Dating Smart on Dating Sites

  

Dating  smart means avoiding the potential pitfalls in the online dating market.   I don’t apologize for calling dating a market because it is.  Modern day dating has become a commodity with the best and brightest and most  endowed (and should I add sexiest ) going to the highest bidders.   Online dating isn’t for everybody and if you are old fashioned like me, you probably would rather opt for face-to- face interactions and meetings.  Be that as it may I offer here a few guidelines to help you navigate online dating and perhaps save you from getting burned.  

Online dating services now have endless possibilities, catering to virtually every demographic, whim , and vice.  You read that right. Seriously there are dating sites out there for one night stands , booty calls, gay/bi/transexual kinky sex, orgies, and even for cheating on your spouse , after all , ” you only live once , so cheat now while you have the chance.” Notwithstanding the potential for sin and vice, anecdotal data is abundant of horror stories of dates gone awry and potentially lethal. You only need to google that to help you realize the moral fallout that online dating can bring.

Yeah people are looking for love the world over.   It is human nature. We were created for relationships and intimacy.  Looking for love is as legitimate as looking for your next meal or your next drink.  But let me state that there is a right way and wrong way to go about it.   We who are in Christ are called to be the light and salt of the world.  Date smart.  We’re obliged to follow principles rather than the sway of lust.   If you call yourself a Christ one, a believer , a Gospel person infused with God’s Spirit, what are you doing seeking flowers among the weeds?   Light has no fellowship with darkness and the imperative that we not be unequally bonded with unbelievers isn’t about to be revised for modern sensitivities any time soon.   

Avoid the bad apples.  There’s a solid and inevitable presence of pretentious liars, cheaters, con artists, players, and trolls all over cyberspace. In regards to online dating sites, the virtuous don’t have a monopoly on the dating industry.  Rapists, child molestors, adulterous adventurers and pimps are subscribers of darting services, mind you , but they are not about to reveal that.  The last thing big bad wolf wants to accomplish is disclosing his true intentions to the chickens.  This is acutely so in online dating sites where unscrupulous and malicious “members” prey on the vulnerable and gullible by means of scams, emotional manipulation, and sex games.  Even if a so called member sounds and looks reasonable you might never know what their ulterior motives are.  Nevertheless anyone who asks you for money, prompts you to undress on webcam, wants to meet you in a remote place secretly, etc, isn’t probably looking for your best interest.  You have to employ common sense and avoid suspending seasoned reason and judgment when the rush of hormones in your head suggest otherwise.  If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t.  Shady characters aren’t limited to people who merely sound incomprehensible ( “wanna chat sometim , travel the world, I wait ya in the corner, don’t bring your phone”), but also include those who seem too desperate, insecure, says he or she has fallen in love with you ( after two days !), and shows unreasonable and suspicious interest in highly private and sensitive areas of your life.   Exercise caution. Practice good dating etiquette by asking questions, never revealing too much, never agreeing to meet privately , and probably letting someone you trust know about your whereabouts with a particular potential date.  One more thing. You probably ought to regard the most trusted online dating sites first before you consider other options.  Trusted sites will have more strict guidelines and ethics that subscribers must adhere to and some even require that you verify your identity as a prerequisite for signing up.   This can save you a lot of headaches should you discover later that your crush was in fact a married person  living a double life or a con artist on the lamb.   

Avoid the complicated tag.   Regarding relationship statuses some people cite “complicated.”  Avoid that like the plague .  Complicated can mean a number things including but not limited to:  “I’m  still in a relationship, but it’s on life support,” ” going through divorce,” ” I just like the sex on the side”!  “currently with someone but keeping my options open,” hmmmmmm.  Really.   Who in his sane skull wants to dip into this cesspool of ambiguity and immorality?  Why would you bath in obvious muddy waters?  One percent sewer, ninety-nine percent water I’m not drinking it.   Complicated tags denote unresolved and possibly salacious life and love stories that will add to your detriment if you aren’t careful.  

Avoid the I-am-up-for-anything profiles.   Sad but true there are people online with zero standards.   You can spot them easily as they usually exhibit an air of pessimism and cynism and sarcasm. You should be able to spot these off the cuff.     Don’t waste your time.   These Dead  Enders would not mind breaking you, showing you contempt and condescension or placing impossible, silly, or unreasonable demands on you ( “I’d like to meet you but don’t expect anything from me,” ” I just want to go along for the ride, should we trade spouses?” “All men are hoes and I’m here to prove it” ” I want to try something kinky with you that no one has attempted before and probably become famous or be arrested for it”).    

