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.

Capella Sisters Finishing Their Journey by Sheila Pope

A Coca-Cola, Smartphone, Burrito, Pen, Note Pad and other Published Dissertations
coca-cola, smart phone, and dissertations

I met Deirdre through Capella University. We met in Dallas, Tx during a colloquia. We bonded instantly. Dee is attractive, ambitious, a leader, smart, funny, and determined to obtain her PhD. We share the same characteristics and determination. We met almost six years ago.

Along the way, I became seriously ill, divorced, and ran out of student loan money. Dee was promoted on two jobs, dated, and traveled around the US. However, we managed to speak to each other regularly. Our friendship grew because we needed each other.

We found the journey to complete our doctorates from Capella University required support and understanding from true friends/supporters. We learned we needed to surround ourselves with people who understood our plight. We have heard horror stories along the way. Some of our Capella Sisters graduated and some quit their programs to complete other goals.  As a matter of fact, Dee quit for one year. I had to stop for a year due to health issues and financial setbacks. Yet we came back to Capella and decided we would complete what we started.

I went to Dallas as a delegate for the Democratic State Convention. However, I wanted to see my family and my Capella Sisters. I met with Deborah W., Wanda M., and Deirdre Hill. The four of us share a special bond: we are single African-American females completing a PhD online. All of us enrolled in Capella University with the goal of earning a PhD in psychology.

Deirdre was about to complete her dissertation before me this summer. However, she realized she needed to make some serious changes before she submitted her dissertation to her committee. So, we met on a Sunday morning on June 29, 2014 to edit her draft.

Luckily, I was able to obtain some participants for my study. Therefore, I could write-up my cases and finish this summer too. I knew how I wanted the format of my dissertation to look. Dee gave me vital information to help me write my dissertation. I gave her my two cents on edits. I had not planned to stay another day in Fort Worth, but my friendship with Dee is a true sisterhood. I knew we could help each other finish what we started six years ago.

Capella Sisters Finishing What We Started

Looking at our photo tells the story. I did not comb my hair; Deirdre was doing the natural look. We were a hot mess! We were in Starbucks inside of Tom Thumb Grocery completing the journey. It has taken me almost 10 years to complete my doctorate. Dee has been my friend for six of those years. We have searched the literature, shared our frustrations about collecting data. We have shared our ah moments. We see ourselves in the literature. We call each other Dr. Hill and Dr. Pope.

We are currently writing chapter four and five of our dissertations. We will complete our journey by the end of this quarter. We are both single, determined and grateful for our journey through Capella University. She will walk across the stage ahead of me at our graduation (Hill before Pope). Yet we will both stand by each other after graduation and throughout our lives. #Capellaproud