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William Ifeanyi Moore: Love at First Like?

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Admit it, you’ve done it before. It starts with a Like, then a skim through a profile, before you know it it’s a full blown stalking operation. Lord help you if you sneeze and Like that picture from three years ago by mistake.

But despite all this random Likes we give and receive, there seems to be something rather socially unacceptable about meeting people online. It is almost like a widely accepted rule of ‘you can see but you cannot touch’. Talk about sanctioned hypocrisy.

Initially the stigma of meeting people online was one to be scared of because it made people imagine the worse of our desperation. These were the days when it was a lot more difficult to tell if you weren’t talking to a 50 year old drag queen posing as a 21 year old bombshell. In the case of women it was more like a guy turning out to be an absolute rapist and murdering psycho posing as prince charming. Fast forward to 2015 it is a lot easier to ascertain the authenticity of an online persona. You can scheme through comments from friends, Google the name, check out how regular they post, if they have family and friends in the picture, track them through different social networks…basically there is enough to soothe your investigative paranoia.

So what is it about meeting people online that still makes us so ashamed to admit it in public? I think it is the notion that there is something desperate about people taking to the internet to search for sex or relationships. The irony is that we can meet someone in a bar today, get their number, call tomorrow to arrange for a date and that is okay. However, when we meet people online there is an unwritten rule that you can’t just see them immediately. You have to chat for a good while to get to know them before you can consider meeting up.

My working theory is that the online experience is riddled with creeps and weirdos (mostly for women) so this creates a need to pass people through some kind of screening before meeting. This screening process can be skipped when we meet people in real life on a night out with their friends because we can see they have some kind of social clout that makes them seem normal at the very least. Like it or hate it, meeting people online is fast becoming the dominant way of meeting new people and it is not going anywhere anytime soon.
It is very convenient, allows for deliberated presentation, provides a distance to cushion rejection, and allows people to pace multiple ‘getting-to-know-yous’ at once. Not to mention there are guys that are so shy in person that without the assistance of the internet they would probably be forever alone in the company of video games and their trusted right hand.

So why do you guys think people are hesitant to admit meeting people online? And is there any social stigma to this at all, or is it just me imagining that something that is already accepted in the mainstream is still a debatable issue?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Paul Michael Hughes

William Ifeanyi Moore is an MPharm graduate from the University of Portsmouth, UK. His true passion is in novels and poetry but he cheats on them with movies, plays, and music. He believes sacrifice and compromise is the bedrock of any healthy relationship. His debut novel Lonely Roads is out on 10/12/2015. Blog: www.soulsyrup.space Twitter: @willifmoore Instagram: willifmoore

63 Comments

  1. Mz_daniels

    May 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Wow, me that has few pics on Instagram and hardly changes my dp. I’m tired of hearing ‘but you’re pretty, you should love taking pictures’. For realz?

  2. Scared homosapien

    May 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    I don’t know who you surround yourself with, what I do know is that more and more people (that I know sha) are admitting that they met their present baes/partners online. There’s absolutely no need to be shy about or hide it, no need.

    • nikky

      May 26, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      I’ve noticed too. There was that famous twitter couple, they met there and d guy proposed on twitter too.

  3. Sabifok

    May 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Great article William. Here are my 2 kobo:

    1. Meeting people online though becoming more popular is not as lauded because you have to kiss many frogs (or many tilapias in the case of guys) to meet your prince (princess). The cycle of meeting online and then physical disappointment drains one out, and puts people off this method

    2. There are much more better ways than meeting online, and in a social society like Nigeria, those other methods are more preferred. Obviously this wont be the case if one lives abroad. But in Nigeria, friends and family fall over themselves to hook you up. I went to pick my aunt at a salon once and a one woman gave me her daughters phone number as she liked the look of me. And I am no Denzel. There are so many social events in Nigeria and many opportunities for hooking up (well I can speak for fellas) that the looking online is not as important.

    3. People lie a lot about themselves on social media. Those photos are airbrushed or photo shopped. A good photoshop can eliminate 30 pounds, make boobs look larger or gave someone an even clear complexion. Real life is another matter. There are other small inconsistencies like maybe the irritating sound she/he makes with her throat, or habit of over gesticulating that makes the person not as attractive in real life.

  4. natty

    May 26, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Well, I met present bae online, he added me up on facebook. Started the usual convos I get from guys… the whole you are pretty routine. I paid him no attention till he added me up on BBM 3 months later. He showed me his intelligent side and I fell.
    Back to topic, I still feel shy telling people how we met, I try as much as possible to hide it, cos of the uber judgmental society. He on the other hand doesn’t care and screams it out loud.