Avoid the my-children-are-my-whole-world-and-my-number-one-priority .  It’s a slam dunk people.  If you are dealing with a single parent chances are he or she is telling you the truth.  No one is toying here when they tell you they are irrevocably committed to their children. And that’s a good thing. Except that you my fellow conspirator in dating won’t get to be first place in this person’s life.  You will tag along as an accessory and this person more likely will not assign you a place you at the center but rather you will be lodged on the margins.  If you are single-never-married-no kids your best option is to avoid single parents altogether.  I’m not denigrating single parents at all.  I’m one!  I’m only acknowledging that dating single parents isn’t for everybody.   Not all are suited for the job.  If you are young , fresh out of college, starting a career, you don’t want the added responsibility to parent children not your own.  That might constitute unbearable baggage that will not add to your happiness .   Each case is different and I’m not here offering you blanket advice .   Maybe Christ has called you to love a single parent and his or her kids, as an example of sacrificial, tough love.  So be it if it’s God’s will and you are up to the task.   But that’s not the biblical norm .  Christ wants his people married and then parents, in that order.  Some single parents brought it upon themselves to be in the predicament they are in.  For others it wasn’t their choice at all due to abandonment , divorce ( through no fault of their own)  death, or even rape.   These latter cases maybe more appealing to you rather then the instance where parenthood was attained through drunkness, irresponsibility ( one night stands, group sex) , immaturity (teenage sex) , slutting or whoring around.  

Avoid international dating unless you absolutely can’t find or have given up finding love in your home country and are fully informed about the risks of going for foreign love.  The consequences of international dating can be both mind boggling and catastrophic. Granted some people find their ideal mates outside their home countries all the time, but the experience isn’t as clear cut and hassle free as advertisers promote it.  To begin with there is the issues of money.   International dating demands vast sums of money and that in itself presents a daunting task that is cost prohibitive for most low to median wage earners. You gotta be somewhat rich and have sufficient discretionary income to be able to afford the expensive airline tickets and overseas stays.   That’s not where the greatest risk lies however because of the factors laying with your foreign mate.  Some foreign men and women, particularly citizens of third world countries or countries formerly or currently anatagomist to Christian principles ( think Russia and Communist China , the eastern block like the Ukraine ) are currently in the business of bating suitors of rich countries for money or visas.   This isn’t the stereotypical scam where you get robbed under false pretensions but it’s a more ingenious and cunning device where your so called soulmate goes along with the courtship and marriage but then dumps you once she or he gains entry into your country or lays hold of your bank account.   It’s nearly impossible to verify the genuine intentions of someone overseas who claims to love you.   Is she loving you because of who you are or because she sees you as here ticket to a visa?   You never know and the few times and restricted instances where you can meet and  chat with this person ( mostly through texting, Skype) may not be adequate enough to overcome hidden agendas they are plotting against you.   This sham and scam works both ways as many people of the first world sign up for international dating services with the sole aim of pursuing sex tourism trips in sex paradises like the Philippines, Brazil, and  Thailand.  Know what you are getting yourself into.  With international  dating you can’t afford to remain ignorant.  Do your research well and pray that you will be safeguarded from damaging and debilitating foreign dates.  Know your target potential mates sufficiently to make an informed decision and not suffer regret later and a broken bank account and shattered dreams. 

In sum.  Stay way from the ominous kiss of death.  Skip the poisonous grapes.  Online dating can both be a blessing or a curse. It depends on how smart you are and how eager you are to do your homework.  I should underscore that I’m not endorsing dating sites nor do I advocate that my fellow singletons attend there as their first choice for finding romance and marriage.   Some of you are doing it and more will follow suit.  To them I say , ” welcome to the world of dating as a commodity.”  If you happen to subscribe and get the fuzzy feeling that you are engaged in a competition, you are!   The dating carousel is available to all to peruse ( sometimes for a price) , designate, discriminate, and dump.  Don’t get your feelings hurt and don’t get offended easily because someone blew you off. Remember there’s thousands of customers vying for the best faces and the best profiles. Why should you be Number One for anybody ?   If you can’t answer that question yourself , nobody else will.   This is perhaps a little bit like the Steve Jobs Effect: “people don’t know what they want until you show them.”  Can you show that ? Can you demonstrate that you are a viable candidate for this enterprise called love not because you have the cutest face and the killer job, but because you can deliver on those more enduring qualities that everyone yearns for but can’t articulate like loyalty , trustworthiness, resiliency, spirituality , and courage ?  And by all means , use your online dating experience to witness for Christ .  For many singles, that’s the only true love that they need at the moment. 

