How to Tackle Online Dating in a World Full of Liars, Cheaters, and Opportunists - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

In this new age of technology, many people have resorted to online dating via websites and apps to find that special someone. Needless to say, there have been some extreme horror stories that have surfaced when asking individuals about their experiences. I will highlight some below while keeping the players anonymous.

  • “She ordered food to go for her father and told the waiter to put it on my tab.”
  • “The man spoke in third person the entire time and shared that he writes erotic poetry, asking if I’d like to hear some. After I promptly declined, I changed the story asking how long he’d been single. I found out that although ‘separated,’ he was still married.”
  • “The man’s wife called me and asked why I was texting her husband. He told me he was single, and her— I called her back—that he was at sea on a work trip, yet he was in California the entire time. This was his excuse as to why he couldn’t return her calls. There was apparently no reception on the ship.”

On the flip side there have also been some matches made in heaven, so what was the differentiating factor? Well, we don’t know for sure, but here are some tips to increase your chances of steering clear of the mayhem.

The Profile

State very clearly what you are interested in, especially when you are dating on apps that usually don’t give you too many options to select your preferences. Whatever preferences you can’t identify specifically in the app’s choices, use the About Me section to do so. Do you want kids? Do you mind if he/she has kids? What are you looking for? A relationship, a casual friendship, what is it? List the absolute deal breakers here. This way you save you and your perspective match time.

Be very clear about who you are. Do you like to cook or eat out? Do you enjoy holidays? Are you a family person? Do you have kids? The more straightforward you are, the easier it is for the person on the opposite end to make the necessary choice to swipe right or left.

Use a current profile picture. I can’t stress this enough. You may look different with varied hairstyles, haircuts or in various settings but, it needs to be a clear shot from 2017, not 2007.

 

The Initial Conversation

If the chat via the app is going well, get off and onto the phone or even better, if you are brave enough, plan a video chat within the first couple of days of connecting. This will save a lot of headaches, i.e., the age-old he/she didn’t look like the photo.

When you’re on the phone, confirm your preferences. Some people have outdated profiles that they haven’t updated in forever. Make sure that what you read is correct. Additionally, confirm your description of yourself with the person on the other end. Let them know if you have kids, if you like to cook, etc., in case somehow they missed reading your profile altogether. Believe it or not, it happens.

 

The Meetup

Keep it super simple in the beginning. Try to meet at a location where you can grab a cup of coffee and get to know the person. This is the first meeting. It shouldn’t be anything fancy. Save that for the next date, if there is a next date.

Keep the conversation light. They don’t need to know your entire life story. There is such a thing as oversharing. Think about this. Would you ever go on a job interview and tell them about your ex whom you can’t get over, or your mom whom you hate with every ounce of your being? No bueno. You may feel like you’ve known them forever but, the truth of the matter is, you haven’t. Keep it light.

At this point, you have done enough vetting to know where this is going so… I’ll leave you to it.

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Sequoia Blodgett

Sequoia Blodgett is a Reporter for Black Enterprise. She is also the founder of Commas, a consulting firm that gives entrepreneurs access to top tech and creative resources to help them grow their business.


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