With the outburst of the social media, e-dating has become a common trend amongst young people in Nigeria and the world over. It has left some men and women on a never-ending hunt for their perfect partner, thinking a few more dates will lead them to their dream partners.
Today, millions log on to look for love, a trend that could change the very nature of romance and turn long-term commitments into a thing of the past.
Despite the uncertainties associated with e-dating many think it is a good way of finding love. Such is the case of 23-year-old, Muna Ogbubuike who believes if the relationship is sincere then he supports it. “Yes I support it if it is sincere. Although there are some risks involved in online dating like insincerity, lies, blackmail, untrustworthy and all that but I have my instincts and they work for me if I am open to you then you do not have anything to hide,” he said.
Twenty-seven years old, Precious Chinke says there are two sides to online dating, “there are two sides to online dating but personally I prefer to know who I am dating on a one –on-one basis. So many lies can be told on the social media, face-to-face meeting reduces such possibilities. You can tell from the person’s expression when something is wrong, body language speaks. Online I have got to take whatever the individual tells me.”
Another respondent, Ms. Glory Kay said, “I really cannot say if it is good or not it just depends on individuals. But for me it would be based on if I know the person or not and how long I have known the person. If I really do not know the person then it cannot work out. I think people just need to calm down, I got to know my boy friend online and we started dating the very first day I saw him, we have been dating for one year now and we are still strong.”
For Israel Ahamefula dating someone you do not know is out of the question. “I do not support it, why would you love someone you do not know, and why would you date someone you have not seen.”
Sometime ago, the social media was flooded with the story of some young ladies who were lured by a man through an online dating site via a Blackberry community chat to attend a birthday bash in Lagos, only to end up being gang-raped.
Another case in point is that of a young girl who was lured into prostitution by the man she met online.
Despite the frequency of occurrence of such mishaps related to finding a lover online, unlike these girls in the above mentioned stories some people have actually found their missing ribs and knight in shining amour online.
Such is the case Tunde a banker and Lola a lawyer. According to Lola she met Tunde online after suffering from several break-ups and since then they have been able to keep their relationship secured.
Lola said, “It has been 4 years since I came across Tunde. Then I was in pain and feeling frustrated after my fiancé dumped me for another lady. It was quite tough for me and the only consolation I had was to go online, join singles chatting group to mingle and make new friends.
“One faithful day, after logging online I got this friend request from Tunde. He said he wanted us to be friends. I agreed because I was feeling lonely then and i needed a shoulder to cry on. Tunde was my saviour. It seemed both of us were unlucky when it comes to love. In fact as time went on I discovered we had a lot in common. We started chatting every day. We exchanged pin and we chatted on daily basis”.
“After about a month of chatting online, Tunde suggested that we met physically. Luckily enough we were both residing in Abuja. After our first date, we decided to go into a relationship. Sometimes I will pay him a visit on weekends and before we know it, our friendship had developed into a full blown affair.
“After four years of dating we have decided to tie the knot. We have done our introduction and by December we will be having our white wedding.”
Aside from this story, several other successful marriages began online.
Lola said online dating is good for those who can handle it because according to her internet provides you multiple choices
“Online dating provides many benefits too. The Internet provides a wider selection of men and women. With the various profiles shared online, you can gain access to means of narrowing down your search to suit your needs. You will be able to get to know your dream date even before you have met them. Several websites offer online dating services you can take advantage of.
This is one way of increasing your chances of meeting your dream date. Staying true to the romantic art of exchanging notes and letters, online dating has taken the next modern step of expressing yourself through the Internet. This adds a mystery into the relationship which is why some people would like to have an online dating relationship before they take the next step of arranging to meet personally,” Lola concluded.
It seems most of the close relationships that form on the internet do so because of emotional attachment rather than sexual gratification. Research has shown that people who share aspects of their “true self” are more likely to have a successful internet relationship.
Founder of dating site ‘Free Dating’, Dan Winchester, predicts that the future will see lots of relationships, but more divorce.
‘I often wonder whether matching you up with great people is getting so efficient and the process so thrilling that marriage will become obsolete,’ he says.
This view is also shared by Greg Blatt, global head of Match.com, another dating site.
“Historically, commitment has been the goal,” he says. “You could say online dating is simply changing people’s ideas about whether commitment is desirable.”
But the transient nature of internet dating is of huge concern to relationship experts, Dr. Pam Spurr. She cautions that despite its popularity, there is a dark side to logging on to find love.
E-dating is becoming so common that it is having a noticeable effect on social behaviours worldwide. Although most of this effect has been positive, one area of concern for many is the effect that internet relationships are having on existing relationships.
Internet infidelity is relatively easy to hide and easy to proliferate given the asynchronous manner of e-mail communication. It is an easy medium for a disfranchised partner to seek outside gratification while being discrete.

READ ALSO  Claimed "Release" of 21 Chibok girls may be diversionary, Nigerians want food on their tables - Fayose