Friday, October 1, 2010

The whole ONLINE love phenomenon.

I don't pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me; love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you.

Love for many is just one click away. I have seen it happen time and time again - and my FINAL report is - I think it is an excellent idea! Yes, I am actually in favor of online dating, matchmaking, or just making new friends!

Here's the reality: unless you are still in school, it is next to impossible to meet someone on a continual basis. Sure, the random guy or girl may catch your eye at the grocery store or gas station. But seriously, who actually TALKS to anyone at these places? (Don't answer that southerners.. I know, I know..we talk to everyone. But generally, it's not the "norm.")

I can definitely say I am experienced in the dating and relationship world. I had my fair share of crushes and heart breaks. Sprinkle that with a few long-term relationships (including living with someone,) I think I can safely say, as an adult - it is next to impossible to meet people.

Sure - there are the singles groups at a church. One of my dearest friends at my church went to one of the singles groups (she is 27), she came back and said, "I was the youngest by at least 18 years, and most were divorced, and just ODD." Boo, that's too bad.

Then there is the random "set up." I have experienced at least one set up and I have to say that relationship lasted 2 years. I am sad to report, I sort of hung around because we had the same social circle, and my leaving him would cause my entire "social life" to fall apart. Luckily, we both had a really good excuse to move on and it worked out just fine.

What about the person you meet at a bar? Come on, most red blooded Americans spend a large quantity of time in the local bar and club scene in their 20s and early 30s. I think I met a random guy or two throughout my life this way. Never went past a date or two. But then, there was that ONE. Sad to say, we ended up moving in together about 4 months later, and getting engaged about 8 months after that. Married two years into our relationship and then 6 years later divorced. Yuck.

Then there is the guy at work. NEVER and I repeat - NEVER do this. I think I went out with a person or two from my television days. SUCH a bad idea. SOO SOOO bad. RARE that it works, or.. maybe, you really need to work in different departments. Because if it ends badly, it's bad all around.

That brings me to this online phenomenon. I think it is a good idea, and here is why: Because you get to read a surface level profile of their interests. (If they say Football is an interest and they list a team, well.. you have to realize they may live for days when the game is on, and taking you out may not be an option.) If they say they have a dog - well, get ready for fur on your favorite wool coat, and yes, you will be expected to love the dog also. If they have a child, if they are divorced, if they have a religious preference - it's all there. Basic things that SOMETIMES people like to leave out until they get to know one another better.

I also think it is a good idea because you are not meeting someplace like a bar, or a church, or work.. which means - if it doesn't work out, no embarrassment and awkward situations.

I have heard many times that people think it is dangerous. Tell me this - how is it any more dangerous than meeting ANY stranger any where? You have to use your good sense.

Another great thing about it, you are forced to chat a bit to get to know one another. You are actually writing, and let me tell you - what a GREAT way to get into the mind of anyone. (Clearly you agree, or you would not be reading a blog post!!!)

I never used a dating service. But, I know people who have. One of my friends has used eharmony or many times. I believe they ended up with about 2 solid relationships. No, they did not work out - but it was the basic reasons anyone would not work out.

Also - it's not just for "sad, lonely divorced people." There is a stereotype with that one. Let me tell you, I have some friends that are drop dead gorgeous and in their 20's and they use these sites. It's because they are sick of the club scene and want to be a little more "picky." Just cut to the chase and find people with enough commonality and differences to keep it interesting.

I did meet my egyptian online using a social media site. It started out by curiosity between friends from different countries. Grew into a solid friendship, then a deeper respect for one another, then full-fledged "love." Yes.. online.

Some of you may be completely skeptical.. but trust me, it is possible. Imagine my basic day for about 1 1/2 years: I wake up, and after my cup of coffee I call the egyptian to wish him a good morning. (Though it was already almost dinner time there.) We would chat on the phone for just a few minutes, then I would get ready for work. After I had breakfast, and if I had a little extra time, I would sign in online and video chat with him before I went to work, that would last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

At lunch, I would check my myspace inbox or FB and see a sweet comment or message from him. I, in turn, would leave something for him.

Before the end of my work day, he would respond with something else. Then, as I drove home from work, I would call him and we would chat for about 15 minutes.

After I got home, and had dinner (and if he was still awake) - we would talk online for an hour or two. (DId I mention, I had a webcam and we actually sat and talked to each other.

