DATING Series: Online Dating

Online dating has evolved in the last couple of years. In fact, dating is not the same as it used to be even from a year ago. However, there are plenty of success stories when it comes to online dating, mine included. The crazy thing is we both were reluctant to do it, especially on the particular site we met on. For one, I envisioned meeting my husband in church. I would be busy serving and he would notice me and the rest would be history. However, God has a way of altering our plans. I think He even has a sense of humor.  Despite what seemed unconventional, even felt a little desperate and against everything I have been taught as a woman (don’t go looking for love, love will find you), everything turned out better than imagined. We’ve been together seven years and married for five. I’ve learned from experience to not be caught up in the how or where and be open to trying something new.

Here are some tips my married friends who met online and I used.

    1. Be honest: If a long-term relationship is something you desire with intent to marry, state that in your profile. If you are simply looking for a good time, say that.  Bottom line, don’t be afraid to be honest about what you want. You want to scare off the ones who don’t have the same ambition and goals as you. Also, always put current pictures on your profile.
    2. Don’t go by the profile only: Ask questions. People lie, especially online. Even if he stated in his profile, he wants children, ask him again. Get to know one another outside of the profile. Also, don’t believe the profile over the facts. If a person wrote they don’t smoke, but they smell like a smokers lounge when you meet them, believe the evidence.
    3. Don’t meet up too soon: A lot of people make the mistake of meeting up after one conversation. My advice, talk to the person for at least three weeks before going on the first date. And when I say talk, I don’t mean text and email only.  Talk on the phone/Facetime. My husband and I emailed for a week, talk on the phone for two weeks and then met in person at a PUBLIC place.
    4. Wait before you get physical- (this includes kissing): Some feel they must be physically compatible before continuing with the relationship. *insert side eye here*  Yes, sex is an important part of marriage, but great sex is not going to keep your marriage together, it is not going to keep your lights on, it does not mean someone will be a great parent. Physical should be a plus to everything else in your relationship, not a determining factor.
    5. Trust your instincts: If you feel something isn’t right, believe it and don’t stick around to find out why.
    6. Don’t be afraid to correspond with more than one person: I had a limit of three people to go back and forth on email with. However, once I started talking on the phone, the number decreased. Once we started dating, it was just one person at a time.
    7. Know what you want: Before you start dating, you should have an idea of what you want. Now, if you made a list and it is the perfect man/woman, you may need to adjust your expectation. Most importantly, know your deal breakers.  A dealbreaker for me was someone who wasn’t a Christian.
    8. Don’t require something you don’t live up to: I am annoyed when someone says they want someone that makes a lot of money and they can’t even hold a job. Another one, you want someone with a six pack and 3% body fat and you haven’t seen your own abs since high school. Another one, you don’t want to date someone with kids, but you have three…
    9. Don’t be afraid to say no: If your uninterest, don’t go on a date. Do not waste each others time.
    10. Don’t be afraid to say yes: If you are unsure if you are interested or not, it does not hurt to continue to talk to the person to see where it goes. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to someone, who isn’t “your type” More times than not, people marry the person that wasn’t “their type” and it works out. However, once you realize it is not going anywhere, end it.
    11. Have fun: Dating can be stressful especially when you keep meeting duds. However, there is beauty in getting to know someone and building on it.
    12. Be safe: There are crazy people out there, whether you meet them at the grocery store or online. Don’t give out your personal information, don’t meet up at each other’s house on date two. Let someone close to you know where you will be at all times. My friends and I would give the first and last name and take a picture of his license plate. We did not play about safety.

This list is merely a guide and you can tweak to your standards.  Do you have tips to add? Leave them in the comments.

 

-Ebby LeBlanc

 

 

 

 

 

Dating: The Issue, The Message, The Solution

James Brown’s hit song was titled, “It’s a Man’s Man’s World.” After hearing dating stories from single women, it seems to be an accepted declaration. Issues women deal with nowadays is mind-boggling. But, I get it. Why? I have been there. I’ve been “her” afraid to be herself because he may not like it. I’ve been “her” who dumb downed my spirituality to make him more comfortable (Thank you, Alex, for reminding me of this). I have been “her,” who despite how inferior he makes me feel (in fact, constantly question myself now), I keep him around because, at least, I’m not alone.

I interviewed single and married women of diverse backgrounds, ages, etc to craft the top 10 Common struggles of dating in 2015 and the top 10 qualities of husbands during the dating process. I wanted that single woman waiting for her husband to know she is not alone. Also, to provide a list of habits as a guide in recognizing the “real” thing.

Top Ten Struggles of Dating in 2015

1. Not Feeling Attractive Enough: You feel overweight, too dark, too skinny, too pale or to this, not enough that, and the list goes on. When you see women with a certain look getting the most attention from men, it is easy to believe you aren’t attractive enough.
2. Giving too much of yourself too soon: When you like him, you want to give him your all.

