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Olamide & Aisha Craig: 7 Tips For Successfully Meeting & Dating People Online

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In the last month the surprise engagement of two of Nigeria’s top celebrities, BankyW and Adesua Etomi, broke the internet and gave us all a reason to believe in love and marriage again. It also seems to have raised the question of the viability of online dating in Nigeria, West Africa and among other African nations. Online dating is a very popular means of meeting prospective partners in the western, world but has been very slow to take root in Africa and African communities in the diaspora. However, over the last few years there has been a rise in the number of successful relationships known to have started online and transitioned to happy marriages.

Today we would like to share our 7 top tips for successfully meeting people online. This includes traditional social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as dedicated networking and dating sites like SuruLereLove™

Be open to the idea
There is no point going in half-heartedly. It’s all or nothing. You have to first of all make yourself comfortable with the idea of meeting someone online. Before you open our DMs, or sign up to that dating site, we recommend that you first make peace with whatever personal barriers would ordinarily prevent you from going through with dating someone who contacts you online.

For some people it would mean convincing themselves that there’s nothing wrong with the answer “we met online!” when asked, “where did you meet?” Some people may feel that online dating is a sign of desperation, and that if they were popular enough, or pretty enough, or just plain GOOD enough, then they would be able to find a date the traditional way. But this is just not true. The world has become a global village, and for the first time in the history of humanity, the potential dating pool for a young man living in Lagos, can realistically include a woman who lives in Nairobi or Helsinki or Mumbai. The limitations once imposed on us by distance, borders, culture and time have been almost completely erased by the internet.

But you don’t even have to think that far. Only a few decades ago, you could live in Ibadan and there could be someone living in Eket, and even though you both were perfectly matched, you would never meet and never fall in love, simply because you did not have a common social circle or were never in the same place at the same time. Those days are gone. Your social circle could conceptually be the entire globe, and now there is a very good chance that you both could be on the internet at the exact same time.

Position yourself to find and be found
So you are at peace with meeting your partner online? Great! Now it’s time to position yourself!
For some people it can be very simple: Unlock your Twitter, change your Instagram from private. Make your DMs accessible to people who do not follow you. Don’t stop there: Follow people you find interesting, accept follow requests, be interesting enough for people to want to follow.
For someone else it might mean signing up to a dating service like SuruLereLove™, creating a profile, answering the personality questions truthfully, and keeping an open mind.

Understand that unlike traditional dating, the online world has only a very small window available for you to create a lasting impression. Determine how you want your DM (Direct Message) or your message or your profile to stand out from the sea of others that are available. Be creative, be witty, and be funny. Be whatever you need to be, but make sure that you remain true to who you are.

Trust your instincts
It is okay to be picky online! If something doesn’t sit right, or raises your suspicion, then don’t ignore it. As with traditional dating, there is a lot that we are completely in the dark about, when it comes to the personality and intentions of the person we are meeting online. Sometimes all we can go by is our instincts and intuition, and often times that is all we really need! Look out for people who are pushy and are not prepared to give you your space, people who seem “too good to be true” and people who are trying to scam or exploit you.

Your instincts can pick out a person who will not be a good match, long before this fact becomes apparent. Most of us can testify from experience that in hindsight we always seemed to know that that ex who did us bad was going to be no good.

Do your due diligence
Just as you would with traditional relationships, due diligence is extremely important if not more important online. Ask questions. Ask them over and over again, until you get a satisfactory answer. Research the person online and offline: Can I find information about this person online? Does their online persona fit with what you observe offline? Do their social media personas match? Who are their friends? How do other people who know them feel about them?

Meeting people online often means taking their word for who they say they are. Do yourself a favour and go beyond what you are told, or what you can read from their bio or tweets or dating profile. People will always put their best foot forward, (and sometimes that foot is wearing a borrowed shoe).

It can take time to cut through the many layers of civility or pretence to get to the real person, but as the Yoruba say, Suru l’ere. Patience has its rewards!

Don’t take rejection to heart
Meeting people online is not for the overly sensitive. This is because a small percentage of your attempts to communicate with someone online, will probably go unanswered or unacknowledged. Hopefully articles like this will help to change that, as Nigerians, and Africans as a whole, become more open to the idea of online dating. Until then though, be prepared for rejection

There are millions of DMs sitting unopened on several phones all across the world tonight. Some people have a few, some have tens, some have hundreds, and you might even have one or two yourself!

Let’s all take a moment to think about the DMs that are on our phones, but have remained unopened. If you are anything like me, you did not ignore them because you were wicked or proud or unkind. You should think about your unopened DM, unread WhatsApp message or unacknowledged invitation to connect on SuruLereLove™ in the exact same way. It is most likely that they did not ignore you out of malice. There’s probably a very good reason why your DM will stay unopened. Dust yourself off and try again. (Preferably somewhere else)

Be purposeful
The beauty of meeting people online is that there is a staggering amount of variety. The trouble is that if you are not absolutely sure of the exact thing you are looking for, you can come out of the process holding the wrong person’s hand. Be intentional: Know what you want. Be purposeful: Set out to achieve it.

