Introduction: Where we left off in Hello Love, Where’s Cupid?
When I set out to write, “Hello Love, Where’s Cupid,” I had no idea that it would hit a lot of nerves with people, on both sides of the argument, in the matter of online dating. Not only did it hit a lot of nerves for those who “believe” in online dating, but I had many questions left to answer. Let’s dive right in to what was discussed:
I talked about social media and relationships, when I mentioned the following:
“Here’s the thing that most don’t realize: In this age of social media, we get emotionally attached and connected to people we don’t even know every day! The moment you start talking to someone every day, the moment you get their phone number, and the moment you talk about (and some promise) to meet -up, you are in a relationship with that person!
Some are friendships, yes, but I am talking about romantic relationships. So for those keeping the score at home, if what I described above sounds like you, congratulations, you are in an online relationship!”
Before social media came to be, our personal and professional relationships were separated by office walls. Now, through the use of social media, they aren’t. I discussed how social media has effected our lives, for the good and for the bad. That then took us into the discussion on online dating and dating apps.
Misrepresenting yourself on a dating site or app is as easy as a click here and a click there.
See, when you meet someone either at a party or at a bar, you see the person for who the person is ( look wise – no chance to use a fake picture ) and for the most part, they aren’t going to “make up a name” like they can and some do online. You can then actually get their name and do a background check on them yourself. With these dating sites, it’s hard to know if they are being truthful as to who they really are. Another thing that you can decipher in person that you really cannot evaluate online is another person’s sense of humor and connection. Reading a profile just isn’t going to cut it. They can “say” they are the funniest thing around since Seinfeld, but saying it online and actually being funny in person are two different things. And some of the services the websites offer might backfire, causing users to overlook people they might be happy with while choosing people they really don’t “match” up well with due to their answers and how they set up their profiles. At a party you may have two people to choose from, where as on the Internet dating sites, you have hundreds, thousands of different suitors to look over. I also broke the dating code, so to speak, by telling you how each site that “claimed” they had a scientific way of “matching” folks to the “correct” partner worked.
I then got into the conversation on what every site has failed to recognize is that there really is no way to successfully predict that a relationship will last, especially when the most crucial information is not collected:
A) Individual Characteristics of each partner which include personalities, attitudes and if each partner is relatively stable.
B) Quality of interactions – This can only be measured in person, not online. This includes how well the couple will communicate and also support each other.
C) Unforeseen Circumstances – This includes stress, financial problems, cultures, family issues, etc.
With this said, users beware that the only ultimate way to know if a relationship is going to last, is actual face-to-face interaction.
This then went into the stories about scams, lies, and the studies that show that online dating/ dating apps do not work the way they are intended to work, and I list those sites.
I also gave folks a little reminder, “ Your future partner is not a link on a website, he or she is a human being.”
Not only did I talk about the reasons why no one should be using these sites, I even gave you tips if you do want to try these sites. (What can I say, I care.)
I gave tips on how to win an ex back, even though I am totally against going back with an ex for this reason alone: They are called an “ex” for a reason. Now, I am all for second chances, but you need to be extremely sure and confident that the relationship with your ex is worth it.
Also on the table of discussion, was if you are a guy who is looking for a relationship, I gave tips directly from the mouths of single women everywhere. I can tell you all that the first thing that bothers single women is the fact that men today have forgotten about chivalry.
Of course I had advice for women too when I said:
“I can’t make people value me. All I can do is show them who I am, what I feel, and what I believe in. It’s up to them to realize my worth. And what every woman needs to learn is the difference between what you’re getting and what you deserve. Let the universe know this by the way you treat yourself.”
My favorite chapter, and everyone’s favorite chapter was 10 where I used some of my past relationships as lessons for what NOT to do. One of our best learning tools is looking back at our mistakes.
