Love, Love, Love.
February brings that word to focus like no other month. The celebration of love, the pain of love, the mystery and misery of love. The wine, the chocolates, the flowers, the takeout, and sadly… the ‘nothing’. And while some people may be trying to get out of the race, some are struggling to get in. There are many ways to begin the journey to a lasting love relationship and some of those methods have changed or evolved over time amongst humans. I say this because animals still use the same tried and tested routines. Most male mammals battle for the title of dominant male, which then earns them the right to mate either one female, or all the females in the herd – depending on which animal we are talking about – but the system works for them. Not so for man, the superior Homo-sapiens.
With our diverse cultural backgrounds and the constant development of technology, the process of ‘beginning a relationship’ has evolved over the years. I mean, some people begin their relationship on their wedding day, in cultures where the marriage is arranged between the parents or guardians. Some have the luxury of growing up together and being told they are soul mates. Some relationships begin the morning after a night of partying and high intoxication like the movie What happens in Vegas. Sometimes the ladies make the first move, and sometimes the pets bring the couple together. Since we all want and need love in our lives, is it wrong to be intentional about how our relationships begin?
I was speaking to a friend recently and she said she was considering online dating as she had been single for a couple of years now. I am married, and I met my husband at a wedding, and I don’t know much about online dating, so I couldn’t say much to her. I do however know that within my circle of influence, most people older than me frown at the thought, and those younger than me don’t want to voice an opinion. In this post-COVID-19 world, where we have online weddings, online baby-showers, online interviews, online birthday parties, online family meetings… you get my drift, I think it wouldn’t hurt to at least have a friendly chat on the subject.
The closest thing I have to experience is when I met a guy online some twelve years ago. I was in the middle of a project and I had been working tirelessly for some days. I just needed a little distraction, so I went on Facebook. This was in the early days when people just added anyone to their friend list to increase their number of friends for popularity sake. I was scrolling through pictures when I spotted this hot looking guy. He looked so good that I sent him a message saying “Omo you fine sha…” Let’s blame it on the Red Bull I had been consuming. He replied almost immediately and we exchanged numbers. Our conversation was light hearted and funny. He happened to be a model in Nigeria at the time. The next opportunity I had to visit Lagos gave us a chance to meet face to face. We were just friends and years later, we still say hello every now and again.
To the best of my knowledge (I could be wrong) online dating was created to give people a chance to meet other people, you know, an initial introduction. Now some people get this from that Aunty that gives you her friend’s daughter’s number, or when you friend is chatting to her cousin and passes you the phone to “…just say hello…”
Online Dating, in my opinion, is a decision of where to start. To the best of my knowledge (I could be wrong) online dating was created to give people a chance to meet other people, you know, an initial introduction. Now some people get this from that Aunty that gives you her friend’s daughter’s number, or when you friend is chatting to her cousin and passes you the phone to “…just say hello…”, or when your boss told you to make the Client’s son feel comfortable during his visit, etc. Initial contact can be accidental or intentional, but how you progress from there requires wisdom and caution. It is uncharted territory for most of us, and I can’t tell you that I would be comfortable telling my children to go online to meet their future spouses, but it is an option for some people and it’s not a sin as far as I know.
It is true that when something good is created, a cheaper, less authentic version appears within a short while. It is true of gadgets, food, clothing, even religion. So, even if some of our churches came together to create a singles website that we could happily recommend, it won’t stop non-Christians from signing up, as most of the absolutely wrong guys who came into my life met me in church (true talk). God is still very happy and able to work without the internet, but He will meet you at your level of faith.
A lot more can be said on this, but I just wanted to put this out there and plead with any Mom, Dad, Uncle, Aunty, Mentor, Friend, Youth worker, whoever you are reading this, please address the matter, and don’t shy away from our current reality. Not every dating site is allowed and I can’t even name a good one because I have never needed their services, but do your research please, with prayer and fasting – if you feel inclined to this meeting point.
Every decision you make today will have an influence on your tomorrow. So, if you are trying to begin your love journey here’s that voice of caution; Don’t feel under pressure to go with the tide. We are different so the same thing won’t necessarily work for all of us. It’s your story, so you get to decide how you write it and who the main characters are. You get to tell others “How we met”.
Being a friend,