It turns out that in-person dating was the flex all along, especially when you’re looking for someone who dates with intention.
You devote the majority of your life to education, career and community. In between, you had your share of romantic encounters, but nothing lasted or was worth the journey. So what do you do? Dive more into your passions and work goals. Then one day you look up and realize you are left to celebrate these wonderful accomplishments without that special someone. Assessing the moment, your predicament is eerie and unsettling.
Given you are growing older and time is not waiting on anyone, it may be your knee jerk reaction to date every person within a 200-mile radius of your home. Be that as it may, even though you might be pressed for time, the urge should be resisted. Or in other words, slow down.
Attorney, television producer and podcaster host of “Dana Being Dana,” Dana Davenport, advises that people you meet may not necessarily be compatible. Every interested courter has a different agenda that more than likely does not align with you. As such, you’ve got to go through the motions to find the right person.
Often, in online dating, there is quantity. On the other hand, users of these apps can become overburdened by the sheer number of messages they receive. As a result, quality is compromised in favor of quantity.
“You have people all over the country and it gets exhausting,” Connectricity matchmaking founder, Trenia Norford shared with Ark Republic.
“It’s like oh my gosh, should I go out with him or should I go out with [the other guy]? There’s so many people in my inbox, what should I do?”
In this case, dating in the digital world is not as effective as traditional dating because it precipitates into stalling, which can turn into complete indecisiveness.
Once you look up from your dating apps, it is downright scary when you come to the realization that love is not a game of numbers and cannot be measured, put in a beaker, or computed using an algorithm. It is an intangible gift that is given not taken.
If you’ve fallen into the trap of relying solely on dating apps, but are trying to make a return to traditional dating, increasing face-to-face contact with people is a must. Consider doing community service, attending farmers markets or paint-and-sip events, or even going to a speed dating night with your homeboy or homegirl. Ultimately, you never know how or when you will encounter love, but what is for sure, you’ve got to show up, literally.
The mystery of love
Dating is far from a Cinderella fairytale, yet pleasant surprises that tickle the romantic side of even the most cynical person do occur. For Davenport, she found everything she was praying for in a companion in an interesting turn of events.
With a hectic schedule, it was nearly impossible for her to find time to date or make any meaningful connections. Luckily, Norford was friends with Davenport for almost 13 years. Assisting her friend in finding love, the dating agency founder tapped into her repository of eligible bachelors. But the experience was a long haul rather than short and sweet. Along the way, Davenport had certainly kissed her fair share of frogs. “I met some of [Trenia’s] clientele and [was] like oh girl I could tell you why he’s single,” she chuckled to herself.
After a succession of lackluster dates, Norford asked her if she would be interested in meeting another one of her clients. Davenport agreed to a phone call as she trusts her friend’s judgment. Plus, her motto is “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
“I said to myself, ‘I’m only going to give this guy ten minutes. I’m busy, I’ve got stuff to do, I’m headed out of town the next day, we both have children, et cetera,’” Davenport told Ark Republic about her current beau.
To her surprise, their conversation lasted over an hour. In the end, she was asked out on a date that would take place when they both returned from out of town.Davenport reflected. “I appreciated his intentionality and his assertiveness.”
According to the mother of two, women should engage in a process focused on purposefulness since women frequently desire men to be deliberate. When it comes to expressing interest towards the ladies, a carefully thought-out approach to courting is gratifying as it represents authentic interest and commitment. Especially if they’ve experienced abandonment by friends or family in the past or were left feeling unwanted after a breakup.
Going strong since July of last year, Davenport’s experience is just one of many success stories. True, there are certainly outliers who meet their spouses or partners on the internet. Then, there are the vast majority of us who stumble upon love uncalculated, unplanned, and totally off guard. It’s what makes life interesting and the gift of love so special.
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Living to Love Another Day
Like everything else in life, there are drawbacks to the process of matchmaking. Even with the greatest of intentions, relationships don’t always work out.
A mismatch can result from a variety of factors, including compatibility problems, different expectations, or just a lack of chemistry. Undoubtedly, Senior Production Designer at Oglivy Denver, Jewel Levine can vouch for that.
After Levine’s friend expressed her distaste in the person she was dating, she signed her up for a membership with Just Lunch, a matchmaking service designed for busy professionals. Despite the company touting that there were tons of eligible men in her area, Levine spent two years on four dates that could only be deemed as less than satisfactory.
“One match was 5′ [feet] 1,” said Levine. To complicate the matter, the date did not mention before their meetup that he had severe physical differences. While this may or may not have been an issue, withholding that information caught her off guard.
The second date for Levine turned out to be extremely unpleasant. “He was the most prejudiced person I’ve ever met . . .,” she recalled. During their social engagement, the man who said he was of Japanese descent “explained the hierarchy of Asians” to Levine. “I was shocked!” She said in hindsight.
To her disappointment, Levine’s dating record did not improve the third time around.“[My match], [was] so bad. He was terribly twitchy. I had to ask if he had a medical issue.”
Levine’s experience is not isolated. It is merely one of numerous matchmaking horror stories. Sometimes, dating services fall short too.
Overly picky and too hard to please
Au contraire, the finger cannot always be pointed at the prospects or the matchmakers. But the blame can frequently be placed on clients who have unrealistic expectations.
Rebecca Lynn Pope, a matchmaker and dating coach, gave up on helping women find partners since the majority of their expectations were practically unachievable. While developing her expertise in the field, Pope discovered, the women she interacted with desired guys who were among the most attractive, tall, and successful. That was a very important lesson she learned.
“The average woman doesn’t really want a good man…she doesn’t want a husband. What she wants are these standards or ideas [that] she has of what a man is supposed to be,” stated Pope.
Conversely, what needs to be taken under consideration is who men are, the way they think, and what they value. On the contrary, the matchmaker and dating coach habitually encountered female clients who preferred male suitors that were as sensitive as their girlfriends. While men are not monolithic creatures, they are socially wired quite differently from women.
“Men are not women. He’s not going to be your best friend like your best girlfriend,” explained Pope. However, there is an issue here because one of the frustrations from women is that there is a subset of men who want a homie-lover-friend. So it goes both ways.
Secondly, her clients would not stop comparing decent guys to the Fuck Boys they dated or been involved with in the past. While it was easy for her clients to gravitate to the familiar, they failed to appreciate the distinctive qualities of their new flames. The fact that men who are suitable for marriage differ significantly, totally went over their heads.
The third and final standard that she came across was women wanting pretty boys. “[If] he’s in the mirror all the time, rest assured he has some [mishaps] that come along with that,” she pointed out.
This is a red flag as far as the dating expert is concerned. More than likely, it indicates that he wants all the attention from all of the ladies because he believes he’s that guy. In other words, keep him exactly where you found him, in front of the mirror.
Furthermore, she advises women to open up their horizons beyond someone who is 6’2” and looks like Idris Elba, Boris Kodjoe, or Michael Ealy. Still, it is also best to avoid going too far in the opposite direction and having too broad of a set of criteria.
It’s a mystery how people find love when they are blinded by the characteristics of their former lovers, or too preoccupied with their list of qualifications. With the attitude of gratitude, we can learn to appreciate our relationships and discover the genuine beauty that resides within them. So take what you’ve learned from your previous relationships and use it to make wiser decisions in the future. But whatever you do, escape the dichotomy that keeps you bound.