This is republished by demand!
Those of us unfortunate enough to be in the “dating pool” these days are having the perpetual discussion, debate or argument depending on which friend you are talking with over a glass of wine. It goes like this…
“I just want to meet him ‘naturally’, not online. You know, like at church or some event thing, or something like that. Maybe someone introduces us? I just know I think it should ‘just happen naturally’.”
I couldn’t agree more. First of all, it saves me about forty dollars a month and that is no small thing. Do you ever really add up the cost of putting yourself out there as a one-dimensional creature with couple of photos taken way too close up? Then there is the cost of therapy when you begin writing your profile and all your dank, dark self doubt jumps up like some Jack in the Box from the 50’s Add up the emotional and financial costs and you have one expensive search!. You had better hope something or someone comes out of all this!
The first thing you might not know I heard directly from the inventor of the “love algorithm” himself, Sam Yeager. He spoke, ironically on Valentine’s Day evening in 2012 at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco to a sold out audience of “thirty-something” and “late-in-life” love seekers. One thing I will say about Sam is that he is brutally honest. He surprised us all when he declared that there was very little difference between dating online and doing that “natural” thing. He corrected the urban myth that Match.com or any of his other holdings in the match-making empire cared at all about whether you or I ever found true love and got married. After the collective gasp, Sam said their goal was ONLY to get people to meet for the first time and after that, we are on our own. See? It is the same as the more “natural” way, right? They are just giving us thousands of photos and flat descriptions of people who might dare to have a cup of coffee with us. Imagine then, how that feels when our email invites get no answer. A cup of coffee is all I want and I can’t get that!?
Today I was walking down by the marina near where I live. It is my neighborhood haunt for “natural” aerobics instead of the health club. As I walked, of course being the people person I am, not to mention I am in that dating pool, I kept an eye out for men. My preference is one with a nice, tanned and toned body walking a lovely Golden Retriever, but I will settle for a pit bull some days (the dog, not the man). I noticed that each man that passed looked exactly like the men I see on the train I take into the city, ears plugged, wires dangling from their head, staring down reading their email or checking their stocks… who knows? What really struck me was that we may never again meet each other “naturally” because we never look up, make eye contact or smile at each other. So, if we want to meet someone, we will need to find places that have one of those symbols on a card or a placard that says…”Please, no cell phones allowed.”
So the choices are out there, but none of them are the one answer to finding someone to love. We need to connect, to see someone as who they are in more than one dimension. Dating profiles are treacherous and online dating agonizing, but waiting for someone to appear “naturally” is a crap shoot. Biological clocks tick on, our need for love is not debatable, so let’s thank Sam for sending us possibilities with the click of a mouse.