Determine for yourself what you are looking for on a dating website or app, or what kind of person you would entertain in your DMs and private messages. Create a clear picture in your mind of the things you do not want, and will not accept. This is very important to do even before you open the first DM or get matched with the first date. You must know what you want before you discover what is available, if not you may end up choosing based on what you see and not based on what you need.
Remember, “If you go to the market with a pocket full of money and no shopping list, you will return home with two baskets full of items, only to find that you forgot to buy the most important thing!”

Protect your safety online
It is important that we put this here. Don’t be lured into a false sense of security. Cyberspace can be dangerous. You want to make sure that you are doing everything possible to keep yourself safe.
There will be a handful of people who see a person’s willingness to put themselves out there, as a sign that they are gullible. Prove them wrong!

Beware of Scammers. Anyone you meet online who asks you to send them money or buy them a gift or make any form of financial transaction is a scammer. Never part with your money. Ever!

Beware of Playboys. Ladies watch out. They may never ask you for money. In fact they might be the ones spending it on you. But in the end all they want is your body and are not interested in the rest of you, the “you” that really matters.

Beware of Gold-diggers. Gentlemen, don’t be caught sleeping. Some chicks are out here trying to find love, while some others are trying to make that money. Don’t let your emotions get the better of your head. You don’t have to spend all your money to prove that you are interested in someone.

Don’t disclose passwords, don’t give out personal details. If you choose to meet in person, make sure you choose a neutral public place. Take a friend with you. Let another friend (or two) know exactly where you are going, and how long you will be gone for.

And finally don’t forget to carry vex money (Vex Money is a colloquial Nigerian expression, used to refer to money carried by a lady on a date, that ensures she has enough to pay for her meal, or transport herself home if things turn sour.)

***
Olamide and Aisha Craig are the founders of SuruLereLove™, a black owned online dating + matrimonial site that
seeks to connect people of African descent. SuruLereLove was created to introduce people and start relationships, and is committed to helping its members find life-long-love.
Find them on social media @SuruLereLove and online at www.comingsoon.surulerelove.com/signup

32 Comments

  1. Vee

    June 4, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Dr Craig are you married?

    • Dr. Craig

      June 4, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Yes Very, I am ?

    • Mawi

      June 4, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      ? loooool….?

    • Vee

      June 4, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Lol…that was heartbreaking. HML tho

    • bobosteke

      June 4, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      @Dr Craig
      Which one is Yes. Very. I Am?
      That is a highly emphatic declaration of status! Even the blind would have read that and sawn ( yes; sawn).

    • @Bobosteke

      June 5, 2017 at 3:46 am

      I think he meant to type Vee and not very

  2. CurvesAndEdges

    June 4, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Dr Craig, you have broken many hearts with this your response o.

  3. Annon

    June 4, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Met my husband of 6 years online! Him & our daughter are my heaven on earth. My husband is the proof that God answers prayers.
    To all single people, be fearless, but smart! Get out of your comfort zone, even if it means being uncomfortable. Go ahead! You never know what could be on the other side!
    Good luck! 🙂

  4. Ewa

    June 4, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Welcome back. Can’t remember the last time BN posted an article from you.

    • Ewa

      June 4, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      So it’s no more “Ask Dr Craig” 🙂 :-)……..

  5. B

    June 4, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Isn’t it obvious? He is married to Aisha as seen on the title ‘Olamide and Aisha Craig,etc’ Don’t worry there is someone for every person.

  6. Alterego

    June 4, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Nice write-up Dr. Craig
    My own two cents. Ladies, have a nice profile picture. Your picture tells a lot about who you are. Keep it tasteful. Don’t bare all ya goodies.
    Guys, smile. For godsakes, don’t upload a passport pishure. It isn’t an interview. Guys, don’t lounge on a hotel bed, with plenty of cash or bottles of champagne and take a profile picture. When we know you aren’t Davido or Wizkid. Your photo could be of you doing something cool that you enjoy.
    Be careful of the information you put out there. Be truthful. Lies have an unpleasant way of catching up with the liar.
    Edit your grammar please.
    A glance at a person’s profile and you get an idea of what he/she is all about. Some people can smell an intelligent person a mile away. Same way laziness or a lack of intellect can be perceived.
    Don’t be in a rush to have a physical date. If you are uncomfortable, take some steps back. Trust your gut.
    When you both feel you are ready to see, please put your best manicured foot forward. Guys, wear a clean shirt, put on a nice cologne. Shave, unless you are doing pepperdembeardgang. Even at that, trim.
    Ladies, it isn’t time for the shortest dress in your closet. Be comfy. Carry vex money. Don’t order what you know you cannot pay for yourself. Ask if he has enough cash. Offer to split the bill; you will not be struck by lightning. Don’t spend the whole date talking about yourself. Be interested in your date. Be curious. Ask questions, don’t pry. Keep your phone away.
    Guys, chivalry isn’t dead, you know. Ask if she is comfortable, don’t stare at her boobs. Your aim isn’t to smash or score tonight. Don’t touch her inappropriately. Refilll her water glass. If she isn’t driving, offer to driver home.
    At the end of day, whether online or not, blind date or not, being match made or not, be yourself. Do not use one disastrous date to judge all others.
    Most importantly, have fun. If this one bombs, there is always another time. Good luck!

