While many of us are in the throes of gearing up for our first pandemic-themed Valentine’s Day, it'd be remiss to act as if dating advice wasn't needed now more than ever. 

Teaming up with the popular dating app Bumble for it's Don’t Text Your Ex video series, actor and musician Diggy Simmons shares some of the best dating advice he’s been given by his father, the iconic Rev. Run. In the campaign, where Bumble community members ask celebrities questions about dating, the Grown-ish actor also candidly discusses a myriad of dating-related subjects from setting boundaries to the importance of clear communication between both parties.

Simmons spoke with Blavity to offer some sage dating advice ahead of Black Love Day, the February 13 holiday where Black culture is centered and embraced.

Blavity: Outside of work, what have you been up to during quarantine? Have you picked up any new hobbies?

Simmons: Well, I picked up an old hobby. My mom used to have me and my brother in tennis when we were younger, and a friend of mine was like, ‘Yo, like, let's, let's pick up tennis.' So yeah, I'm back to playing lots of tennis.

Blavity: You’re teaming up with Bumble for the Don’t Text Your Ex series, where community members ask celebrities their most sought after dating advice. Why was it important for you to get involved and drop some gems you’ve picked up over the years as it pertains to dating?

Simmons: With dating apps now, and Bumble specifically, this is a time where it's hard for us to connect and meet people and see people. When the opportunity came about, it just felt so timely. I feel like a lot of people's questions or a lot of the things that people are interested in when dating are all online now. Whether it's the person that we're trying to meet or information about whatever it is, it's on the app. It felt right.

Blavity: What advice would you give to singles looking to find love in the pandemic? What do you think millennials get wrong about dating and romance?

Simmons: Well, use Bumble. Definitely use Bumble. I'd say just use the internet in general to your advantage. This pandemic came at a time where technology is so advanced. I mean, even down to just being able to contact anybody via FaceTime, what blessing that is for us to be able to connect with people in a way that doesn’t feel so distant, right? So I'd say, use all this new technology that we have, to your advantage and get creative. 

I don't know if it's something that we get wrong, but I think it's something that's definitely in front of us. We have so many choices, I think. We have so many people to look at, whether it be on a dating app or whether it be on social media. I think that makes it very different from us than back in the day. Then, it was like, ‘Oh hey, I'm into you and we live near each other. We have similar goals. We're attracted to each other. Basically let's get married.’ I feel like there's so much more going on now than there was before, so that's the difference.




Blavity: What do you and your Grown-ish character Doug have in common when it comes to how you view dating?

Simmons: I'd say what we have in common is just believing in companionship. Doug takes his relationship seriously and he seems to be a good guy, thus far. You're gonna have to watch, as far as what goes on with his situation. But yeah, he believes in companionship and in relationships, in a time when things are very different so I can draw that comparison there.

Blavity: You’ve mentioned that your father, Rev. Run, has given you dating advice before. What was it?

Simmons: Aw man, constantly. The dating advice that I get from him is that it's a bit more simple than people make it. Obviously not the part of finding someone, but I think it's once you find someone. A lot of the time, people are scared of that initial commitment and are like, ‘Aw man, I have to be in a certain place in my life to get married, or I have to reach this financial thing, or I have to do this or have this done.’

And it's like well, what's gonna actually change once you get married? You guys are still committed to each other. You guys are still doing the same things. I see him give that advice a lot. Even men that feel this pressure of needing a certain amount of things together before they do it or even women as well. I think if you have each other, then that's what it's about, your support system. Let's do this thing and we'll figure it out later. That's straight from the Rev himself. I'm just reiterating words. 

Blavity: Feb. 13 is Black Love Day. Who’s the first couple that comes to mind when you think of Black love and why?

Simmons: We were just talking about my dad, so I'd say my parents come to mind first. They've been together for 26 years. They're the first relationship that I'd ever seen, which is a Black relationship. Their commitment to each other and each other's needs along with the give and take that they make sure is there for their relationship to survive and to be healthy and strong is the greatest example I could have seen.

Blavity: Aside from this campaign, what other projects are you working on?

Simmons:  Throughout 2020, I got to work on so much music, which I'm really, really excited for people to hear. I’m working on some stuff that I’m developing in film and some more acting. Also, just being creative. I've been afforded the opportunity to take a step back. That step back allowed me to create with new people and to create with friends I've wanted to create with. 

The pandemic has made dating and getting to know potential partners difficult but as Simmons said, communication and boundary setting are major keys when it comes to romance.