How To Find Love Online

Love and relationships are two things which go hand in hand and which most people certainly aspire to. The truth is that there are many people in the world who enjoy being by themselves, or prefer casual relationships. However, a great many of us want and desire that warm and fuzzy feeling and connection, as well as the companionship which ultimately comes with a relationship that works. It used to be the case that many relationships were expected to have developed through family and/or friends’ networks and introductions, at work, at random social interactions, perhaps in church and community spaces. But as the world changes and evolves, these traditional routes are becoming less and less common especially with the increasingly popular and ever expanding existence of social media and technology.

In more traditional and dare I say overly-religious societies where people view social media with suspicion, finding love online is still a taboo. It is happening everyday, but people choose to keep this quiet. I think meeting one’s significant other online may be frowned upon depending on how and what platform on which the connection happens. For example, I have found that people are more inclined to disclose finding love on social media platforms such as instagram, facebook and twitter, more than they are willing to admit being on online dating sites. And yet, these online dating websites are increasingly popular and reporting consistent annual profits from doing business successfully, around the world.

The Knot surveyed 14,000 engaged couples, and 19% of those surveyed had met their to-be-spouses online surpassing the older methods for meeting and dating including through friends (17%), from University (15%) and through work (12%). In early 2017, the online dating industry reported an incredible $3 billion, from websites and online apps. Some of the success reported is as a result of the increasingly isolated lives which we lead, the increasing economic pressures which makes people move far from family to work, which makes people work late and have less time for socialising and also in some cases, the shrinking disposable income that allows for a lot of socialising. The use of technology also makes it easy to find love online because we are already on our phones and laptops one third of our wakeful hours.

So how can one find love online? Is it worth it? What platforms can one consider and what are the pros and cons of using the internet to find love?

  • It is important to understand oneself and exactly what you are searching for in a partner. Are you looking for a fling, are you looking for a lasting partnership, are you looking to date someone and hopefully get married.
  • If you are already using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I am advocate of “shooting your shot” when the opportunities present themselves. There are many success stories of people “sliding into DMs” of people whom they found interesting and the rest they say is history.
  • Choose an online dating site that charges a minimal fee (or a maximum one if you can afford it). The idea is that a paying subscription based website weeds out the bad eggs and the people who are on these websites just for a laugh.
  • Do a bit of research, check for authenticity of the online dating sites, including how much traffic it receives from your location (some dating sites are more popular in some countries more than others. You want to make sure that you choose a website that is actually popular in your country/region).
  • Consider choosing an online dating website that either allows you to search for and select potential dates that you fancy, from your region/in close proximity, or an online dating site that uses some kind of psychometric patterns to match you.
  • Give yourself a timeline for meeting someone and stay open.
  • Set ground rules for yourself which will guide you as you navigate these “territories”
  • For the first three dates, it may be wise to plan dates that take place public spaces to keep yourself safe and in view of other people. Do not go in a stranger’s car.
  • Slow down on the alcohol at those first few dates, so that your inhibition is not lowered and you can react should you smell trouble.
  • After multiple dates, if you feel safe enough with your date to want to take it further, consider using protection.
  • If you can afford it, spread your bets and set up accounts on at least two online dating websites with different “love models” and metrics.

There are certain pros and cons which I consider worth looking into before one embarks upon this “venture” called online dating. The main pro I think is that once people decide to give online dating a try, chances are that they are indeed ready for something worthwhile and will give it an honest trial in a bid to successfully meet a significant other. That’s a good thing. One big con is that unfortunately, there are many “loafers” on online dating sites who are there to take advantage of people who wear their hearts on their sleeves there and are very much on it for the wrong reasons. No surprise that there has been a rise on the spread of STDs through online encounters. But this is why everyone who is genuinely on it for the right reason must have some ground rules and set boundaries to guide your interaction.

Finally, The Knot reports that people who meet online are more likely to commit to each other quickly through engagements, civil ceremonies or weddings, more so that couples who meet each other through the traditional means. Thus if you are prepared to take that plunge and meet your significant other for a happily ever after, this is your shot. Godspeed as you travel on your journey.

