Who would have ever predicted ten years ago that online dating would be more mainstream then being set up by your friends? Sure, the same warnings would apply: meeting in a public place, keep all your typical precautions about meeting a stranger etc. However, it’s interesting to hear ten years ago when a couple shyly states that they met online, to now, where they proudly state that they had met on a popular dating site.
I have had many friends who are fabulous couples that met online. I have had friends who have married their significant other who they have met online. With today’s busy lifestyle, sometimes it is easier to grab a glass of wine on a night in and scroll through the endless profiles of bachelor and bachelorettes to find the right person.
Instead of being set up by an insistent friend with a man or woman who has been picked for you, you are the captain of this dating ship. You can cruise for what you are looking for, browse through profiles, looking at a person’s basic traits and go from there. A simple letter of interest can be sent, and if you get one back, GREAT! If not, who cares? You can cruise to the next profile which has endless possibilities. It sure does beat your friends breathing down your neck wanting to know if the person they picked for you is Mr. or Miss Right.
The ball can be in your court. You can actually have a number of conversations with a person before you meet them. A true capable couple is not based on looks alone, but by conversation and how well you “click,” (no pun intended). Let’s face it, eventually the looks fade, but the brain and heart don’t! You can take the time to get to know each other through instant messaging conversations to get to know this new beau.
I was having a conversation with my aunt a few months ago. As I have mentioned in my previous articles, her and my uncle had a fabulous marriage. He died seven years ago. As we reminisced about old times, she has slowly begun to date again, with no luck. I spoke to her about online dating, which she flat out refused. I told her that many people in their 50s and over have profiles, and have had luck, from finding new friends to new dates. My aunt’s response and take on online dating is a strong argument for “con”. I want to share with you what she said.
She explains the following to me in her soft French accent: “Grace, when I met your uncle, I was 23 with two children, one two years old and the other, one year old. I could not have anymore children. I was divorced, and trying to keep ends meet and raise these little girls. I have a medical problem that does not allow me to travel. Now picture my profile on a dating site. Your uncle was 28, in a band, and had just gotten back from travelling Europe. He loved to travel. Now if he read my profile, I am sure, as anyone, they would have passed on me. However, your uncle had met me, gotten to know me, and we fell in love. My children became his children, our travels became weekend getaways and romantic dinners, plays, and others outings that were around the city. I would have never met my soul mate if I was a profile on online dating.”
Case in point, when you date online, we look for a lot of the superficial. Good looking profiles, similar interests, an exciting lifestyle. Many of my friends have married their opposite, and they have lively and exciting marriages. Many of us reminisce how we were looking for one man or woman, and we ended up finding someone completely different, which in turn is much more then we ever can imagine. Meeting new people expands our minds and our hearts, and leads us through endless possibilities.
ONLINE DATING: IN CONCLUSION…
In conclusion, online dating is here to stay. What we should learn from it, other then staying safe, is to not be judgmental about whose profile we are seeing. Surely, it is hard to cram your life into a 300 word summary. Each profile is a person, looking for love. With an open mind and an open heart, we should get to know each potential person, and if they seem safe, meet in a public place and get to know each other. Let’s face it, if your life was a three paragraph profile, would people pass on you? I would hope not. So if online dating is for you, enjoy yourself, stay safe, and realize your soul mate is much more then a small synopsis.