Monday, March 21, 2011
How many times have you heard this: "Where are all the good men (women)?" The answer is simple: everywhere.
One of the best pieces of dating advice I ever received was that I should go out and do what I like to do. I would meet a wonderful woman who was doing the same thing, and we would have at least one thing in common. This works, based upon the personal experiences of many friends.
That's not exactly the way it worked for me. I went down the cyber pathway. I joined an online dating site. Yep, I met my fiancee on match.com.
According to a 2006 report by the Pew Research Center, 26% of Americans know someone who has found a date online. Today's figure is probably quite a bit higher.
There are now more than 800 dating web sites from which to choose. Match.com is probably the best known, because that's the site that started it all. But Yahoo Personals actually has more participants. You can join Beliefnet.com, SoulMatch.com, WealthyMen.com, blacksingles.com, christianmingle.com, jdate.com (for Jewish singles), cougarwomen.net, starmatch.com (I'm a Libra!), and hundreds more. At any moment there will be BowlingSingles.com and LeftHandedPingPongSingles.com.
My point is simply this: there is not shortage of ways to meet someone. Just make up your mind that you are going to meet the perfect person for you, and get out there (either literally or online). Don't be one of those people whose relationship is with the excuse that the right person isn't out there.
End of my sermon. What do you think?
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I recently received a review copy of Save as Draft, a delightful new novel by Cavanaugh Lee that traces the thoroughly modern dating and relationship life of Izabell, a wactress (waitress/actress) turned lawyer. The “hook” of this book is that it is comprised entirely of the texts, emails and tweets that Izabell and her friends send and receive.
The story begins with the eHarmony messages that Izabell receives about Martin (her “Match #6”) and Martin receives about Izabell (his “Match #137”). Alas, their promising romance will not immediately blossom, primarily because of Izabell’s growing fascination with her co-worker, Peter.
The telling of this story through emails and texts is both brilliant and frustrating. We all know that emails (and especially texts) have their pitfalls. Sure, they are instantaneous, but they lack the voice inflections of telephone calls and the context-rich nonverbal cues of face-to-face conversations. Because of this, Save as Draft is chatty and superficial. The characters hope, dream and fall in and out of love, but we (the readers) only get glimpses of their internal agonies and ecstasies.
The brilliance of the novel is in the emails that the characters write to each other but do not send. (These are “saved as draft,” which is where the title of the book is derived.) These unsent emails are the heartfelt communications that the characters SHOULD be sending. When Peter is falling for Izabell, he writes several “I love you” emails that he never sends. I wanted to slap him upside the head. Send the damn emails, you weenie! You’re not going to get the girl if she doesn’t know how you feel about her!
Save as Draft is a witty, well-written novel that provides valuable insight to the joys and pitfalls of dating in the internet age. It also serves as a warning for those of us who might rely too heavily on electronic forms of communication. In the humble opinion of this Middle-Aged Babe Magnet, texts and emails are best used as bridges between actual conversations. It’s too easy to misinterpret the sterile words on a computer screen or smart phone. That’s why emoticons and text shorthand (lol, omg) were developed to add meaning and emotion to cold, typed words.
I happen to be a big fan of technology. I am, after all, posting this on a blog—and I met my fiancée on match.com. I have first-hand knowledge of the value of using technology in dating and communicating. But when I have something important to say to my beloved, I want to gaze right into her beautiful eyes.