from payroll never said online dating would be easy. Maybe that’s why you chose to be an upgraded member with your fancy self. You needed a little help narrowing your starting lineup. Since you’re voluntarily spending your money on the ability see who’s left you on read, use it to your advantage. Should a woman not respond to the first two messages, slide in her inbox one more time.  Good things come in threes: three-peat, threesome, Three’s Company, three blind mice.

The point is, championship-bound players never give up. Missing a few shots is inevitable, Lebron. Stick with it. Keep practicing those opening lines. Keep those two-word responses fresh and funny. And most importantly, keep shooting your shot until you make the basket and win the game.

Or until you trip on your own feet, tear a ligament and spend the rest of the season on the bench going unnoticed like a third string lame who doesn’t know how to take silence as an answer.

And for God’s sake, stop lifting so many weights. The steroids look is so passé.


Adina Ferguson is the author of the humorous essay collection, I Don’t Want to be Your Bridesmaid.  Her work has been published on Very Smart Brothas, Slackjaw, Midnight & Indigo, The Avenue, and more. The DC native often uses witty storytelling to write her truth. And truth is, she is awkward, funny, and very single. You can find her at www.adinathewriter.com, on IG @adinathewriter, or on the couch watching Golden Girls reruns. And yes, Dorothy is her favorite.

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