The Role of Social Media in Online Dating

 

I just had a little ‘incident’ this morning and feel compelled to write about it to caution all women, and educate men.  It goes without saying that I don’t feel like I should have to educate anyone, but the fact is that some people just don’t get it.

Some of you may know that I not only write this blog, but I have a social media business.  That means I spend hours on social media each and every day.  As an online marketer, I connect with many people in the course of a month.  Business cannot be created without the right connections.  Many people connect with me because I am a social media marketer.  I know this going in.  While I absolutely love making connections with people who are sincere in their intentions, on occasion I run across a slimeball.  Yes, a slimeball – you read that right.

Please allow me to explain why I use such a harsh word.

In life, we naturally want to connect with people.  Many of us want to find someone to date, have a relationship with and even marry.  While dating sites may be frustrating for some, they are the appropriate place to show interest in someone you are interested in dating.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media platform are not.  While relationships may be built and grow into something else through social media platforms, one should never connect with someone on a social media platform with the intention of immediately messaging them with the intention of meeting them.

What NOT to do: Facebook Communication

His next line was “We should get to know each other.” To Which I responded, “Isn’t that what Facebook is all about?”  The whole way communication was started with no regard or respect for me.  He wanted to “get to know me” based on what?  A photo or two? I have no idea who this guy is.

Since I am online for my business, when I connect with someone on social platforms, my intention is the connection, not a date.  If someone immediately starts hitting on me or states they want to get to know me, they are disrespecting my workspace and disrespecting me as a woman.

First, if we just connected, you know nothing about me except what you read on that particular social platform.  This leads me to believe that you only want to know me based on the photos you see and not the content between my ears.  This annoys me to no end and I find it totally disrespectful and degrading to me as a human being.  I am a person, not to be objectified by male inappropriateness.  Unless you really take the time to know me before expressing interest, you will get shot down.  I don’t miss.  I go for the jugular.

You see, dating after 40 has some huge advantages to dating in our younger years.  First, we have heard all the BS and are not having any of that.  Second, if you think we don’t know your game, you are fooling no one but yourself.  Third, we have already established we do not NEED a man but merely WANT one.  That means you have to prove you are worthy of our trust and affection.

So, ladies, when a man friends you on Facebook, shows you some attention be VERY cautious.  Check out his profile.  Are most of his connections women?  If so, he is more than likely saying the same thing to many women hoping one lets her guard down.  Please be smart and don’t be that one.  Plus, you do not want to end of one of the many women in his life when he is insisting you are the only one.

There are many stories about women being wooed online by someone in a far off place, they come to town, disappear for periods of time.  Later the woman is left broke and alone, her life savings stolen by this “wonderful” guy she met online.  There are men who prey on women for money, sex, and other things,  Some are scam artists, and some have families in another state.  They create online personas to find their next victim.  Don’t be that person.  Be cautious!

This man’s profile says he is from Idaho.  I live on the East Coast.  In order for us to get to know each other one would need to travel.  A predator will want to either get you in his territory, where you are unfamiliar, or come to you if he is trying to hide a life he does not want you to know about.  Now, I am not saying that was this guy’s intention but is sure was creepy he way it played out.  Out of 116 friends, only 4 are men.  Not only that we have 7 common friends, all of which are networking friends on the East Coast, where he does NOT live.  It is obvious to me that he went through my friends’ lists and selected random women to connect with on Facebook.

I am absolutely NOT saying this man is any of these things, but there are many other concerns women need to be aware of when approached randomly like this.  There are rapists, child molesters and a variety of other deviant personality types on social media who target and prey on women and children.  Sadly, it has to be something we consider when a connection just feels off for some reason.

Now, men, this is not to say you cannot meet someone and get to know her on social media.  I am just saying be smart and be respectful.  Most women do understand that men are visual creatures, but that does not mean we want to feel like a piece of meat.  If you are interested in someone you connect with online, first make sure your intentions are honorable.  No woman deserves less than that.  Take the time to get to know her on her social media account.  Interact with her honestly and respectfully.  Take the time to learn about her interests, likes and dislikes.  In doing this, you will know if you really do want to know her better, and she will know if she wants to know you.

