We are all in a cyber craze. We get instant emails on our phones; we share pictures and intimate details of our lives on web pages that can be viewed by millions anywhere in the world and we communicate with our friends at the other side of the planet at minimal cost. But does the Internet offer opportunities for hot, fast, cyber romance? Well, current statistics scream a resounding yes! A recent American study claims that 236 E harmony (an American dating website) members get married everyday! That’s 2% of all US marriages!
But despite such high statistics, some are still finding it rather difficult to embrace this new-found way of finding the ‘one’.
Case in point, I recently accompanied a friend to her colleague’s wedding. My friend works with the bride who is Nigerian while the groom is Caucasian/British. The wedding was fairly uneventful in places, the usual ‘uhing’ and ‘ahing’ at the sight of the couple kissing, as is customary at weddings. However, things seemed to take a somewhat comical turn when the best man took to the microphone to give the traditional best man speech. I couldn’t help noticing that most of the ladies on my table were giggling. “The guy is funny but not that funny” , I thought to myself. It was on the drive home that my friend revealed the reason behind the giggles.
Apparently the bride had told all her friends that she met her husband at a training session in Manchester, only for the best man to ‘cobalise’ her by revealing that they had actually met via an internet dating website. The insults from all the girls in the car were unstoppable. “What type of loser meets a man online”, one asked, “the desperate, fat and ugly type” another replied followed by shrieks of laughter from the others. I remained silent. You see, I couldn’t help thinking to myself that everyone in this car was in their very late twenties and single (except me). And seeing as we had just returned from their supposed friend’s wedding, maybe the real losers where actually sitting in the same car with me. Although the thought did give me secret reasons to chuckle, it also set my mind racing. What exactly is wrong with Internet dating? Are Internet daters losers? What kind of people actually use online dating sites?
Now I have always been the inquisitive type. So for your reading pleasure, I have decided to do some undercover investigation. Yes, I have done the unthinkable and registered with an online dating web site. Yes, yes, I can hear you all screaming now, “how could she?”, “she must be desperate!”. Regardless of your personal opinions, I think this will go some way in dispelling, or reinforcing some of the myths that have been floating around regarding Internet dating. However seeing as I am in a relationship, I had to set some ground rules!
1. All dates must be male, yes keh…I don’t swing the other way oh!
2. Under no circumstances must the guy come to my home
3. We must meet in a crowed place for coffee only, no hot dinner dates
4. I must dress appropriately, no low cut tops or mini skirts
5. I must have seen the guys picture
6. I am allowed only 3 dates, with 3 different guys under no circumstances can I meet the same guy twice
7. And it obviously goes without saying that under no circumstances shall there be any “hanky panky” involved
So with these ground rules in place, I went about my business and registered with 2 of the most popular Internet dating websites in the UK. I filled in the forms as honestly as I could and yes, I used my real picture. The only lie I told was my name….Bella Woods!!! Anyhoo, after a couple of weeks of emailing back and forth, 4 different guys had asked me to meet them for coffee. Now my man was quick to point out that our initial agreement was for 3 dates only. So I had to choose. And seeing as I felt he had been more than understanding about my little experiment, I decided not to push my luck!!
Below are the statistics of three of the guys I eventually chose. The dates have been arranged for next week
Date 1: Mr Hotelier
Occupation: Hotel manager
Hobbies: Travelling and hiking
Date 2: Mr Investor
Occupation: Investment analyst
Hobbies: Swimming and going out with friends
Date 3: Mr Architect
Occupation: Landscape architect
Hobbies: Being with family
…and I shall as usual report back with all the juicy details …wish me luck!!!!!
In the meantime, tell us what you think about cyber-dating. Is it a YES or a NO-NO? Ever tried it? Go ahead and share your stories.
Glory Edozien is an exciting new addition to the Bella Naija family. Glory is a writer based in the UK and you can expect exciting articles exploring a wide spectrum of issues including relationships and topical issues. BN welcomes Glory! You can click to read her first article for BN – How to Survive Your Ex’s Wedding