    P. S.
    My best friend met her husband on Facebook. For every horror story of online dating, there are success stories too. ❤

    • Vivian

      June 4, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      Nice

    • bobosteke

      June 4, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      This your comment is worth more than 2 cents o! Good old commonsensical info right there. Y’all would do well to heed.

    • Mr Man

      June 5, 2017 at 9:02 am

      @Alterego, are you single? How come you know so much about the internet dating scene? Can we exchange numbers? Email addresses? I love to read your write-ups. You are a breath of fresh air. I am single by the way. Bellanaija team, do something! Set up a BN single’s mingle.

    • jinkelele

      June 5, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      How do you keep your privacy when you put your actual photo? A simple Google search will just pop up you real name

    • LadyVi

      June 6, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Great tips…i’m about to meet someone i met online(afrointroductions).So far so good and time will tell 🙂

  7. Hilary

    June 4, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Kinda have a problem with “Position yourself to be found”. Like it’s job hunting. But I guess it’s even way more serious than job hunting. There’s a looming sense of urgency to find Mr. Right. But I want to make millions first. Right now my hustle is my boyfriend. I don’t mind if I meet him at 40. Sister says I should freeze my eggs. I will be visiting LA next summer to make arrangements with Dr. Irvin.

  8. Iyke

    June 4, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    A simple ‘hello’ could lead to a million things…Smile often….Slide into his DM anz introduce yourself. we don’t have the supernatural power to know if you fancy us or not.
    If you fancy him,say hello and if he responds,engage him in a stimulating conversation and find out if he loves what you love. Initiating the move directly or non verbally doesn’t make you cheap…it’a called ‘being in control’.. Don’t let a man choose you….YOU are the one that has the POWER to choose who to date or who to spend the rest of your life with.
    #bebrave

    • Alterego

      June 4, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Be brave. Yep!

    • californiabawlar

      June 4, 2017 at 10:55 pm

      Biko bros Iyke, this one na theory o! We want practical! It’s been since over 5years now you and MSA have been dulling us! Why una no fit give us our BN testimony? Abi BN no be social media again? Oga shift jere, lol.

    • funmilola

      June 5, 2017 at 11:59 am

      I thought mz Sa is married oooo

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      June 5, 2017 at 10:58 pm

      @Californiabawlar, BN no epp us with DM, na…. So no where to begin slide go corner “awasefs”

      @funmilola, nne, not at all.

      @Iyke, see you on Surulerelove *sultry wink* (bia, Olumide, are diasporans allowed to mingle? I think you’ve come up with a brilliant venture, by the way…. surprised more haven’t sprung up, yet….. Well done!)

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      June 5, 2017 at 10:59 pm

      @Californiabawlar, BN no epp us with DM, na…. So no where to begin slide go corner “awasefs”

      @funmilola, nne, not at all.

      @Iyke, see you on Surulerelove *sultry wink* (bia, Olamide, are diasporans allowed to mingle? I think you’ve come up with a brilliant venture, by the way…. surprised more haven’t sprung up, yet….. Well done!)

  9. Lord have mercy!

    June 5, 2017 at 8:52 am

    @ Alterego , you make sense die! abeg chop knuckle.

  10. Sussy

    June 5, 2017 at 11:06 am

    After sliding into a number of DMs unsuccessfully I have concluded that it is not for me, I notice that guys generally show more interest when they are the ones that initiated the contact. This is my experience anyway

  11. Alterego

    June 5, 2017 at 11:10 am

    @Mr Man. Yes I am single.
    I guess I’m knowledgeable about the dating scene because at some point in my life, my friends called for an intervention concerning me and literally threw me out there. So along the way and several dates later, I have managed to pick up some valuable nuggets of wisdom.

  12. Olori

    June 5, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    This site has been on “coming soon”. It’s not nice o. Been following you guys on instagram. Give us a specific date nah. Even month will do. Haba.

  13. yummymummycumchick

    June 5, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Guys, don’t lounge on a hotel bed, with plenty of cash or bottles of champagne and take a profile picture………………i dont dare their dms……….m not just comfy wit it thou …..
    @alterego………. i will take ur tips seriously.
    @dr Craig… lovely article

  14. Gold

    June 5, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Nice article @dr Craig @alterego thanks. #therefuturehubbywhereartthou#

  15. kekenapepe

    June 5, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    nice article… been on and off a dating app for a while and haven’t met anyone il love to hang around with ..maybe it’s my location ?(ON Canada).. or maybe because i am not open to exploring other races (just attracted to black guys)..i feel when it comes to online dating.. most of the guys just want sex.
    social media platforms seems to be the #1 channel in meeting someone but I am not going to slide into any mans private message and start conversing..nope cant do it!
    sha..I’m hopeful ..boo will come when the time is right..but for now I think i’m gonna sign up for swimming lessons or salsa class 🙂

  16. kay

    June 5, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    nice! way to go… baeswipe on ig for all singles too!! Don’t say I didn’t tell you…

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