What is your perception of online dating? Can you find true love online?

Online dating is quite fun. It comes with a whole lot of excitement and hunger. A lot of people use social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Eskimi, Badoo. Smiggle and other millions of hook up sites. Facebook has been so popular for dating. I have sat down to think severally of the essence of Facebook. Aside business, what are you really connecting. Only a few people or companies are exploiting the business advantages of Facebook. Most people go there to show off and give themselves that celebrity status. I love that. You can keep up the feeling if it makes you feel good, after all they say if nobody celebrates you; you shouldn't fail to celebrate yourself. I joined Facebook in 2009 after seeing it for a while and the driving force was that it afforded me the opportunity to search for my old secondary school mates successfully. It was so fascinating to me. I was in my final year at the University then. Immediately I joined I tried to reconnect with old secondary friends as a way of reconciling the childish past to the present but I was snubbed by a lot of people simply because they have all moved on.
The next option was to meet new people. What business will a guy want to transact with his fellow guy that will warrant endless chats? In no time things got flirty. The social media to me gives people a photoshopped life. To be sincere anything online to me is termed ''on-LIE'' You meet a 24 years old lady and she tells you she is 19. She lies about her family background, educational or occupational status. She goes on to lie about her love life. She edits her picture to alter her skin colour; she cleans off her pimples and dark spots with the Photobomb software on Android or Iphone device. She snaps an average of 40 pictures just to pick 5 best ones. Most ladies and guys don't even snap in their homes because of obvious reasons. They rather snap at elegant event centres, most 'runz' girls have turned the hotel bathrooms to their photo studios. They rush there in between romantic sessions to take shots. Some wait until one randy man who is reckless with spending takes them to an eatery or shopping mall. I know some guys who are in the chronic habit of going to the Shoprite shopping mall to buy something as insignificant as a sweet or chewing gum with a fully charged phone to snap and liter Facebook with pictures. This stirs up envy among friends.
I remember vividly the fuel subsidy removal crisis that kicked off on the 1st of January 2012 at 12pm, an unforgettable day in the masses book of records in Nigeria. For the 5 days of intense strike, there were no selfies on Facebook especially from the ladies. Special thanks to android and Iphones, now you can take pictures at awful or average places and pimp it up with some blurry colours to hide the state of the location. Most chubby ladies stick to facial or headshots because they don't want to reveal what is below. It makes it more difficult to know their heights. It is also hard to ascertain if she is physically challenged or not. Through heavy foundation make-ups, someone as dark as the bottom of a commercial cooking pot could build up a chocolate look or fair looks and I am not exaggerating. This is just a clue of the level of fakeness your partner maybe representing. It could be deeper than this.

Furthermore, most ladies that date online are continental liars. They fall in love easily; they abuse the word 'love' too easily. Have you ever wondered about the real current activity of the person you are chatting with? I have been with a couple of ladies that will pick up their phones to reply other guys on BBM or Whatsapp that they love them during 'intensive' sessions. It makes me feel bad because I know very soon the tables will turn and I will be at the receiving end.
Nevertheless, I am a big fan of online dating. I love the feelings. The beginning and the anticipated end. You probably send the same messages to about 60 girls. Some smart gold diggers will check your quality of pictures, taking a close look at the beauty of the locations and if they are not comfortable, you get ignored. You may probably get 10 replies. 8 chats get unsustainable and through a concession you guys stop keeping in touch and that is all. Out of the remaining two people left, you notice one has got the spark. She spends all her time trying to get to know you, asking questions, replying some of your calls. She is always eager to chat. She is the type that keeps the chat alive not a lady that purposely sounds boring to discourage you. You send her loads of notes and all you get is 'kk' 'yea' 'lol or lolz' or maybe a smiley. To me I take that as an indirect insult. Some will read your message and ignore under the guise that they are busy. The bitter truth is that they can't really define what they are doing. Some reply you carefully without telling you virtually anything about themselves. They are so smart about it. This is a sample of such a chat:

Me: hi
She: hi
Me : how was your night?
She: fine and yours?
You : great
She: cool
You: what are your plans for today?
She: nothing much
You: so what have you been up to?
She: nothing much, just there.
You: so what are your hobbies?
She: hmmmmm..... Don't really know.
You: I like shopping, traveling bla bla bla bla (till it runs into 8 lines like a lecture note).
She: ok

The chat runs like this and you start to crack your head in order to give the chat a direction and keep it alive. The chat becomes an examination and you really try not to cross the boundaries that are not set. That is like a landmine. In chatting, every question must come with an answer that will lead to another level of chatting to keep it alive. The response of your chat mate must create a room for more talks. With my knowledge of customer care, my trainer once advised us to focus on what the customer is not saying rather than what he/she is saying. It helps you to know whether you are stepping on wrong grounds. When you give me the above response, I will make excuses for you at first and blame it on your mood. I will give you a second chance and when it’s the same I am off for good. No hard feelings, no explanations. It’s better to be alone than to be around people that don't care about your existence. People who only exist to beautify your Whatsapp application or BBM.

