The Evolution of Dating (2)

Hey Guys,

In my last post, I revealed that I had set up a profile on an online dating site. That process along with understanding the site’s mechanisms was a little intimidating.  For anyone that has not attempted this fate, let me enlighten you and hopefully eliminate some of your anxieties.  First, you must have patience and an open mind – Remember people are utilizing these sites for a variety of reasons -in search of soul mates, companionship, friendships that lead to more, and quick hook ups.  Second, proceed with caution.  You may not find a “Mr. or Mrs. Right” or a companion right away, but you may find new platonic friends.   Third, always stay true to yourself.

I am going to make the assumption that since the objective of these online dating sites are similar, the requests for information is also similar. So, the first step is to create a profile, a summary of how you would like to be interpreted by prospects.  The phrase “Garbage in Garbage out” is applicable here.  I found this to be an intimidating task because it was challenging for me to fit who I am and all of my likes into a couple of paragraphs, so, I did not.  Consequently, you question if what you did emphasize is construed as relevant, corny, or even interesting.  This is something that will eventually be answered by your responses. The goal is to present yourself in such a light to hopefully attract the type of people who share your interests.

What does a profile entail? Your profile encompasses information about you as a person, as well as, your physical aspects, i.e., color of your eyes, hair, and your body shape; general information about what you do for a living (accountant, engineer, etc.), income ranges, and a section which describes your interests, favorite hot spots and what you are in search of – a friend, companion or pursuing a long term relationship. Keep all of your information general, and remember that you are not required to answer any questions that make you feel uneasy. It is a dating site so you should include a couple of pictures.  I also perused other profiles on the site for ideas.

Proceeding with caution – You receive an influx of potential matches daily. You also have the option to manually search the database which consists of hundreds or thousands of people.  My first month was a little overwhelming- I was flooded with emails, winks (a show of interest) and other acknowledgements of interests such as people indicating likes on my pictures or being selected as “favorites.”  The protocol for how you reciprocate depends on your level of interest.  For example, winks are an ambiguous gesture of interest and not as forward as sending emails.

Someone once told me that you have to kiss a bunch of frogs before you meet your prince. That said, be patient and don’t get overly excited by the influx of attention you start to receive. If someone does not interest you, you are not obligated to respond.  Most important, be smart about the information you divulge about yourself after meeting someone. Also be smart about when and where you meet people, if that is an option.  Always stay within your levels of comfort, not your friend’s levels.  Stay true to yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun.

Peace and Blessings,

Lee

 

The Evolution of Dating

I had always expressed criticism towards online dating; in part, because I thought it was impersonal and contradictory to some old fashioned ideologies that I cherished. To validate my viewpoint, I’d gage the long-lasting relationships of people whom I admired.  People who had met their life partners by some kind of face to face interaction – introduction by a relative, from the same neighborhoods, or by attending the same schools.

I remembered an interview I had read with Aziz Ansari, the comedian and author, concerning his book “Modern Romance an Investigation” in which he discussed relationships. In that interview, he said “I interviewed all these older people and talked to them about relationships. People back in the day would just marry people who lived close to them. There was this study done in Philadelphia in 1932 that found that ⅓ of couples that got married lived within a 5 block radius of each other. ⅙ lived in the same block. And ⅛ lived in the same building!  This was true in all different cities.”

Once upon a time, the development of a compatible relationship was as heartwarming and effortless as picking a pretty flower. Nowadays, technology is nearly a necessity for the formation of relationships with adults of a certain age.   Numerous gender studies reflect the disproportionate male to female ratios throughout the United States.  Unfortunately, the disparity of males to females become more lopsided in the upper age ranges approaching solitary in the last group for women.  Albeit bleak, these skewed stats do not even take into consideration the males that are married, in committed relationships, incarcerated or identify with the LGBT community.  Fortunately, technology provides a level of accessibility that is far-reaching.  Unabashedly, this progress has improved the current relationship landscape by providing possibilities beyond your immediate vicinity.

I used to speculate about the kind of people that would resort to online dating – assuming that they were inept misfits, people preying on the desperation of others, or perhaps predators. My theory was that they were desperate people in search of impersonal companionship.  I was dumbfounded when I discovered that all of my single female and male friends that were 30 years of age and above were active partakers and quite the opposite of desperate, inept misfits.  Unquestionably, my condescending perspective was based solely on my ignorance.

When I inquired about the decision to date online versus just meeting someone face to face, the common-sense responses I received were: “If you are not going out regularly, you are not going to meet people. Too busy professionally for socializing outside of work.  At the events where you would expect to meet someone, most of the people are either coupled up, married, or already in relationships.” I then evaluated the interactions I’d encountered while braving my new singlehood.  While meeting lots of nice people, I had never really met anyone that I would consider as a “partner” and came to the same conclusion.

I determined that while online dating has its benefits, like providing a platform for people with like interests to meet other people, otherwise outside of their reach, it also comes with risk.   You don’t know that the person with whom you are communicating is actually the person whose face is on the profile.  There is also the possibility of divulging too much personal information, as well as, becoming prey for unscrupulous folks.  So, after consultation with experienced participants, the consensus was that you have to take precautions as is expected with face to face meetings.

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed hitches with trying to get together with my friends. Their social calendars are booked. I don’t begrudge that a few have managed to connect with people whose company they really enjoy.  Needless to say, I have totally changed my perspective regarding online dating.  While there are no guarantees, I have come to admire the people who have taken charge of their social lives.  With the help of friends, I have now developed my own profile.  This is definitely a “to be continued post.”

Talk to you soon.

Lee