First, click here to find out everything you need to know about this series.
Then, read the previous interviews to catch-up.
Previous Interviews: Male Case Study 1: Interview #1—Introduction
Female Case Study 1: Interview #1—Introduction
Let’s call her Honeysuckle.
Read on to get to know her.
Make some comments.
Ask a lot of questions. I hear crickets. It’s way too quiet on this blog.
Q1: Let’s begin at the beginning. What kind of woman are you? In other words, how do you describe yourself? [See laughs and looks a little surprised by the question.]
Honeysuckle: When I think about myself, I’m a loyal person. When it comes to the things I say and the things I believe…the biggest thing to me is to do what I say I’m going to do. Dependable. Loyal. It’s hard for me to see myself sometimes. I just try to be the best person I can be…the best daughter, the best niece, the best friend. I always strive to be the best I can in whatever role I’m in. I’m hard on myself.
Q2: It’s clear that a growing number of people are choosing to use online dating services. Some people are looking for the person of their dreams to marry and share a lifetime. Many want to establish new friendships. Others are just looking for a date for the night. What led you to consider an online dating service?
Honeysuckle: One, I found that I was at a point where I was good and okay with spending time with myself. I would hear women say they couldn’t go out to dinner or out to a movie by themselves. I have no problem with that. I got to a point where I wanted companionship. There was just a shortage of men I was meeting. I would just go to work, to church. I didn’t want to get involved with anyone at work. I don’t go to clubs. I thought this would be a good way to meet a variety of men. It gave me a wider variety of men to choose from. The North Carolina dating pool is shallow, and the men I’ve been meeting are much younger [than me].
Q3 (Follow-up): You mentioned that the men you’ve been meeting are younger than you. How do you feel about that?
Honeysuckle: I don’t feel comfortable dating men more than eight years younger than me. That is about as far as I would go. Because I live in a college area, it feels—I don’t know—I just don’t feel comfortable. I don’t want to date anybody that I have to teach, like I have to teach my children. [I try not to laugh, but I can’t help it.] I don’t want to feel like I’m the mother figure either. Men can feel that way when I’m telling them things and guiding them. I have two rules. One, it’s non-negotiable. You have to have your own kids. I’m at the point where I’ve decided that I’m not having any more children. I will love his kids. No problem. I need him to have had the experience of being a father because a lot of men that haven’t seem to want a woman to have their child. It’s not happening! Along with that, I have my own son. It’s harder when they don’t have their own. Two, it’s somewhat negotiable. I prefer a man that’s already been married. That way I feel like we’re on the same playing field because we both are coming to the situation with the same experiences.
Q5: My research shows that online dating services began in the late 1990s. These services have been around for 15 years or more and the number of services has grown. There seems to be a service available for everyone. What online dating services have you used and which one do you like best?
Honeysuckle: I have attempted to use most of the regular dating services—not the hookup services. They have those, too. I’ve signed up for the majority of the major ones: Match.com, eHarmony.com, Blackpeoplemeet.com. When those failed, I mean, I didn’t find what I wanted. I tried to use those that weren’t so obvious. Like interracial…something. I tried that. Singleparentmeet.com was another one. When all else failed, a friend told me about PlentyofFish (pof.com). All the dating sites I tried before this one resulted in only one date. After pof, I ended up dating three people at one time. [She smiles and laughs. I sit in wonder. That never happened for me. Okay, well, there was that very brief three months of my life back in 2006. Oh yeah, and there was 1999.] I’d have a date three to four times out of a week [My mouth might have dropped open at this point. I’m not sure.] Yes, I was busy. I think I had more dates with pof than I had my entire life. I went to the casino, the mountains, nice restaurants, concerts…as a matter of fact, I went to a jazz concert, New Edition…yeah, I was propositioned for a couple of relationships, too. I’ve had dinner cooked for me. [She looks at me, laughs some more, and sips her white wine.] One of those dinners was the best date I’ve ever had in my life. I was making it work for me. I changed my attitude towards dating. I demanded certain things—not verbally, but in general and it happened for me. When I started refusing to accept certain things, I started to get the things that I’ve always wanted. Things I used to see other women get, I got. I felt I was being taken seriously. I think it was because I didn’t just have one guy. I think it was important to see more than one person. It made me behave different and the men stepped up their game. So pof is the one I liked the best. I felt the men were more attractive on pof.
Q6 (Follow-up): Which site would you recommend for women who want to get married?
Honeysuckle: Pof. It gives you choices. It asks you what your intentions are. Do you want to date, to hang out, to meet friends, to date with no commitment, or to be in a relationship? It has a more simplistic questionnaire than eHarmony. It doesn’t take two days to complete. You’re done in 15 minutes. I think eHarmony is too much. It goes too deep.
Q7 (Follow-up): So what was your eHarmony experience?
Honeysuckle: I didn’t find anyone that seemed like a good match for me. It was boring. I think the guided communication was a great idea, but it didn’t work for me. I needed to be able to choose when I wanted to talk to someone.
Q8: What were your expectations of online dating services?
Honeysuckle: It was kind of scary. I thought I was going to meet some weird people, but I thought well I’m on here, too. So what does that say about me? I had to keep an open mind. I wasn’t really too trusting of the system. I think a lot of people immediately go for sex. They think it’s all about a hookup and that’s what I didn’t want.