The settings give options for Friends or Penpals as well as Dating and Long-term, which follows through on AfroRomance’s stated intent of being a venue for people of different backgrounds to come together
The usual suite of favorites, flirts, who you’ve viewed/who viewed you, chat history, etc are available to interact with other users. However several of those (especially the ones tied to other people’s interest in you, such as who viewed and who favorited your profile) are reserved for the paid VIP membership.
VIP membership grants early access to new members as well as no limits on messaging features, expanded chat and privacy features, and info on those interested in you.
The tiers offered are 1 month for $20, 3 months for $40, or 6 months for $70, all of which are on automatic renewal but are easily manageable on the Billing page.
The site offers a 90-day trial period for new subscriptions, after which you can apply within the 14 days after the trial period ends for a dissatisfaction refund. The refund is not granted unless you remain on the site for the full 90 days — earlier cancellation is considered not a full trial period.
The default search page emphasizes members’ own words, with results containing a picture, age, and location attached to a 20-30 word excerpt of their self-description. This makes combing results a bit slower than some other sites, but gives you a better sense of which people you’re truly interested in and want to click on.
Search also includes customizable filter settings for age, ethnicity, and location (with options to select country, state/province, specific city/distance from specific city, and even ZIP code) plus an advanced search based on profile answers and pre-set quick filters for new members, recently active online, upcoming birthdays, popular members, etc.
Profiles consist of basic specs, photos, two paragraph-length answers (self description + what they’re looking for), and then the lightning round. There is not much opportunity to self-express beyond those two main questions, but for both of those main questions you have enough space to go into detail and lay things out. Listing the user’s dating preference (including age and ethnicity) up top along with the standard specs also helps visitors gauge whether they are the person’s type before messaging them. Some members overtly mention their enthusiasm for a certain type in their written descriptions, but most are written as straightforward dating profiles.
To connect, you can send a message or a Flirt (heart icon you click to indicate interest), and can add people to your list of Friends or list of Favorites. The navigation bar lets you easily check your logs of messages, Flirts sent/received, and Favourites sent/Favourites received, and mutual Favorites. As you use the site, its algorithm curates a list of recommended profiles for you on your homepage.
The largest chunk of users are looking for a straightforward relationship, but among the others there is a fairly wide range of different intentions. Some are looking for flings with the demographic they have a thing for, some are hoping to begin to expand their horizons for who they date, some are seeking international romances, and some seem to be culturally curious and looking to discover new and different types of people to be around. In more remote areas, there are often profiles of people mostly looking to reach out and find someone to spend time with.
Some downsides: Regulations on mild misrepresentation seem fairly loose. Many male users indicate their own gender as female in order to get into the search results for women seeking women. Occasionally users will have photos that are not actually them (unless Bollywood star Aishwariya Rai has recently left her e, and started opening dating site profiles).