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Some talking points as to why singleness matters

Spring butterfly strck down and injured by heavy May rain. Safe on my shoulder

I read a quote a few days ago on cybersphere that almost made me slip out of my seat, giggling:  

” married people ask me why I’m still single.  Geez why doesn’t anybody ask these people why they are still married.”

Married isn’t our default status in life. Singleness is.  Single is how we begin, unless your marriage was arranged and made legal before your birth or somehow you think God or the stars or fate has predetermined a soul mate for you.  I won’t delve into those deep philosophical realms. It’s useless for my present purposes.  If you are pursuing a PhD that can very well be a viable subject for your dissertation.  

Singleness matters. And if you think this matter is up for debate, then I suggest you start with the best opponent you can ever have as a debate partner : yourself.   Ultimately it is you who will be the final judge of wether to remain single or get hinged. Enough said.  Here’s the gauntlet:

  • Singleness is a worthy status. It means freedom.  When I say freedom I am not demeaning marriage or condescending to those in relationships or being cynical to the extent of the wise crack who claims to hate marriage because it means mating in captivity.  I mean freedom in a wholesome way.  You have greater ease of movement and choices. You can do things that some married people can’t do such as take an extended vacation, sleep more, skip a shower, wear granny panties, press the toothpaste in all the wrong ways, not flush the toilet, be an overseas missionary whose vocation for Christ demands number one attention.   Granted singles can and will abuse their status for the service of vice and irresponsibility, but overall singleness is a strong position from which to launch.  Sometimes in some situations , two cooks DO spoil the broth. 
  • Singleness affords you the opportunity to become whole on your own terms.   It is a massive red bloody flag when someone wants to get in a relationship because of the need to be complete.  Why should another human being shoulder such a hefty responsibility? Maybe what you really need is a therapist , an entertainer , a mom, or a pet.  But not even they can complete you.  Your mom will give you roots and buy your boots, to a certain degree and time frame. You shouldn’t expect the mothering to outlast your white hair.  Therapists will listen to you, for a fee, about all your foibles and flaws, but they work by the hour. They have a life too. They can’t listen forever.  Pets certainly will provide you and be generous with their loyal company.  But pets aren’t people. The best they can do is see you as a glorified , black-and- white two legged animal endowed with unlimited food.  It’s none of the above.  Only you can come to terms with your own realities.  People can offer you guidance, support, love, sex, and whatnot, but what you see in your mirror every morning is the closest source for your completeness .   Paul said it best :  ” workout your own salvation with fear and trembling because it’s God who works in you………..” ( Philippians 2:12).
  • To gauge the worthiness and viability of married life and parenthood, singleness is by all means an excellent frame of reference from which to view the road ahead.  It’s better to take a close look at married life from the cool headedness of a single status than from the hot steam of lust.   Believe me , the honeymoon is not the time or place to question why you are in bed with this person.  That question should have been resolve before your primal urge to reproduce,  during the sunlight of clarity and objectivity , not on the climax of moonshine of desire. 
  • In this era of stagnant wages, insecure jobs, outsourcing and downsizing , your singleness is the best time to lay down your nest eggs.   A common reason keeping many singles away from the altar is a financial house on shaky grounds.   It’s unrealistic and irresponsible to expect that our future spouse will or should bail us out in the area where we have the principal responsibility.  The psychological benefits for this scenario are enormous.  The moment both of you are firm in your finances you will be able to asses your future love not on his or her earning potential, but from the perspective of character.  Will he be loyal? Will she be trustworthy?  People are simply fed up with this vomitus narrative of the gold digging , she / he seized my house-boat-pension-money that torments many souls daily.  
  • Final point and disclaimer .  It doesn’t follow in every case that if you are unhappy and still manage to get hinged that you are destined automatically to dash, dish, and doom your relationship. Redemption exists . It’s real and available.  You can still be happy , grow , and save your marriage.  Stupid can be cured.   Sin atoned for.   Adultery and fornication forgiven.  Christ came to save sinners.  The trend of irresponsibility and immaturity can be reversed. Hardly anyone comes to love and romance and marriage  as a complete package.  Singles and couples both can climb up and gain promotion to happiness land.  Still your best bet for a lasting relationship and to shield yourself against divorce  is the strategy of going it solo for a while and target your personal issues and problems to the level of a nuisance or preferably non existence. You won’t be happy bringing your baggage to a relationship and they sure won’t eagerly subscribe to the added weight that your detriment presents. You risk tainting your love and the price could may very well be sky high.  Baggage is difficult to bear, but more unbearable and unjust is our resolution to expect others to suck it up and still remain willing to accept us and love us unconditionally.   Loving unconditionally doesn’t entail accepting whatever whim, vice , and /or destructive tendency. No one should ever accept incorrigible behavior that’s is highly probable to destroy yourself, your loved one, or the relationship.   You need God and grace to solve the horrors of the skeletons in your closet.  If not, expect to haunt your next lover.   Suffice it to say that you need to be devoted to becoming the best person that your future mate will never regret loving.   This isn’t idealism.  It’s called being mature and responsible and safe to love and be loved. 

