Alternatives to online dating

After some disappointments in matters of the heart last year and this year, I’m ready to try again and I’ve been thinking about my strategy. When you’re 34 you definitely need a strategy: sitting at home looking cute will not do the trick, and if I’m honest, while I do the “sitting at home” part extremely well, the “looking cute” part could use some work! ;)

(Don’t worry, I have a “few” suggestions on how I could improve my appearance–har har.)

My strategy at this time won’t include online dating, even though I know that online dating works: over the past ten years I can name four friends who met their spouses online. If I thought a bit harder I’m sure a few more names would come to me. But it doesn’t feel like the right option for me right now. As one of my friends said recently, “online dating doesn’t work for fat girls”. But wait! This post is not about the injustices of the online dating for big women, I’m just saying it doesn’t seem to work. Are there ways a fat girl can make online dating work better for her? Of course—”all” she has to do is lose weight or get more confident! But that is not what this post is about . If you are overweight and have found love online, then you’ve proven my friend and I wrong, but in my observations, very average-looking people who are neither too short (men) or too large (women) appear to have more success with online dating than the opposite, especially if we measure success as “being asked out on dates”. I haven’t online dated since 2009 though so what do I know?

Another phenomenon I’ve seen with online dating is people seem to ignore the saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”: people behave like there are plenty of fish in the sea, even if they’re on a dating site that is not Plenty of Fish! So they’ll go on one date with you and if you don’t blow their minds, they move on to the next person. One date isn’t enough to figure out if a nice enough date might be worth getting to know. If someone makes you sick after one date, don’t go on more dates with them but if you feel neutral after the date, it might be worth planning a second date. Like I said, I’m rusty in the online dating game but a couple of my friends aren’t, so this entire paragraph is based on their recent experiences.

I read a book that really challenged me to seek offline opportunities to meet men, Get the Guy . I’d recommend it to anyone interested in becoming a more confident, well-rounded person because despite the title the book isn’t trying to sell cheap tricks on how to snag men…it’s more about authentically becoming an interesting person who all sorts of people, including men, will gravitate to—the self-help fan in me loves that idea.

If you’re a bubbly extrovert who oozes confidence, you may not get as much from the book. In social situations with the opposite sex I tend to be quiet or worse, in the past I’d assume that any guy talking to me was doing so because he wanted to get closer to my friend or to my sister. You can see where the confidence aspect of the book would benefit me!

So to put my (proverbial) money where my mouth is, I’ll be attending a (free) singles event being held at a local RCCG (Redeemed Christian Church of God) this weekend. I attended last year and found most of the speakers pretty good. Last year’s event would have been more impactful if attendees were roughly divided up by age: there were children younger than 13 or 14 at the event and while it’s good to start preparing them at a young age, I just don’t think we have the same issues. Initially I wasn’t going to attend this year’s event because what I got out of the conference last year wasn’t enough to make me eager to attend, but I need to make an effort and a friend mentioned she was going so I twisted my own arm and decided to go.

I’ll share more of my strategy in coming posts. I may also revisit my great-aunt the matchmaker.

Did you or anyone you know meet their spouse online?

15 thoughts on “Alternatives to online dating

    • I would definitely try speed dating; maybe I could encourage one of our local Nigerian organizations to set up an event!

      Great suggestion, Berry! Google Translate has rescued me a few times ;)

    • Google translate is good except that cinglé is actually used for a person. “Fou” would be better in this instance.
      Sorry, I’m a language nerd!

      • Actually “dingue” would be better here.

        Not a big fan of online dating…too paranoid. However, I think introductions by friends or people who know you, are a good idea.

  1. Good luck…sounds like a good strategy. I hear RCCG and i start freaking out….that church scares me for some reason. Let us know how the event went. I have tried online dating but it seems like when i am still early in it, I meet someone offline and then cancel my subscription lol. So I have recommended it to single friends but lots of people in my Nigerian circle seem resistant to it.

    • Interesting you should mention your feelings about RCCG, MPB, because I’m planning to blog about the church.

      I wish I had had the same experience as you when online dating but nope: I went on a few first dates but only one or two second dates.

      I think one reason (not the primary reason) that Nigerians might be resistant to online dating is if they live abroad, there aren’t as many fellow Nigerians or even fellow Africans to be matched with. Not everyone has a racial preferences which is why I don’t think this is the primary reason.

  2. Can friends/relatives your age set you up? Whatever you do DO NOT let your parents set you up with anyone. Older people, especially those who were raised in other countries have a very different perspective on relationships, I’ve found. About 8 years ago, my parents said they had a family friend who tried to set me up with THEIR friend’s SON. The guy was nearing 40 at the time (I was 26) and according to my mom, had not been on a date in years. Mom seemed to be oblivious to the fact and brushed it off as “normal” because he was a “busy doctor.” Maybe it’s a cultural thing, because this Canadian girl sees A LOT of warning signs (things ranging from him being deeply closeted/on the “down low” to personality issues to being physically unattractive or any combination of the above). I mentioned that to my mother, but once again, she brushed it off, but eventually, realized that the date was never going to happen. I was seeing someone at the time, anyway!

    As for online dating: Well, you know how I feel about it, since I met met my husband there :) Just keep an open mind, but DON’T SETTLE!

    • Your comment was great food for thought, Cynthia. I like the idea of asking someone closer to my age to act as matchmaker. I’m glad you found love online and I definitely don’t plan to settle…I’ve waited too long!

  3. Wishing you the best in this area, sis! Lol at the comment above about finding two husbands :)

    Jokes aside, this is a serious issue that we’re mostly forbidden to talk about as ladies or African women. Of course, it’s not a written rule/law; it just doesn’t carry well in a casual settings without the overly serious insinuations that there must be wrong with your fate. Thank God for social media, I’m beginning to appreciate the honesty in posts like this.

    Speed dating in Nigeria?? Hmm…never say never! :)

  4. I tried online dating for a year at the back end of 2011 and into 2012 but ended up less than enthused by it (I did blog about it in a past ‘life’, lost in the ether where deleted blogs go :)

    You make a fair point about the lack of willingness to make an effort to see if a given connection might develop further, with most people choosing to hop off on to the next match. Sadly, at the end of that year, I came to the conclusion that the whole MO of online dating fed that sort of behaviour. Relatively low rates of reply (quite a few of the matches might not have had a subscription apparently) and a large number of potential matches usually mean that most people are sending more than one initial message at any time – hardly a recipe for building something more long term in my opinion.

    In my specific case, in addition to the paucity of Nigerian women on the site I was on, the vast majority were on other continents and generally cooled off once it turned out I was Nigerian too. I know quite a few Nigerian blokes have hardly covered themselves in glory when it comes to the internet but it felt a wee disappointing to have been summarily judged in those instances without being given a chance to make my own case.

    I think your offline strategy is a good one – I made more progress by being a little bit more visible in my city – showing up at the house parties and family birthday parties I’d usually refused to attend, and church.

    Still not sorted out yet, but there are encouraging signs…. And renewed hope here :)

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