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.

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!

 

 

Are You Too Busy to Date?

Busy

How Busy is too Busy?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask.  As an extremely busy person, I am asked this all the time when communicating with men online.  Usually they will ask probing questions trying to figure out if I will make time for them in my schedule.  The answer is: it depends.

First, I will not cancel any of my plans for a date.  Most of these men, you never hear from again, so they need to find a time that is good for me if they want to meet.  This can be challenging since I keep an extremely full schedule, but it also gives me a very good indication of what the man is all about.  If he is respectful and understanding, then he is worth meeting.  Any man who questions me too much or acts like me being busy is a problem is almost certainly not the man for me.

While some may not agree with me, my take on this is that a man would expect you to understand if he is busy and would expect you to work with his schedule.  What is the difference if it is a women?  There is none – other than that some men expect women to cater to their needs without regard to hers.  For this simple reason, I know right away if someone will work with my lifestyle.  Someone who seems as though he wants all my time and attention prior to even knowing me, will surely be far too needy and clingy for me.

Prioritizing Dating and the Rest of your Life

I have a canned response when someone asks me if I am too busy to date right now. And that response is: “Today everyone is busy and if we all wait until we are not busy to date, we may be dead first.”  It is true, if you think about it.  Who do you know that is NOT busy?  Not very many people can say that.

While I will not cancel anything in my schedule to accommodate a date, I will reprioritize if I meet someone worth a relationship.  This is the part that men do not seem to get.  They see busy and they think there is no room for them.  As in anything important in life, it is all about priorities!  When we first meet someone, they have not earned a place in our schedules before other things in our lives.  When we establish a relationship with someone, that shifts, and they become a higher priority than some of those other things.  For any man to expect a women to cancel other plans to go on a date with them is totally unrealistic, since there is no guarantee you will even like each other.  However, when a relationship is being established and people spend more time together, they have earned a place in our schedules.  I am uncertain as to why men only see busy as no place for them.  It could be selfishness, it could be ego, it could be neediness, or something deeper like control issues.  However, I do know that if someone doesn’t respect my life as it is now, and does not want to work on a common time to meet, it puts up all kinds of red flags for me.

NO ONE is too busy to date if it is something that is important to them.  Stop asking.  If we did not want to be dating, we would not be looking!  Don’t be needy, be a gentleman!  Happy dating!

 

2 Things That Will Scare Men Away

  In our quest for love, sometimes we try so hard we do not realize what we are doing or saying can be counterproductive.  While we need to ask questions in order to determine if our date is someone we want to continue a relationship with, we have to be smart about the questions we ask and the messages we send out.  We need to realize that men are not women, and they do not think like women, either.  There are a few subjects that should be saved for later in a relationship, and some that are just never good to ask.  Here are two that will surely send most men running the other direction:

1. Marriage

This should be a no-brainer.  However, sometimes women forget this because they want to be married and they feel they need to let the man know this, or they are nervous and blurt out things like this to try to make conversation.  While this subject will need to be addressed at some point if that’s the direction you want to go, it is never a good idea to address it within the first few dates.  Most women realize that many men have a fear of marriage for a variety of reasons.  There may be a fear of being “tied down” or not being “free.”  Or some men may feel a loss of control in their lives if they feel they are being pressured or forced into something or feeling a specific way.  My suggestion is to allow the relationship to progress naturally.  There needs to be a certain level of connection to address this subject.  When women put this out, they do not mean they want to marry that particular man or at that particular time, men hear something quite different and if the subject of wanting to be married is approached too soon, they will run the other direction if they are not in a place where they could actually see it with you.  Yes, some of us may want to be married, but we need to keep this conversation to ourselves until we have a deep connection with the man we are having the conversation with!

2. His “Type”

Another subject sure to make a man cringe is asking his “type” of woman.  First of all, do you really want an answer to that?  Ladies, if a man answers this one with what pops into his head, I assure you it will not be anything you want to hear or could ever live up to.   A man’s “type” is not necessarily who his ideal mate is.  Men are visual and when you are asking a type, many men will conjure up images of what they want a woman to look like, followed by all of their ideal personality characteristics.  This is hardly a real human, just as your fantasy guy is not real.  Do not make your date squirm, or put yourself through this!  Leave this one alone!  You may be his ideal woman, but he does not yet know it.  Why torture yourself and feed all the insecurities we all carry around?  Learn about each other and allow your relationship to grow naturally.  Do not try to force your way in by trying to meet an ideal that does not exist in real life.

Of course, if you are on a date and you want to send him running, feel free to talk about these.  I do NOT guarantee these subjects will send the wrong guy running.  He could be one of the few guys these subjects do not send running.  But do not chance talking about these to someone who could potentially be the right guy.  You want him to be around to get to know you!  Happy dating!

