The Secret Life of an Online Dater

Dear Africana Woman,


My love, how are you doing this week? I broke my phone! Gurl, my phone is my office and I have been living in perpetual agony for a week now. What is that one thing that you cannot live without? For me it is definitely my phone. I email, I make artwork, I record, I schedule, I can have zoom calls on the go, I listen to podcasts, I make videos, I take my photography, I record interviews. Oh my word! I just realised I am married to my phone. Like we are so tight. And this happens to be one of my favourite phones so far. I feel like I should have a burial ceremony. Thought I had the situation sorted in terms of a replacement but that fell through, so the agony continues. Chaaal, pray for me.


Then the dating saga continues. Well LACK thereof is more accurate. Let me tell you these dating apps are entertaining at best. I actually enjoy reading people’s profiles. You can tell who has had a number of encounters that left a distaste in their mouths. They will start off with, "Don’t send me nudes" lol. This other guy wrote, “I want to have children eventually, so if you are a medically made woman, like if the doctor gave you your female parts, do not send me a message.” Like how does someone actually write that? This other guy says … oh let me explain that on the app you see profiles and you either swipe left if you don’t like them or swipe right if you do like them. Now if you like someone, that person cannot see your profile unless you are on the paid membership. So if you want them to see you, you have to send them a message. Apparently we are all a bunch of cheapos because everyone posts “I cannot see likes, so send me a message.” Now this one guy writes on his profile, “Guys can we all just come together and agree that no one can see likes.” Yoh! I was floored. Another guy wrote, “I am not a sugar daddy, not a sponsor, not a blesser. Keep swiping.”

Now I have a theory. I think guys get more messages than women do. They don’t even bother trying to send messages to women because they have so many options to sift through. Nomba ifwe, awe suwa tula chula, we are suffering out here as chicks. No one sends any messages. Just likes galore. Oh jeez, so you have been out in the desert té and then you get that one response in a blue moon, and it goes something like Hi, Hi, ……. (silence) I beg what has happened to the skill of having a conversation. Mwebantu, people that are in relationships do you just sit at home in silence. Is this what we singletons are supposed to look forward to? By the way my app told me that 38% of my contacts on Facebook were on this particular dating app. Guys I don’t have a lot of guy friends so its chicks. Heh! So me I’m the only one who has declared that I am on the apps and you have left me hanging. I see you. Tell us. Confess. Who are you? We share some notes. LOLEST


Mhm Then there was this other chap, I actually had to screenshot that nonsense. Okay I have changed my mind, I won’t share hahaha. It has his picture and name. Too much work for me to black it out. But if you still want to see them send me a DM. Hahaha. So the messages were basically like bullets being fired. “Where do you live? With who? Which area? Where do you work? Give me your number? If you don’t give me your number then we can’t talk.” 😳 All these questions in 10 minutes. HALLO. (closing my eyes with a finger on my forehead) There is a serious problem out here. Like did he really just threaten me? Can someone say Alarm Bells and red sirens flashing. But you know what let me not assume this is abnormal. There might be a young lady out there reading his questions and thinking, “Oh My Gawd, He is such a good guy. So charming. Ah me I would have given him my numba, mweh. This gurl, she doesn’t know the market is difficot Mhm.” 😒 So please, tell me in the comments, is this a normal conversation?


Anywho, enough about my non existent love life. What did you get up to on Valentine’s day? Oh I must say that on Vday I was going to be petty and not post about it on Social Media. PWAHAHA. My petty game can be tight sometimes lol. But I decided not to be silly and I ended up performing a song for all of you. So if you missed it, click here for a little dose of love.

Okay I am sorry, I cannot let go of the lack of communication skills people are exhibiting. At the same time, I have not dated in years or ever to be honest, so you may not want to take dating tips from me. But I do know how to have a great conversation, and get more out of people than they thought they would say. So here are my tips to having a great chat whilst data mining okur:


1. People want to know they are seen and heard. So show some genuine interest in their lives. Now here I would say let us move past jobs & titles. Instead dive in with a broader question that they are able fill in with details. It is from the details that you expand the conversation. For example.

Her: Hi

Him: Hi

Her: How was your day?

Him: Long. Glad it’s over.

Her: Oh really, tell me about it.

Him: Well you see I had to take an impromptu trip to the farm, and my car had

tyre puncture in the middle of nowhere….

Her: Oh really, thats a shame. Glad its all sorted. What do you grow / rear on

your farm?


Already in this conversation he told her how he handles stressful situations as well as details on his employment / extra curricular activities. The trick with this tip is to be silent after you ask the question. Don’t give them suggestions of what they should answer. Just leave the space with silence for them to fill at ease. And don’t ask yes or no questions.


2. Listen carefully. There are so many cues that will tell you the way someone thinks/feels about a topic. For example their choice of sentence construction, their tone, their pitch, their body language, their facial expression. All of these can tell you whether they have a negative or positive attitude to the topic being discussed. If you pick up on something that makes you curious, you can ask them to elaborate on that point, just so as they can express their thoughts in their own words as opposed to you making an assumption. Remember assumption is the lowest form of knowledge.


3. Be sensitive to people’s level of comfortability. There are some topics that people are just not willing or comfortable to talk about. It may be because you have just met and you are basically a stranger that they would rather not share personal information. Think of it as a home. You have areas that the public have access to like the sitting room. When they are a bit more familiar they might have access to the kitchen and then when you are mates/bff/family then they can enter the bedroom. So it takes time to be able to talk about some topics. However, there are other topics that people just shut down on. That is a red flag. And you have to consider how you want to deal with that.


4. Ask the questions that are deal breakers for you. I think a lot of times we find ourselves blind sided way too far into the dating process. Why? Because we did not ask. Tactfully ask the questions which are simply non negotiable for you. Granted people lie but you will know whether they are lying from tips number 2 and 3. So the deal breakers come in when you have a nice flow of conversation going and then you expertly weave them in. Don’t go gung ho as soon as you start the conversation.


Babes this should be enough to get you started on some decent conversations. Share this with the men out there too. I think they are the ones that need it most. Otherwise, if I have one more hi hi silence conversation, Kee me now! Ok. Clearly it is time to bounce. I hope to hear from you. Drop your thoughts in the comments. If you are new here, HEY HONEY. Welcome. Please do subscribe and I will send you a love letter every week. To all my read hard and live harder readers, I have so much love and appreciation for you. Thank you for coming back. You can always catch up with me on Instagram @Chulu_byDesign. Also make sure you listen to the Africana Woman with Chulu podcast. It can be found anywhere you listen to your podcasts. Finally if you are a female entrepreneur of African descent do join the Africana Woman Visionaries Facebook group. Don’t miss out on all the fun and the knowledge we share. Okie dokie. LOVE yourself flaws n all, and attract the life that you truly desire.

Hugs, kisses and all things sweet,

Chulu

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