Online dating, it seems like everyone is doing it and you're probably wondering if should you do it too?
Let me be clear. Online dating for me entails meeting someone online, whether it be on an app specifically for dating or social media and then taking the relationship offline shortly after establishing some sort of initial connection. It's not just about one night stands, it's for people who are looking for more and sometimes less than that.
My initial thought -It's a good way to meet new, cool people who you'd naturally not be able to meet due to being in different social circles, schedules and living patterns.
Well I took a poll on Instagram to get a feel of what you guys think about online dating and the results were truly shocking.
235 people responded.
35% YES | 65% NO
These are screenshots (SWIPE THROUGH THE SLIDESHOW) of the reasons people gave but if we really break it down, it was mostly one of 2 things:
There are creepy people online
It's weird / I would be too embarrassed to talk about it
What most people think - Most of these apps, especially tinder, were made specifically for making it easy for people to hook up and have one night stands. But it's also clear that others have found different ways of using the apps that have brought them lasting happiness.
When I was in college, a couple of my friends were openly online dating on apps and I remember the night I signed up for it. We were at my friend's place celebrating her birthday and one of her girls was talking about this fine guitarist she met on tinder. She had nice things to say about him as well as her experience with the app. She added that her sister's friend just found her husband on a dating app as well. She made a convincing argument for it.
I had just gotten out of an annoying relationship and I didn't want anything remotely serious. However, I wanted to meet people outside my circle, go on dates, go dancing, and I felt online dating would be a good way to achieve these things. One of the things I loved most about being a student at NYU was that, as opposed to being confined to a traditional campus, all of New York City was my campus and there was so much to explore. So joining a dating app was completely light-hearted for me. Funny enough at the same time I signed up for meetup.com which is a website with a bunch of different interest groups which you can join to connect with other members, face-to-face. My favorite group was a french-enthusiasts group; we would meet in quaint wine bars, have hors d'oeuvres and speak french, oui, oui!
If you're thinking of joining a dating app here are my tips on how you can go about it:
Know what you want. Are you going on there to hook up with people or to make new friends, or are you looking for something serious, say for a husband? Whatever it is you're looking for, know what it is, so you're not blind-sided.
It's a good way to learn about yourself, so use it for that. When looking for a partner, I don't think you'll know what you actually want unless you've had real life interactions. So I went on a date with this guy who asked me out and at the end of the date, he asked me to split the bill. Ofcourse I acted like nothing was wrong because who has time to start explaining manners to grown men, but I never met up with him again.
Be honest with yourself and whoever's on the other side. The best person to be is yourself (for so many reasons, one of which is that you won't have to keep tabs on the lies you've told trying to be someone else).
Be safe, tell your friends where you're going and with whom. Don't let strangers into your private space. Be smart about sharing certain types of information (your address, about your family, if you have a green card....things like that). You should be open but don't be a fool.
Try new things. Online dating will be what you make of it, so if your conversation is flowing with someone who may not really be your type, just let things play their course and don't discount people based on shallow physical attributes (easier said than done when we're flooded with images of 'perfect' people daily.)
HAVE FUN! I can't stress this enough. I don't know how I got so lucky but apart from a few weird and straight up inappropriate messages I got while using the app, it was a pleasant experience. I met some really interesting and fun people, some of who I stayed friends with long after I deleted the app.
I'd like to remind you all that we only have one life to live. You need to live it for yourself and for God. If you've been thinking of doing something that could potentially make you happy, feeling embarrassed and caring about what the next person thinks about your decision is a horrible reason to retreat.
However, someone told me this real life story. It's too bizarre not to share!!!!
Her friend went on a date with someone she met online. At the end of the night she was careful enough to let him leave first, so he wouldn't follow her. She did not know that he was actually lurking and waiting for her to leave. Then he followed her. She was home alone that weekend. By the time she got home, he messaged her to see how she was doing and casually asked if she was alone and she said yes. She did not think anything of it but then she started hearing noises. She called her parents who wrote it off as the weird neighbor. She felt something else was off so she called the police. After finding out she was home alone, they advised her to lock her door, at which point she heard a tone from the landline downstairs. By the time the police got there, the guy had fled but guess what they found? He had moved the furniture, put plastic trash bags on the floor and lined up some knives on the table . The police found him and arrested him. The girl was scarred for some time. Obviously this happened in the states. It sounds like it could be a movie but I actually believe it because there are crazy people in this world. Not just online, everywhere, walking around, next to you in the bank and the supermarket, looking normal.
When all's said and done, your safety matters. So you shouldn't feel pressured into doing anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
That's it folks. As much as I had a good experience with online dating, I can't lie and say it's the same thing for everyone. Where are you on the online dating spectrum. Have you tried it? Would you try it or is it not for you in a million years?
love & light
P.S. Obi and I are starting a YouTube channel. We already have a few videos up. Check them out here.