Why Do Married Men Cheat On Their Wives? (Part 1)

Before I start, I must apologise in advance for what may change from a benign post, to a rant about moral obligations, double standards, and equal rights. This title speaks to my initial idea for the blog post, I have now written about so much more.

Today I decided to blog about an “epidemic” which seems on the increase in Naija. Have you noticed how it is now quite common place for men to cheat on their wives? If you go into the clubs or just regular fish and drinks gardens in the evening, you see scores of older rather unfit (although sometimes youngish) men wearing wedding bands, hanging around with younger women and the body language tells you that this is no family or blood connection. They don’t even hide it anymore. A good friend of mine spent Valentine’s day with her girlfriends (they are all single) at an entertainment centre, and apparently, one girl came up to them sobbing uncontrollably. Her boyfriend stood her up, they were supposed to spend valentine’s day together. Obviously this was a “side chick” who had been played. In the course of consoling her, this man’s photo came up and he seemed to be in his late 30s.

Source:sodahead.com
Source:sodahead.com

“Is he married”? My friend asked her

“Yes, he is. But his family is in Calabar”, She said

The girls just looked at each other, and bade her farewell and godspeed. Here was a side chick who knew she was with a married man, and felt entitled. She also felt it was ok because his family lived in another city. In other words, she was the non-Calabar wife. What exactly did she expect? I wonder if she expected anything different when she got married herself.

I have spoken to many men about this issue of cheating on their wives, and the answer has always been the same; men are polygamous, you do not get married planning to cheat, it just happens, the temptations out there are too strong, the wives are not supportive and are too materialistic, they need an outlet, etc. I often ask them if their wives know, and the answer is always the same; there have been close shavings, but the women always let sleeping dogs lie. I ask them if they know that it is wrong, unjustified and smacks of a lack of integrity, disrespect for their partners, and a gross let-down of their children. I ask them how they would feel if their wives did the same, the answers are usually varied, but have the same theme.

Photo source: www.clipartof.com
Photo source: http://www.clipartof.com

“Abeg Anne go and rest, it is a man’s world, men are polygamous na, that’s African culture”

“Ha how can she cheat on me? Women are usually faithful and supposed to look after the family. If my wife cheats on me, she’s gone the minute I find out”

“You know women attach emotions to sex, that’s when your real problem starts. To a man, a side chick means nothing. That’s why it is not good for a woman to cheat, because that means that you have lost her”

“How can you even suggest that? Are you becoming western or what? If a man takes care of his family and has an affair, as long as he takes care of his family, it shouldn’t matter”

“Well my wife is still number one, I don’t joke with her. I make sure she doesn’t lack anything”

“There is a lot of temptation out there, you may not want to cheat on your wife, but these single girls will not allow you to rest”

All these responses left me feeling amused, particularly the second and the last one. Our society is still a very unbalanced one, what is good for the goose, is certainly not good for the gander in Nigeria. Men are quite egocentric and expect submission, it is almost as though women have not come fully formed, and are lesser beings than they are. You think we do not feel exactly what you feel? We do, but do we act on it? No. You think I do not see all those hot men? They are everywhere; in the banks, in the restaurants, in church. Chai. Have you seen those types?

Usher. Source.menshealth.com
Usher. Source.menshealth.com

I follow a lot of them on instagram too o. All they do is close business deals, work out and take photos of their bodies. Their bodies make me want to sing “Imela chineke m ooo”, drop out of postgrad school, and cook for them all day long. In high heels and lingerie of course. They are so hot that I want to cook all the dishes my mother taught me, like ofe onugbu, nsala, ukwa, abacha, coconut rice and pepper soup. I feel like adding a twist to all the dishes; cheese, just because I can grate those blocks on those abs, then take my clothes off very quickly. But do I do that? Mba nu. Do you think I don’t want to have Bible study with that assistant pastor all day, everyday? Look, he has a lot to say about the Lord and he looks good saying it. I must find out what lipbalm he wears and the aftershave. Dear husband, I don’t want chapped lips or “townsend” perfume on you. Pastor Gaf’s lipbalm and aftershave are your possession and keys to the holy land.