Each relationship has made me into who I am today. There is no way around that. I have not only grown as a person, but I have grown thicker skin, have taken more risks, and learned that life is short. Here are the lessons from that chapter that I wanted to pass along to all of you:
THE KEYS OF WHAT NOT TO DO:
a- Never judge anyone without getting to know them yourself.
b- Just because your boyfriend breaks up with you, doesn’t mean that you need to date someone else right away to replace him. Learn to be alone and recover first, then date later.
c- You don’t need to use your sexuality as a way to gain attention. Use it as a powerful tool to boost yourself confidence instead.
d- Never judge a book by its cover. Just because he looks like a Calvin Klein underwear model ( and is one) does not mean that his personality is as “hot”
e-Don’t give a guy that many chances. The truth is, if he wanted to be with you, he would be with you. Period.
f- If someone shows you their true colors, don’t try and paint a different picture.
g- Finally, don’t take a person you meet online at face value. It’s easy for them to lie about who they are and if they are really using you in their little game. Google them. Find out if they are hiding anything. Always LISTEN to your instincts. When someone is using you, playing you, or things aren’t adding up, your instincts will never lie to you.
To note the 2 relationships I briefly mentioned in the book: The 23 year old and the divorced dad who was in his 40s, those relationships went south. The 23 year old was too scared to turn our relationship into something serious because he literally was afraid of what his friends thought. Yes, guys are that immature and stupid. Also, strong women scare weak men. The 45ish divorced dad proved once and for all that NO ONE should get involved with a soon-to-be divorcee – RED FLAGS were everywhere and eventually were received, noted and dealt with in a timely manner. Both relationships were in separate years too.
Then we pivoted from that to of course talking about some serious topics in the dating world. When you hear the phrase, abusive relationship, usually domestic violence comes to mind, but emotional abuse is often minimized, yet it can leave deep and lasting scars. And the truth is emotional abuse doesn’t just happen to women; it also happens to men and the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied.
There are 3 different types of abuse that happen in relationships: 1) Domestic Violence 2) Rape and 3) Dating abuse. These are topics that women try and avoid talking about because they are embarrassed to admit that they have been in an abusive relationship or they feel ashamed that they succumbed to a man who tricked them into believing that he loved her by abusing her.
Abuse isn’t always obvious.
Here are some red flags that everyone reading this should know and note:
- Call you names and put you down
- Call or text you throughout the day to check on you
- Keep you from friends or family
- Control your $
- Threaten to hurt you, himself/herself, your pet or loved one
- Hit, Kick, Push, Punch, Slap, Pinch, Choke or Bite you
- Destroy property or throw things
- Tell you who you can see or what job you can have
- Tell you how to dress
- Act overly jealous
- Withhold medication or health care
- Make you have sex or do sexual acts that you don’t want to do
- Threaten to “out” you if you are gay or lesbian
- Constantly criticize
- Embarrass you
- Blame you for everything – including the abusive behavior
What usually happens after this happens the first time is that the victim makes statements like:
“My partner isn’t violent all the time – they love me”
“Things will get better – they didn’t mean it”
“Maybe it’s my fault”
“I’m scared of what will happen if I leave them”
And the abuse continues.
Remember, most relationships start off with each person acting their best and seeing the other with rose-colored glasses. It never starts off on an abusive note.
There were many other topics we discussed in “Hello Love, Where’s Cupid 2nd Ed” and the feedback from the book was tremendous. Which leads me to writing this follow up book, “Relationship Impossible”
Here is a brief summary of the topics that will be discussed in the book- note that I am not mentioning EVERY topic.
A. How Covid 19 affected dating
B. How Dating apps and sites actually work
C. Social Media’s Shallow Pitfalls
D. Athletes. Social Media, and Dating Apps
E. Myths: sexual myths, Out of My League Myths, etc.
F. The 7 Selfish Traits
G. How The Me Too Movement Changed Dating
H. The most dangerous / safe states for online dating
And much more.
Of course some of the topics that I have blogged about over the years, will be mentioned and some topics are those that trend on social media like the following: TO BE CONTINUED….. ( Oh, just you wait… )