Nigerians Dating Online
Online dating advice
Nigerians like everyone else have started to date online. I went looking for data on the history of online or internet dating and this is what I found.
Long long ago, there was a newsgroup called soc.singles. What's a newsgroup you ask?
Well, A newsgroup is a discussion about a particular subject consisting of notes written to a central Internet site and redistributed through Usenet, a worldwide network of news discussion groups.
Back then that was wild and cool and very unique...
Internet dating started way before the World Wide Web came of age! (There were newsgroups in the late 1980s). Netnews (or Usenet, or nowadays, Google News), is a collection of thousands upon thousands of special interest text-oriented groups in which people could share thoughts and ideas.
Back then, soc.singles was the place where single people would gather, so to say, and exchange views on just about anything and everything. Many other social newsgroups existed as well - soc.men, soc.women, soc.motss, etc.
Then one day, a new newsgroup popped up - alt.romance. Because soc.singles had many, how shall I say, flames (people who posted rude, stupid and more often irrelevant messages), this group was dedicated towards romance and getting to know one another. I think this is one of the earliest precursors to what is known as Internet dating today.
Romance was found on other newsgroups, of course. Social culture groups flourished - soc.culture.indian, soc.culture.jewish, soc.culture.china, soc.culture.asian.american, etc. If friendships were struck up via email, who knew where they would lead?
After the Internet was opened to millions of people via America Online (AOL), Compuserve and the like, actual graphical dating sites emerged like AOL dating.
I remember AOL being one of the first online dating services. Looking back now, of course it was a natural evolution of their business model. They had millions of loyal subscribers, why not introduce them to one another?
I remember finding Matchmaker.com after that. For a while, Matchmaker seemed to be the dominant force in the internet dating world. Then Match.com showed up and spent a gazillion dollars on affiliates and advertising.
For Nigerians, I recommend Metrodate.com.
Here are some reasons to date online...(article by Joan Neils, 2003)
Whereas an inability to predict chemistry is perhaps one of the most limiting aspects of online dating, the advantages to this medium as a way of finding, introducing, and developing a relationship are significant and numerous. The increasing popularity of online dating is evidence to the multiple advantages (see the section Trends for more details).
First and foremost, online dating requires very few resources: a computer, an Internet connection, and time are all that a user needs to position themselves among the available and be in touch with like-minded singles. It is therefore accessible to anyone (through the local library if financial means are limited). "Relationships formed on the Web transcend distance through high-speed, low-cost interactive communication".
Schedules and geography are not limitations of online relationships. While many find it prudent to limit searches to sane driving distances, many sites allow users to select regions from all over the world, excluding or including entire continents with a keystroke. At Kiss.com, for instance, those eager to travel can select Bahrain or Bangladesh as quickly as they can Bellevue, Washington. As for time zones and schedule constraints, a major plus point is that participation does not require a normal 9-to-5 job. "There's no reason why you can't be a night worker and return home to pick up your messages and send others at anytime of the day or night--the Internet never sleeps!".
In contrast to a blind date, frequenting a bar, or attending a singles function, meeting online does not require prepping or primping of any kind beyond finger stretches. Bad hair days, out-of-style wardrobes and acne outbreaks are non-issues. One doesn't even need to be in a good mood to log on and make a good impression through the written medium. As Andrea Baker, a sociologist at Ohio University explains, "The written word promotes people talking about themselves without the selfconsciousness of how do I look, how am I dressed".
For those concerned with the diminishing yet existing stigmas of the practice (also see the subsection Overcoming the Stigmas), online dating is also discreet. Statistically, the danger of "running into someone" online over being spotted entering the local meat market are much preferred. Simply close the windows and no one has to know until the question is asked, "How'd you meet?"
The relative cost of meeting someone online versus those of more conventional methods is advantageous enough to warrant its own heading.
Under the alias Trampus, one online dater writes, "I would think that every single one of us could count the cost of a new relationship in terms of gargantuan phone bills, text messages, train fares etc. Access to 24 hour availability of your partner is governed by the associated charges of your ISP (and their sleeping habits). If you really want to sit and whisper endearments for hours on end, financial restrictions are happily not an option if you're using an unlimited access package".
