Thursday, 4 June 2009

How Dating Has Changed In The 21st Century

With an article title like this, one might assume that I am ready
to tell you some extraordinary news about a new dating
environment. Sure, the Internet has introduced one more way for
people to meet, but does that actually change the dating scene?

Interestingly, a friend of mine met his current wife online, but
not from across country, rather from across town. The two of them
lived just five miles apart. Jokingly, we have talked about it
from the standpoint of "you could have met, if only you had been
willing to get out more." But it was not that easy. Sure, in
theory they probably could have met when they were out and
running around, but if you talk to both and ask them the places
they go and the people they know, the chances of actually having
met were entirely unlikely.

He is a Baptist and she is a Catholic. He is a blue-collar
worker, and she works for a dentists' office. He goes to
football games and hangs with his friends, and she used to go to
the bar with the girls. Although they both lived in the same
small town and graduated from the same high school, none of his
friends had ever met her, and none of her friends had ever met
him or his friends.

The two of them were so close, and yet so far apart from one
another.

The Internet was instrumental in bringing the two together. They
were introduced to one another through their respective personal
profiles on dating websites. After a couple of exchanged emails,
they turned first to Yahoo Chat, and then they orchestrated a
personal meet for dinner at a local restaurant. I guess you can
say the rest is history.

After a nine-month courtship, the two were married, and they have
been married now for two years.

Lessons To Be Learned

Ah yes, I am one of the guys who write about online dating. So, I
got the idea to start asking questions. I wanted to know what if
anything could have impacted this hookup in a negative way. Now
and again, I will ask a question and wish later that I had just
kept my mouth shut. In a way, this was one of those situations,
and you will see why in a minute.

Both indicated that a picture on a profile is absolutely
essential. Neither was willing to talk to anyone who hid behind a
computer on the Internet. Had either one not included a picture,
neither would have responded to the others' email.

Both had been doing the online dating thing for a couple years.
So, both had scars from the experience.

She said that one should never lie in a profile. She said that
when she chatted guys online or met them in person, she was keen
to listen to everything she was told. She was looking for
discrepancies between what was said in chat, in person and in the
profile. She said that when she first started the online dating
thing, she did not pay much attention to those things, but she
later found that these little red flags were a good indication of
bigger red flags that she would not want to discover later.

Both suggested one of my standard pieces of advice was completely
valid. I have always said that we should get to know one another
a bit better, before we start making commitments to one another.

She said that guys, who were quick to jump into a commitment,
were not only nerdy, but also desperate for a good reason. He
said that girls were quick to declare love or commitment usually
turned out to be scammers looking to make a quick buck. He said
that within days of the first declaration of love, she would
always be asking for money, and she would pitch a fit if you told
her no, after all she would say, the two of you shared something
special.

She said there was two emails that she dreaded receiving from
guys. She said any email that employed cheesy pick up lines would
not be answered ever. She said that if I guy wanted her
attention, he would need to give some thought to his emailed
words. Second, she said that if she wanted to see a guy's male
part, she would invite him to her house for the night. She did
not want to see him in an email message.

He said there was two emails that he also dreaded receiving. He
did not want to hear "I love you" at all, nor did he want to be
spoken to in a condescending way. I asked him what he perceived
to be "condescending". He said words like, "sweetie",
"dear" and "honey" were immediate turn-offs, as he perceived
those women to be professionals looking to get paid for their
dates.

All Went Well To This Point, And Then...

You know I am the type of person who is not easily embarrassed.
The interview had been going well, and then I asked the wrong
question to the wrong person. And it all changed, just like that.

I asked my friend and his wife whether they had ever got together
with someone just for fun, like a one-night-stand type
arrangement. Both had said yes, and then I regretted having asked
the question. My friend's wife indicated that she had one real
good "friend with benefits", and as a single guy, I might enjoy
some of the activities they liked doing.

If I had stopped here, then everything might have been all right,
but I asked what she meant.

Immediately, the alarm went off in my brain signaling too much
information! I turned beet red and she laughed. And to this day,
I have never lived down that moment in time.


Lance Metzger writes about relationships, offline and online
dating. "No Strings Attached" simply means, "Let's get to know
one another before we start making any commitments to one
another." To explore No Strings Attached Dating, please
visit the NSA Dating Site at: http://www.nsadatingsite.com/