The 21st-century 20-something

Monday, September 20, 2010

21st century dating

I totally still used to watch Saved by the Bell every morning and was fooled into believing I would hit high school and find my wonderful Zack Morris. I learned, I as I think most of us do, that old school "high school sweethearts" aren't as prevalent as they used to be. Ya know, way back in the '90s.

Apparently, nowadays, 1 out of every 5 people in a new committed relationship met their partner on an online dating site. While online dating used to be taboo, it has become a legitimate way to date for people of all ages.

I won't lie, I have poked fun at people for dating online. I mean, how can a perfectly angled picture and a fluffed up personal survey tell you whether or not you're compatible with someone? I'm still a fan of dating the old-fashioned, meet-in-person kind of way, but I have come to understand a little more about why people decide to date online.

I believe biological clocks have a lot to do with it. People who are shy or super career-oriented may have trouble finding dates, but will try anything when they get toward the end of their child-rearing years.

I even have a friend who swears if she isn't seriously dating someone by the time she is 26, she will sign up for Otherwise the timeline of her life (i.e. married by 27, kids by 28...etc.) would be irreversibly thrown off. Which would be apocalyptic, of course.

Another thing to consider is people with Type-A personalities. They like things organized and tend to be impatient. They're also not very social. So online dating is the perfect alternative for them to find somebody who has already posted a list of characteristics they can put on a spread sheet and use as a check list.

While I still question the sincerity of those eHarmony commercials, I think dating online makes people much less apprehensive than it used to. People don't automatically assume that members on those sites are freaks and weirdos who can't get dates; they might be people just like you who haven't had any time or luck in meeting anyone to date.

What do you think? Yay or nay for online dating?


Anonymous Countryside dating said...

It is so nice and interesting post that you have made over here. You are absolutely right that 21st century dating will be very fast forward. I am thinking that in 21st century people will be date with the people of other country on the Internet more than people of local country.

September 21, 2010 at 2:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well written. I myself, has had lots of bad luck finding "Mr. Right" and have considered online dating. But, to me it is a little impersonal. I went out of my comfort level and went on a date with a guy who I would not normally go for, and a year later we are very happy and very much in love. I think if people can take the time to fill out all the mumbo-jumbo of an online dating service, they can take the time to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. As in a new place to meet people, new hobbies, new dating types.

September 24, 2010 at 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Mike Jaquays said...

Given my 30-odd years in dating -- with quite often the emphasis on the “odd” part -- I feel I have the experience to address this situation with a bit of expertise. I do know people madly in love with someone they met on the Internet, and some dear friends actually moved across the country to be together after meeting in a chat room, but I am not totally sold on the notion of using the computer as a home “Sears Wish Book” for finding a date.

On the insistence of a friend, I have actually put my name on one of those dating services. It felt nice to start getting messages back that I had been matched with someone else looking for love, or whatever, but I never could bring myself to respond. Yeah, I’m chicken. The thing that baffled me was I had included totally specific aspects of what I looked for in a potential partner (female, musically inclined, curvy, independent, sense of humor, past her procreative years, etc.) but what I was receiving back really seemed to have no bearing on what I had requested in my dial-a-date survey. I then started ignoring those e-mailed notifications of the discovery of my dream woman, so if she is out there reading this wondering why I never responded, that’s the reason. Call me later.

The biological clock issue is tricky and I’ll tell you that guys suffer from that just as much as women. In my own instance, I felt that compelling urge to have children by 30 and by fate ended up with three of them between my 29th and 30th years. But with the joy of the kids, I now also have the “joy” of an ex-wife thanks to that rush to get hitched and have offspring. Thanks a lot, biological clock!

I served as a divorce support group leader at my church a few years back, telling gatherings of distraught folks their lives weren’t really over because they weren‘t married anymore. I’d tell them if they ever feel lonely, and even I do at times, there’s a quick cure -- look around at all of the miserable people you know who are together. If that doesn’t work, go to the paper and read the “Annie’s Mailbox” column. You’re sure to find somebody going through a disastrous relationship that’ll stifle your regrets real fast.

My advice to the lovelorn is simple: go out and do things you enjoy. Meet people there with similar interests. I like music, so I go to concerts and mingle with the rocker women. You’ll start seeing familiar faces, and maybe even chat on social media like Facebook. Then, one day, when the time is right, it’ll happen. It may take awhile, but in the words of the all-knowing sage Phil Collins, you can’t hurry love. Plus you’ll have fun in the pursuit.

The Internet has certainly added a whole new -- and not always welcome -- slant to dating. But I think the worst thing now is knowing that, the next morning after an evening that is less-than-enjoyable, I’ll log on to that date’s Facebook page and read something to the effect of “Mike’s an idiot” or even worse. The Internet is a great learning and researching source, but when it comes to dating I’d have to say nay and give it a pass.

Back to you, Kali!

September 30, 2010 at 3:28 AM  

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