Sunday, October 26, 2014

Online Dating is Window Shopping

Okay, so I broke down and did it.  After my unfortunate separation, I decided to try something different in regards to dating.  I decided to give online dating a try.

I went to Match.com and didn't like it.  I just didn't care for the site itself.  Sometimes you have to go through too much just to get started on some sites.  I understand that Match wants to find the best option out there for me, but people have answered less questions on government job interviews.

There was no way I was trying an adult site because I didn't want to deal with the unexpectedness.  Let's be honest: people who use adult online "dating" sites are a lot more full of surprises than the average person on a regular dating site.  I didn't need Mordacai showing up at my doorstep with a pink boa wrapped around his concealed Adam's apple.

So, I did the unexpected and tried BlackPeopleMeet.com.  I remember the first time I saw a commercial for this site I laughed until tears filled my eyes.  "What a stupid name!," I remembered thinking.

However, after perusing the site for a bit I realized that it may be pretty fun to try after all.  So, I signed up and decided to give it a whirl.  I figured that the worst case scenario would be a future blog post, so what the heck?  Try something new and give BPM a try.  Well, it was not what I expected.  At all...

First of all, there are a ton of profiles to view.  You can search any zip code for a wide range of people from certain height/size ranges to if they have kids or not.  Traditional categories, but they do a good job of laying it all out to pick and choose to narrow down selections.

I went through the Mississippi profiles and of course I immediately excluded those without photos.  Although I recognize that some people want to get to know you before revealing if they look like the Crypt Keeper or that random chance maybe a Halle Berry, but most people hate spending time getting to know someone only to not be attracted when meeting.  That's a huge letdown.  I don't know of too many people who said that Mr. Snuffleagus was such a nice guy that I dated him anyway.

However, all I found myself doing whenever I logged on was browsing photos.  Headshot after headshot after headshot.  Was I looking for a date or looking for a suspect?  It was hard to tell after awhile.  The site gives you so much to see yet you really don't get much of a return on your investment of time.

You may search 100 profiles and find 20 that you like.  You will probably message about five of them depending on your assertiveness.  If you're lucky, three of them will visit your profile and at least look at it, but only one may actually reply with a message.  And that message may generally be a sentence less than seven words in most cases.

Well, I was diligent.  In my time using BPM, I sent exactly 100 messages to dating prospects.  Most of them were in my homestate, but I did try a few in some major cities in neighboring states.  Out of all of them, I received 87 views to my profile.  Out of those views, I received 42 messages.  Out of those 42 messages, I received 19 worthy of a reply.  Out of those 19 replies, I actually got decent conversation from five people.  From those five people, I actually got phone numbers and met with three.

When I decided to leave the BPM alone I just didn't feel that the amount of time I spent messaging people was worth getting three serious replies.  Now, that could be saying something about ME -- LOL!  However, I'd like to think that some people just window shop when they online date.  In fact, I found myself doing the same.

I found myself clicking on photos of women located as far as Seattle, Washington on over to Providence, Rhode Island simply because they were attractive.  Although I knew that there wasn't much of a chance to find a love connection with someone 2,000 miles away I got distracted by shiny objects.

And after polling some people on my Facebook fan page afterwards, I realized that a lot of people just look at the pictures.  They want something that is going to catch their eye.  Unless you're a reader, which let's face it, is a dying art in this country, then you're not going to view a profile until after the photo gets your attention.

Ultimately, I would probably try online dating again if the urge hit me.  I would even consider BPM again although a friend, Ms. Manhood, swears by Match.com.  So, despite all of the questions and high cost, maybe I would give that a try if I ever did it again.

What happened with the three people that I met?  Well, that's a blog post for another day! ;)

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Mind of a Child

I recently spoke in an interview with a young guy that I admire by the name of Jay Mayo.  Jay and I discussed something that I never really studied all that closely.  Something that probably goes unnoticed by most of the people in this country: what is your purpose?

Just about every one of us remembers a time when either a parent, relative, or teacher asked, "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

I remember being asked that in 1st grade.  My response, "A king."

"You want to run your own country?  That's sweet, Quincy."

"No, ma'am.  I want to run the world."

Of course my teacher and classmates laughed.  That is until they saw the photo I drew of myself on a throne and the flag that I designed.  Yeah, I was dead serious.

Fast-forward 37 years later and I haven't conquered any countries to claim as my own as of yet.  Maybe I'll get there, but in the meantime I have other things to do.  I have a purpose to fulfill.  You see, my purpose evolved over time, but I had the right mentality for it in place all along.

I had reasons for wanting to be a king: my grandmother worked in a nursing home on the overnight shift for years.  My mom worked long hours as a supervisor in a factory for over two decades.  My father also worked in a factory for around the same amount of time and rarely missed a day of work.  I wanted to become a king because I knew by doing so that my grandmother, mom, and dad would never have to work again.  I wanted to have people do things for them.  

Even as a 6 year old my focus for wanting to rule the world was so that I could share its riches.  Riches don't necessarily refer to money either.  Wisdom is considered one of life's greatest wishes in my opinion.  I discovered that my purpose was to help others in some shape, form or fashion. A lot of it I've done through giving advice and sharing stories of life experiences here on the blog and over at T2Q.

However, not everyone has realized that they have a purpose.  That's something Jay pointed out to me that I'd never considered.  The people that I've seen on the nightly news who have been arrested for (insert crime here) didn't recognize their purpose.  No one probably told them that they could truly be something in life and overcome almost any unfortunate circumstance put before them.

Everyone in the world possesses multiple talents and it's the duty of the parents to discover those talents.  Whether you're an artist, dancer, architect, scientist, or actor, it's something within you.  The key to being happy and productive in life is to find something that you enjoy and find reasons to do it!  It's just that simple!

But, if a kid is never taught that dreams can come true then eventually they'll stop dreaming.  And they will walk around aimlessly like zombies not knowing where they are going.  Not having a reason or a goal to make life worth living.  One thing that I remember Jay saying is that there is so much "untapped potential in the cemetery."  People who could have been something if they only knew what that something was to be.

The mind of a child is like a safe that contains riches.  It's up to us, the adults, to unlock it so that everyone else can benefit from what's inside.  

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