Saturday, March 10, 2007

Online meeting/dating: Mainstream or still worth fibbing about?

I was a little surprised the other day to hear from not one but two friends still bothered by admitting when you meet someone online. Doesn't it happen all the time now? Hasn't it reached a critical mass? We do so many other things online now -- why not this? Discuss.

UPDATE: Sarah makes some good points in the comments.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I think it's become mainstream, and not at all something to fib about or be embarrassed about. I just think blind dating (when you are internet strangers, ie. having no friends in common, work environment in common, schools in common, teachers in common, even aquaintances in common) is a little awkward. If you go on a blind date set up by a mutual friend, there is still some small degree of common ground.

I also think our generation has become so accustomed to online dating that there are all sorts of unspoken rules that I am unprivy to.

I also think it's difficult to judge someone as a potential mate based on an hour of coffee drinking or a walk in the park or even a short dinner. I recently dated someone for 4 months who I met on a trip we both took with our families. He's a great guy, but I didn't really get to know him until the second week of the trip (and this is after spending nearly all day with him for 6 days straight, two meals a day, sitting together on the bus, etc.) My first impression of him wasn't very good. I thought he was a little too quiet and shy and I misconstrued that for disinterest and arrogance. Hence, if I had met him online and only spent an hour or two with him at dinner, I probably would have declined a second date (and in retrospect, at first meeting he thought I was a bit too outgoing at first so he may have not even asked me out on a second date and would have gone back online to search for someone who was a bit more introverted).

Yet after hanging out non stop for two weeks, we became really close, and even more important we became friends first, which I think takes a lot of the pressure off. In internet dating, there is so much 'trying to find a match...do we have romantic chemistry...etc' that happens in the course of a few hours that is way stressful and uncomfortable. Also, in general, when relationships start online, you kind of skip that 'friendly' step and go right into e-mail flirting and anticipating a first date. That may work for some people, but in the end, for me, I think a lasting relationship has to move a little more slowly. It seems like things are very rushed online. All of these men searching for a 'soulmate' (which I'm not even sure I believe in) is just too much for me.

But do I think it's anything to be ashamed of? Absolutely not.