Promises, promises, I sure didn’t keep this one. I was supposed to finish this series as we entered the new year, but I didn’t. I have no excuses to offer, just the facts. I just haven’t been as focused on my writing as I needed to be, and sadly, I allowed way too much time to go by. I can’t make up for it. I will forge ahead. So finally…here is the last post in this series. If this is your first time reading any of the interviews in this series or if you need a quick refresher on what it’s all about, please click here.
Then, read the previous interviews to catch-up.
Previous Interviews: Male Case Study 1: Interview #1 (Introduction), Female Case Study 1: Interview #1 (Introduction), Male Case Study 2: Interview #1 (Introduction), Female Case Study 2: Interview #1 (Introduction), Male Case Study 1: Interview #2 (Profile and First Matches), Female Case Study 1: Interview #2 (Profile and First Matches), Male Case Study 2: Interview #2–Profile and First Matches), Female Case Study 2: Interview #2–Profile and First Matches, Male Case Study 1: Interview #3 (Dating, etc.), Female Case Study 1: Interview #3 (Dating, etc.), Female Case Study 2: Interview #3 (Dating, etc.), Female Case Study 1: Interview #4 (Final Say About Online Dating), Female Case Study 2: Interview #4 (Final Say About Online Dating)
Male Case Study 1: Interview #4 (Final Say About Online Dating)
Tiger’s Eye gives it to us straight, ladies! Read on to learn more.
Q1: Are you still currently active on any online dating site? If so, how long have you been doing this? If not, what happened? Why not?
Tiger’s Eye: I’m removed from the dating scene. Thank God. Today is February 16, 2013. I’m more than five years removed from the online dating scene…happily married for over three years to my online match from eHarmony.
Follow-up (Q2): Wow! So you’re a success story! Tell me about it.
Tiger’s Eye: Let me very quickly take you back to the beginning, a little catch-up here. Remember I told you about how when I first saw a picture of one of the ladies, a flash of light appeared on my screen? Well, this young lady eventually became my wife. I let my two boys see her picture and they asked me if she was old enough for me to date. [He laughs. I roll my eyes.] Well, she’s a sister that’s very charming, very beautiful. As with other black women, her age is hidden very well. As I stated earlier, we met online. She was one of the few women I picked, who did not have her picture available upfront, but her profile mentioned her grandmother and overall it was very interesting and I wanted to get a chance to meet her. Our communication started off as daily, 9:30 pm conversations by phone. On the weekends, sometimes we’d talk for hours. The most interesting thing about her was that she was totally different than any other women I’d met. Different in that I could tell she was very smart, very intelligent, and she knew exactly what she wanted. But she sounded really soft and sweet, independent, and I couldn’t wait to see her red hair. She told me she had red and blonde and brown hair. After about a month of just talking on the phone, we didn’t do this skyping and face time stuff, texting, we just talked and we talked about any and everything. We had our first date at my favorite place—Starbucks. We met at a location in a mall. I was able to steal my first kiss. A man deserves at least a kiss after talking to a woman on the phone for over a month. [Oh, whatever! Men think they deserve too much from women sometimes. It was only a month.] Our first meet and greet went well. We extended coffee at Starbucks to lunch at PF Changs (all at the mall). Afterwards, I walked her to her car. She left, and I left. So let’s walk through the process of how me and the women of my dreams came together…After several dates, we had dates I’d never had before. She opened me up to museum dates, Barnes and Nobles dates, dates on her balcony, dates under the stars, mostly we just hung out. I was able to be myself. I even went to a huge fashion show with her. Hours turned into days and days turned into months. After a couple of months, she met the boys. Once she turned them onto this television series called Roswell, she was a hit and the family began. As our relationship grew, my feelings became stronger. The boys fell in love with her and they thought they had a mother to be or at least a big sister. All I can say is it was magical. After a year, we decided to relocate to Georgia. We packed up the trucks, packed up the houses, rented them out, and sent the boys to their grandparents. We said good bye to Texas and hello to Georgia. As our relationship continued, I asked the boys how they’d feel about me asking her to marry me. They were fine with it. So we headed to a jeweler the next weekend and purchased her engagement ring. By Thanksgiving of 2008, we were engaged. September 2009, we were married. Today, the boys are with us and we still go out on dates and enjoy our Starbucks coffee.
Q3: What are your lessons learned from the online dating experience?
Tiger’s Eye: Try to take time to learn something about the other person outside of the bedroom. [Okay then. Is that clear enough for everyone?] A date is a date. A friend is a friend. A lover is a lover. Decide very quickly when you meet a person what you want. Your meet and greet should be a meet and greet, not a long, over night into the morning affair. Try to remember that the person you’re meeting had a life before they met you. Be very, very, very cautious. Date with a purpose—date to learn more about yourself.
Q4: Have you been following the interviews of other participants in this series? If so, what stands out to you.
Tiger’s Eye: Yes, I have read the interviews, and this is what I’ve gotten from them: It’s hard to find a match. Men today are not really looking to be in a long-term relationship. Women are looking to find a mate, a match, and it’s taking years instead of months to find a companion—if they every find one.
Q5: What advice do you have for men using online dating sites?
Tiger’s Eye: First of all, my advice is that before you join an online dating site, decide what you want to get out of the experience. Are you truly looking for a girlfriend or mate? What do you want? Men need to be honest with themselves. If you’re using online dating as another way to fill up your smart phone, then tell them. If you’re not looking to be in a committed relationship, tell them. If you just want to have fun, just put it out there. Be honest. Understand that every woman you meet is totally different. Make sure you’re ready for online dating. Decide if you want mind over body or body over mind. What is your preference? Is it just physical or intellectual?…When friends ask me how it worked for me and my wife, I tell them that I wanted to meet a woman that could communicate well and was open and was happy with herself. I wanted someone that wanted to continue to grow and get better. I wanted someone making the same amount of money as me. She had to have independence, not a lot of debt, and enjoy children. It worked for me because I was tired of the club and bar dating scene. I wasn’t looking for a wife. I just really wanted to meet someone that I could have a good time with and as I stated before, I wasn’t the guy looking to date two and three or four women. I had two boys, and I had a job. The key thing is that online dating was the only vehicle that allowed me to meet women that were totally different than women at work, women in my neighborhood. You really get a chance to broaden your scope and meet people that are out of your circle. Online dating was a melting pot.
Q6: What advice do you have for women using online dating sites?
Tiger’s Eye: Just because it looks good doesn’t mean it is good. Let’s start there. Give the relationship time to develop into what you are looking for before you commit. Don’t drop all of your—how can I say this—whatever you are doing. Just remember that you had a life before you meet a man. Life doesn’t begin when you meet a man. I guess what I’m trying to state here is don’t give up all your values and don’t just drop everything you were doing before just because you meet someone new. Be honest with yourself when you realize the truth about a man. Value yourself. You have to develop a communication flow with the person you are involved with. You must have open communication, and that takes time to develop. Women have to understand that men do not like to share information. [I hate to admit it, but it sure seems to be the truth in most cases. Why?] They just don’t. [There has to be a reason. Why? He doesn’t really answer my question, but I let it go. It’s a difficult one.] You need time to develop communication to get past the unwillingness to share information. Also, women need to get to a point where they are happy with themselves and enjoy spending time with themselves. You have to show your own independence to a man. [Why?] Because you are the one that wants to be chased. You don’t want to be chasing him. Make him be a man. [I like that answer. I like it a whole lot.]