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Dating … Online or Offline

The infamous World Wide Web, more commonly known as “The Internet”, has become increasingly popular for its dating sites and social networks. In its infant stages the internet received a bad reputation for being the easy access road to pornography. Though over the years it has subsided, is that label still lurking in the back of most users’ minds? Would you ever consider seeking true love online?

If you listen to all of the hype from well known dating sites such as eHarmony, Match.com, etc. one would be led to believe that a very high percentage of couples have met, dated and even gotten married to people who they met online. Are online dating services taking the place of chance meetings or the bar scene? Are social networks the new pick-up spots? Some people wonder just how safe online dating is. I do believe that there are some men who are trolling the internet like it was a Booty Buffet that never closes but I also believe that there are some men who are genuinely looking for someone to date. Now what the percentages are I wouldn’t even begin to speculate.

Let’s examine what happens when you first meet someone online versus meeting them in person. Whether it’s through a dating site or one of the many social networking sites, you meet this guy. He seems to be very nice, polite, good looking and the clincher is he can actually type in complete sentences. You’ve been communicating back and forth for a little over a month but you still haven’t met him. Questions you may need to ask yourself are is the picture he posted really him? And if it is him how recent is it? How do you know that it’s actually him that is doing the typing? It could be a friend or family member because he really can’t put two sentences together. To ease your mind of so many questions you could try video conferencing such as Skype where you can see the person you’re talking to and get a better feel of their personality through certain body language. So what do you do? Giving out too much information too soon could prove to be dangerous. Once you feel comfortable enough with him you set up a meeting in a very public place and spend some time face to face.

Okay, let’s take a look at an in person meeting. You are in the grocery store and you’re in line ready to check out. The gentleman behind you strikes up a conversation about how slow the line is moving, you both only had a few items and as you are leaving the store he catches up to you and asks you if you’re involved with anyone and if not would you consider giving him your phone number. Now you’ve had about 15 minutes to size up this man. You can see he’s very handsome; he dresses nicely, is well spoken and has a smile that makes your knees buckle. A lot of the questions you may have had about him online are not there but you still have questions just the same, only different ones. You wonder if you give him your number will he turn out to be a functioning jerk. Then he stalks you via your phone with continued text and voice messages because he doesn’t understand the meaning of the word no. You end up having to change the cell phone number that you’ve had for years just to shake him loose. He could be a perfect gentleman until he gets you alone and changes from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde right in front of your eyes. But he could also turn out to be the man of your dreams so what do you do? You give him your number and hope for the best.

Whether online or in person, dating is risky business but it is necessary in order to get to know someone; do they have a violent temper, a drug or alcohol problem, is he a monogamous man or is he a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Does he have a job or does he even want one. You just don’t know. That first date is like bungee jumping; you wrap the cord around you, jump, and pray that the cord doesn’t break. In any dating situation there will be risks but the key when getting involved with someone online or in person, a few months or a few minutes, is to use your woman’s intuition and listen to it. Also, a little common sense goes a long way. Remember, a jerk is a jerk whether he’s hiding behind a computer screen or is standing directly in front of you. At times it may be instantly apparent to you. Sometimes it may take you months to see him for what he truly is. Take your time and ease into getting to know someone if you are really looking for a relationship versus a one night stand or just being someone’s sex buddy. The chemistry you may or may not have with a person cannot truly be felt until you’ve spent some time together in each others personal space.

*If you want your voice to be heard just pick up the Mic and “Let’s talk about it.”

Val’s Voice

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