Searching for Someone New: Joining the Online Dating World by Sheila Pope

I finally did it; I finally went on a couple of dating websites. For a couple of years, I have said to friends I was going to go on one when I thought I was ready to date. I am ready to date, but my opportunities have been limited. I am a workaholic, single mother and completing my PhD. Where does a man fit into my world?

plenty of fish image

I listened to a couple of my friends talk about their experiences with  Plenty of Fish.  I figured I should start there. I also decided that I should not limit myself to only African-American men. Therefore, I wanted a dating website with men open to dating African-American women. I found Interracial Match.com. It was pretty easy to join.

Interrical match

However, I found it a little difficult to find a picture that represents me at this moment in my life. I solved that by asking my 16-year-old son to help me select a photo for my profile. My stylist fixed my hair and I immediately updated my profile shots.Then, I pressed my luck and asked him to help me find a username, headline and provide words to describe me. He asked, “Shouldn’t you ask a girlfriend to help you with this?”

I laughed and said, “Lets make it happen!” I like the fact that he knows what I am doing.  I do not have anything to hide. More important, I am getting a little tired of his jokes about my inability to get date and he has not had one himself. I want my children to know that I can try something new. I hope they are never afraid to face their fears.

I wondered why they required my income range. I hated that I had to decide to describe myself as either full-figured or had extra pounds. However, it was not long after I figured out why there was a need to share your income range. Once I went on the site and reviewed my potential matches, I laughed until I cried. Some of the photos on Plenty of Fish, Delightful and Interracial Match.com were insane. Men without shirts, some that looked homeless, some I think I saw on Wanted posters, others looked like pedophiles and some screamed FREAK and not 50 Shades of Grey kind!  I ran across the profile of a 61-year-old white guy that liked African-American women in my age range with my body type, but he made less than 25,000 a year. Instead of looking for match, he needed to focus on generating extra income. I clearly understood the income requirement at that moment! There were men that said they preferred not to say if they had a car!  I think it was appropriate to infer they did not have one. Again, more laughter!! I have had tears of joy since I decided to enter the online dating world.

At this time, I have my profile on several sites and I have chatted with several men on Plenty of Fish. I liked the freedom that the format allows me to have. I like the control that I have via online. More important, I like the fact that I have had to address some of my own issues. I finally admitted that I do not want to get married at this time. I only want to date! I want a relationship if it works for me. That was a big reality check for me. I am happy with my life at this time. Yes, I want to go out on a date. I do not care if a man wants children because I am not looking to marry him, I just want to talk and go out sometimes. I am not looking for sex at this time. The more time you spend with one person the greater the odds are one of you will eventually bring up sex.

It feels good to chat. I chatted for three hours yesterday. I realize online dating is time-consuming, but going through the profiles shots makes me howl with laughter each time! The profiles, headlines and bios are hilarious. More important, I am laughing at myself too. Eventually, I am going to pay for Match.com. I believe you get what you pay for in this world. Until then, I will try a few more free websites. Delightful, Steve Harvey’s website, does not let me respond without paying. So far on the Interracial Match.com, only a scary white guy as winked at me. Again, he had one picture with only his neck and Winkhairy chest displayed. I did not know what to do with that wink. I have no regrets so far. I look forward to laughing and finding someone new to date.

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