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Ready for Romance? Fern Connections Says Take a Dip in the LGBTQ+ Dating Pool


Solitary life has had its ups and downs for those of us who have weathered the pandemic alone. While we didn't envy our coupled friend (no matter how perfectly matched) ensconced in their 700-square-foot apartments for months at a time, staring at our own four walls and an ever-increasing recycle bin full of empty wine bottles was no picnic either. Swiping left and right on dating apps became mind-numbing. Fern Connections CEO and Founder Daphney Poyser knew there had to be a better way – particularly for the LGBTQ+ community.

Poyser's vision was to create a platform that acknowledges and celebrates often-marginalized communities. Even among LGBTQ+ populations, stigmas still exist for people of color and those who identify on the gender and sexuality spectrum. (EDGE recently reported on what experts call racialized sexual discrimination within the queer community.) But at the end of the day, we all still desire and deserve meaningful connections that resonate with our interests and values.

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3 Reasons Why Fern Connections Outperforms Your Dating Apps

Let's be honest: How successful have you been on dating apps? Whether you're looking for legit romance or something a bit more frivolous, leaving the results to an algorithm is heartless.

Let's Get Personal – Poyser isn't just enthusiastic about helping her clients find love; she's certified in science-based coaching and as a matchmaker by the Matchmaking Institute (yes, it's a real thing).

"I decided to start my own matchmaking business for people who want to love whoever and however they please and not have to be tied to societal norms or denied love because of their race or sexual preference," says Poyser.

As a first step, new clients complete detailed questionnaires that dig deep in order to identify their life priorities and what they hope to find in a potential partner. But it's Poyser's interview techniques that unearth nuances that people may not even be able to self-identify, such as the direction they see their lives headed in five to ten years or even seasonal behavioral characteristics. (Are you a homebody during cold weather or do you hit the slopes? Sluggish in summer or a beach bum?)

As a Black female-owned company, Poyser and team are taking the lead to break down stigma and relationship assumptions often portrayed in the media. Fern Connections, by design, tends to attract open-minded individuals who may be more fluid in their definitions of sexuality and gender. By entering with an open mind, clients are often pleasantly surprised when introduced to someone who's not their typical "type." Poyser's guidance sets a precedent for thoughtful connections, whether they develop into romance or just a night of great conversation.

Own Your Sh*t – Our words, not Poyser's! But Fern Connections is committed to holding all of its members accountable. This means careful consideration of the totality of the dating cycle. Our lives have been emotional rollercoasters over the past couple of years, manifesting in every aspect of our lives, from work and family to – yes – dating. Poyser helps clients learn to own their emotional availability and reactions to dating outcomes from a place of mindfulness rather than judgment. Her specific experience working with the LGBTQ+ community sets the bar for success.

"I am matching people of all [kinds of] queerness, religious backgrounds, ethnicities – you name it," Poyser said in an interview with the Dallas Voice. "And my clients have told me that they feel very welcomed in the dating spaces I've put them in, regardless of the differences they and their date might have faced in the past."

Poyser takes the time to understand what worked (and what didn't) on any given date, mining that information for helpful details moving forward and noting that compatibility is a continuum. "I believe that people should live, love and have the type of relationships that make them happy," says Poyser. "And as not only a certified matchmaker but a certified date and relationship coach, I strive to help my clients learn how to make the most out of their future partnerships, as well as how to negotiate differences with their potential partners."

Meeting You Where You Are – Maybe you're ready to dive deep into dating, or perhaps you just want to put yourself out there informally and see what emerges. In either case, Fern Connections offers various LGBTQ+ matchmaking services to meet your style and budget.

Dating packages include a three-date (12-month period) or five-date option (15-month period) and consists of a personal interview, in-person or virtual dates where the Fern Connections team takes care of all the details so you can put your energy toward the dating experience and a complimentary date coaching session to help you clarify your intentions. Additional dating and relationship coaching sessions are available to help you "get out of your own way" and show up as the best date or partner possible.

For those seeking a more low-key option, joining Fern Connection's matchmaking database puts you in the mix with other clients and affords early access to members-only events such as speed dating, Blind Date Sunday events, and exclusive Fern Connections events in Atlanta, Dallas, or Denver.

The company continues to build its Fern Connections Family and encourages those seeking a meaningful connection to schedule a consultation to discuss their relationship goals. Dating doesn't need to be dramatic. By offering an accepting voice of encouragement and practical tools to show up as your best self, Fern Connections can help your love life blossom.

by Matthew Wexler

Matthew Wexler is EDGE's Senior Editor, Features & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.

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