Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Online dating: some tips

OK someone asked for me to share what I have learnt from online dating. Let me start with this:

The drawbacks of dating online include:
  • Time wasters
  • men who don’t know what they want
  • Men not on your time frame (happy to chat and IM for the next five years (those misusing the online dating portal for friendship)!
  • Divorcees and etc still grieving over their lost wives (and still angry to boot) and as a result not ready to move on
All the above can be summarised as men who are essentially 'not focussed on the relationship goal' either unknowingly (because yes humans often don’t know their deepest motivations and intentions) or knowingly (because they are on the prowl for sex etc). You have to find a way to eliminate these categories and as fast as possible so they don’t clog up your time (especially as you don’t have unlimited time as a woman).

Drawbacks of Interracial dating sites in particular
One of the clear draw backs of interracial dating sites, is that white men on those sites can often be looking for the stereotypical black woman(whether they realize it or not). Or they may hold a certain 'pieced together' idea of what the black woman they are looking for sounds like. If you are not the type they imagine, guess what happens when you pick up the phone and speak in 'perfect' English? You guessed it, he who was sweating you hard is suddenly no where to be found. For some of these men, black women fit a rigid archetype and if you deviate from this type, they just don’t know how to handle you! Blame the continued segregation of whites and blacks which means that imagination comes in to make up for the gaps and ignorance. Unfortunately some men hold fast to their 'ideals' instead of allowing for the fact that their conceptions need to be transformed by the real experience of meeting and interacting with black women.

Lets follow this issue logically. We can assume that at least half of the white men on these sites have not dated black women and also in the age range that is over thirty five, you often find a number of divorcees. The implication here is that many are looking for something that is not their former partner/s (read: white women). They then piece together an idea and a vision of what they want, and they come up with variants of the following.

'I think I will be needing':
  • A nice African woman who is naïve and less grasping than a western woman
  • A nice respectful black woman because she is motherly and cares for her man and children above herself (an idea pieced together from snippets of information gathered over the years from a wide array of sources; from obscure documentaries, videos, watching church going black women on Sunday or mild mannered Ghanaian women going to their early morning work)
Now it's not that many non-stereotypical black women aren't caring and kind, etc etc, its that the tight and inflexible notions of what a right acting woman would look like is flawed. Some white men on these sites will eliminate a woman for not sounding as they expect this black woman they have essentially formed in their imagination would sound! This is why I advice that you have a chat with any white guy sweating you within two-three days, so he can be on his merry little way as soon as possible if necessary!

Some men are open minded and happy to go along and see what this attractive speaking woman might unravel. Others have been burnt and wont want to give any leeway to the notion of having a quiet timid deeply accented woman. I guess this is one of the reasons why you can't beat meeting at work/school etc (and the reason why you need a face-to-face sooner than later with online dating). There is just something about the medium of the connection that sets things up all differently. When people connect through everyday situations they don’t normally have barriers up or the charm of a person, in person, can slip past prior conceived lists of requirements and preferences. Because after days of brushing up against Miss A or Mr C, the fact that you never liked a 5'9 woman or a man with an Irish accent just isn’t that a big issue because he or she brings so much more to override what was a silly idea in the first place! However if you met them after connecting online, failing in any slight way would be an indicator of a disaster waiting to happen.

We apply a higher standard to our online connections because of the false notion that there are endless men or women to choose from, and also because we still retain an element of distrust of the online medium (who doesn’t think that online sites are full of sex seekers and gold diggers!)

Some tips
  • Each day, set out to make one serious connection (not twenty). If you can have one real connection (one that seems serious and looks like it could go somewhere) a day or even three a week, this is better that entertaining a long list of BS.
  • Get to speaking as soon as is possible (after two days I would offer a number if he isn’t forth coming -its a good way of getting rid of people who think they are serious and ready when they are really not)
  • Don’t be disappointed to find that a man who was so eager has suddenly forgotten your number. You don’t know what he is looking for or how his mind is working around a certain vision of the woman he wants. Yes be disappointed for all of five seconds but quickly move on. Play this game like a pro and not a wimp.
Many people have to go through a learning process, and by trial and error online, before they settle on what they want, what is important or even discover that they are ready to 'get serious with this thing.' Examples of men re contacting women they broke off contact with after a few emails etc abound. It is possibly more of an issue of learning what they really want than of being trolls and time wasters.

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Dee Dee Russell said...

Hi Halima
great post as usual and timely. Have I ever told you that you are my biggest 'swirl' inspiration as I discovered you before all the other swirl pages and blogs? Yes indeed. Sure, I had been swirling decades before I read you yet you gave and continue to give valuable support.

Great minds think alike after I posted my latest essay "Digital Mammies" I visited you and you're speaking of dating, too.

If you have a moment you could check out my blog Black Women With Other Brothers it started as a 6 month experimental page on Fakebook. I know you're busy and don't expect a reply and you might find it amusing.

Halima said...

Hi Dee Dee I will be visiting shortly :)

Lorraine said...

I love this post. I always tell the women to be careful, cautious and sensible when dealing with men on these sites. It is vital that they don't go trasping off to where these men are within a week or two of initial contact. I can tell you how many of these bw who will go off with the first wm who winks or whatever they do on these sites. They go on their own dime, go to these men's homes and will actually have sex with them. These women are deluded thinking that this is marriage material. They cry and feel used when they get back home and no longer hear from that prospect.

On the other hand I do know so many online connections who did it right, got married and have their families to this day. So I am an advocate of online dating but can't stress enough to be wise and not naive and to use common sense. Some of the Facebook interrcial groups are absolutely disgusting as some of the wm will put it out there what they want. Many of the desperate bw will put up with it and even post suggestive pics of themselves. If I didn't see it with my own eyes, I would say it was unbelievable.

This is great advice so again thanks and I will be incorporating this into future posts.

A wise, patient woman will be able to distinguish predators as well as legit wm looking for a good woman regarless of her race.

ak said...

Regarding what Lorraine said, those black women going on those sites where it sounds like white men are looking for just sex aren't adhering to the saying 'If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything'.

They sadly haven't learnt from their unfortunate lessons from DBR black men therefore they accept the DBR white men right away. No bueno.

I don't even want a DBR armadillo in MY life! But I disagree with some blogs of certain BWE fans that say that BWE blogs should stop focusing on interracial dating as much and focus more on the empowerment of black women more because those blogs feel that black women will feel 'too defeated' if dating a white man goes badly.

I disagree that everything cannot go hand in hand. Why not? So many times from black women themselves and everybody else we hear how black women are strong, resourceful, can juggle this, that and the other plus on top of it all so many black women juggle 'relationships' with DBRs and all the responsibilities of raising and providing for their children. Some on top of all of this are even juggling their load with living in highly violent Blackistan areas within cities.

So in the face of all that a black women can't handle a date with a white man that turned out to be a total 'dud' or even a nightmare? I don't quite follow based on the shoddy choices that some black women choose to stick with and persist with. As long as no violence has happened on the actual date and the date doesn't signal a black woman's red flags for 'Stalker-ville' then I can't see why a black woman can't just easily press on with interracial dating. It will be fine.