I have been told that I am a feminist; no arguments there. Why are we so afraid of that word? Why has it been demonised? According to the Oxford dictionary, It simply means the “economic, social and political equality of all sexes”. I think this is fair, do you regard yourself as superior or less than any other human being? Do you regard yourself or anybody else, regardless of sex, as undeserving of the same opportunities? I think God is a feminist as we are all created in his image and likeness. So are the gods in traditional African religion; think about what you have read and heard about the roles of Ani, Idemili, Yemoja, Oya. Sometimes I worry that the advent of new religions in Nigeria and the subsequent interpretation has stripped us of all fairness and objectivity, with the verse about “submission” consistently quoted halfway and taken out of context.

Woman changing car tyre. Source: www.ispot.tv
Woman changing car tyre.
Source: http://www.ispot.tv

I blame my father for my views hahaha. I was raised to believe in equality and to hold myself and others accountable for mine or their actions, regardless of sex. We were raised (boys and girls alike), to be able to cook, and clean, and carry heavy things up flights of stairs, and change tyres, and be compassionate and empathetic all at once. I was 16 before I realised that it was unusual for a Naija husband to wash his plates after his meal, to wash his clothes by himself, to help his wife out in the kitchen while she’s making dinner, to cobweb, dust family photos, take the thrash out, and also be home at 6pm unless both of them were out together. Forget all those fake late meetings and constant hanging out with the mistresses, missing the vital family time.

My friends were shocked when they spent extended time at the family home and saw this. Ah it was already too late, that was my worldview, that everyone chipped in, that this was a partnership full of love and laughter and accountability and equality.

I took this worldview to the university and I still remember my first serious boyfriend. He was a great looking “corper” from Ilorin. Bros invited me to his flat one day, and this ensued.

“I bought ingredients for bitterleaf soup, come and cook”, he said

To which I responded by staring at him in shock. He carried on.

“If you are worried about staining your clothes, you can wear my boxers and singlet,” he said, while reclining and chilling with a football match on.

When I didn’t budge or take my eyes off the Readers’ Digest which I was reading, he carried on.

“Oh you don’t know how to cook? Ok, come, you can do this one.”

A family that cooks together stays together? Source: www.madamenoire.com
A family that cooks together stays together?
Source: http://www.madamenoire.com

I followed him into the room where there was a mound of dirty clothes including jeans and the like for yours truly to wash. I went into the living room, chuckling to myself. I picked up my handbag, and like Lot, I never looked back, poor guy. Now tell me, who raised this man to have such expectations that a girlfriend was his housekeeper? O gini?

Anyway, enough digression. I have theories around why married men cheat on their wives and why there are such saintly expectations of women. I shall share these soon enough in my next blog post. I leave you with a thought; it is time that women started picking up some of the bills and helping out financially around the house, and ask the men to pull their weight domestically. I wrote a post last year titled “Should Men Pick Up All The Bills”, there, the comments and opinion came to 50-50, some thought a man should look after the finances of his family solely, others felt women should contribute, my theory is that a partnership brings about accountability, open and honest communication, and reduces the chances of infidelity in marriage.

Durex Condom Survey. Source: www.durex.co.uk
Durex Condom Survey.
Source: http://www.durex.co.uk

Unfortunately, it looks like women are now beating men to their game; your wife going to fellowship and bible study three times a week, or going for school run 30 minutes before the time, and attending all those weddings in asoebi, may be enjoying other less ideal activities. This is just something based on a survey for the most unfaithful wives in the world, carried out by Durex, which found Nigerian women to be the most unfaithful wives, emerging in first place out of 35 countries surveyed. It seems we have now overtaken Thai women who were number one in 2012 and last year. Is this true? Could this actually be happening? Why are the tides turning (besides the temptation on offer on instagram :-)?)