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We watched singles attempt to find love in previous seasons filmed in Atlanta and Houston, now we get to experience OWN’s Ready To Love right here in DC.
Hosted by Nephew Tommy of The Steve Harvey Morning Show, the popular dating series unites a select group of Black singles hoping to find lasting love. Cameras tag along as cast members attend mixers, small outings and one-on-one dates hoping to make a connection.
Those that are lucky find one person to romance until it is time to decide whether they want to pursue a relationship beyond the show. The less fortunate are voted off to resume their solo quest for love off-camera.
As a newly coupled woman on a reprieve from the DC dating scene, I was excited to learn the next season of the hit dating series was being filmed right here in Chocolate City. But if you ever lived here, you know it is customary to commute between DC, Maryland and VA - so I just assumed the cast would be plucked from across the “DC area”.
I was not wrong. According to the casting notice, singles living within a 1-hour drive from DC were considered for the show. Having spent the better part of the last two years navigating the DC dating scene, I was curious to see whether the cast would include anyone I’d encountered.
When rumors began swirling about potential cast members, I peeped early reports on YouTube. Surprisingly, I only recognized one face - and (correct me if I am wrong) there seemed to be no actual DC natives.
Filmed at a mansion in McLean, VA, the season premiere featured 10 Black men and 10 Black women in their 30s and 40s. The show appears to consist of cast members with a healthy mix of personal and professional backgrounds, hailing from cities including Chicago and the Bronx. As it pertains to experiences in love, the cast ranges from a widower to someone that admits he has never been in a committed relationship.
Ready To Love is a perfect fit because DC singles are actively looking for love. Even my most reluctant friends have published profiles on Bumble, Hinge and have flirted with the idea of Tinder. But, as with many cities with a transient population, dating in DC can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
When Aisha, a divorced hair salon owner and mother of 2, said the DC "dating pool" was a little tainted during the premiere - I felt that in my spirit!
But, feeling frustrated about dating is not exclusive to singles in DC. Despite the popularity of dating apps, singles nationwide are struggling to find love.
A 2019 survey revealed two-thirds of American women found it challenging to find a man that met their standards and 65 percent experienced harassment while dating. One-third of American men indicated it was hard to find a woman that met their standards. The Pew Research Center found most singles found it hard to find someone to even take out on a date.
If dating was tough before, the pandemic did not help matters any. But one can only hope the media got it right when they predicted a post-vaccination dating boom with what Time Magazine describes as singles less “less obsessed with casual sex and more interested in dating with the intention of finding a monogamous relationship.”
The jury is still out on whether there will be any lasting love connections on the new season of Ready To Love, but I intend to tune in and find out. Ready To Love airs Friday at 8 pm Eastern on OWN. Will you be watching?
Watch the season premiere:
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