    I’m learning not 2 give 2f’s about people’s opinions though. My happiness is what matters

  5. A Real Nigerian

    May 26, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Finally, something refreshing and intriguing. And it didn’t have to be needlessly lengthy.
    Well, I think people are hesitant to admit they met someone online because their friends might mock them with “Hey, you couldn’t get chicks face-to-face, you’re doing it over the internet where you can come across as a smarter and cooler person. That one is easy nau” and stuff like that. Not to mention that people will think the friendship or whatever is forced and not “real” because it’s an e-thingy.

  6. Igbegocho

    May 26, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    scared homosapien don give me better gist. I had better go and put my IG to more productive use. I think a photo session is in order, abeg who know better photographer wey no too charge.

  7. Kiiki

    May 26, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Love, Love, Love…where are you? :'(

    • papilo

      May 26, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      love is right here earnestly begging for your recognition

    • Kiiki

      May 27, 2015 at 11:42 pm

      Lol…

  8. bunmi

    May 26, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Watevea

  9. Nuna

    May 26, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    I’ve never been ashamed to tell people I met my husband on twitter. We tell anybody who asks. You meet lots of great people you wouldnt have ordinarily met online. Nothing to be ashamed of

  10. Anu

    May 26, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Oh Lord! I love this piece.

  11. crystabelle

    May 26, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    I feel the problem boils down to the fact that people are not honest and they go online to perfect their evil plans.we have heard sad stories of those that have died or got raped all because they let their guards down thinking they had found love.
    Also, the photos of the person you see online may give an unrealistic expectation of how the person may look like whereas it is not so.what if you guys meet and one person has a disability or something that immediately discourages you.
    I personally i have an open mind about it,i have tried my hands on it a couple times but i am not sure its a good idea for me.infact i have told myself online dating is not my luck.i have realised it is the ones i cant date that would be disturbing on fb, the ones i like wouldnt even send a hi msg.All in all, I feel it is a good way for meeting people.

  12. rose

    May 26, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    I beg..i beg all this meeting people online it done do!! How come person can’t just talk and make convo in real life!! Habaaa im tired self…every party you go to….person just dey stand and molest their mobile phone. na party o..why you no make convo….or that guy who will sit next to you for the whole party then when he is about to leave he will say “are you on whatsapp..can I have your number” whatsapp kor Whats up nee…olodo of Ojota!!! You sat next to me for four hours and couldnt make convo..you now want me to be your chat mate in the lonely hour abi..im tired of social media jor

    • lara

      May 27, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Cud it be that they are shy? Are ppl not allowed to be shy anymore?

  13. Joan85

    May 26, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I used to feel some type of way about meeting people online…until this amazing dude (I didn’t know it then) sent me a LinkedIn request and I reluctantly accepted. Long story short, we started talking, then began courting, and he proposed this past Sunday 😀 me I will tell whoever cares to listen o…people will judge and talk behind my back, I know, but the man makes me happy and God chose an unconventional way to send my husband to me. For that, I have no apologies whatsoever! 🙂

    • owelle

      May 26, 2015 at 11:05 pm

      Congrats dear

    • Pat

      May 27, 2015 at 2:50 am

      Awww.. Congrats 🙂

    • Eve82

      May 27, 2015 at 5:07 am

      Congratulations dear! So very happy for you. Best wishes always!xx

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      May 27, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Yayyyy!

      Feliciitations pour vous fiancailles. J’espere que vous serez tres heureux l’un l’autre.

      Mrs. Joan85 loading!

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      May 27, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      **tres heureux ensemble

    • Joan85

      May 27, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks for the well wishes, everyone! 😀

    • *Real* Nice Anon

      May 27, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      LinkedIn is an amazing place because you know right of the bat that that’s exactly their real name and dem get work. I hear someone is making an app like Tinder but with LinkedIn info. Imagine so many single busy professionals that are looking to meet someone decent. Congratulations Joan! Best wishes to you both.

  14. Bebe

    May 26, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    I started talking to this guy frm twitter one time, we graduated to d bbm thing nd eventually started calling eachother nd he made me like him,I really did still do sef a little. Then we picked a day to meet but he was like the time wud nt be enough for us to see nd talk so I shud spend d nite in his house nd after a while I agreed. Knwing d fool tat I am nd trying to prevent sumtin stupid frm happening I proceeded to wear d ugliest underwear I had thinking tat shame wud make me nt pull it off but then I fucked up nd we had sex…we don’t talk now nd i blocked him on twitter cs 2 days after he stopped talking to me,started subbing me he actually wrote tat a guy tat doesn’t lyk a girl never cuddles her after sex,a week after I deleted him. Its one of those things I regret nd it makes me stay clear of boys online or evn meeting them. I might trip for you frm ur pics or tweets, stalk u well but that’s where it stops.

