Atlanta Matchmaker Is Offering Black Gay Men A ‘Better Way To Meet’
Gay dating coach and matchmaker Lamont White, 40, has been successfully introducing single Black gay men in Atlanta and across the United States to their ideal mate through his dating service Better Way To Meet since 2014. The Pittsburgh, PA native who works in public health by day, was already using his master's degree in professional counseling by providing therapy for gay men and couples as early as 2004. So when a gay friend mentioned his less than stellar experience as a client of a matchmaking service, it lit the fuse for White to create a new model tailored for gay men.
“I do very old-fashioned matchmaking,” said White. “I meet with guys face-to-face using Zoom just to get a feel for who they are and what they’re looking for. I have to make sure that they’re not catfish. So I have to verify that they are the person in the pictures. I do a lot of listening, and then I say, hey, this is the guy that I want to send you on a date with. My job is to listen to what they want, but then also give some input on what I think might work well for them,” he said.
One thing White says he knows for sure is that the standard first-dinner-date is a setup for failure. He not only finds the perfect match for his clients, but he also plans their first date.
“I do interactive dates. I hate dinner dates. I feel like those are job interviews and those are horrible on first dates because you’re just gonna sit down and ask your list of questions,” he said. “The good thing about my service is that guys don’t have to pay until they agree to go on a date with a guy.”
White tells The Reckoning that there are a plethora of single Black gay men in Atlanta who have employed his matchmaking expertise and are serious about dating with the hope of long-term commitment, which directly challenges the popular perception of Atlanta as a city filled with eligible sex-obsessed Black gay bachelors.
“It’s a perception. It’s not true,” he said. "There are guys here who want relationships. There are guys here that are in relationships. Go look in College Park, there’s a bunch of gay men that own homes down there. You won’t see them in the clubs because they’re at home with their man cooking dinner. This city is filled with guys who want connections. One thing that I love about Atlanta is that no matter who you are, there’s a place for you. There’s a space, there’s a group. We as Black gay men are always looking for meaningful connections, and it’s not always about sex. Sex is great. Have at it. Do your thing. But I think guys also want relationships," said White.
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