Allow the relationship to progress naturally.  Don’t force it. Forcing something before it is ready to show up may not allow it to show up at all. And please, above all, do not invade her online space by commenting on every post.  That tends to be creepy and makes you seem like a stalker.   Use good judgment and be smart about your communication.

Social media is NOT a dating site.  While we may find our true love on social media, the approach MUST be different than on a dating site or it is creepy and invasive.  Although I have used gender roles above, I do understand that gender roles can be reversed in these situations, also.  So the application goes both directions.  Since I am female and I write about my experiences, I do write from a female perspective.

DO connect, but be smart in communication and be cautious when meeting. If you choose to meet someone in person you meet on social media, I would consider doing a background check if ANYTHING seems off.  It is better to be cautious and alive than the alternative.  On a side note, I do want to say that most people online are legitimate and their intentions are true.  This article is about the ones who are questionable.

Are You Seeking Love Based on The Love Lies?

Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor
Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor

This past week I had the distinct pleasure of attending a teleconference based on the book The Love Lies by Debrena Jackson Gandy.  I had no idea what to expect since I have attended calls on this subject matter in the past and have come away disappointed in them.  I attended this call because it was part of my friend Lougenia Trailblazer Rucker of Divine Diamond Ministries’ Wisdom Speaks Series.  This time I was pleasantly surprised by the information discussed, as I should have expected from this knockout duo!

Debrena Jackson Gandy started out by talking about being a girl vs.being a woman.  I knew immediately what she was talking about.  Although most of us should know better, we tend to buy into the lies told to us by American culture and the media.  We are programmed from a very young age to see relationships and love a certain way, as fed to us by the media.  The problem is, these are but pipe dreams based little on truth.  We are told we need to find love and we need to be worthy of love.  Society tells us things should flow a certain way – and we buy it hook, line and sinker!  We are reacting to our environment and being girls (immature) instead of acting as mature women who have knowledge and truth.

You see, society teaches girls about relationships from a place of fear and scarcity.  Fear that we need to find someone before it’s too late.  Fear that if we don’t we are somehow not good enough or unlovable.  Fear that we won’t find someone.  Scarcity refers to the term soul mate, which I have previously said I do not believe in.  Soul mate implies there is one – one in a world of billions!! It implies we had better start “looking” because we have a lot of work to do if we are to find that needle in a haystack!  This was exactly my argument for not believing in a soul mate.  There is NOT just one – plain and simple.  Who created this term and who decided there was just one person for each of us in this world of billions of people?  To a logical mind, this does not make any sense.  Yet many people buy into this.

Ms. Jackson Gandy went on to say that relationships are built on love and truth.  Well, yeah, but whose truth? Her answer to that is God’s truth.  Her book The Love Lies is based on truths she found in the Bible.  The truth about how God sees relationships and love, not how we as humans degrade it to be something so much less than what it should be or what we deserve.

The next point that hit home with me was that many women feel incomplete without a man, or are told by society they are incomplete without a man.  I know this one all too well.  I must have been asked hundreds of times in my life when I am going to find a guy and get married.  My answer has always been the same.  I will get married when I find a man worthy of marrying, and that hasn’t happened yet.  The thing is, I do not need a man to complete me, to feel okay with me, or to make me feel like a woman.  Sure, I would love to get married, but ONLY to the right man.  Ms. Jackson Gandy took it even farther by saying that women were a gift to man from God.  If this is the case, why do so many women devalue this fact?  We settle, give in to men’s desires, and compromise our own values for men!  Why are we not treating ourselves like the true gift we are?  If we dig deep and really look at how God created us, we would know we are a true gift.  My big take from this part of the discussion is that we should never, ever allow men to not treat us as a gift.  So many of us do.  We need to stop!