On the weekends we would talk for about 4 hours. I am sooo serious. Sure, there would be breaks.. but we would talk. It forced us to get to know one another. It forced us to TALK. (I joke and say that is why we have nothing to say now.. we shared all of our stories in the first 2 years. LOL) Seriously, we probably TALKED more than the average couple has in the first 3 years of marriage.

Granted - getting to meet that person for the first time is waaaay more intense than your average "set up." You have built a rapport. You know what the other looks like. This time - you put it all together. It's a really amazing experience. You get to see if things check out, and if all is as it seems - MATCH!

If you are single, and are interested in meeting someone - don't be afraid to go a different route. It's more common than you think!

What are your thoughts on the whole online dating phenomenon?


Robin said...

I do think that forced talking due to distance (or whatever) allows you to get to know each other. I actually have been thinking a lot about relationships and have decided that the most important thing is to be best friends with that other person before you take it to the next level. You have to have a solid foundation to build on. Building your relationship is like building your house. And intimacy (aka sex) is the roof of your house. Friendship is the foundation. You have to make sure your support beams are solid. That your inner walls of trust, respect, and loyalty are in place. That your outer walls of solidarity are strong so that you can handle the storms that life sends your way. You have to know all of that (and more) before you put the roof on the house. So, yeah, I can see that spending hours on the phone/webcam over a long period of time would be a large part of that building process.

Courtney said...

My husband and I actually met through! I was in school at the time (nursing classes usually only have a handful of men among 250 women) and worked with a bunch of women in an office setting. I have never really been into the club/bar scene, so there weren't many places to meet people of the opposite sex. I was 22 and my husband was almost 30 when we started chatting online. At first he thought I was too young for him, but once we got to know each other a little bit he realized we were really at similar points in our lives (ready to settle down with one person), and from that point on we've been together. We had our first date in May of 2006, were engaged a year later (to the day), and married in June of 2008.
I think online dating is a fantastic resource for those of us who don't want to pick up a random stranger at a bar or are tired of being fixed-up with a friend of a friend. I always told my best friend who I was going out with, gave them the guy's phone number, and made sure to check in with her when I got home for safety reasons.

Anonymous said...

I've done it, and so far it has brought me nothing but stress and one really traumatic life experience. Maybe I'm on the wrong sites. I'm not saying it's a bad idea altogether (one of my friends met her husband that way), just that my experience hasn't been so great. However, sometimes I consider getting back into it because I don't meet a lot of available straight men at school.

Anonymous said...

"Love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you.” Yep, that's exactly how I feel about it too! And I believe you have seen me post that "every day my husband takes my breath away!" He truly does. I didn't meet him on line; but I met him through someone else I had met on line. Funny how that worked out. But for a little while, we did discover a lot about each other through on line communication and text messages and phone calls! We have both always been able to be totally honest and up front about everything in our has been the absolute best relationship and marriage in the world! He wasn't my first, but is certainly my last! Love this post!!!

Laura said...

Been there. Done that. And it was absolutely WONDERFUL!!!! I had so much FUN getting to know different people. And a funny thing happened along the way -- when I was not looking for marriage, it, apparently, was looking for me. Celebrating our five year wedding anniversary this year, and we are as happy as the day we got married - if not happier.

Michelle Faith said...

I met my husband online...not on a dating service but on a Christen site...we've been happy and married for over 12 years now...funny thing is I'm kind of ashamed to tell people that. I just tell them we met in church lol. But I'd do it again.

Leanne said...

SO think that this is the modern way to go! Who really wants to be looking for love in a bar, a book store, through Aunt Millie's friends grandson, or in all the wrong places? Life has changed, as so has the art of finding LOVE. The end result is still the same ... just the path to get there that is a little different!!! (And know a few people who have done quite well online, too!!!) Great post, dear!!!

Yenta Mary said...

I met my sweetie online -- where else would I meet anyone??? NO dating folks from work. Talk to someone in a doctor's office waiting room??? Not much time, too many forms to fill out. The stereotypical picking someone up at the grocery store? God only knows who they are. But after Tom emailed me, we developed a "pen pal" arrangement -- we wrote to each other for more than a month, long in-depth letters (a la Browning/Barrett), before finally meeting. There was a tremendous foundation even before laying eyes upon one another, and it only developed further from there ....


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