Time to Move on

You have taken my advice and given him a chance.  You have taken the time to actually get to know him better than the surface knowledge gained on the first few dates.  He is a great guy with a lot going for him.  However, you are still not feeling it.  You enjoy hanging out and have a good time, but you are just not looking forward to those times the way you feel you should be.  It happens!  Sometimes we meet great people along the way that are just not the right ones for us, for whatever reason.  That is a good case scenario.

On the other hand, we also do meet those who riddle us with one disappointment after another, leaving us wondering whether there really are any good men out there,  Trust that there are!  You do not want to become bitter and negative in your search because that will attract the wrong men to you.  Stay positive and know that Mr. Maybe is out there – you just have not met him yet!

As we go through the process of finding our Mr. Maybe, there will more than likely be many disappointments along the way.  Do not allow that to deter you.  However, do take time after each one to reflect on what initially attracted you to him, what it was that made you question it, if you missed anything earlier on, and what you can do to improve the situation next time.   Seriously, take time for you – especially if things started out really well and turned into heartbreak and disappointment.  You need time to heal your heart and your mind in order to attract the right one.  You also need to understand what happened and know how to do things better next time.  In our quest for love, so few of us take the time to reflect when we need.  Time seems short, and it is.  But if you jump back in and make the same mistakes again and again, you are wasting more time than it would have taken to reflect on the situation – and you cause yourself more heartache and aggravation.

If you find there are some things that need to improve and you really like the person, you may want to have a discussion and work through those things.  However, if the problem is larger than that and you do not see the situation improving, or if there is something that has been recurring, then you will probably be best served by moving on.   Many women stay with men and think things will improve.  If a man leaves you disappointed again and again, and it is a recurring theme – he will surely continue acting in that manner and you will be left feeling alone and empty.  The point is to find the right man, not the one who is okay for now.  Be good to yourself, demand to be treated as you should be treated, and do not settle for less than that.  Stick to your guns.  If you compromise what you deserve, it may end up being a lifetime commitment to that compromise.  You deserve better than that!

Love is Like a Butterfly

The Metamorphosis of Love

I found this little guy earlier this morning eating all my parsley and got to thinking about the metamorphosis the caterpillar will go through to be the beautiful butterfly.  The simple little caterpillar is gorgeous by its own right.  Nature has adorned it with a beautiful pattern and beautiful colors, and also camouflage.

In many ways this reminded me of love and relationships,  When we first meet someone, there is a certain beauty there that fascinates us and we want to learn more.  Just as this little guy totally intrigued me and made me want to take multiple photos of it.    It is the initial beauty that attracts us – and not necessarily physical beauty, either.

As with the caterpillar here, there is also a lot of camouflage that exists when we meet someone new.  We can see the physical and we interpret the other things, many times in ways that benefit our own wants and desires.  If we want to get to know that person, we may gloss over the red flags, or maybe not even see them at all at first.  On the other hand, if we are not interested in them, we may blow things that they do or say out of proportion to suit our own line of thinking.

While we all want to believe we are open-minded, are we really?  Do we make snap decisions about others before we have all of the information?  Let’s face it, we have all done this at one time or another.  While there needs to be at least a certain level of attraction, the ideal partner for you may not be that “hot” man or woman you have fantasies about.  This is the real world.  People do not walk around looking like that.  The other side of this is when we see someone we think is attractive, but we base our decision on that, not knowing they are camouflaging potentially very negative things about their lives.  Are you missing really wonderful men (or women) who could be perfect for you because you have prejudged?  Are you going only for the ones who look good physically?  I think this happens more often than we would like to think it does.  We may be missing the one we could have a wonderful and happy life with.

Chrysalis, or pupa, stage of a butterfly. This is where the real change takes place!

Once the caterpillar matures to a certain level, it turns into a chrysalis of brown or green, and not usually very attractive.  This is what happens in new relationships, also.  Everything starts out pretty, then as we get to know each other better, we find there are things that are maybe not as pretty as we thought they were.  And sometimes things can turn ugly as we try to work through them.  And here is where it ends for many and what I believe is a societal problem today.  Ending relationships, even marriages, is much too easy on our society.   Many people are not willing to go through the metamorphosis, that every relationship will have at some point, to get to the real beauty that awaits on the other side.

I have a really good friend who went through so much in her marriage, but yet she also has one of the strongest, happiest marriages I know of.   She has told me many time it is because of what they went through that made them strong.  This, and her faith in God, has brought her to this point of having such a wonderfully happy life.  Life is full of ups and downs, but when it comes to relationships, most people seem to want to give up when the going gets tough.  Her family is living proof that everyone has hardships, but when the couple works together and communicates with each other, the future is much better than anything we could dream of when we are going through it.  The beauty in her marriage is something we can all hope to aspire to.

This can also be applied to relationships that are not yet marriage.  Do we give up too soon?  As soon as there are red flags, do we just give up?  Maybe some of us are really missing that diamond in the rough because he/she is still rough and we have not get polished the stone to find the gem that lies within.  So many people in their 40’s and beyond date, and date, and date, and never seem to find that right one.  Are we giving up on people too soon?  Did the relationship have the time to metamorphosize into all that it can be?  Or are we ending at the pupa stage?  Are we giving people the time to be that beautiful butterfly they were meant to be?

