Tuesday, January 18, 2011

courting 2.0

In my post yesterday I mentioned the word courting. I've always liked to word -- it makes dating and "going steady" seem a little more old-fashioned and, well, serious. It all also, don't ask me why, reminds me of the Laura Ingalls Wilder (LIW) series.

I was obsessed with those books when I was a kid. So much so, that I almost wanted to live in the country and wear poplin dresses and eat molasses drops. My life, however led me to other places and to different adventures.

Once I referred to "courting" and meeting at La Giralda, I began to think about dating in general. Today on my way home I read an article Love at first byte in the Economist. This article really got my head spinning about dating. As the title suggests, online dating is easy, popular and diverse. Not to mention, it's successful.

I often wonder what it would be like. I know people who have found it be a great success and met their soul mate / spouse. Others who haven't been so lucky.

Before I continue, it's time for my personal disclaimer: I am so happy that I am no longer in the game. If I was still single I don't even know where I would start my search. Props to those who are out there fighting that battle. I couldn't do it; and, luckily I do not have to.

According to the article (and a survey), the most common places to meet a mate are as follows:
  1. Through mutual friends
  2. Bars & Restaurants
  3. Internet (online dating)
From my own personal experience, #1 & #2 work just fine. In fact, I met pm this way. We were at a bar with mutual colleagues / friends. (It would be so much more romantic if I said we met under La Giralda, right?) When I was growing up, there was no #3. First of all, because the internet and being online wasn't such a huge part of my social fabric growing up. And secondly, if you went online to meet people you did so through AIM. It was not serious...Pervs and geeks were among the few that were online.

Oh my, times have changed. Privacy doesn't have the same sentiment as it once did. You couldn't page through online profiles like a catalog to determine what boyfriend/girlfriend you wanted to have. People actually had to get out there on their own and flirt. Gasp. You couldn't hide behind emails. Couldn't hide behind an amazing photo of yourself taken years ago. Couldn't hide behind an exaggerated list of hobbies and talents. That all said: You could still pretend to be somewhere you weren't; that is something that will never change.

When I really think about how the dating scene has changed over the years, it makes me realize how much everything has changed. We are so much for reliant on the internet, for everything. I'm guilty. So you are. (I know this because you are reading this post and undoubtedly others). Although it all goes beyond just the internet.

It's technology. It drives our interests, our necessity, our jobs, our play, our life. Without it, where would we be? Well for starters, they'd be a lot more singletons out there in bars trying out sappy pickup lines until someone takes the bait. I'm also pretty sure #3 would be library / book store.

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