“It is difficult to find a balance between how much is too much, or how soon is too soon.” – C. Banks Fort Worth

3. Men don’t want to bring anything to the table nowadays: Women are constantly approached by men who have no car, no job, living with their mama, have multiple kids, multiple baby mamas, just plain baggage.
4. Men don’t want to work for you anymore (take you on a date, etc.): The famous line, “Netflix and Chill” comes to mind. There is a new dating rule. You go on a pre-date (Coffeehouse, park, somewhere that doesn’t allude to an actual date). I don’t know if it is a way of saying without saying, “I do not want to spend my money on you unless I think you’re attractive enough.” However, shouldn’t the pre-date be the conversation you had on the phone beforehand?
5. Men want to act like your boyfriend, without the title/commitment: He takes you out, is intimate with you, and perhaps, you even met his mama. However, he makes a point to remind you when you get too comfortable you’re just friends. And, he keep you from walking away by affirming the possibility of a relationship when HE believes you are both ready.
6. Men aren’t being honest about what they want (morals, values, or just flat out lying): You’re talking for weeks now. Things are great and the amazing conversation. However, the relationship begins to get serious and suddenly,  he flips. “What happened to the man I’ve been dating for the last few weeks/months?”
7. Feeling the pressure to have sex:  He claims he has to test it out to see if you two are physically compatible first. *insert side eye*

8. Once they get what they want, they change:  He was so sweet; he told you, he could see this being long-term. You have sex. Immediately, his pattern changes. He used to call you every morning before work and now he barely picks up. And when you do hang out or talk, he is standoffish. You are probably thinking it’s just you right about now.
9. The only men interested are the ones you don’t like, and the ones you do like are not interested in you: He posses the qualities you want in a man. He’d make a great husband and father, but no matter how hard you try, you just don’t see him like that. Conversely, you love everything about him, you seem to be compatible in every way, but he hasn’t made a move and/or doesn’t seem interested in a relationship WITH YOU.
10. Just tired of being single: When will it be my turn?

“I see my peers getting married and having a family or they may just be dating or it’s the simply the fact I want those things and can’t have them because the time is not appointed yet.” – E. Green, Texas

Top 10 Behaviors and Qualities your Husband will Exhibit While Dating.

I asked married women who are in HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS (that’s important) what made their husband different and created a list of behaviors your husband will exhibit while dating. There were numerous qualities I had to leave out. Perhaps, a future blog post in the making.

1. You won’t have to guess how he feels about you: He will make his intentions known. You won’t doubt or question his desire for you.

“He pursued me and made it known that he wanted more than just a friendship with me.” – A. Willoughby, Maryland

2.When you argue, you will never feel it is the end: This was big for me. I remember every time I argued with a man, it was over soon after. With my husband, it never felt like that.

3. You won’t have to change who you are or feel you must work for his love: He will love you for you. There is nothing you can do (gain weight, get sick) that will change how he feels.

“He showed me what real love truly is, means and how it truly feels. Not what the world calls love, but the love God adds to a union truly ordained by Him.” –  R. Doucet, Fort Worth, TX

4. You won’t feel ashamed of who you are and what you like (hobbies, quirks, family, friends, that extra toe on your right foot):  He will appreciate and encourage ALL of you. He will tolerate what he doesn’t like. Most of all, you won’t have to dumb down your spirituality, your intelligence, and your accomplishments to make him comfortable. He will celebrate them.
5. He will boost your self-worth: Have you heard women contest, when they are around their man, they feel like the most beautiful woman in the world? You will feel beautiful on your worse day.

6. He will genuinely care about all of you (well-being, emotions, goals): He will be concerned about the internal parts of you too. You can share your deepest feelings and he will care even if it seems futile.

“When we would talk he would always ask, how I was. He would always ask how I was feeling, what’s on my mind… how this situation makes me feel?” – K. Feaster Maryland

7. He will respect your wishes to wait till marriage: No elaborations need on this one.

8. He will desire to take care of you in every way: Spiritually, financially, physically, and emotionally. Plain and simple.

“When dating, ask yourself is this relationship my BEST YES physically, financially, spiritually, emotionally?”- J. Flowers, Texas

9. His qualities and character will speak for themselves: You won’t have to make excuses for him. I’m reminded of the time when I was dating someone. I found myself boasting his good qualities, hoping no one paid attention to the poor ones.

10. It will be peaceful and natural: There will be arguments, disagreements, and hiccups, but it will be a healthy balance and not toxic.

“We shared the same sense of humor. By the end of the night (first date), we already had inside jokes. After the first date, we were inseparable. I knew by the end of the week, we would be long term.” –  A. Dye, Texas

Woman to Woman, what we face when it comes to dating is our fault. Not all of it, but we must take responsibility for our part. Growing up, I heard the saying, “you have to teach a man how to treat you.”  If we want men to change, we need to change. We, as women need to revert to being firm with what we want. If they are not willing to provide those needs and desire, we must be woman enough to walk away. Let’s go back to raising those standards.

With that being said, every married woman who contributed to this blog can attest there are still great men out there. When you meet him, you won’t remember or care about the ones who walked away. Women have more power then we give ourselves credit. James Brown proclaimed, “This is a man’s world.” However, he followed up with this, “But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman.”

I hope this helps and feel free to comment below.

With much love,

Ebby LeBlanc

P.S. I have received so much feedback from women on dating I have decided to break this up into multiple blog post. Subscribe if you liked to receive alerts on new post. Don’t forget to like my page on facebook : )

P.S.S. Thank you to all the women who contributed. I definitely couldn’t have written this without your input, Destiny Oribabhor (https://destinyiyere.wordpress.com/ ), Eunique Loggins, Kendra Feaster, Shaina Eden Thomas, AlexandraWilloughby, Jordan Flowers (http://www.fitbyjordan.blogspot.com/), Catrina Banks, Sherika Thomas, Jessica Bowers, Adrian Caston Dye, Rachel Doucet, Jessica Coleman, Jessica Brown, Tiffany Johnson, Queen Evans