Why Having a Puppy is the Best Next Thing Should You Remain Single for a While or Remain Single Permanently

My late Puppy, Esmal-e, February, 2014. Miss you friend.

My late Puppy, Esmal-e, February, 2014. Miss you friend.

Tired of breakups, disillusionment, exhaustion, cynicism, and pessimism at the dating and relationship rat race?  Are you yearning for people to stopt disliking you, disrespecting you, and despising you? Then consider getting yourself some dog company.  In the millennia long process of human progress and evolution, the dog-man parity has yet to be improved, not because of a lack of genius , but because dogs unlike Homo sapiens, seem endowed with the natural affinity for avoiding screwing up relationships. 

  • Human relationships are sometimes very one sided.  Not like a Tango, but like a Mango whose sole purpose is to serve someone’s hunger and pleasure .  Mango gets nothing.  Has anybody ever had to contend with a dog with a sense of entitlement who gave nothing back?
  • Human relationships tend to degrade.  Couples therapy. Who ever  heard of man-dog counseling !  Given the right ( or wrong!) parameters people in human relationships may end up killed, maimed, or insane. 
  • Breakups and divorce are an ever present possibility.  It’s a toss for many.  
  • Puppy love is the most unconditional type of love.  There are no sanctification requirements.
  • Puppies will never try to change you.  
  • Puppies can tolerate a hefty amount of s—t, literal and metaphorical. I mean , they can both flash a wry grin and stand besides you while you are busy at your toilet . 
  • Puppies will always greet you, sniff you , lick your crotch, and get excited for the simple reason that it is you!  No need for a big house , designer clothes, BMW’s, or a fat 401K.
  • People often get hinged with undefined or rather ambiguous goals and expectations.  With a puppy at your side all the guesswork and hassle will be taken out.  You WILL know exactly what you are getting. 
  • Puppies communicate , like 101% of the time.  
  • Have an ugly , unruly puppy?Try obedience school to remedy the situation.  The costs are lower and the recidivism less likely than for sending your crush to psyachtry, rehab, or behavior modification at the next State Penitentiary. 
  • Puppies love simply.
  • You will never know a better , purer form of loyalty until you try puppy love. 

Singleness Quotes That Tickle Me Off

  1. “Love your singleness because that’s how you started.  Otherwise you may wake up one day and complain you never had a single life.”😀
  2. “Stay single until someone actually compliments your life in a way that it makes it better to not be single. If not, it’s not worth it.”😅
  3. “I’m single because God is busy writing the best love story for me.”😊
  4. “Until you get comfortable with being alone, you’ll never know if you are choosing someone  out of love or loneliness.”😒
  5. “He is single because he refuses to change his relationship status for someone who falls short of what he deserves. Knowing his self value, he’s chosen to preserve a spot in his heart for a real woman, someone mature enough to understand that loyalty, commitment, and honesty is a priority and not an option. “😗
  6. “I will not be any woman’s half-time, downtime, spare time, or sometimes.  So don’t waste my time.”😁
  7. “I’m not single, I’m not taken. I’m simply on reserve for the one who deserves my heart because they say good things take time”😇
  8. “Choosing to be single isn’t selfish. It’s smarter to be alone than with the wrong person.” 😏
  9. You are single. Make th best of it.  It doesn’t mean you are not good enough for anyone, it means no one’s good enough for you.”😌
  10. “I’ve been single for a while and I like to say  it’s going very well. Like…. It’s working out. I think I’m the one.” 😋
  11. “A busy, vibrant, and goal oriented man is so much more attractive than a man who waits around for a woman to validate his existence.”😎
  12. “If you are single, focus on being a better you instead of looking for someone better than your ex. A better you will attract a better next.” 😘
  13. ” I have no patience for a woman that can’t act like a woman. I already have a dick, I don’t need another one.”😜    Busy at play.  Helping to build SandCity for one of my Smurfs!