    • Lilo

      May 26, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks for your courage to share your experience

    • Bolu

      May 27, 2015 at 2:59 am

      @ Bebe, meeting someone online has nothing to do with pulling your pant for a man you just met in person. It has more to do with YOU as a person if u get my drift.

    • Root

      May 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Classic one night stand. Lessons learned I hope. And be grateful to God that he wasn’t one of those who used sex as a ritual offering of some sort. Reminds me of two lady-corpers who went with an Alhaji and his friend to spend the night in a hotel. They never SWA them alive again.

  15. Beauty

    May 26, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    I haven’t finished reading the article but decided to comment because I am guilty of the first sentence. I was crushing on a guy in my head at my PPA during NYSC, it was soo bad I searched the guy out on Facebook and mistakenly liked a picture he uploaded 5 years ago. I was soo embarrassed ehn….i already cooked up a lie incase the guy asked…….now back to the article.

  16. Aro

    May 26, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    oh Bebe dear! You shouldn’t have slept over , first day you guys are meeting . That’s totally not cool but who am I to judge ? Have bn there but I didn’t allow him touch me . I had to draw that line , then the 2nd day we made out but am glad i didn’t have sex with him . Dude was a total player . Anyway fast forward 9months later met my present boyfriend on Instagram lol . Six months and still counting . I can say this is my best relationship ever . Some are worth it while some are bad, you just have to pray for guidance ? you can meet ‘the one’ anywhere

  17. aj

    May 27, 2015 at 12:43 am

    Abeg jare! I don tire for meeting people on the internet. One that I sent several messages to years ago never replied me. Y’all will know him but I aint gonna drop names. Now he has a girlfriend. Another one on match.com that I liked. He is white, 6’3, handsome and making between 100,000-150,000 ( Not interested in the money but I had to put it there for emphasis) dollars a year, conservative, living in DC and only interested in Black and Hispanic girls.I winked, liked two of his photo and showed that I was interested the only thing is that he would go through my profile and not even wink back or send a message. and he has looked at my profile like 5 different times!!! I’m just like what the heck?

    • *Real* Nice Anon

      May 27, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      LOOOL! I’m yelling. It does happen. Online stuff is a hit or miss.

    • aj

      May 27, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      abeg don’t laugh at me jor!!!!!! LOOOOOOOOOOOL. The ela I have received in their hand is too much and has affected me. lol

  18. Simsi

    May 27, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Very nice article. I’ve met some wonderful people online too and we are still friends till today. So I guess it has its pros and cons. Btw mr william moore is cute… Peace out

  19. poison ivy

    May 27, 2015 at 2:24 am

    WARNING ;This comment is not related to the post.
    A guy that doesn’t like a girl, don’t cuddle her…..Hmmmm, how true is that? (BN writers we need a piece on this asap).
    Am a woman, an affectionate one but I hate cuddling, no way even the “babe, rest on my chest, hear my heart beat thingy” that lovers do. Not for me. I love my sleep, sleep on your side and let me rest on mine, don’t roll over to my side#sideeye.
    On a second thought, maybe I don’t do “cuddle cuddle” coz I keep dating chubby guys and their fat suffocate me so I run lol (you know I love you, my chubby brothers)#nokidding @Bebe, every experience builds you, you’ll find someone who will love you like his life depends on it and @joan85, congratulations girl #winning!!

    • pipi

      May 27, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      it not just you dear… i love my sleep

  20. Bolu

    May 27, 2015 at 2:58 am

    Meeting someone online has nothing to do with pulling your pant for a man you just met in person. It has more to do with YOU as a person if u get my drift.

  21. KEMI

    May 27, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Thank you BN! This is a more meaningful place to be than “all dem blogs”

  22. me

    May 27, 2015 at 8:58 am

    well i think its a two way street, you win some, you lose some. i was always of the opinion that online dating is a sham and i proved myself right, i once gave in to my emotional neediness and decided to indulge with a guy who had been stalking me on facebook, turns out he was a serial dater who trolls facebook, adding girls and chasing them and based on his “packaging” you would never ever guess till you fall into his trap. he was well put togethert, good job, good background, trust me i did my researech as the writer said, i went through every comment and picture and google helped but he still was a wolf in sheeps clothing, imagine juggling about 20 girls at once, no kidding the guy was a pro, area codes in every city, he is a pilot. anyway to those who met their true love, all the best to you guys but as for me NEVER AGAIN right now my faceboook account is closed and my instagram is on lock down. aint nobody gat time for that shit!

