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Has this ever happened to you? You send a message to a young lady you came across on Facebook. You do so because she has caught your eye. She seems like a cool person to know. Of course, you have no clue what her situation is and you want to find out. You say hello to her respectfully through messenger. She reads the message and ignores you. She leaves you hanging and may respond days later or not respond at all. Sometimes the response leaves you scratching your head.
There was a time I sent a message to a young lady on Facebook. She was the sister of one of my school mates from Secondary school back in Ghana. I had lost touch with him and a search came up with his sister’s Facebook page. I said hello and started formulating my message to introduce myself and why I reached out. Before I could hit send, a message comes through from her.
“Sorry, I have a boyfriend.”
When I said hello to you on Facebook, I was not looking for the recipe for palaver sauce. You knew immediately that I was interested in you. You are smart enough to realize that. You already know that very few men approach a strange lady wanting to be “just friends.” So you and I both know my “hello” means that I may be interested in you. I did approach you respectfully. My message to you was decent. I did not harass you. I just wanted to find out what your situation was.
The moment you realized I was interested in you, you changed your name from Nana Akua to Nicki Minaj.
I get it, I am a stranger. You have boundaries and I respect that. You need boundaries on social media so I can’t be mad at your rules. You can’t just let everyone in, you can’t respond to every single message and accept every friend request. You have to be selective and discreet in your choices. I get all that.
What I do not get is why some of you develop a diva complex when a respectful stranger expresses interested in you.
You are a product of strangers. Your dad was once a stranger to your mum. You are in existence today because your mum allowed a stranger into her life. She made room for a stranger. If your mum had ignored your dad simply because he was a stranger, you probably will not look as beautiful as you look today. Your dad’s genetics makes up the majority of your being. Your best friends were once strangers to you. Your neighbors were once strangers to you. Your priest was once a stranger to you. Your favorite professors or teachers were once strangers to you. Jesus was once a stranger to his disciplines.
Freaking Romeo was once a stranger to Juliet!
My Sisters, allow me to set the stage and the dynamics of what led me, a Stranger, to you. You must know that dating is a numbers game especially when you live abroad. I live in Boise, Idaho. There is no way I am going to walk into Walmart and run into eligible Ghanaian ladies in every aisle. If I was in Accra, the situation will be different. However, fate has brought me here. A good majority of us do not have a pool of potential mates we already know through friends and family. We have no choice but to turn into strangers looking for love. We are not stalkers or perverts. At least not all of us are I should say. We are grateful for social media. It is another avenue to look for potential mates from all over the country.
So we get on social media and we are once again reminded of a reality we know too well. You, my sisters, hold all the cards on the dating scene online too. Very few of you become the stranger who has to say hello to a guy first. Some of you develop a diva complex and put on the “I can’t be bothered” attitude when that message comes through. You are too important to respond to a guy who approaches you respectfully. The diva complex you developed may be a result of your lack of interest in the guy. Guess what, we are okay with that. Rejection is part of the game and we get it.
Your relationship status is not on social media and we can’t tell from your pictures if you are single or taken. Your relationship status is not tattooed on your forehead for all to see. We have developed an interest in you and want to get to know you better and see where the relationship goes. So we get into our vulnerability zone and say hello. It is not cool to ignore a guy who approaches you in a respectful way. There are a lot of “f#%k boys” out there. They approach you like this.
“Hey baby, that ass is looking mighty tight and fine in that dress. Damn!”
By all means, go ahead and ignore anyone who comes at you in this disrespectful manner. He is an idiot and disrespectful.
If a guy approaches you nicely, be nice back. If he treats you like a Queen, treat him like a King back. Don’t grow diva horns and ignore us simply because you are feeling mighty due to my interest in you. It’s okay to say hello back and ask me what my interest in wanting to know you is. That question is totally legitimate given the fact that I am a stranger. It is okay to say to me nicely that you are not interested. We get that too and we will move on. If a brother is still pushing the issue after you tell him nicely that you are not interested, you have our permission to block his ass.
I know this situation is tough for you. Sometimes it’s a lose-lose situation. If you are too nice, a guy may misinterpret your kindness to mean interest. If you ignore a guy, he may call you “stuck up.” You deserve respect and we men have to give you that without any conditions. You are someone’s mother, sister or daughter. If you politely reject advances from men, you should not face ridicule and insults. You have every right to ignore the “boys” who approach you with sexist compliments and disrespectful comments. You have every right to ignore the “boys” who can’t take no for an answer.
However, if we approach you politely and respectfully, it is courteous to respond. We know you do not always welcome the unwanted attention and unsolicited messages. Sometimes you expect us to read in between the lines based on how much attention you pay to us. If it is very little, you expect us to exit left. Most of the time, it is best to be straightforward with a guy who approaches you with respect.
Here is an example of what you want to say to a guy who approaches you respectfully,
“I understand that you are interested in me and I am appreciative of your interest. However, I do not hold the same interest. I want to be respectful of your time and efforts. I do not want you to waste your time and effort on me.”
It is a tough message for a guy who is interested in you but it’s better than ignoring him.
Something else you can do for us is indicate what your relationship status is on social media. A decent guy will look for a relationship status, a ring, evidence of a relationship before he says hello. We will not bother you if you state on instagram or Facebook that you are taken. If I ask you if you have a boyfriend or are married directly, I am trying to be respectful of your situation. I do not want to step on anyone’s toes and will move on if you tell me you do.
On the topic of friend requests, you decide who you want to make room for. Just know that strangers every now and then, will ask permission for some room in your life. You do not necessarily have to know a person always before you accept his request. It’s your call.
Below is a quote I found while researching finding love online.
“You can’t meet somebody using social networking unless you accept friend requests from people you don’t know,” Jeffrey Hall, Kansas University Communications Researcher.
In conclusion, let me share this story with you. Last year I attended my friend Kwesi’s wedding and I laughed along with the guests as he and his bride Esi told the crowd the story of how they met. Kwesi did not know Esi but she popped up on his list of people he might know on Facebook. He was in New Jersey and she lived in Atlanta.
“I saw a cute Ghanaian girl and I wanted to add her, I wanted to get to know her,” he told the guests.
Over time, he will like a couple of her pictures but she never liked any of his. When she graduated from college, he saw an opportunity to connect with her. He sent her a long congratulatory message he was sure she will not ignore. She admitted that she had not even checked his page prior to his first message. She responded to his message and before long, their chats turned into phone calls, dates, a long distance relationship and finally a proposal after two years of dating.
“I do not know where I would have been today had I not accepted his friend request,” Esi told the guests. “What would have happened if I had ignored his message? I would have missed the love of my life.”
Hey, after reading this piece, go check your friend requests. I may be languishing in there 🙂
Author: Kwadjo Panyin
Kwadjo Panyin is a Ghanaian born relationship and lifestyle blogger located in Los Angeles, California. He holds three degrees; a Bachelors degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, an MBA from Franklin University in Ohio and a Masters of Science degree from Northern Kentucky University in Kentucky. Kwadjo is a business professional who blogs for fun. His articles are about the challenges of dating and relationship anomalies. Writing, blogging, world travel, and photography are his favorite hobbies.