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Female Case Study 2: Interview #1 (Introduction)
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Q1: Let’s begin at the beginning. What kind of woman are you? In other words, how do you describe yourself? [She looks skyward and then launches into her answer.]
Poppy: Straightforward. A romantic at times. Determined when I set my mind to something. I was going to say practical, but others probably don’t think so. I do think I tend to be practical and take a logical approach to things. Family-oriented, well, I guess that depends on your definition. But family is important. [She’s thinking.] I’ve learned that it’s important to make sure I understand myself. There’s a lot more that I could say, but then that would be too much. [I urge her to continue.] I’m moderately, reserved because in some instances I am and others I’m not.
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?
Poppy: The reality is that my workplace was not a place to meet other people who were single. I didn’t have any other real options to meet new people. I had heard stories from others who had done this and it seemed to work.
Q3: 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?
Q4 (Follow-up): Why don’t you have a favorite one? Is it because you found all online dating services to be the same?
Poppy: No, they’re not all the same to me. But I think the reason I don’t have a favorite one is because I really didn’t meet the goal that I had set for myself. They didn’t provide me with what I was looking for.
Q5 (Follow-up): Was there anything positive about the online dating services you tried?
Poppy: Blackplanet.com—No. The age group and what people were looking for didn’t match what I was looking for. Chemistry.com—No. I just didn’t like the questions or the site set-up. I just didn’t like it. Blacksingles.com—Okay. It was okay until I realized that what most of the people were looking for was a good time—just dating. Maybe some people might hook up. It was more casual, not serious. The people were not looking for a commitment. Blackpeoplemeet.com—Okay. But I found that a lot of people I met embellished their profiles. eHarmony.com—Good. It was very secure. The people I was matched with just weren’t for me. On paper we matched, but in reality we didn’t. Match.com—Pretty Good. It’s user friendly once you understand the guidelines, etiquette, and safety. I think by the time I used Match I had a better understanding of online dating, and it made for a better experience.
Q6 (Follow-up): Were you on these sites at the same time? If not, approximately how long did you actively use each one?
Poppy: I never did them simultaneously. That would require too much time. The shortest time I spent on a site was three months. The longest was six months. I usually would take breaks in between sites.
Q7: What were your expectations of online dating services?
Poppy: I thought if I was honest about what I was looking for in my age group, I was going to find someone with similar interests and goals.