One of the reasons I question this is because there are so many times I would love to get to know men I date better, but never hear from them again.  I was willing to give them a chance, but they were unwilling to give me one.  I am a firm believer that unless you are absolutely repulsed by the person, and have not a thing in common, everyone deserves a few dates in order to really understand who they are.  While there are some things you can conclude on a first date, most things need to develop in relationships.  True love is not about how much you want to sleep with someone, but it has everything to do with connecting in your minds.  Real love connects people in the head and heart, not the groin.  When you are connected in the mind, the person is automatically attractive to you, because you are connected on a deep and real level, and that needs time to develop.  You will not know that on a first date.

My suggestion here is merely to think about how you date and if you really give yourself a chance to get to know the person you are on a date with.  From what I have seen, few do.  Since we are all looking for the same thing, and so few are actually finding it, don’t we owe it to ourselves to at least consider this?  I think we do.  We all want to be happy, and if we need to re-evaluate ourselves along the way, so be it.  The next time you find yourself on a date and you do find yourself not wanting to see the person again, ask yourself why.  Rethink it right there.  Are you even giving them a chance?  You may be pleasantly surprised if you do!  They may be that butterfly you have been looking for in the garden of life!

The Online Dating Dilemma

  While I am on the subject of online dating, I want to address a few things.  First, maneuvering through these online sites, can be frustrating, disappointing, and cause one to lose your faith in the opposite sex.  Sometimes people place their own expectations on others and when others do not respond in the way they think they should, they make assumptions about them that could be very far from the truth.

For instance, I was recently contacted by a man I had been communicating with awhile back.  Apparently, both of our lives got busy and we stopped communicating.  He recently sent me a message asking how I have been, which I answered honestly saying that I have been extremely busy and have not been on the site much.   The response I got actually shocked me, since all I was doing was giving an honest answer to his question.  What I got back bordered on intimidation and verbal abuse – especially since this man doesn’t know me.  I was called a “broad” (who even uses that word these days?) and told that he thinks that is a problem and he is sure that is why I am single (and then he used some other derogatory language).   Pardon me for being honest!

What I have found on these sites is that men think you should be at their beck and call.  They are busy and try to “fit” you into their busy schedules.  After all, aren’t their jobs what defines them (please excuse the slight bit of sarcasm)?  However, the minute we, as women,  are busy and have to schedule dates for when we are available, it seems to be a problem.  Since I have an extremely busy life, there are many times I have to schedule dates weeks out.  It is not that I don’t want to meet them (I DO!), but I keep my calendar full.

Ladies, we all know men will not cancel plans they have to meet you – especially if they met you online and do not know what to expect when they do meet you.  Why on earth would we do that for them?  I don’t!  If I have plans, they will have to work with me on a time that works for BOTH of us.  You should not be canceling your plans to meet someone you do not know and may never hear from again – plain and simple.  They would not do it for you.  What I find extremely annoying is that in our hearts, we know this (and so do they).  However, in practice, there are many times when women will cancel their plans to meet a man.  How many times has this left you disappointed?  What did you miss out on that you had on your calendar with friends?  Your friends have been there for you and will be going forward.  This man you have never met has no track record with you yet.

So what if you really want to meet a man you have been chatting with online but are too busy to fit him in for a few weeks?  I say schedule him when you are free.  More than likely, he will try to pressure you into changing some plans to accommodate him and meet sooner – don’t!  Here is why- this sets the precedent for the whole relationship!  If he can bully you into catering to him now, he will definitely think it is okay to do it going forward.  Your time and your life is no less important than his – ever!!!  If he is a decent man, he will get this simple concept and work with you on meeting at a time that works for both of you.  If he balks at the fact that you are busy or asks you if you are always this busy, he may not be the one for you.  You want a man who respects your time as much as he does his own.

I was also recently communicating with another man who asked me since I am so busy, why I would be on a dating site.  My reply?  I am on a dating site BECAUSE I am busy AND if I wait until a time when I am not busy, I could be dead first!  It is true, if you think about it.  Today, our lives are so busy we barely have time to come up for air.  Who is not busy?  While it is absolutely necessary to make time in our lives to develop a relationship, we want to make sure we divvy out that time to the right man – not everyone who demands our attention.  Believe me, if I meet the right one, he will have my time and attention.  Until then, no man has the right to demand my time (or yours).  I get tired of the double standard that still exists where we are expected to cater to their time – what about our time?  There are many, many decent men out there who are wonderful, understanding and respectful – these are the ones we want!  Not the ones who think we are not as valuable as they think they are.  We owe it to ourselves to make sure we ask for the same respect they demand.  We want to make sure we find the gems and not the stones.  Keep your standards high, but realistic.