inside out:with Respect Chofamba
The internet has changed our lives in a lot of good ways, bringing much-needed convenience, while making the world much smaller. Simple, small and random things like buying groceries, cars, getting your laundry done and sending gifts from one place to the other now require just the click of a button and it’s as good as done. It has also exponentially increased our seemingly shrinking social circles, by bringing family, friends and colleagues together in one space without having to travel miles. But more fascinating, the internet has created a space where some of the intangible things in a human being’s life like companionship and love can be found. Seems far-fetched, not really because a lot of things on the internet seem far-fetched until you try. One might think, of course it can’t be that easy when it comes to strong human emotions like love and the complex business of relationships, but you should never conclude based on your assumption only before you dare step out and try.
Signing up to an online dating site, is the first step and this can be both exciting and in a sense nerve-wrecking. There is always that fear of the unknown, the unexpected and the unanticipated. How can one possibly anticipate all the possibilities you are opening yourself up to by simply signing-up to a site with thousands of singles from all over the world? However, the probability of finding that one special stranger who can impact your life forever might give you enough courage to keep you calm and clicking through the process.
Most of the international sites might present questions that seem a bit foreign. Questions like, “Do you own a pet?” As much as this seems like a straight forward question, it really isn’t. A lot of us grew up in a household with a dog or maybe a cat, but we really paid little or no attention to the pet. In addition, our love or more so like for pets is not really something we would use to find a potential life partner. Then the other many generic questions on your likes, dislikes and just random but normal questions on your aspirations, goals, values, religion and idea of fun.
Seeing that some of these questions leave you with little faith of actually finding an ideal partner you can relate with, a lot of locals have decided to create their own on line dating opportunities on less conventional dating sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and lately WhatsApp chatting groups. Just chatting up a stranger on these popular sites or slithering into their DM with an amusing note just to start up a conversation. Some though are a bit more daring and will get straight to the point.
A lot of people actually prefer to meet someone online through the popular social media sites as they feel they can always get a little more information than the person is willing to give from a mutual person. While others just prefer the social media sites over dating sites because they feel they can then just say we met by chance on line as compared to we were both desperately searching on a dating site. However, there is no shame with meeting someone on a dating site, love can be found by chance, design and at times by taking deliberate steps towards finding it.
More interestingly, are some enterprising people who have taken it upon themselves to be in the business of connecting people and helping people find love. We have local app groups that you can only be part of after paying a fee where singles can chat with potential partners. Although some might see this as a desperate way to find love, it actually isn’t? After all, there are no hard and fast rules of where, when and how future lovers should meet.
Even more exciting is the local cellphone company that has opened up a dating service for singles. The only down side to this service is that there is no sure way of then interacting as there is no feedback platform and as you know most people have no idea what to say about themselves without guideline questions, so you might find it a bit dull, tiring and lacking that exciting vibe of on line dating.
The most amusing thing about online dating is the number of good-looking people who are searching for love. With online dating, we have terms like short-term relationship, long-term relationship or friendship. These terms might be a little confusing as they do not essentially mean anything to do with love as we would know it. After all what really is a short-term relationship? Could this be a one-night stand, a rebound, be my date for a work or family function, I’m just not certain. Despite the confusion these terms may present the number of matches you get especially on your first day of signing up can keep you glued and captivated.
Some may find the attention and number of likes and possible matches you get in a single day to be rather overwhelming. I mean in real life you might be literally struggling to get a single match or potential partner and you go online and suddenly your inbox has a hundred potential partners all demanding your attention. How to navigate and handle this, is a discussion for another time.
Although it seems so easy to get someone to like you, or have their profile match yours, at times getting a real conversation is just such a load of work. Often at times, it’s hard to move past the first pleasantries and get to actually talk about more real and tangible issues. The question of how much of yourself to share and where to draw the line between over share and sharing just enough can be a sticky point. However, this is no hinderance when you find yourself chatting to that single person who makes you feel like you have known them for years and are comfortable to share more without having to second-guess yourself.
Once you have connected with someone on line then comes the second part of the process, taking it beyond the virtual world into the physical world.
This presents its own interesting and at times roller coaster moments, which we will explore at another time.