- Posted January 19, 2013 by
Muntinlupa City, Philippines
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The ups and downs of online dating
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I Met My Current Girlfriend On Facebook
My name is Rummel Pinera. I’m from Muntinlupa City, Philippines. I became a single father in 2008. My daughter Beatrice was 8 years old then. I only have one child up to this day. Beatrice is now 12 years old. My marriage to Beatrice’s mother was annulled in 2009. Beatrice’s mother and I are now in good terms as friends. I won the custody of my daughter. Though Beatrice has a nanny, I had a hard time then in trying to look for a new romantic relationship. Since Bea (Beatrice’s nickname) was quite young in 2008 and 2009, I was then not that really interested in looking for a new romantic partner.
In 2010 I saw several “online dating sites” on the Internet. At first I was hesitant in trying to find a new romantic relationship via the Internet. But since one of my male friends got a girlfriend in one of those online dating sites during the same year, I became aware of the reality that the Internet has become the largest commonplace on Earth. I became aware that people can find their romantic partners on the Internet. It was about February of 2010 that I joined a local online dating site. Local here means that the online dating site is only found in the Philippines, I was able to date 3 women from the said online dating site, but I wasn’t able to build a new romantic relationship from those dates.
I tried another local online dating site in October, 2010. During that period I chatted with one of the female members of the said site. Her name is Regine and she told me back then that she was 100 percent single. Though we started chatting in October of 2010, it was only in January of 2011 that we met in person and started dating. We dated for about 5 months but we didn’t become ‘true lovers’ in the real sense of the word. It was like we were just ‘high-school sweethearts’ who kissed without passion and held hands innocently. It wasn’t a serious romantic relationship at all. We stopped seeing each other in May of 2011.
I tried another online dating site in July of 2011. The said online dating site is an international one. I chatted with foreign girls who were looking for romantic partners. But long-distance relationship is quite hard for a ‘single father’ like me. It was about October of 2011 when I stopped chatting with those single women who reside in places far away from me.
It was in October of 2011 that I started chatting intensely with a woman from my own home-city of Muntinlupa. Her name is Lea. It was about November of 2011 when Lea and I met in person. I thought Lea would be a ‘real-life girlfriend’ of mine when we met in person. But it didn’t happen that way. We dated from November of 2011 until January of 2012. We watched movies, played video games, ate together and campaigned jointly for some good causes. But it turned out that she was engaged to her long-time boyfriend when we were then dating. I was just a “spare tire” for her during that time when she and her boyfriend were having lovers’ quarrel. My relationship with Lea was more of a ‘close friendship’ than a romantic one. Though it wasn’t a serious relationship, I was hurt by the fact that a mature and educated woman like Lea can use an online dating site to search for a ‘spare tire’ when she was already engaged to someone else.
After that episode with Lea, I stopped being a member of online dating sites in January of 2012. I decided to just wait for someone to come along, so to speak. My friends set me up for 2 blind dates. They chose 2 single women to have separate dates with me in February of 2012. I wasn’t impressed with both women. I also forgot their names. During that time I was very active in doing online campaigns for various causes here in the Philippines. I set up various online groups on Facebook for such causes. In May of 2012, I chatted on Facebook with a single mom who happens to be a member of one of the online forums that I’ve established on that site. Her name is Juliet Sardino. Her daughter was only one year and four months old back then. At first I was hesitant to meet her in person. She’s not as gorgeous as the women that I’ve dated before from the online dating sites. She’s not a “hot babe”, so to speak. But she talks nicely and intelligently. We chatted on Facebbook for about 2 weeks before we finally met in person. She gave me her cellphone number when we met for the first time at a convenience store. After that first meeting, we texted each other and scheduled several dates. She resides in a place which is quite near to my residence. In fact, I can just walk from my residence to her place when I want to see her. Both of us are single parents. We officially became “romantic partners” on May 27, 2012, Our romantic relationship is serious, so to speak. Even if we’re already dating, texting, calling and seeing each other, we can still find time to chat on Facebook as often as we can. It was on Facebook where I met Juliet Sardino, and I’m really thankful to the said social networking site that I now have a “serious romantic relationship” after a long period of being “single”.
Though Facebook is not a dating site, I think any ‘social-networking site’ right now can be a nice place to find a romantic partner. In fact, I do believe that all forums and sites on the Internet have rooms where people can chat, meet, organize activities, market products and ideas, buy items and find romantic partners. The Internet has become the largest commonplace on Earth and, therefore, such commonplace has plenty of rooms for actual romance and would-be romance.