    • Zoey

      May 27, 2015 at 10:32 am

      @Me what’s the name of the pilot on Facebook and maybe instagram . Crushing on one and maybe it’s him . Covers face .

    • Root

      May 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      I feel you. But I am willing to bet you will be back on dem social networking sites soon… Lool

  23. Grown Woman

    May 27, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Meeting people online can be very challenging especially if you are both in two different continents…i once dated two people but both rships failed due to distance and all.. so i won’t be doing it again let me chill and do locally 🙂 @Bebe we all learn from mistakes next time please meet up in an open space that’s the best idea 🙂

  24. crystabelle

    May 27, 2015 at 9:26 am

    me dey find online love for real, no games here….let me change my instagram and linked-in profile pishure, lol…by the way ayam following the writer on twitter praying he wee look @my side, he is so cute..

  25. Bae

    May 27, 2015 at 11:27 am

    There’s really no hard and fast rule to it..what might work for you, might not work for the other person.. i met bae on facebook last yr.. met up 2 days after, had sex the day we met, met his family 2 weeks after when i travelled for vacation, he met my family 3 months after, got engaged 8 months after and we are getting married in June, almost one year after we met and this is LDR.. its about the two individuals and the stage at which they are in their life and it has nothing to do with age..i am 28 and he is 30 ..and he’s been amazing to me.. Meanwhile my ex, we dated for two, years, set a date for wedding and even got pregnant, lost the baby, wedding cancelled etc.. even though we met face to face and waited a bit to have sex.. Nothing really is in black or white..that i have learnt..

  26. Ab

    May 27, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I also did a meet a real player on facebook…we became friends..had a couple of dates..had more sex…and then i got tired of fornicating and then i also realized he was engaged,had a kid with his fiance and one was even on the way..
    Meanwhile the engaged baby mother goes all lovey dovey on her facebook,praising her ‘angel man’..I just roll my eyes..
    Later found out it wasnt only I he had been screwing..some other girls too..
    Did i feel stupid?YES!Did i feel ashamed?YES!But i just moved on,licked my wounds…decided to close my legs like a mermaid and how God expects me to do.
    I see him around tho..I just avert my eyes…Like Isio said Yesterday:I refuse to be claimed by such!

  27. bliss

    May 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    only God knows were my hubby will come from…..

  28. Niola

    May 27, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I am not sure people are actually responding to the question here, people are just relaying personal experiences and stating marriage as the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is sustenance.. anyway to answer your questions

    Question:why do you guys think people are hesitant to admit meeting people online?
    Mainly a cultural thing, i know my mama frowned at it when my friend said she joined a dating site. They probably think it reeks of desperation.

    And is there any social stigma to this at all, or is it just me imagining that something that is already accepted in the mainstream is still a debatable issue?

    Your answer is dependent on if your are quite liberal or perhaps your age group. I do not see it as a big deal, whatever rocks your boat. From research people seem to be more susceptible to meeting on social media sites like Fbook, Instgram, Twitter, Linkedin than dating sites , this is probably because from assessing the person’s network you are likely to find out more about the person behind that face or profile.

  29. Alivena

    May 27, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Only God knows where my hubby Will come from…… Am waiting hubby.

  30. Xomatilda

    May 27, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I used to feel like its embarrassing to date a guy I met online but I got on an online dating app and met a really nice guy. Whenever people ask where we met, I say he’s a friend of a friend -____-

    I would really appreciate it if you visit my blog ohsoverbose.com. Please let me know what you think

    • Eni

      May 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      Please what’s the name of the dating app? Would love to try it. Thanks

    • Solely devoted

      May 28, 2015 at 2:30 am

      I met my fiancé interracial dating. com two years ago and we are getting married in two months time. I was studying in the Caribbean and he is British, we chatted and skyped for months before i finally met him in london on my way back home to naija, afterwards he would visit me where I studied and we would get to know ourselves (no cookie involved, I put a lid on it till marriage), and we are both Christians. I believe that for online daters, skype is a life saver, no photoshoping at all, infact its probably worse looking but at least u know theyre real, get a hang of mannerisms and stuff. We clicked perfectly like lock and key. Works for and and not much for others

  31. SuperNova

    May 27, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Hmm….a friend of mine practically forced me to sign up on a dating site cos she was tired of my single status. One guy kept disturbing me, I ignored me, he went on to facebook and after a while, I gave him my contact, just to get him off my neck. I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on one of the best people on this earth! He’s just has a reserved nature. We’ve been dating for a while, met our respective families, planning already for the future. Only my immediate family and close friends know that we met online. I’m not quite comfortable telling it to everyone. Maybe cos I don’t enjoy giving too much information. Ironically, this is the best relationship I’ve ever had, so far, compared to one-on-one meetings. So I guess it depends on your choice to announce to everyone how you pple met or not. Eventually, we all desire happiness and the end justifies the means.

