I dated for 20 glorious years. My first official car date was in 1973 at the age of 15 and the last was at the age of 34; I married three weeks short of 35 in 1993. Although there were many years of R & D leading up to the internet, going back to the early 1960’s, Al Gore actually invented the internet the year I was married, and match.com was founded the same year, and launched two years later. What made my 20 years of dating so particularly glorious was that my dating life all happened BEFORE the internet and PRIOR to match.com and the many dating sites that have followed.
Here’s why I maintain that dating was safer and more fun when on-line dating sites weren’t part of our pop-culture:
- #1 It was much harder to be catfished. I’m not saying it was IMPOSSIBLE for someone to fool you with their fake identity, but it was much more difficult. Of course, I only just learned what “being catfished” means at lunch today, so I’m not exactly an expert.
- #2 You didn’t have to answer all those questions like are in eHarmony. I don’t just know about eHarmony from the ads. One of my friends participated with eHarmony once. She didn’t want to answer all the questions so we sat in the lobby of a hotel and I answered a bunch of them for her, the way I knew she would. Wow! There are a lot of them.
- #3 And even though I think that looks aren’t everything, which is true when you know someone, it surely is easy to be looks-oriented on a dating website. The same friend and I would go through the eHarmony responses, and based on the looks of the guy, we’d say “no,” “no,” “no way,” “maybe,” “are you freakin’ kidding me?,” and that’s just being very shallow.
- #4 I’m way more than just a picture and I wouldn’t want to put myself out there and think that people were accepting or rejecting me based on a photo.
- #5 The ads make me cringe. “Oh I really like this girl. She is well-travelled and likes dogs. I want to meet her.” Really? It would have taken a lot more for me to want to meet someone other than he’s well-travelled and likes dogs.
- #6 You knew immediately if the guy was taller than you. Uh, that’s not being shallow, is it? It could be just a matter of knowing what shoes to wear on your date!
- #7 You didn’t have to spend money on subscriptions to dating sites. You just got dates going to the places that you went. Some women paid cover charges to bars, but I never met anyone at a bar who later became a date. I was a goody two-shoes, as I’ve told you before. I met my dates at college, church, work, through friends, at my apartment complex……
- #8 Back in the day when you went to the junior/senior reading room in the library to “study” every evening at 7, at least you could pretend you were there for another reason other than to see who you were there to see in case he never asked you out, which he didn’t, even though it never failed that he sat at the same table where I was, even though I was always there first. If you join an on-line dating site, you’re pretty much there to meet someone. If you don’t, then you’re feelings get hurt.
- #9 Even though you could meet a psychopath in person, it just seems like your odds would be increased if you met someone over the internet. That’s by no means scientific.
- #10 They can tell me all day long that “a million” marriages have resulted from such and such on-line dating website, but I just don’t believe it! I still think it’s a lot of hype. Everyone I know that gets married these days STILL met by some traditional means. Hey, it might be good for some folks, just not for me. I’m glad I came of age before the age of on-line dating.
How about you? Have you met anyone special via a chat room? An on-line dating site? A blog? A walk in the park? A chance meeting? Studying in the junior/senior reading room in the library at your college? At the gym? Did it turn out to be a psychopathic fatal attraction? Did it result in a long and happy marriage? Did you find your soul mate? Won’t you tell me about it, please?