She’s baaaack, my co-author, ace reporter and writer extraordinaire, Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn discusses a topic that scares the begeezus out of some black women: online dating. Some of us fear they’ll meet Jeffery Dahmer’s best friend, Ted Bundy’s ghost or at minimum, that guy with the weird hair in those Staples commercials:
Online dating is a GREAT way to meet men you might otherwise pass on the street, and better yet, you get to like the person from the inside, out. We’ll have comprehensive tips on how to perfect this dating technique in the book, but since we like you so much, we’ll just give you a taste, but NO SECONDS!
Okay, I’m going to shut up know and let Janice take the floor.
For those who read my introductory entry last week, you are aware of how painfully e-apprehensive I am about this whole blogging business. So just imagine my trepidation about online dating (yes, more of the proverbial kicking and screaming). But after a friend in New York suggested it was time I broadened my options, I signed up.
Iâ€™d been going through a dating droop after my six-year Hollywood romance with an actor ended like some pathetic daytime soap opera storyline. (Dumped via email. He’d met someone else.) The only guys paying me any attention were married men, older men (like Sean Connery-grandpa age, but not as sexy) and gay men. So, really, what did I have to lose — except for maybe some time and a couple hundred bucks?
I got it out of my head that finding a date online didnâ€™t equal desperation. (Christelyn met Michael online eons ago and look at them now!) It was about maximizing my man options. My NYC pal had met her newly wedded hubby on eHarmony, so thatâ€™s where I started.
About a month in, I got bold and decided to maximize my hookup options with match.com. After four months and endless hours online trolling photos and profiles and, yes, a few dates — one with a black man, a couple of white guys and a Mexican with a fetish for women in high heels — I decided it was cheaper to get a BOB (battery operated boyfriend) and a fabulous pair of sexy 4-inch Max Factor red pumps, and curb my online enthusiasm for a while.
Although I was going on dates, I really wasnâ€™t enjoying the process. I realized later that I was treating online dating like job hunting, aiming for â€œthe oneâ€ instead of having fun — and fun is precisely what Leslie Oren suggests in Fine, I’ll Go Online! The Hollywood Publicist’s Guide to Successful Internet Dating (St. Martin’s Griffin). â€œI never say you’re going to meet your husband online,â€ Oren said about the book for an article I wrote in Emmy Magazine. â€œBut the more you date, [well…], the more you dateâ€”just like getting traction with a celebrity, or a movie, or a television show.â€
Oren is senior vice president of publicity for Fox Television Studios. During her career, sheâ€™s helped launched shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Extra and The Bachelor. In her book, she applies the same tricks of the PR trade to help women â€œspinâ€ and â€œpitchâ€ their online image: from crafting the perfect profile and photos to practical put-your-best-foot-forward advice that’s helped her friends â€“ and Oren (who last I heard was engaged) â€“ get great dates. According to Oren, online dating can be …