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.

In Dating, You Need to Show Up!

  A few months ago, I met a man at a business meeting.  He seemed really nice and we hit it off right away.  He left early and I thought I would never hear from him again.  However, that was not the case.  He found me on Facebook and we started talking.  A little while later, we went on a date.

He was such a gentleman on our date and we had loads to talk about.  The conversation was easy and there seemed to be a mutual interest.  At the end of the date, he was a perfect gentleman and walked me to my car.  We talked for a few more minutes and parted ways, agreeing we both wanted to see each other again.

Before we went out, he let me know that he had a trip planned to the Bahamas for a few weeks.  So, after our date, he went on vacation.  Lucky him!!  While in the Bahamas, he sent me a beautiful picture of a beach!  Oh, how nice that would be!!  I was surprised to actually hear from him while he was on vacation, and took this as a positive sign.  After all, most men would not take time out of a vacation to think of someone they had one date with!

However, we had not planned a second date, and he still needed to call me when he returned.  When things like this happen and a second date is not or cannot be planned, for whatever reason, beware!  Boy, did I learn that one!

When he returned, he did call me!  I was elated, since I am used to online dating and the land of the one date wonders.  We had a very nice conversation and we planned on a date for the upcoming Sunday.  We did not set an exact time, since I attend church in the morning, but we did discuss what we would do.  He said that he likes to go to movies on Sundays, and would I mind doing that.  Well, no.  I love movies and don’t attend many these days!  I was really looking forward to seeing a movie and getting to know this man better and hear all about his trip.

So Sunday arrived, and when I got home from church I started working while waiting to hear from him.  Well, that never happened.  He never called.

I had so many things to do that day.  I was invited to three different events, and my grass needed to be mowed.  However, since I had not committed to any of those things yet, I committed myself to another date with him.

I was furious!  How dare he tell me we will be doing something and then not show up or call! It would not have been a big deal, except that I had other things I wanted to do, but did not do them due to our plans to see a movie.  How rude and inconsiderate of him to leave me sitting waiting to go on a date that never happened.  Unless he, or an immediate family member died, there is just no excuse good enough to make up for leaving someone sitting there waiting to go on a date.

Now, you are probably wondering why I did not call him at this point.  Well, I don’t call men, unless I am in a relationship with a man.  I will not run after a man – ever.  From my observations, if a man is not interested in a woman, he will stray.  So there is no point in chasing after them.  Now there does need to be mutual interest, but it really makes no difference how interested the woman is if the man is not interested.  She may get some dates, he may sleep with her, but she will surely get her heart broken when he moves onto someone he is truly interested in.    I am too old for all this drama and, quite frankly, just don’t have the time for it.  This is why I will never chase after a man.

We are still “friends” on Facebook.  However, there is little this man can do to make this up to me.  There are just very few excuses that would be acceptable at this point.  He has not contacted me since then, which leads me to believe he is either not interested or found someone new.  Either way, it is okay.  But it should have been communicated.  I am a big girl, I can handle this!  Not showing up is unacceptable.   I am a person with feelings and things to do.  Be considerate and call (or even text if you aren’t man enough).  Do something!  Don’t just let someone sit there waiting to go on a date.  That is wrong on so many levels.  In dating, you need to show up!

 

 

My Dating High Horse

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“Get off your high horse!”

This line was used on me on a dating website a few months ago, so I feel the need to address it.  In dating, as in all things in life, we all have expectations and hopes.  We all have things we look for, things we want in our lives, and things we know we don’t.  The fact of the matter is, we SHOULD have these things.  Otherwise, how would we ever know what we want in our lives or what we need to do to get there?

On many dating profiles, I specifically state not to contact me if (I list a few things).  The reason I do this is because I don’t want to waste others time, or my own.  There are just some things that are not negotiable, so why not just put it out there?  It makes no sense to spend time communicating with someone who has different relationship expectations than yourself.  Sure, they COULD change their mind, but why waste time on COULD, when there are people who already KNOW.  Quite frankly, at this age I don’t have the time or patience for COULD.  And that’s really my point.

What I find sort of amusing is the fact that someone would waste time contacting me to actually state how they feel, even though they know there is no chance of ever meeting me.  Why would they spend their valuable time even doing that?  Don’t they have more productive things to spend their time on?  And therein lies one of the stark differences between them and me.  This is who someone is at the core, and this difference makes ALL the difference in relationships.

So what was written to me?  Well, a man thought it appropriate to write to me to tell me that maybe I belong on one of those elite dating sites.  He went on to say that I need to get off my high horse (among other things).  Now normally, I would not respond to someone who was clearly wasting my time, but I felt inclined to respond to let him know a few key things.  First, maybe he is right.  Maybe I do belong on an elite dating site.  Is he volunteering to pay for one?

Second, I pointed out to him how silly it was for him to be so upset by the standards I hold for myself and my life.  The reason he was so upset was because it clearly counted him out.  What I found interesting was the fact that this upset him.  He did not know me, so why would it even matter?  If I hold expectations for my life and my future husband that differ from his, it is a clear indication that we are not meant for each other.  Why not just move on?  After all, dating sites are like candy stores for many men.  It just does not make sense to want someone who is not for you when there are hundreds (or even thousands) more who could be for you.  It is a time waster and an inefficient use of the tools available for actually finding that right person.