The feeling is awesome and brain-tickling when she is open-minded. She gives you adequate attention during chat sessions. She is blunt about what she wants. She replies your missed calls to show you how important you are. She is more of emotional interests rather than economic interests which has plagued the social media in Nigeria today. An average Nigerian lady is hoping to meet an Aliko Dangote or a Femi Otedola's son or even their fathers so that they can play the role of lovers and carry the financial burden of fatherhood. Some are not even after love at all, they are not even after s*xual relationships. All they are interested in is to scam you. They are the types that will agree to meet you even when they haven't seen your picture, when they don't even know your name and address. One lady foolishly said I was handsome when my display picture was blank all in a bid to get me to pay her hyper-inflated transport fare to come see me. The good news is that I sent money to her but in her dreams lol

There is what we call free gifts of nature. This goes along with luck. It’s something you enjoy by chance when you are on the verge of losing hope. After you have toiled with the wrong and odd ones online, a beautiful damsel gives you an encouraging reply. In the course of dealing with her, you realize her urge to see you is two times bigger than yours. She hides nothing from you while you hide nothing from her. A times you feel like deleting all the contacts on your phone to get busy with her. She is the type that shares the sweetest experiences with you; she is the person you can share disappointing stories with. She bores you with her entire family gist. She calls you to share unnecessary information. The feeling is alcoholic. Sometimes while you lay on your bed to hit the sack, the chat gets a bit naughty. It is allowed. This is a competitive game without a referee. All the rules are not rules indeed. They are so unofficial. And then when your anticipation reaches the climax, you pop the question; when are we seeing each other? This is the major decider. There are some silly and confused ladies online who are just after the chatting fun, they are always available to you online to a fault but physically you will never see them. This is the usual case, she has a boyfriend or sugar daddy that starves her of attention but keeps her with the money. Hence, the need to keep a jabberbox like you to fill the vacuum. This is like working for a Non-Governmental Organization; you never get paid no matter how hard you work. When she agrees, then you know the contract is sealed. So you look forward to the date of her arrival. I enjoy the online dating thingie better because I am shy, there are some personal questions you can never ask someone you are just meeting physically because you guys will certainly need time to get used to each other but online, you do it with all boldness e.g. Most men that flirt online love to know the s*xual behaviour of the woman they are hooking up to. That's the climax of the fun. Its the final destination. Men always want to be rest assured that his s*xual interests are secured. This enquiry may not be acceptable if made physically.

My first successful online date was in 2009. I met her through one Entertainment Company I wanted to act for. We got talking through the Facebook page of the company. Things never materialized but we exchanged numbers. She was 5 years older than me. She was staying in Lagos and me in Ibadan. It was so obvious that I didn't stand a chance so I followed her religiously. Things took a dramatic turn when she expressed interest in me. We finally met in Lagos. There was a heavy downpour and vehicular movements were severely affected. That day I saw the ugly side of Lagos. Everywhere became a river in no time. I spent 5hours in traffic. The exciting part was that we stayed in touch through constant calls and text messages till we met. We I saw her I felt like melting because even my dad wouldn't be able to afford such a lady with his paycheck. I was almost covering my face to speak to her after blabbing on the phone and internet. I hope I could forget the good moments that got me begging her to marry me. I can't believe I actually did that, proposing to an expensive lady with no job. You always get thrown off balance when you eat what belongs to the elders. I was childishly viewing marriage from the romantic aspect of it.

In conclusion, online dates mostly don't end well. They are for flings. If care isn't taken, you fall for someone who is living a lie. It makes life terrible. It happens just to fast without going through the due procedures of a relationship. It’s like erecting a beautiful house without a foundation. This account for the reason why most matured ladies are so wary of men they meet online. They term them as lions in human clothing looking for whom to devour. Despite this conception, we have had some successful couples who met online. It still tells us that it’s an active avenue to meet good people.
My advice is that you should feel free to enjoy the best of  the social media and if you can’t stand the heat of the kitchen, you can humbly relocate to the sitting room to watch the TV. That is quite metaphorical lol

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About Osahon

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on smile2georgex@yahoo.com Phone number: +2347053302356.
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