Date Smarter - Not Harder!

Yesterday our Admin ~all posted an interesting question over on The Swirl World's Facebook page.

(By the way, if you haven't visited or "Liked" our page, you're missing out on a treat: Lots of lively discussions, informative posts celebrating people of color, and spotlights on the fans. What? You're not over there yet? What are you waiting for???)

This is the question that ~all posed:

Hi Swirlers,
Would like your insight. Some of you have tried or met through on-line dating sites. Some of you have been successful and some have not, so without naming any names of sites, give some helpful pointers? ~all

A number of people - guys and gals - weighed in on the question by sharing their views and relaying what they had encountered. Some of the accounts were positive; others, not so much. Reading the thread made me think not only of my own dating experiences, but also the practical advice I give to those who decide to try online dating:

Just remember that he (or she) should be very willing to come out from behind the computer and MEET YOU IN PERSON. Ladies, if he lives in another city, let him come to visit YOU FIRST. A man should be willing to make an effort to meet/get to know you - HE should be the pursuer, NOT you. Don't act/be thirsty and desperate! Meet at a neutral place; no way should you go to someone's home or they to yours until you are thoroughly comfortable and some guidelines/boundaries have been established (as well as a relationship). He/she should not meet your children until you have an established RELATIONSHIP and you have vetted, vetted, and VETTED SOME MORE. Be observant and listen to your instincts; if something feels "off" or "not quite right," it probably isn't.

I know this advice may seem "old-fashioned" to some of you in this modern age, but this is my advice and I'm sticking to it. I've seen far too many people (especially women) make foolish mistakes and sometimes suffer HEARTBREAKING consequences when they didn't. I wish everybody well and want all of us to be successful in relationships and love. Peace and blessings! ~ASwirlGirl

Call me old-fashioned if you like, but I've heard far too many horror stories from women who were too accommodating, or failed to use plain common sense. I can't stress enough how important it is to vet a potential suitor. Bohemian blogger Dee Dee Russell, creator of the Black Women With Other Brothers Facebook page and blog, makes a very strong case for the importance of vetting in her post Black Women With Other Brothers: The Five Basic Swirling Rules I've Learned. YouTube vlogger Eugenia Berg, who also blogs at Married Girl in a Weird World, extensively discusses online dating and vetting, part one and part two.

Information abounds for the smart, savvy woman (or man) who wants to successfully navigate online (and offline line) dating. What every woman - and Black women in particular - needs to remember is that no prospect should be exempt from a good, thorough vetting. Regardless of ethnicity, men are men (and women are women), and nobody should get an automatic pass based on something as superficial as race.

Be wary of "Catfish" and what Dee Dee Russell calls "Keyboard Romeos." I can't say it enough: Vet, vet, vet and then vet again.

The choice is always yours - you can date smarter, or date harder.

Join in the Fray: What dating smarter or vetting tips can you share?

I’m blogging every day in the month of January in Blogher’s NaBloPoMo Challenge. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment!

Copyright © 2013 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl, All rights reserved.

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