If you are single or divorced and you are having trouble meeting new people; online dating sites may seem to be a logical place to go, not true? I’ve been single for a while and hesitatingly decided to check out this previously unexplored cyberworld. I discovered that there are quite a few pitfalls and things to consider before you venture into these digital romance adventures.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Firstly, really consider what it is you are hoping to find. Is it true love? A bit of entertainment or fun? No strings booty calls? To make new friends and widen your social circle? All of the above is possible, but some are more probable than others. Ok, some you have a slim to zero chance of finding on dating sites in SA… but that’s still a chance, right?
TESTING DATING SITES IN SA
I recently joined a few sites and tested waters. Here’s what I found.
www.zoosk.com is an online dating site has many users. After what seemed to be an AGE of skipping over shockingly bad profile photos, with the majority of men wearing sunglasses (this is stoooopid, I cannot see your face idiot! ); I made my first match here with an intelligent, educated, attractive guy a few years younger than me. Both of us weren’t looking for anything serious, all seemed well-aligned. Two days of chatter, a quick coffee date was followed by a few weeks of wicked fun. Just what the Dr ordered! I realised I would value this person more as a friend; so we agreed to keep it platonic from then on.
www.bumble.com is a lesser utilised online dating site. Here the ladies have the control and need to initiate chatter with a match. It has a better “selection” and is a much more polite and mature environment. You will see profiles appear on multiple sites with the same images. It’s not unusual at all. However, this site is filled with catfish guys. They are extremely complementary, sensitive and seem to get emotionally attached super fast with one goal in mind…to get your cash! Be careful, if they get this cosy too fast, block and move on.
I had one genius tell me he was Spanish and grew up in Toledo and that he ran an import business. Unfortunately for him, I speak a little Spanish, so when I said “Buenos Noches” which means “goodnight” to him and he responded with “You speak French?” I instantly knew this was a dud! Keep your wits about you ladies! Not all of these guys are real and not all of them are as dumb as the French Spaniard!
www.elitesingles.co.za has more localised information and demographic selections which is nice. The ads profess to have only the “elite” which is absolutely NOT true at all. I did meet one entertaining fellow from the UK who was super smart and used the platform for networking more than dating. Hey, whatever floats your boat, right? This was by far the most useless platform for me. A lot of traffic, but not a lot of quality at all.
Last, but not least the platform I was planning to avoid entirely. It was the last one I tried because I have heard such awful stories about www.tinder.com being a pure sleazy virtual pick-up joint for easy sex. I also avoided it because I saw many people I actually know quite well come on Tinder. It feels creepy and makes you feel a bit exposed.
Nevertheless, try it I did, and I was very pleasantly surprised. By far the best selection of candy! A parade of beautiful candidates. I think people pay more attention to photography and profile info on this platform. It makes for a much better user experience.
Within 1 day I was matched with quite a few guys, most in their mid-30’s, all very attractive. They ranged from professionals with high-end jobs to middle management and entrepreneurs. The matches were made up of 2 who were just looking for a hookup (to be fair most people on this platform are looking for just that); 2 guys who were looking for real relationships one of which specified that he would like to have babies, please! A few more who were casual chatters.
The one clearly stated that I tick every box he was looking for. After a little probing, he turned out to be a regular (ahem) swinger. I would never have guessed it. I was absolutely flabbergasted and got a lot of unsolicited detail of some of the adventures. NO THANKS! A real lesson once again to not judge a person by what you see.
But by far my biggest surprise and the most pleasant experience was the last guy. On the face of things, I saw a good looking guy who seemed a little lacking in confidence. We chatted extensively and I somehow I got him comfortable enough to share a very intimate medical condition that sent most women running in the other direction. He had in CAPS on his profile “NOT INTERESTED IN HOOKUPS” which is what drew me in. He was funny, witty and endearing and so sweet my heart just melted for him. A real sweetheart. A gem waiting to be discovered.
So ladies my final word of advice is to be open-minded, alert and friendly on these platforms. It can be extremely entertaining. There are always dangers lurking. Block anyone who messes with your vibe. There is also belt-it-out-loud laughter and giggles and a good old upswing for your confidence potentially waiting for you.
Be brave, but only actually physically meet someone after real chats and phone calls and even video calls. The days of a friend of a friend introducing you to your next love have sadly dwindled. Use what’s available and may the force be with you!