Since I have always taken the stance of courtship and respect, I was thrilled to hear someone else agree with my position on these things.  I have been ridiculed many times over my position on relationships and marriage.  That is okay, though, because these are all personal decisions based on what we decide is a real truth.  Compromise should never be an option. Having a relationship that is not what it should be should not be an option either.  I hold my position not to settle or compromise my values just to have a husband.

If you have been “searching” for love and have not “found” it, or you just want to throw your hands up when it comes to relationships, reading The Love Lies may give you a different perspective.  Love starts with YOU.  Give yourself a fresh perspective and start getting rid of all those lies society has told us.  While we all form our own opinions based on our realities, it never hurts to look at another way of thinking.  Decide for yourself.  Get a preview of the book on the next teleconference call on April 16, 2015.  I have included links below for the book, the teleconference and Divine Diamond Ministries.

Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor
Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor

Get your copy of The Love Lies: http://www.amazon.com/Debrena-Jackson-Gandy/e/B000APHO9U

Follow Debrena Jackson Gandy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Debrena-Jackson-Gandy/141807847439

To learn more about Lougenia Trailblazer Rucker and Divine Diamond Ministries, join her community and/or attend the next FREE teleconference on April 16, 2015: http://divinediamondsministries.ning.com/

Join Divine Diamond Ministries on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/243382975782600/

Online Dating Bullies

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A recent 20/20 episode caught my attention because it was basically about online dating bullies. The report did not call them bullies, although that is exactly what they are.  I have never actually experienced this, but then, I would not give these men a minute of my time anyway.

Apparently there are men on dating sites that will call women names, demean them and basically bully them if they do not reply fast enough or positively to their comments and messages.  I find this to be a bit ridiculous since I cannot imagine being available for an immediate reply on a regular basis,  I keep communication on these sites so there is a record of it there, to keep my identity private, and so I can reply when it is convenient for me.  I certainly don’t sit on these sites looking to respond immediately to all communication. As a matter of fact, most communications gets the delete button.

I see men sitting on these sites what seems like 24/7.   Do they not have lives?  Do they not have jobs? It really is quite sad.  I, for one, really don’t have the time for guys who can’t think of something intelligent to say to me.  And even if you do, I more than likely will reply in a day or two.  Do people seriously expect immediate responses?  Apparently so.

The 20/20 report was about how men will call women names, bully them, and basically demean them if they don’t reply right away or in a positive way to their online advances.  First off, who are these men who think they should be able to demand immediate attention?  I guarantee you they are not special and not even a catch at all if this is how they act.  Do they really think this behavior is anything that would ever attract someone?  I sure hope not.  Women are people – not objects and possessions. Men have no right to demand anything of a woman he does not know.  And he certainly has no right to verbally abuse her by calling her names, putting her down, or anything else that would be demeaning.  This behavior is not only wrong, but it is considered verbal abuse.  It is bullying.

It takes TWO to want to date when meeting online.  Just because you see someone you THINK you would like to meet, does not mean you will.  The other person has the right to not want to meet you.  This should not come with any negativity on the rejected party’s part.  It simply means this person is not for you.  Move on!!

I found this report to be disturbing on several levels.  First, many women tend to be insecure, and this type of behavior can make them doubt themselves even more and destroy their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Second, this type of behavior tends to be threatening. And third, this is cyber-bullying.  None of these are acceptable.  Online dating sites should be a safe place to communicate.  Both parties should feel they are safe there and ALL parties should respect the other people there – just as when people meet in person.

Where did the mean factor come in and why?  Online dating sites are set up to keep your identity private, but you should also be able to communicate on the sites and not feel threatened.  There is no excuse for this bad behavior.  Remember, people are busy.  They reply when they are able to not when you want them to or how you want them to.  There is always a chance someone you are interested in will not be interested in you.  Most importantly, ALWAYS respect others, whether you know them or not.  Online dating can be stressful, but it can also be fun.  Communicating in a positive way will get you farther than being disrespectful, which will get you nowhere.  Putting others down does not build you up.  Being courteous and friendly will make you more attractive to others, no matter what you look like.

