Off and on over the past few years, I have been tiptoeing around my feelings about on-line dating; alternating between scoffing at what I have considered to be the “touch of desperation” that has led many to resort to such measures and my thinking that maybe it should/can be viewed and utilized the same way we view (and utilize) real estate agents – state our wants and criteria, have someone do the legwork by sifting through all the crappy options (you know…the ones that are too small or not well maintained) and show us only the remaining that are worthy J

According to some of my friends, they and some of their friends and families have had much success using the web to chaperon their love lives; it seems the commercials are indeed credible. But even with the personal feedback, I have maintained a touch of that “there must be something wrong with you” opinion for having to resort to such measures; divorcing from the reality that I know quite well that (aside from being all crazy) there is absolutely nothing wrong with my friends. I recognize that my concern and disdain are in part stemming from fear of the unsub (unknown subject) behind the keyboard and the inability to immediately implement the ‘bullshit meter’ by looking into someone’s eyes while giving them the good old sniff-test. I mean case in point…you all have absolutely no idea if “I’m” really “I” as you read these words. What if someone has hijacked my page and is now purporting to be legitimately addressing things with you? And, if it is in fact me, there is no saying what condition I am writing in – could be naked, drunk, make-up less, sleep-crusted eyes, sitting on the toilet bowl…see what I mean? There is so much anonymity that the internet is dependent on, that if one were to truly connect to that reality when executing certain activities, it would/should lend a pause in certain decisions.

So, that’s in part my bewilderment when it comes to seeking the next person you would be exchanging fluids with – how does one implement a vehicle so steeped in sterility and facelessness to weigh-in on such a hands-on (no pun intended) aspect of life? Shouldn’t everything about this set-up and get-up be highly personal? Shouldn’t this situation personify the phrase “reach out and touch someone”? Shouldn’t the fact that so many are turning to this method point out to us that not only have our lives become way too busy perhaps, but additionally that our fingers have taken the place of our mouths? Think about that (and it is NOT naughty!).

But, the reality is that many of us are too busy – careers, single-parenthood, other familial obligations, academic careers – whatever the things in our lives are that severely limit our ability to get to the places where we may possibly meet our next ex. For a limited number of us, it seems that we are able to just continue with our regular routine and there he/she comes and walks right into it. But for most, the likelihood that all the planets in your universe will align when you open the door to the Domino’s Pizza guy and fall instantly in like is quite slim (or at least it won’t be about the guy). So, a little ‘help’ may just be what you need.

Let’s address this: there are predators out there; so, on and off-line, be careful with the information you share and how quickly you open and expose yourself and your life to anyone. Use wisdom. Do not let your desire for companionship (or just your plain old desire) usurp your right to safety. In all things remain vigilant. When conducting the ‘dance’ that is the courtship, pay close attention to the beat of the music and stay the fuck in rhythm (ha-ha; just wanted to confirm that it IS me typing). Do not rush; what you should be looking for, if you’re lucky, will last for your length of forever (I do not believe in the blanket “forever”; sorry); so, in the initial stages, pace your damn selves and try to outlast the built-in period of good behavior!

See, but this is also part of what I have learned is one of the benefits of on-line match-ups. Presumably, the building of the profiles is so extensive, thus time-consuming, that aside from the amount of content that it reveals, it also highlights one’s commitment to a favorable and long-lasting outcome. I mean, don’t know about you, but the more time I (have to) invest in doing anything, is the more I am invested in the end-result. Think about it – if I call up for a ‘quickie’ in the back seat of the car or the public bathroom of the lounge, I may be more interested in the freak of the act, than I am in leak of the, well… But, bet your ass that if we do what we do in a space that does not demand we either rush or contort too much (unless that’s your thing), my desired end-game will be entirely different. Not only will I want it all, but believe, I will be doing my part to make it last ;). Now do yall understand the lengthy process to create a profile? Hahaha.

Listen, at the end of the day, it seems that we all want the same things; despite the packaging – companionship, emotional support, partnership and love. Oh yeah…and some great-ass sex (hmmmmm; coulda just stopped at saying “some great ass”; but Neesie reads this J ). My point is whatever, however you go about meeting and deciding on the one for you, be safe. In fact initially, be so damn thorough that you can be accused of taking the romance out of the equation, because you approach it like a new employer or landlord – check references and ask pertinent questions; find out why they’re (supposedly) single – I mean, if they’re soooooooooo damn “perfect”, why are they available? Ask. Don’t be too desperate and so needy that you just open your door and your life to the first person that glances at you; remember, stray dogs look at you equally as longingly in the street ….it may be that both just need something to eat and a place to live; but eventually, they’ll both arch their backs and shit!

It stands to reason, given the state of our world that logging in is the way we are choosing to find love; we log in for most everything else. As far as I am concerned, I am willing to stretch my mind before I render my final verdict as to its merits or not; maybe it calls for an experiment; will keep yall posted on that. But I do know this – wherever you do find whatever ‘love’ means to you – eHarmony, Match, Where Black People Meet, Christian Mingle, wherever online – do yourself a favor then… keep it offline!

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