JET Love

Tatyana Ali Proves You Can Find Love Digitally

Many people think of online dating as something you just don’t do. However Tatyana Ali, former star of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, proves you can find the one, and you can find them on the internet.

Over the weekend Tatyana Ali, better known as “Ashley Banks” from the hit TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, married a man that she met on eHarmony in a gorgeous ceremony at the Beverly Hills hotel. Many of you may be shaking your heads with disapproval, however, the idea of finding a mate online as taboo has all but dissipated in recent years. More and more professional singles, and many of us with crazy busy schedules are turning to online dating to find their soulmate.

As we grow older, the time allotted for dating and socializing in general increasingly diminishes. As an advocate of online dating myself, I find that being able to communicate in between tasks or at the end of the night after a hectic day is the perfect way to get to know somebody before deciding if they are worth taking time out of my busy schedule.

People in their 30s and 40s tend to have high stress jobs, are working 40-plus hours a week, have children, chores, doctor’s appointments, possibly grad school, and a number of other to-do’s on any given day of the week. Being able to gradually get to know somebody online is a great way to keep up with your schedule, while still being social.  In Ali’s case, she exchanged letters for months with her hubby, Dr. Rasberry, before allowing a Skype chat, and then finally meeting in person.

It’s not surprising that her husband, a doctor, was looking for a mate online. Doctors are notoriously busy and it’s safe to assume that looking online helps you find love more efficiently because you can describe what you are looking for up front.

When you’re in your 20s, life tends to be a lot less hectic, and going out and meeting somebody at a bar is the norm. However, people in their 30s have learned that the bar is the last place to find a quality person to settle down with. Many of us have been through the relationship ringer and can’t afford to take chances with the wrong one.

When you search for a potential relationship online, it’s easier to weed out the bad apples. They tend to expose themselves within a day of connecting or chatting. Another way finding love online is easier is through profiles. It’s like having people walking around with a sign on their head describing what they are looking for.

Paid sites are a better place to look for long-term love than free services. For example, eHarmony costs approximately $30 a month. This amount won’t break the bank, but for somebody who is not serious about finding a partner, it’s enough to discourage them from joining. Paid sites are also a better place to find more professional people. Ali and her husband—an actress and doctor—had luck online and so can many more professionals willing to take that chance and spend the money to do so.

Another great place to get to know somebody online is through Facebook. You can get a feel for somebody who you follow for months before deciding if they are the type of person you might want to talk to. The social network is the perfect place to get to know somebody if you are dealing with a real person, and was made as a platform to encourage social behavior.

People don’t go online to date because they don’t know how to socialize in person. They do it because they aren’t meeting quality people in person and don’t have time to waste on people who aren’t serious about finding a mate. For this reason, it’s a good idea to steer clear of sites like Tinder or Plenty of Fish, unless you are looking for casual hook ups. These sites tend to gear more towards the “friends with benefits” crowd or people looking for a one-night stand. As somebody who has tried online dating a number of times, paid sites are the way to go, with few exceptions. If you have had luck on free sites however, more power to you, but in my experience, it can be rough. Like men asking me to paint my nails a color of their choosing rough. Creepy people are less likely to pay for somebody to creep with. They can find that kind of thing for free. Don’t be that person.

Online dating is not without its challenges. Dating will always be something people have to work at, like a side job. The more you expect from a potential mate, the harder dating becomes. Finding the time and the energy is difficult when you have a career and other social obligations, but taking the time to get to know somebody is a good social investment. Clubs are cool, but it’s hard to really see what someone is about while loud music is playing and drinks are flowing. Dating online helps make finding the one easier, but you still have to put in the work. And judging from Ali’s beautiful Caribbean inspired wedding, putting in the work can yield excellent results.