These days all I hear about is online dating. Friends and I have discussed it ad nauseam, so much so, when I decided to write about it, a very dear friend challenged me not to until I tried it. Well, I did. I went in with an open mind and came out with relatively the same feelings I had before signing up. It’s all pretty much the same. It wreaks of desperate, lonely people, who don’t know how to communicate effectively, using a mediator to help them find love. Admittedly, that may be a bit brash, but, it’s still a broad overview of my thoughts on the subject, and yes, I know this doesn’t represent every person. So don’t shoot me for having an opinion. Again…I tried it, remember?
So here goes…
I was talking to a girlfriend whose husband passed away a couple of years ago. She expressed how she’s finally ready to start meeting people again but it was all so new to her that she decided to give online dating a try on the advice of a friend. As a result, she’d met a few guys but wasn’t impressed with any and her experience didn’t seem unlike any you’d have meeting someone at the mall. Immediately, I began to rail about how I thought it was pointless. The sites consist of predatory men preying on weak minded women. Mind you, the woman I’m talking to is far from weak. She laughed and told me I had no business writing about something I hadn’t experienced for myself or researched and proceeded to tell me what site to join. She was relentless! Would not give up! I signed up before we hung up the phone. This chick is a better sales person than me, seriously. I bought it…lock, stock and barrel.
I signed up for two sites: one free and the other paid. The free site was comical. My phone was going off nonstop! “Hey beautiful…” I couldn’t take it anymore, so I turned the alert off after the second day. The number of 40-somethings with wife beaters, throwbacks, and bare chest pics was nauseating. I thought, “really?” The paid site on the other hand, was a bit more refined. After all, $60 to meet someone isn’t cheap. On the other hand, “boys” standing in front of their boats, homes and toys aren’t impressive either; it speaks volumes about what you’re trying to convey, and this girl is looking for more substance. I gave the free site, two weeks and deleted it; the paid site, two months. I found myself communicating with more than one man daily and I simply don’t have that kind of time on my hands. The attention was great but time consuming.
In my quest, I’ve realized a few things about online dating, especially for those who wish to be married:
•Know what you want. If you truly have no idea, then you’re just having a good time. Don’t say you’re interested in marriage if you aren’t.
•Don’t waste your time. Don’t waste your time going back and forth with someone who is clearly not interested in monogamy. We’re grownups here. A middle school kid can figure some of these things out.
•Be you. You’re on a website. You have nothing to lose. Be yourself, unapologetically.
•Don’t let attraction be the driving force. While it is important, it isn’t most important. People post their absolute best pictures. If you don’t find that they’re tall enough; cute enough, look deeper at their goals, philosophy on life etc., and if that doesn’t add up, keep it moving.
•Be on guard. A lot of crazy things are happening in the world. There are LOTS of weirdos out there. Don’t be so quick to meet, especially outside of very public places and be aware of your surroundings.
•Talk Talk Talk. Online dating is really no different from meeting someone at the mall, except, you haven’t met them in person. Would you go out on a date the very first time you met someone in a grocery store? Probably not, at least not until you’ve had a few conversations with them over the phone. Why do it with someone you haven’t even met?
•Everyone isn’t lonely. So, I realized that not everyone is lonely, some people are just busy and don’t seem to meet very many people socially. Some are social retards and simply don’t know how to approach a woman (yes, I said approach a woman). Some of us still like to be approached…no, MOST of us. I was very upfront with a few of the men I encountered, and they were forthcoming in their answers. For instance, I asked a few of the Christian men I had the pleasure of meeting, why they were online? Why hadn’t they approached someone at church and their reply was simple, “I’m at church. That’s not what my mind is on,” or “I don’t think ladies want to be bothered at church.” I told them, “we do.” I find this response interesting because I know so many beautiful women in the church who have been waiting to be approached by that guy. Women who spend a ton of time volunteering alongside men who do the same, but they never even bother to stop and ask a woman out for coffee after service. One gentleman, said to me, “I just never thought it was the place,” and I interjected with, “But you’ve probably gone fishing with one of the men you’ve met, or maybe met him at a bar to watch the game.” He told me I was right and I had given him a new perspective. I get that church is a place of worship and understand the purpose for our being there, but, if it’s the brook you’re called to, shouldn’t you be open to all that it has to offer? I’m talking to the saved, sanctified and Holy Ghost filled deep Christians right now, but I digress.
•It’s like a catalog. Almost instantly I noticed how I was thumbing through profiles as if looking through a Christmas catalog. Yes, looks aren’t everything, but there must be some attraction, so swipe left if you aren’t feeling it.
•Don’t be afraid to ask deep questions. If they can’t handle the heat, they’ll leave the kitchen.
•Don’t get too personal. It’s social media after all. No one wants to lay all their business out there. Save something for dinner.
•Be honest. If you aren’t interested in marriage, make sure it’s in your headline. There’s nothing more unattractive than a liar. Your headline shouldn’t say “looking for love” if you aren’t. You’re looking for a lay. I get it, that won’t get you a right swipe, but, these days, it can get you jail time. Here’s the thing, there are women that are okay with being a friend with benefits, but there are many who are not, and hurt feelings can bring about bitterness and bitterness breeds vengefulness. Be careful fellas.
•It’s like interviewing. You’re basically interviewing one another to see if you’re date worthy.
•Don’t take the sites seriously. Seriously, you shouldn’t. It’s social media. Have fun.
•No-You’re not getting ahead of God. The very notion of that is ridiculous. So much so, I won’t give it much space here.
Whether trying to get laid or looking for love, online dating is simply another tool, no different from meeting someone at the mall or in a grocery store. It’s simply a quicker way of separating the weeds from flowers. Don’t see it as the ‘end all be all’ to dating or meeting someone. Don’t see it as a ‘last resort,’ but as just another avenue- If you have that kind of time. I don’t.
I leave you with this. Enjoy your life, right where you are. Don’t allow not having a mate to sour your holidays. Don’t allow it to dampen the things you wish to enjoy in life. This life is yours, you own it. YOU enjoy it.
Just my thoughts. What are yours?