Would you take online dating advice from a couple who failed at it?

Posted by Ria, 15 Nov 11

online dating adviceWith two divorces each to their names, Michelle Y. Talbert of Washington, D.C., and Ricardo Kingsbury of Maryland met online this year - a week before Valentines. Come Easter, their heated up romance was over, leaving us with a guide to online dating - "Don’t Do What We Did! A Conversation About Online Dating with an Ex-Not-Quite Couple Who Met on the Internet" - a book they wrote together. The two months they were together seems to have been just enough for them to date, fail and write a book on their online dating journey.

Ebony Magazine caught up with them and did an interview. Below are a few of their responses I picked up from the interview that contain issues you and I struggle with when it comes to online dating and what we can learn from this pair that failed miserably...

ON HOW MUCH TO REVEAL ON YOUR PROFILE:

Your perfect partner could be online right now...

What are you looking for?

Ricardo: I don’t think you should reveal too much in your profile, but just enough to make someone want to get to know you better. Even after first contact, you shouldn’t reveal everything via online communication. Too much information too soon can hurt the possibility of letting the person get to know you before you give [him or her] all of the ins and outs of your life story. Things should unfold honestly but naturally.

Michelle: There’s the opportunity to share a bit about yourself in your profile summary or bio. It’s important to understand that the communication is unilateral and doesn’t provide for tone, such as a dry sense of humor or sarcasm, so it’s important to show your personality but be mindful that your words are open to interpretation. I think it’s best to keep the profile information to a minimum and then interact with people on a case-by-case basis, sharing information mutually, conversationally.

TO USE OR NOT TO USE A PICTURE?

Ricardo: Unless you have something to hide, why wouldn’t you want to use your picture? Typically, if I don’t see a picture, I think that person is married, has something to hide or is otherwise involved.

Michelle: Like I said earlier, if people are seeing your picture, it’s because they’re online, too! I’ve met people who have top-secret clearances and use their pictures, and others who don’t. I’ve had people say that if I message them, they will send me a picture. My profile blocks people who don’t have pictures. I just feel that if you can’t put your picture up on the site, then I’m not the person for you. I do believe that most people who don’t have pictures up are likely married or have interacted (typically with an adverse consequence) with people on the site and they are hiding.

ON SAFETY:

Michelle: As women, especially, we must be serious about our personal safety. I learned that sharing your cell number can permit someone to find out your full name, and in some cases, home address. Also, when meeting someone, make sure that you have a “safety.” Someone who knows the name, license plate and/or phone number and e-mail address of the person you’re meeting. I also think you should remember that your profile pictures can draw people to you for the wrong reason—such as putting up pictures of your possessions, jewelry, home, vehicles and even overtly sexy pictures, if you’re not seeking a hook up.

WHY THEY FAILED

Ricardo/Michelle: Neither of us was totally honest with each other about what we were looking for online. Ricardo said he wanted to have a relationship and Michelle said she didn’t, but over time our roles reversed. In each case, we didn’t set the expectations appropriately because we weren’t honest or in tune with what we really wanted.

WHAT THEY LEARNED

Ricardo: From my online dating experience, I have learned that honesty is the best policy. And it may sound cliché, but it really makes the dating experience easier and more fulfilling for both parties.

Michelle: It is key that you determine what you’re looking for before you log in, and if what you’re looking for changes, let the person or people with whom you’re involved know. Additionally, don’t be inflexible. You may be surprised if you’re willing to be open to possibilities something amazing can happen—and it may not be romance!

Well, the advice they have given seems to be very practical and there are a few things I have picked up – especially on safety. Would love to see what more they have in their book.

5 responses to "Would you take online dating advice from a couple who failed at it?"

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  1.   ref123 says:
    Posted: 15 Dec 11

    congratulation

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    • b4realalways says:
      Posted: 16 Mar 13

      I dont think men or females are always honest about what they want.. Take Ricardo for instance, I met him on POF around November 2012. His profile stated he was looking for a relationship but in fact he wasnt.. He was looking for sex... It surprised me because I listened to him and michelle on a show and if I had listened to it first, I would have never fell for his game... He stated on the show that if a man doesnt take you anywhere and always want to be in the house then all they want is sex and thats exactly what he did to me... Im not angry at all it just helped me to analyze my choices in men more carefully... So with that being said I would have to say no I wouldnt take his advice but I would take Michelle's... Be careful people with this online dating thing...

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  2.   Scarlettach says:
    Posted: 18 Nov 11

    I believe anyone could gain positive lessons from others not so successful. It goes to show that there are really no right or wrong answers. What works for one person (or couple) may not work for another. That's the importance of actually meeting and interacting. Anyone can be whomever they choose to be online. But when people meet each other in person, they can much easier whether or not they click (provided that both parties are honest about who they are).

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  3.   snorris says:
    Posted: 17 Nov 11

    You can take their advice because maybe they have learned from their mistakes but sometimes not. You just have to be careful of what advice you take. Every individual person is different so you have to take that into consideration as well. Certain advice does not apply to everyone.

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  4.   jayw21 says:
    Posted: 17 Nov 11

    Unfortunatley people are never 100% honest so that's why relationships often do not work. I met a woman on here who seemed to be the woman of my dreams. I travelled to visit her and things were going great, thinking she was the one. It went downhill because people are not what they appear to be always. I try to take dating advice from other people since I must be doing something wrong but I wouldn't take advice from people who failed at it. Clearly they are not doing something right either.

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