Throughout the years, I have done my fair share of dating and meeting single ladies in search for the perfect soul mate and the so called soul mate or the fairy tale love. During my search, I have learned a thing or two about the dating world; I have also observed the changes which have infected the dating scene and made more poisonous and impossible to learn a thing or two about a person. As a part of the last generation that witnessed and experienced the so called old ways of the last century, add to being a part of the new age information generation which relays on the digital world to communicate, I can bluntly and honestly say that I do miss the old ways of how things were once done. The new forms of communications which were introduced to the human race can be great blessings yet a curse. (Text messaging, cell phones, emails, black berry messenger, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, online dating sites etc.) The above list has helped many of us find old friends and keep in touch with new ones and those who are far away. Yes, things are so much easier and simpler at times cause of these means of communications. They keep us updated and well informed, but they lack the intimacy and the personal human touch. They are great tools to communicate, but they shouldn’t be the primary mean of communication especially with those we hold dear and close to our hearts. I still remember when dating meant that you had to actually put some efforts to learn about the person you admired. I still remember a time before mobile phones were as common as pants and shirts. I still remember a time when texting wasn’t even an option in your mobile package. I still remember a time when a digital card wasn’t available and you had to go to hallmark to buy a card and actually mail it. I still remember a time when I liked a girl; I used the land line to call her, and since I liked her, it meant spending more than five minutes to talk on the phone. Yes, it meant having an actual conversation using the spoken word rather than a text or a facebook poke. It also meant that I couldn’t have more than one conversation at the same time. Yes it actually meant that you had to focus on one person.
Texting and dating: Few weeks ago, I was attending a wedding and there was a young man in his teen years on the same table as me. It seemed as he was glued to his mobile phone the whole time. At first, I assumed he was bored to be there and was playing a game on his phone to avoid the awkwardness of being with an older crowd at a gathering, which he didn’t want to be a part of. Curiously, I started a conversation with him and asked him about the game he was playing. He told me it wasn’t a game, but he was texting few of his friends. Cause of my boredom as well, the conversation kept on going and he joined me outside as I stepped outside for some fresh air. As we talked, he confessed that he was having more than one conversation over text with few girls at the same time. I wasn’t shocked to see the content of the conversations or the pictures on his phone as he proudly showed them to me. However, what was more shocking is the fact that he claimed that having an actual conversation was no longer required and that he hardly spoke to any of them on the phone or even in person. I thought of the changes, which have affected my own generation and how we are now glued to our smart phones, computers, and so on. I thought of how much we have changed and I tried to imagine what will happen to the younger and future generations. It was and still is a scary thought. Nevertheless, I don’t think that a text message is an acceptable form of communication; it is not meant to be used to have a lengthy and an intimate conversation. I think text messages should be used as short and simple reminders or as a sweet cute message that will brighten your significant other’s day.
Online Dating: In a busy city like New York, dating is not the easiest thing to do; it is a mission impossible. New Yorkers remind me of robots who are wandering the streets of the city as they go on about their business. Everyone has their serious game face on; they are focused; they are not to be messed with; they are unapproachable. Everyone is so into their own little world; they are so taken by the books in their hands to avoid any form of eye contact with other New Yorkers who are riding the same bus or subway car. They are deafened by the music blasting in their ears listening to their MP3 players to block the noise of the city. Or they are simply sitting there with their eyes wide shut in attempt to reenergize for the next part of their day. As a New Yorker, I am very much guilty of the same things, but I tend to observe the behavior of others as I people watch wherever I go and I have come to the conclusion that New Yorkers are only approachable during the weekends while they are out partying or during happy hour. Those are the only times they are willing to let go off their game face. These facts plus the sad excuse which most use claiming that they have very busy lives and schedules allowed the online dating industry to boom and grow beyond belief. Few years ago, online dating was such a taboo and people were embarrassed to mention that they have met online because it confirmed their lack of social skills to secure a mate, which was the popular belief then. However, online dating is the norm now. People will pay hundreds of dollars to various sites in hope to meet their soul mate. Online dating is similar to meeting someone at the local bar, lounge, bookstore. I have nothing against it. But like other technologies, which have been introduced to our race, it has been misused and abused by many. Some use it to escape their realities creating fake identities to win the attention of other and there are those who use their true identities, yet they do it for the sole purpose of attention and to play the numbers game. Some use it to get over the pain of a bad recent experience without allowing the time to heal or recover. Some use it for entertainment purposes only. On the other hand, there are some who take it seriously and use these sites to find their partners because they don’t have the time to do it, or because they gave up on the idea of finding that someone in a bar or a club. And some do lack the social skills or the confidence to go out and meet total strangers in any kind of settings. In the sea of online dating, I have met a lot of interesting characters who are genuinely good and I wouldn’t have met them if it wasn’t for the World Wide Web. Nonetheless, online dating has become more like window shopping. It is like going to a mall full of your favorite stores and you are in search for one item and one item only, but since you love every store in the building, you will try a shirt or two from every store hoping that the very first one you tried wasn’t sold to someone else while you are still searching.
