By Ashley Edwards Walker
As busy professionals in Los Angeles, both GaTa and Samantha found dating difficult. Samantha, an account executive in the entertainment industry, spent most of her days behind a computer at her desk. When she did manage to make it out of the office to socialize, she says she never met anyone she was attracted to. GaTa—a well-known hype man and burgeoning rapper with a rising profile as an actor—also struggled to make a lasting connection with the people he was meeting in person. As a public figure, he worried the people approaching him were doing so for superficial reasons rather than a genuine interest in getting to know him. They both downloaded Bumble in the hopes that the app would serve as a sort of dating buffer. Samantha liked being able to screen her matches and chat with them through the app before meeting them in person. “I liked Bumble because I wasn’t wasting my time with people I don’t like,” she says. For his part, GaTa liked the added sense of security Bumble provided by verifying its users. “I knew Bumble was legit because it verifies people,” he explains. “So I felt safe.”
When GaTa came across Samantha’s Bumble profile in November 2021, there wasn’t much in the way of detail: just some photos, her job title, and her L.A. location. But it was enough to catch his attention. “Her profile was minimal,” says GaTa, “but her pictures were amazing.” The images were high-quality, and the backgrounds of her photos revealed information about her lifestyle and interests he found intriguing. Plus, he loved that Samantha was an L.A. native, as he was. GaTa was constantly traveling for work and thought being with someone from his hometown—who knew the same neighborhoods, and what was going on around the city—would be “a breath of fresh air” and made him “feel at ease.”
Samantha was able to glean a lot more from GaTa’s profile. He’d gone “all out,” he says, writing a bio that was “off the chain.” And, in fact, his bio was the first thing that caught Samantha’s attention. GaTa remembers describing himself in his bio with terms that included “pizza connoisseur,” “sunglasses collector,” and “world traveler” who was “grinding for that dollar,” which Samantha found funny. “I giggled,” she confirms. “That’s what made me become interested in him.” Taking a closer look at his photos, she found herself attracted to the “rough edge” GaTa appeared to have. His L.A. location then sealed the deal, and she swiped right.
Once GaTa and Samantha matched, their shared hometown provided great fodder for initial conversations. Off the bat, Samantha asked GaTa to confirm he was actually in L.A. She was looking for someone to date, and she didn’t want to connect with anyone who spent more time away than they did at home. “From his profile, it looked like he traveled, and I didn’t want to waste my time,” she says. They quickly moved on to talking about their respective upbringings and realized both their dads and uncles live close together, near where GaTa grew up. They discussed schools in the area, their favorite places to eat, and the “similar struggles” they’d experienced. “It’s just a great feeling to know you can connect with somebody based on where you’re from,” says Gata. “You feel even more at ease.”
For their first date, GaTa took Samantha to a restaurant on L.A.’s Westside, located right on the water. GaTa, a self-described “dreamer,” chose the location specifically because he wanted Samantha to feel like they could be “anywhere in the world,” he explains. “I wanted to show her I’m not just a guy from the hood. I’m a guy from the inner city with a dope vision.” And his efforts paid off. Samantha, who’d attended plenty of work lunches and events at trendy restaurants and bars across the city, was impressed that he’d managed to transport them somewhere entirely new. They walked along the water’s edge looking at the boats, an experience Samantha describes as “really romantic.”
In the year-plus they’ve been together, GaTa and Samantha have continued to have many more transformative experiences together. The couple loves thrift shopping and GaTa, who says “fashion plays a big role” in his life, is known for picking out clothes for Samantha that she never would’ve considered for herself. The experience, she says, has made her feel “understood on a different level” than she has with other men she’s dated. “If you’re looking good and feeling good, you make other people feel good too,” says GaTa. He takes the lead on making other plans for them, like what restaurants and spots around L.A. they’re going to check out. It’s a dynamic they’re both happy with—especially Samantha, since she’s responsible for so much planning and decision-making in her career. “It’s nice to feel like I’m just sitting back and not as stressed because he leads,” she says. In return, Samantha supports GaTa with his mental health journey, staying “on him” about taking his medication and making sure to plan “rest days” when his schedule gets stressful. “I feel like we’re definitely emotionally attuned with each other,” she says.
Now in love and planning a trip to Paris, they’re excited about the future and “building something together,” says GaTa. Whether that’s a family, business, or something else entirely, they aren’t quite sure yet. But they’re looking forward to tackling it side by side. “When you can accomplish something together that you’re also proud of, besides being in love, I think that’s one of the most beautiful feelings,” says GaTa. And Samantha agrees: “We have a solid foundation and similar backgrounds, and we want to see how far we can go.”