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OFF MY CHEST: Technology has made courtship a lazy affair

Tuesday February 19 2019

I thought I had “seen it, done it” in the dating game until I started using technology to help me find love. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH

I thought I had “seen it, done it” in the dating game until I started using technology to help me find love. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH 

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There was a time when men physically approached women they wanted to date and asked them out. Those times are long gone.

I miss those times. Those were happier times.

I thought I had “seen it, done it” in the dating game until I became newly single and realised how lazy men in general had become with regard to courting a woman.

I wasn’t really looking to date when I met a handsome young man (he was 30, I’m much older) a few months ago with whom we had a mutual friend.

I liked his smile and it seemed like he liked mine too because he did a very corny thing and left his jacket in my car to make me call him about it. We had shared my car to the said friend’s function and you can say it was love brewed in a Toyota.

Only it wasn’t love.

The WhatsApp messages from him came fast and furious. They were forwards of this and that. This and that.

No real conversation was forthcoming. And then he started sending me YouTube videos of the songs he liked for me to watch.

The gesture looked sweet, at first, but then it became the order of the day- even sending me 10 videos in a day!

Eventually, I had to decide if I was going to work or watch YouTube videos from somebody who was yet to ask me out on a real date. I chose work.


Of course, he also asked me to buy him whiskey and find him a better paying job. I said No to both.

Apart from the very unoriginal gesture of leaving his jacket in my car, there was really almost zero effort from him.

But the Toyota Love story was not the only one I survived to tell.

Take this Facebook User No.1, for example.

I made a note to myself at the beginning of 2019 to expand my social circles, you know, to increase my chances of meeting someone, so I started accepting friend requests of friends of friends to fulfil this vision.

And I got what I was asking for.

Facebook User No.1, as we are calling him for the purposes of this story, immediately slid into my inbox to thank me profusely for accepting his friend request, declaring a few hours later that he was single and really wanted to meet me and Aaaaaw, wasn’t I just the prettiest thing he had ever seen?

We had a few friends in common so I kept the chat alive, hoping that my gut instinct (to block him without a big fuss) was wrong.

We eventually exchanged numbers and after messaging me an even bigger thank you than when I had accepted his friendship request, slid into my WhatsApp inbox to share his “deep feelings” for me, a girl he has never met and whose closest interaction with him had been her photo-shopped Facebook profile photo which he liked and commented twice on.

I apologised to my gut instinct and promptly blocked him on WhatsApp and unfriended him on Facebook.


I don’t know about you, but I believe you can’t just wake up one day and decide you have feelings for someone based on their profile photo.

Feelings of lust, maybe, but even this need not be so crassly and casually communicated.

I still find value in the man actually taking up the hard work of convincing a woman to date him and not via emojis and silly, oh so silly forwards, but by actually having a real conversation and getting to know the person behind that pretty face instead of declaring “feelings” after exchanging three Hellos and one Goodnight message.

But I can’t end this without mentioning my final attempt at trying to use technology to meet people.

We shall call this one Facebook User No.2.

After a spirited three-week chat by which time I was sure all roads lead to Java for a cup of coffee, he dropped a “Love You” somewhere in the middle of the hearty conversations.

This time, I generously accepted the compliment but proceeded to ask him to give me a list of reasons detailing the “whys” behind his love.

I have never heard from him since.

Suffice it to say, technology has made courtship a lazy, lazy affair.

I hope that the next man I meet will not be on these virtual streets.

Perhaps I will meet him in an elevator on my way up to the office.

Perhaps he will decide to go with me to 16th floor even though he works on 4th floor so that he can speak to me for longer and so that he can ask for my number.

Perhaps he will say “I love you” only after getting to know me and all my imperfections.


Meanwhile, I’m stuck with virtual love.


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