Rules of Engagement
At the end of the day, we are all out there looking for our one and only true love or other half. We are looking for the fairy tale love, which we grew up fantasizing and dreaming of for many years. However, we fail to look deep within our souls, hearts and minds to first fall in love with our own being and our own existence. We forget to look for the source of happiness and fulfillment within ourselves. There is a buried treasure within the soul and heart of each person that walks this earth.
Be honest with yourself: First, you need to reach a truce agreement with your own demons, scars, wounds, sadness and the list goes on. Dig deep and learn all about yourself. Learn to embrace your own flaws before expecting others to embrace and accept them. Learn to love yourself, learn how to forgive yourself, learn to love your own image in the mirror, learn to unconditionally love yourself. Be honest with you. One of the many mistakes that people do as they begin their search for that one, they date multiple people, they keep their options way too open and they get lost in all of it. Be honest with others: You don’t need to hide the truth; you don’t need to lie about your past relationships or whatever you experienced. We all went through the same thing at one point or another. Some people feel the need to lie to someone they just met about their past cause they fear the other person will not accept them or see it as a strike against him/her. The lies won’t get you too far and you will most likely end up hurting yourself or the other person who will end up hurting another person and so on.
Keep your options limited: Both men and women are guilty of it. Although women can be more forthcoming and honest about it, unlike many men who can’t be as honest, which leads to nothing but a web of lies till some gets caught. Focus on one person at a time in order to learn all there is to learn about that one person. Give the person a fair chance to show his/her qualities if you think he/she is worthy, but don’t keep them lingering and don’t string them along the ride if you don’t feel anything. Let that person find out all about you as well, give that person the chance to learn about you and see your true colors. Many fail to show their inner beauty just because they are so busy playing catching up with four other candidates. Many fail to experience the beauty of real intimacy and being totally transparent with others due to the unlimited sea of options in front of them and not knowing what they want and who they want it from.
Don’t fear Intimacy: Don’t fear getting close to a person, don’t fear letting someone dig into your soul. Let them take explore the nooks for your soul; let them see you for who you are. Learn how to let go off your guards; learn to embrace the fact that openness is the best policy and is the only way to find the treasure. Most people are too scared to open and let others see their true colors and they end up sending their own representatives on a date to impress the other person, but in reality they are only fooling themselves and hurting no one else but themselves. Open up and put all the cards out on the table, don’t fear the game or the players. Show your strength but also show your weaknesses. Talk of your successes but don’t forget your failures. Reveal you serious side, but don’t forget about your silliness. No one is flawless and our flaws are what make us stand out in the crowd. Don’t try to cover it up, don’t try to hide it, it will definitely show one day and that day you won’t be able to do anything but look down. Don’t complain about others who don’t open up to you if you aren’t opening up yourself. Both men and woman complain about the same things which they are also guilty of.
Be honest again: If you don’t feel anything towards the other person, if you feel the vibe of friendship kicking in, it’s better to say so as soon as you feel it, instead of giving someone a sense of false hope who may interpret your presence and company as something else.