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.

Advertisements

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.