Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Online Dating Stretch

By Ruth Kedikilwe

Online activities have made more than just studying, shopping communicating and working easier but also dating.

Getting a date is as easy as swiping left, right and as the youth calls it ‘Sliding in my DM.’ There are countless dating websites and some people have gone on to find life partners ending up in marriage, having children however people continue to shun relationships started online and prefer the good old fashioned wooing.

There is something for everyone, the casual and non committal Badoo, the more popular Tinder, there are more women friendly ones like Bumble and the Queer friendly ones like LIIV and the good old fashioned dating websites like Cupid.

The longer people stay online the harder it is for them to actually go out and meet people so online dating is probably a necessary evil society needs in order for people to procreate.     

Despite the colorful variety of options people shy away from openly admitting that they have solicited the use of dating sites and application because it screams desperation and the inability to charm their way into a relationship. This is because prior to the use of stringent security features, dating sites were the grazing fields for scammers, pedophiles and human traffickers.

Batswana are a generally conservative nation and the humble folk at home are not quite ready to encounter a wedding toast where the bride and groom attribute how they fell in love after they exchanged their first nudes.

Thato was an outgoing young lady, extremely sociable but like any other young adult she had her fair share of shady men and their drama. She decided one day to try her luck on the Social Media Application Tinder and swiped left for a gentleman wjo seemed reasonable enough and was within her vicinity. They started chatting online and eventually decided to meet.

Thato raises one eyebrow and disgustedly hurled out that: “The guy was married with 3 children and a 4th one on the way, he did not mince his words when telling me he uses sites like tinder to scam girls for sex.” So Thato trudged back to the trenches of being single, found a man at social event whilst drunk out of her mind like ‘normal’ people do and 7 years later they are happily married with 2 children.

A much older Lebo sings another tune as she waxes lyrical for online dating seeing as in just a couple of moths she is on her way to the West in pursuit of a relationship which started online. According to Lebo the conventional boy meets girl scenario failed her dismally and after divorce and a few failed relationships she let her fingers do the talking. Regarding her personal safety Lebo claims to have family in the country she is moving to who relocated there years ago and they have since checked out the authenticity of the man and have given her a heads up. Lebo has no children and she says she has spoken to her family about this issue though reluctant to let her they really do not have much of her choice. She is in the process of toning her body and this winter (their summer) she will be living her best life with the ‘Man of her dreams.’

The whole world is migrating towards digital solutions in all aspects and dating is definitely not keen on being on left behind.

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Sunday Standard May 24 – 30

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of May 24 - 30, 2020.