The third thing I pointed out to him was that the only reason he was upset is because he was not included in the type of man I would want.  One thing I always find annoying in dating is that men see a woman and think they want her, but take no time in determining if they really do want her, the real person.  Many men base this decision on looks without considering who she really is – and this is my whole point in putting my expectations out there.  After spending many of my younger years with men who thought they wanted to be with me, only to find out they really only wanted the arm candy and not the real me, I am focusing only on the real me.  Men will still contact me based on  looks alone, but if they go on to actually read my profile, they will know I will not respond to any comments on looks. This man actually did read my profile, but didn’t like what he read because it counted him out – but at least he did the due diligence of reading it!  Kudos to him for that!

The last thing I pointed out to him was that just the fact that he contacted me to basically tell me off when he did not even know me, is enough for me to know that he was not the kind of man I was looking for.  My main point to him was really that if he would put that much effort into the right women, he will find that right one and bitterness that was clear in his contact with me would disappear.  As in all things in life, we need to put our efforts into what makes sense, not what does not.

My high horse will stand on its four long legs.  Everyone has standards, including me.  I have seen many unhappy marriages because people have compromised their standards just to have someone in their life.  While we all do essentially want that love and connection, we should not have to compromise ourselves to have it.  I will ride my horse into the sunset of life.  My hopes and dreams will live on.  Dreams do not die if you keep them alive!

 

 

Can Online Dating Lead to Love?

I hopped on a few dating sites today after taking a break from them for over a year.  I was immediately reminded of all the reasons I haven’t been online seeking love.  I had so many messages to weed through that it was a bit overwhelming at first.  I soon came to realize that about a third of them were from those guys that hit on everyone and are immediately kicked off the site due to their content or sending personal contact infor through the site (one would think they would have learned this by now).

Many of the rest were one line wonders, which always perplex me.  Do men really think a “hi” will get them in good graces with anyone of substance?  And then there were the abundance of emails that simply stated something about my looks.  These always make me cringe.  Did they even read my profile?  If they had, they would know better than to send something like this since I warn them I will immediately delete those emails.  My feeling is that if they cannot take the time to see who I am as a human being, and not just what I look like, then I don’t have time to talk to them, either.

So now I was down to the last third or so.  In reading the emails and looking at the profiles, I had mixed feelings.  There are many reasons I have not been checking my dating sites for over a year, and this was a big reminder why.  Out of all the emails I received, I only replied to less than a handful – actually, only 3 to be exact.  These men I would definitely like to meet.  However, since I have not been online in over a year, some of the emails were from almost a year ago.  Okay, my bad.  In my defense, I was extremely frustrated with the men I was meeting from these sites and needed a break.

It left me wondering if love can actually be found online.  I believe it can.  The reason I believe this is because I have met some fabulous men online and have had some wonderful relationships with men I met online.  I am keeping the faith that the right one for me is out there.  I will be keeping my options open, but will not compromise who I am in finding love online.  What this means is that there will be many, many emails sent to me wasting my time that I will never respond to.  As in everything in in life, I will focus on the goal, which is getting to the right man out of the many who write saying they are interested.  For those I pass over – trust me guys, after reading some of your profiles, I know for a fact you would never be interested in me (the actual person).  While we all have our “lists” of what we are looking for, my negotiable items are many with the right person; but some things would never work.  As warmer weather is here, I am once again giving this another chance.  After all, I do believe the right one is out there somewhere!

The Marriage Dilemma

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I recently attended a singles networking event and discussion.  The topic was interesting enough, but as we went around the room I came to realize that the way I feel about relationships and marriage was quite different than others in the room.  This could be partly because I was probably the youngest person in the room.  But as I listened to others speak, I became saddened by the state of being single today.

You see, as I listened, it became abundantly clear that everyone in the room except me would be perfectly happy to either find someone to date and get along with, have a long-term relationship with, or live with.  None of these options are acceptable to me.  I want to get married.  Of course, one must go through some of the above to get there, but the singles in this room made it very clear that they had no desire to get married (again).  I left feeling very disenchanted with even the thought of dating.  Were my expectations unrealistic for someone of a certain age?  While I was younger than those present, I am considered what is solidly middle-aged.  Could someone like me find love again?  I will say, I still hold out that God has someone for me.

Listening to the conversations, most in the room have been in marriages that lasted for some length of time or were recently back in the dating scene.  As for me, I have been looking for marriage for well over 20 years, with little success.  Over the years, I have met many wonderful men and been in relationships with several.  However, it seems as though finding the RIGHT one for me has proven more challenging than I could have ever imagined.

Friends have told me things like my standards are too high, or that I should give someone a chance that clearly has qualities I would never want in my life.  So as the topic turned to things we look for in the opposite sex, this brought me back to all of those conversations with my friends.  So, are my expectations unrealistic?  As I listened to others talk about what they are looking for, I came to realize that their expectations were different because they were not looking at it from a marriage standpoint, and I was.  Since most of my friends hold the same view on marriage as those in the room, their expectations would be that of those present, also.

So why is it that most people my age want marriage?  I have asked many, and most state they have been through the wringer with their exes and don’t want to do that again.  Others state that they “don’t need a piece of paper to justify their relationship.”  Again, I disagree.  If someone truly loves me and does want to spend his life with me, he should not hesitate at that piece of paper.  If he does, I would question his commitment to me.  Now I realize some would argue this point, but I stand firmly on my belief.  It is okay if you disagree.  You see, to me marriage is sacred.  It is far more than a piece of paper and a level of commitment.  While others may not see it this way, I do.  So I will trust in my belief that the right man is out there for me.  I cannot and will not settle for less than I deserve.  I am not asking for unrealistic expectations, but simply for love and a man who is okay with making the commitment of “I do.”

For those who have said to me that marriage is not all its cracked up to be.  Well, maybe that was your marriage.  Allow me to have my own and make my own judgment on that.