Online Dating Opening Lines

There is no doubt about it – first impressions count and they make a lasting impression!  Here is where so many men (I can only write what I know and I have no idea what other women write) mess up.  On top of the need for a certain level of attraction, there is also the need for a certain level of intelligence and creativity.

A great profile is wonderful, but it is only the starting point.  How you communicate with potential dates says more about who you actually are than anything you write in your profile.  I will be addressing some of the biggest turn-offs I come across and explain why they make negative impressions.  I seriously believe men should take a course in Online Dating 101 because more than half of the first contacts I receive fall into one or more of these categories (and they either get a no reply or a negative reply from me).

The One-Liner

These guys send you one word or thought and call it an “email”.  “Hi” and “Hello” does not make an email, nor does it warrant a response from any woman with a brain.  What this says about you is that you are lazy and want to leave all the thought up to the woman you send this nonsense to.  You are refusing to use your brain, or acknowledge that she actually wrote a profile.  You are leaving the whole conversation up to her because you are plain old lazy.  I delete every one of these so-called emails.  Intelligent women want to date someone who has a brain and can think of something intelligent to say to them.  They have no time for this nonsense, which should have ended back in high school.  We want to know that a man that says he wants to get to know us, actually used his brain and thought about who we are based on what we wrote in our profiles.

The Question One-Liner

Here’s another one that requires no brain power: “How are you?”  Any variation of this one is exactly the same as the basic one-liner.  It is thoughtless and a desperate show of throwing something out there and seeing if it sticks.  Really guys, we are much smarter than this.  Do you really want someone who sees you as desperate and unable to think for yourself?  Another variation of this is: “What are you doing this evening?”  Wow, really?  I find this one to be an invasion of my privacy.  I am usually inclined to make up something sensational, just to get a rise out of the guy for kicks, but then he may think I am actually interested.  We don’t really have time for this.  Plain and simple – it is none of your business what we are doing, or who with, unless you know us and are our significant other!

The Looks Comments

“You’re pretty”, “You’re beautiful”, “I love your smile” and all variations of comments on looks are among the most annoying conversation starters.  Guys, really, we want to know you want to know us, not sleep with us.  While you may be thinking of the latter, you need to be smart and keep the looks part under wraps until later.  When you start a conversation like this, many of us think you only have one thing in mind.  Plus, we doubt very much you even took the time to read out profiles.  We want to know you want to truly know us as human beings, not just sleep with us!  When you start out like this, many of us will run the other direction.  While we all like compliments and we all like to know we are desired, we want to know there are REAL reasons you want to go out with us.

Using Text Abbreviations When Communicating

Honestly, do you know how to spell and write a complete sentence?  We want to know you do!  We do not have the time to decode every email you send us.  Make it simple and spell things out, and use complete sentences!  We want to know you have a firm grasp of the English language!  I, for one, delete all messages that are not written out in English.  If you cannot take the time to write a complete sentence, why should we waste our time decoding and trying to figure out what on earth you are saying?

Sending (or asking for) Personal Email Information or Phone Numbers on First Contact

Dating sites were established to be a platform where we are able to meet people to date, while keeping our personal information private – the key word being private!  These sites gather and retain information about their members.  Others may differ on this view, but I never ever give out my personal information to guys on dating sites.  Think of it this way – do we really want all these strangers to have our phone numbers and personal email addresses?  We do not know you!  Plus, women are asked by every Tom, Dick, and Harry for their number on dating sites.  If we gave out our numbers to all who want them, there would be hundreds of strangers out there with our personal information.

Also, as I addressed previously, these men could be scam artists.  It is never okay to request someone’s personal information up front on a dating site.  Men, if you really want to know us, you will pay for a 30 day membership and get to know us.  If we are not worth that to you, why should we provide you our personal information?  We all need to be smart when dating online.  Being courteous and respectful includes not pushing for someone’s personal information.  After all, the dating site already does provide a platform for communication.

In conclusion, I would love to hear some other definite “No” emails you have received in your online dating experiences!  Please feel free to comment on what you have experienced!