  32. zeenab

    May 27, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    I have never been lucky of this online dating, anyway am still in my early 20’s and still an undergraduate, when d time comes my hubby is going to find me.

  33. me

    May 27, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    @Zoey lol, he may or may not be, i won’t call his name but he is tall light skinned handsome face buff and yoruba.

    • Zoey

      May 27, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      @me you harsh o ! Lol !! The One I know is light skinned , yoruba , first name starts with k and last name starts with o . Works with one of the two most popular naija airlines ATM . Cough

    • Zoey

      May 27, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      @me
      You harsh o ! ? the one I know is also light skinned , yoruba , half nigerian and works with one of the two leading domestic nigerian airlines .

  34. *Real* Nice Anon

    May 27, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    You can meet the right person for you anywhere. Online or off. It all comes down to the intent and what you both want. It is up to you to discern what a man’s intentions are even if you met offline/online. The same due course should follow no matter where or how you met. So, open up your DMs and flourish. 🙂

  35. Koffie

    May 28, 2015 at 7:24 am

    I think there’s a societal ‘stigma’ ( I use that word lightly) on meeting people online.
    It doesn’t work for me as well, I’ve gotten disappointed via that front. Looool. In fact, now I’m only open to meeting people in real life before dates can come in. What you see is what you get; I don’t have extra sexiness tucked away somewhere. Quite unrelated gist, so an elderly friend gave my number to his nephew cos he thought we’d be a good match and Mr. Nephew and I spoke for a few days, he asked that we meet up for dinner. Dinner went well, we got along well and there was no awkwardness and he said the ‘this was good, let’s do this again’ ish but my dearest people, Mr. Nephew stopped calling ?. So there, whether online or on-call? I don pack my kaya in.
    Lord that is sharing boos, I know I have a non-existent social life but biko, let there be a miracle.

    • theo

      May 28, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Amen ohh.

  36. Brownie

    May 28, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I became friends with one guy via facebook ooo (he sent a request which i reluctantly accepted). The usual get to know things started with a chat and progressed to calls. It was too good to be true but my FBI instinct was on the alert. The guy thought he has seen desperado and started with “I want you to get close to my family, speak with my mom, sister etc. I insisted i won’t because i haven’t met him. Then he claimed he traveled ( to US) for a course and called me up saying “babe, my mom just got involved in a car accident and i would like you to help assist with some medical payments in the hospital. I will send you the doctors number to do the needful. I will refund you when i get back.” Hian… see me see wahala ooo i have not set my eyes on this person and he wants me to liaise with his co-criminal. Na so i tear race, i jump and pass. He don see mugu. After that incident, am skeptical when it comes to social media connection. Sadly, am not a social freak person. BN please organize a platform we the singles can mingle. Biko………

    • Grown Woman

      May 29, 2015 at 8:09 am

      hahaha OMG i wonder where some people get these guts from WTH….Jesus take the wheel.

  37. MissCaramelD

    May 29, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I wouldn’t feel bad telling someone I met my SO online. It’s the nature of life right now. In London I get up, go to work, squeeze either exercise or tv shows and then go to bed. That’s five days of the week. The other two days is church and socially obligations with ALREADY existing friends/family in your life. Where oh where am I meeting new folks?

    Looking at comments though I can see people have different practices. For mr FB isn’t for strangers and I have my profile locked. Online dating for me means actually meeting someone through a specific dating portal, so good luck peeps! PS I have been hurt by people on and offline so it is a level playing field.

  38. cleo

    May 29, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    I don’t see anything wrong in meeting online.
    to me it is just a meeting point as well as park, weddings, parties, mall, club or church. After you first meet discerning whether to go on or not is key for wherever you met.
    However in the Nigerian parlance it is prejudiced as desperation, if you want to give a chance to someone you met behind a screen a chance. Something like are people who you meet physically not finding you attractive enough.
    However, actually that is not the case.
    In my case i work 9 – 5 pm everyday. Six days a week. That is if you don’t consider overtime days, and weekend hours. In my organization, it is just me a few female staff, and married male that are my colleagues. Our clients is not the open market like bank, hotel, shops, ministries etc. And i work behind the system all day. So what easier way is there to meet if not online as my easiest route to the social world. Being realist, this is the fate of over 50% of single people in the world today. Ain’t no shame in saying i met boo online.

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