Upsides and downsides of online dating? I think online dating is merely an evolution of how we communicate to other people about our aspirations and feelings to have romantic partners. In the past we have pen-pals and phone-pals. Pen-pals are 2 people who communicate with each other about romantic feelings via mail in trying to find out if they’re compatible or not, even if they have not yet seen each other. Phone pals are 2 people who communicate with each other about romance via phone in trying to figure out their compatibility, even if they have not seen each other’s faces. The advantage of online dating over having a pen-pal or a phone-pal is that you can see the actual face of the person whom you want to have a date with or you’re trying to court for romance. Also, it’s much faster to communicate online than writing a letter and sending it to the post office. The problem with having a phone pal is that some tricky people can easily deceive others on phones. Online dating offers the would-be romantic lover the instant chances to see his or her ideal mate and instantly chat or talk with the person. Hence, it’s easier to have a ‘first date’ through online chatting than through writing a mail or talking with someone over the phone. In fact, it’s much faster to convince someone to have a date with you via ‘Internet chatting’ than talking to someone in a bar or in an eco- park.
I think the disadvantages or downsides of online dating are:
1.) Fast dates that sometimes lead to fast break-ups of romantic relationships.
2.) Jumping fast into a romantic relationship without having actual compatibility tests during dates.
3) Meeting deceivers and/or criminal-minded folks that may harm you.
Online dating is quite too fast, and when something comes very fast and quite easy, we don't immediately trust it. It can either be a bad thing or not an authentic romantic relationship. A romantic relationship that started too fast and too soon can also end up too fast and too soon. In other words, online dating can somehow kill romance.
The advantages or upsides of online dating are:
1.) It is convenient because you can easily get details of your would-be date instantly. You can chat with your would-be date instantly and agree on schedules faster than other means.
2.) The response of your prospect for romance is faster. You can easily determine if your prospect for romance will date or not date you.
3.) You don’t have to leave your home to find a romantic partner. You can use the Internet even inside your house. It’s less expensive than meeting someone inside a bar or an eco-park.
Online dating provides faster details about your prospect for romance. You can easily choose someone who’s not that far from the place you are residing in right now. If you don’t like a long-distance relationship, then just click on the details about the person whom you want to have a date with and, presto, you have her or his details.
Some say that the Internet is a wrong place to find romance. I don’t agree with that statement. The Internet is now the largest commonplace on this planet. And since the Internet has become the largest commonplace on Earth, it is certainly a place where people can find romantic partners and live happily ever after. You can find deceivers and pick up the wrong people as romantic lovers in every place on Earth. Whether you’re in a bar, eco-park, gym, sports arena, auditorium, or in whatever place on Earth, there’s always a possibility or chance that you may choose the wrong person as your romantic partner. It’s really up to the person who is seeking true romance to find out if he or she really deserves the person whom he or she is currently dating. People should be wise in trying to find a romantic partner! Whether you’re in a bar or just chatting with someone on the Internet, you have to be wise in trying to choose a romantic partner. A person should use her or his heart and brain in attempting to form a romantic relationship with someone.
As I’ve said, Miss Juliet Sardino is my current girlfriend. She is a single parent just like me. Her daughter Julieyhen is now 2 years old. I have a 12-year old daughter named Beatrice. I’m an entrepreneur and part-time salesman, while Juliet works as a quality-control inspector for a garments’ factory in Muntinlupa City. She lives near the place where I reside. I met Juliet on Facebook. We’re in a serious romantic relationship. We’ve been together for 8 months now. We’re almost ‘live-in partners’, so to speak. I’m planning to marry her either this year or next year. I didn’t really plan on meeting a romantic partner on Facebook. It just happened that way! I believe people can find love in any place on Earth. I believe love makes the world go round. I believe love makes the world a beautiful and wonderful place to live in. In spite of several differences between me and Juliet, we were able to withstand various storms that had hit our relationship.
(NOTE: The pictures in this iReport were taken last December of 2012. It was Juliet’s 14-year old sister, whose name is Camille, who actually took the photos. Camille used my digital camera in taking the pictures. Juliet Sardino, her sister Camille, Juliet’s 2-year old daughter and I were then having a dinner inside a restaurant at San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines.)