After securing the necessary technical resources involved, the costs of online dating are essentially fixed. Traditional dating, however, begins with the initial costs of prepping and attendance, and gets more and more expensive as the courtship progresses. Newspaper personal ads usually involve an initial expense and then premium phone charges apply in order to pick up messages. Singles clubs generally involve yearly dues and can often involve outings and activities involving additional expense. The list of miscellaneous costs associated with offline dating--drinks, dinners, movies, driving, phone calls--can become extensive prior to realizing someone is not "the one."
Once online daters move to meeting in-person, traditional dating expenses are no longer avoidable. However, many a dollar will be saved by those who recognize fatal flaws during online conversation and prior to an expensive outing.
The Internet as a method of initiating contact with a member of the opposite sex, has another major advantage over traditional methods involving strangers: initial contact. Traditional dating can involve a variety of dreaded requirements (such as making eye contact and determining mutual interest) and risks--namely rejection. While rejection can still be painful online, an e-mail with "I'm sorry, I'm not interested"--or none at all--is much easier to receive than in-person rejection. The risks of saying the wrong thing are also lessened (see the subsection Polishing the Message), and disgust returned over an e-mail or instant message requires much less self-esteem recovery than a look of disgust, slap in the face, or other potentially nasty face-to-face public display.
Breaking contact with an acquaintance is also much easier online than in traditional dating. For those who agonize over how to turn someone down in-person (or whose polite hints are misinterpreted), unwanted messages can be ignored or even blocked. If a vital flaw is revealed after communicating back and forth, one need not suffer through the rest of the meal or movie before ending the night. There is also no obligation to end an instant message session with "I'll call you sometime."
Two common complaints of men in regard to traditional dating are that women aren't approachable and that they may be accused of sexual harassment. These concerns are completely void in the arena of Internet introductions. Women don't want to appear overly aggressive, but most would agree that initiating contact online is much easier than in-person. Men still tend to be more outgoing than women and are more likely to start messaging women than the other way around, however, online dating allows both parties to escape the limitations of traditional gender roles, should they choose.
Of traditional dating methods that require physical presence, such as bars and clubs, workplaces and so forth, another common complaint is a highly unequal gender balance. Internet dating sites find that their customers are about 55 percent men and 45 percent women. The imbalance is not an issue to the man sitting at his computer alone, scrolling through ads--for all he can tell, he's the only man in the database!
Andrea Baker, a sociologist at Ohio University, sees the Internet as "a haven for the shy, the tongue tied and the thoughtful".
Some of the most common traditional dating environments include bars and clubs. Bars have earned the nickname "meat markets" and are, according to Seattle relationship coach Tom Lee, "one of the top places to kick off a doomed relationship." He includes health clubs as the other top "place for quick gratification". For those interested in more serious relationships, bars are discouraging.
While an increasing number of bars are beginning to offer smoke-free environments, the majority are still dark places filled with loud music, cigarette smoke and alcohol. Alcohol especially, while effective in decreasing inhibitions, also makes bars expensive and dangerous. For many singles and for a wide variety of reasons, bars are no longer an option. Jim Fraenkel, a 29-year-old online dater, writes of the Internet, "All of a sudden, there's a forum for meeting people that doesn't involve alcohol or staying out until four in the morning" (unless, of course, you want it to!).
Tom Lee's offline suggestions for singles are as silly as wearing an "I'm single" t-shirt or button, and as outrageous as renting a "call me" billboard. He tells of four women at a Seattle bridal show who got good dating leads from brides while recruiting at a bridal fair under the banner "Women Looking for Quality Men". Against options such as these, the appeal of online dating can not be ignored.
Given the anonymity of the Internet and the tools provided with most online dating services to limit undesirable contact, safety must be recognized as a significant advantage to online dating over many traditional means of meeting partners. Please see the complete discussion in the subsection Online Safety.
Though the discussion of profiles is appropriately included in the disadvantages section as well, most users consider profiling to be a major advantage to this method of introduction. Profiling allows users to limit their search to include the those matching criteria that are absolutely vital in their future partner. Criteria such as location, age, etc. can be accurately limited.
Establishing "nonnegotiable" criteria allow users to avoid a great deal of expense as well, both financially and in terms of time. It is no longer necessary for singles to embark on a four-hour date in order to discover the fatal flaw. Ideally, anyone with a "deal breaker" characteristic never makes the first cut; honest profiles help avoid initial contact between doomed parties in the first place.