We know. It’s 2010, and some large percentage of people “meet” online. Still, one Staffer sees some drawbacks to the system. Is online dating taking the romance out of that whole chance meeting, the surprising unveiling of a person that used to be so sacred? Is it another way that technology is ruining relationships?
“Okay, before several hundred of you put me on the comment chopping block, let me say that sometimes dating websites obviously work. I have friends who met The One through Match.com, PlentyofFish.com, BoysRUs.com (just kidding!)…. I also have pals who have went on an online-sanctioned outing only to find their date incredibly rude, already wasted or only interested in sexual advances.
I get that it could go either way and in a lot of cases online dating websites are kind of a throwback to old-school matchmakers—but with modern conveniences, of course! Just put in all the traits you want, then presto-chango they’ve found not just one partner…but several to pick from! And you can screen their pictures, life’s interests, their stories, before you even attempt to meet them.
But that’s part of the problem. Where’s the romance, the chance, the hilarious ‘how I met my Prince Charming’ story in any of that? I used to be a wedding writer. It was so boring and such a struggle starting 12 of 20 articles with variations of, ‘The happy couple met on Match.com.’ It was insanely more interesting to hear how one guy saw his future wife on the evening news, and instantly falling in love with her, looked her up on the ‘contact us’ part of the station’s site (if this is you, the happenstance of your story has always stuck out in my mind, so thanks).
I’ve whined to my parents about my love life in the past. And although mom and pops may not be all that hip, they suggested giving dating sites a whirl. Even my old-fashioned (but ever-logical) father once stopped me mid-rant about ‘all these immature boys my age’ with the argument: ‘If you go on a dating website, at least you know the other person is looking for exactly what you are.’
He’s right, of course. So am I crazy to keep going at this love and relationship game in the whole ‘keeping my eyes peeled’ in real-life way? When I was single, I would dream about the ways I’d meet someone. Would we reach for the Eggo waffles in the frozen food section at the exact same moment? Maybe he was a brooding musician and we’d realize we shared the same favorite song after he saw my ratty Pink Floyd tee. Maybe I’d end up with a guy I’d grown up with; he would tell everyone about the books I used to write, all illustrated in sparkle crayons.
I have a boyfriend now. In fact, the story of how I met him and why we’re together is so infinitely out-there that usually when people ask how we met, I have to laugh and preface it with ‘it’s a long story’ before I attempt to tell them even a fraction of it. And it’s so weird to me that I could probably think about it all day, imaging all the little ways I never would have met him if I’d done just one little step differently.
So I have to wonder: Am I weird if I love leaving things up to some sleight of hand and investigating a person’s story from there? Not knowing their religion, hobbies, favorite quotes, jobs, life’s aspirations; just running into people along my way and unwrapping everything myself? That I think it’s far better, much less sterile, dare I love the accidental drama of stumbling upon someone?”
GIRL TALK TIME: Have you ever used a dating website? Which one(s)? Did they work? Are you for or against this? What do you think of what our Staffer has to say?